In Lieu of Ordinary Attire

by jennine on March 19, 2008

It’s no secret that over the years I’ve been a dedicated patron of the Polk Street boutiques, and I’ll miss the likes of Mascara Vintage, Bella Cose, Anica and of course In Lieu. In the past few months I’ve become friends with Christina Claypool owner of this boutique. She’s certainly passionate about finding high quality independent designers. One Sunday, I came in to see her shoppe and talk to her about how she finds these designers. It’s one of the things I love about boutiques, finding a a beautiful dress without wondering if someone at work has the same one (it’s happened during my H&M days), to hear Christina tell the story about the woman who designed it. It makes me feel a bit more personal about the dress, knowing where it came from.

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, it was inevitable that after years of working in retail Christina would open the doors In Lieu. Like many business owners, she has found that running a boutique is challenging and thrilling.

As a boutique owner, the goal is to find clothes ‘you can wear’ I know, it sounds obvious, but I know from the time I spend researching fashion, seeing beautiful clothes is one thing, but finding clothes I can actually wear is a completely different story…

There is a lot of research that goes into finding small labels, that tend to change dramatically from one season to the next. There are thousands of designers and only a few will make it into a shop. As a boutique owner, the goal is to find clothes ‘you can wear’ I know, it sounds obvious, but I know from the time I spend researching fashion, seeing beautiful clothes is one thing, but finding clothes I can actually wear is a completely different story. The goal is to find interesting wearable clothes. She says the Internet is where she finds 80% of the designers she carries, but also there are some from showrooms and through PR agencies. As a boutique owner she get bombarded with emails soliciting but the ones who really take the time to look at In Lieu and really have something to offer are the ones who get attention.

Taking your time in a world where everything moves so quickly is what separates ordinary from extraordinary, stopping for a second to really think about style, what works, and what you like.

In Lieu
2420 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(cross streets Union and Filbert)

www.shopinlieu.com

From top: Dress by Borne, Christina in her shop, shoes by Marcello Toshi, and earrings by Round Designs.

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{ 6 comments }

hailey March 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I will 100% check out Polk Street when I go to SanFran!

Girl-Woman March 19, 2008 at 5:36 pm

What an extraordinary shoe. If wishes were fishes, I would swim to San Fran.

meli March 20, 2008 at 2:34 am

What a nice insider story.
Bella cose is super cute too, I can always spend a zillion hours walkin polk. Recently I randomly came across the Eco-citizen hidden gem store off polk (green or vallejo) and after I walked I realized (I hope Im right) that you perhaps had mentioned it before :)

susie_bubble March 20, 2008 at 7:30 am

Those shoes are really lovely…. must remember Polk Street…

jennine March 20, 2008 at 10:20 am

oh yes… eco-citizen… i like that one too, i just have never shopped there, there is also picnic which is a great boutique too.

but here is the piece about eco citizen:
http://the-coveted.com/blog/2008/01/27/citizens-of-the-world/

but yeah, polk is a strange street, i love it, but it’s certainly got a lot of character!

Leonor March 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Yes, yes…

Taking the time, realizing that looking great isn’t just about coughing up a bunch of dough for that next top, that next shoe….I devotee for the “story behind each piece”, that slows me down; it teaches me appreciate quality versus mass production. You know? that warm feeling inside.

Love stories like this!

…Girl… you’re good!

Leo

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