Best of Marin County 2019: Shopping

From small, personalized boutiques to comprehensive upscale shopping centers, Marin has it all. Here are the best places to shop.
2019 Best of Marin County Shopping Winner Book Passage

 

BEST BOOK STORE

Book Passage

Book nerds and word nerds together placed this longtime Corte Madera shop on the top shelf. Though the Sausalito location closed this summer, the lively Corte Madera spot and the newer location at the Ferry Building in San Francisco are going strong.

BEST BOUTIQUE

Viva Diva Boutique

The on-trend, instantly wearable tanks, rompers and jeans are just part of why voters showered love on this San Rafael shop. The staff’s one- on-one service (hugs included) feels like the personal shopper you always felt you needed but were afraid to ask for.

BEST CONSIGNMENT OR THRIFT SHOP

Swan Dive

Located on an easy-to- miss corner near Corte Madera’s Menke Park, Swan Dive is known for sourcing only high- quality designer items and giving fair prices to consigners and customers. Shoes, belts and bling round out the just- swanky-enough goods.

BEST DEPARTMENT STORE

Nordstrom

Perhaps it’s the recent revamp of the on-site restaurant to modern bistro Bazille (the kung pao Brussels sprouts really are good). We bet the consistent personal service in every department, from makeup to men’s, remains part of the appeal. And we love the knowledgeable staff in women’s lingerie; these ladies just get it.

BEST EVENING WEAR

Hello Gorgeous

From bridal and prom to red carpet–worthy gowns and unconventional party wear, Hello Gorgeous has outfits for all occasions and weather. Shoes and jewelry to match? But of course, dahling.

BEST EYEWEAR

Rims & Goggles

Bespoke eyewear and brands focusing exclusively on eyeglass fashion (not jeans or sneakers) are hallmarks of this shop in Mill Valley’s Strawberry Village. We bet the free adjustments, even if you did not buy the pair there, also won voters over.

BEST GIFTS

Poet and the Bench

Regulars stop by just for the conversation with curator Bonnie Powers and goldsmith Jeffrey Levin. Or to hang in the new, bigger location since they moved to the corner of Throckmorton and El Paseo Lane in Mill Valley. But it’s the designs that lifted their atelier into the winners’ circle.

BEST HOME FURNISHINGS/ HOME ACCESSORIES

Hudson | Grace

With a mix of table linens, dinnerware, books, decor and vintage items, this shop at Larkspur’s Marin Country Mart is a go-to for hostess gifts or that hard-to-find butter dish or gravy boat.

BEST LINGERIE

La Belle Fifi

Globally sourced, evocative lingerie is the eye-catcher in the window here in Corte Madera’s Town Center. Step inside for not just a gander at the right undergarment but an array of beautiful hair clips, comfy pajamas, wraps and attire that would look great at a resort or around town.

BEST LOCAL JEWELRY STORE

Moonstruck Fine Jewelry

The recent rebranding of Kathleen Dughi Jeweler did not dampen enthusiasm for the custom design, craftsmanship and personal service from owner and gold- smith Johanna Becker.

BEST KIDS’ CLOTHING

Secret Garden

It looks like a bed of roses just might be behind the walls, and it’s teeming with options when a christening, wed- ding or other event calls for outfitting babies, toddlers, kids and teens.

BEST MEN’S CLOTHING

Famous4

Recently name-changed from Famous For Our Look to Famous4, the downtown Mill Valley standby goes international to stock brands like Ronen Chen, Haupt and Alberto. The late hours Fridays and Saturdays (open until 10 p.m.) expand the opportunity to stop in and shop.

BEST SHOPPING CENTER/MALL

The Village at Corte Madera

Popular stores like Apple, Lululemon and Nordstrom are just a part of why Marinites flock to this outdoor mall. The dog-friendly vibe, places to eat, flower baskets bursting with color and chill play- ground also help make it an all-day hangout for a wide swath of locals.

Categories: Best of the County, Feature Story