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Built by Wendy

New Flagship Anchors in the Mission

What started as a night job selling clothes to a few record stores has now turned into a full-time retail empire that stretches from Brooklyn to San Francisco. Wendy Mullin has just claimed her latest domain with her fourth Built by Wendy flagship store in the Mission where her summer collection of fantasy prep school looks and kitschy Americana tees have just arrived.

The sleek Mission shop offers something for both women and men. The men’s gingham or two tone chambray button down shirts ($60) display a modern twist on life after preparatory school. For some reason the gingham look triggers a mental image of Danny Glover in his checked shirt with a fuchsia bow tie and jacket in his role as an accountant in The Royal Tenenbaums. Perhaps this sense of quirkiness in Wendy’s shirts has brought this association to mind.

For women, garden flower prints splash onto various styles such as scoop neck minis ($120), boatneck dresses ($146) and A-line skirts ($84). It’s intriguing to see how Wendy can transform a look by simply changing the fabric from purple floral to navy plaid for the same cut. If you are inspired to do the same, Wendy has teamed with Simplicity so that you can create your very own Built by You wardrobe. A basic pattern can start as a tunic and elongate easily to a classic dress. Various dress and jacket patterns are available for your choosing.

Built By Wendy’s style and direction vary each season but Wendy’s collection of staple tees is timeless. My favorite is the Mickey Mouse tee ($35). Mickey, a great American cultural icon, literally explodes in bits and pieces on the front of a super soft grey tee -- hence the aptly named “Exploding Mouse Tee”. Another favorite is the Bloody Boys Tee ($35), on which actors from various films such as Flirting or Harold & Maude are depicted drawn together with their bloody faces.

Something perhaps less emotionally and cinematically charged are the fanny packs ($50) or Provence quilted totes ($67). Besides bags and footwear, there are also silver unicorn or rabbits’ foot necklaces that add some good luck charm. Longtime Built By Wendy fans will gladly find other accessories such as her adjustable guitar straps which are available in a variety of colors and custom styles ($40).

Lucky for San Fran, Built by Wendy’s grand opening in June has conveniently been timed with summer markdowns. The summer sale just kicked off with discounts as much as 50 percent. How long will the sale last? Just long enough for you to snatch pieces to don for a few more heatwaves. There may be plenty of styles and sizes left now but you may want to hurry and start building those classic key pieces that Wendy has already built just for you.