Years ago, before I moved to San Francisco, I would visit a couple of times a year to visit friends. Since my visits were short, most of my time in the City would be spent checking out food spots and catching up, but on one of my trips, I was jonesing for some new clothes and was promptly taken to Haight Street, where I was informed, “if you can’t find anything in there, then there’s something wrong with you.” I was standing near the corner of Haight and Ashbury, looking up at a black and white awning. Excited, I walked inside.
I can’t remember if I actually bought anything that day, but I do remember falling in love with the store. They’ve got a little bit of everything in there. I’ve bought party and wedding reception dresses, interview outfits, date wear, brunch wear, you name it wear, you can find it or pieces of it at Ambiance. When I can’t find a pair of shoes or the perfect top to go with my perennial jeans, I’ve never failed at the “Beauty Bar,” the accessories department of the store. Most of the earrings and necklaces in my collection are from here and I’ve always received compliments on them. They’re affordable and unique enough to last through several seasons, no matter what you pair them with. All of the scarves in my collection are from here (also very affordable) and I’ve got not one, but two of their wrap sweaters, which you see on women all over The City.
But, what makes Ambiance by far and away my favorite place are the friendly and fashionable gals that work there. Most of the time, I’m content to browse their collection (which includes local and smaller brands right next to Free People, French Connection, BCBG, Hype and Plenty among others), but there have been times when I just don’t know what I am looking for, but know I have something specific to dress for. This is where Ambiance really shines. I’ve walked in there I don’t know how many times looking for direction/options for a birthday dinner, or finding the right accessories to go with a top I fell in love with. If something doesn’t work right away, they’ll make sure they find something that will. They’ll even pull belts and shoes for you to try on with the clothes you’ve picked out. With service like that, it’s easy to see why Ambiance has made the “Best Of” lists for SF Weekly, SF Bay Guardian and San Francisco Magazine for the better part of the 2000s.
Be sure to check out one of their three SF locations the next time you’re looking to add to your wardrobe!
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
Graphics by: Michelle
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