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Everything but the Kitchen Sink

When people talk about San Francisco style, I’ve heard some say it’s too casual, or that we have no style at all. Of course, I will defend my hometown and disagree. Though there are times when hoodies do seem to rotate too frequently in many people’s wardrobes, I think San Francisco style builds on these kinds of practical pieces, but also adds a hint of chic classics with a little whimsy thrown in for flair.

As I’ve mentioned before, hoodies and layers are the norm here when dealing with the quickly changing weather, but the real challenge is how to not only go from morning to evening with one outfit that is appropriate for multiple occasions, but also be comfortable and crisp all at the same time.

One solution is to select something up from She-bible. Somehow I’ve been in the dark, but recently I learned about the brand when I picked up a She-bible “Classic Dress” with an empire waste and a cowl neck in coal (soft gray) made of a poly/rayon/Lycra combination at a designer sample sale ($135). I found that was comfortable enough to wear on an early morning flight to Las Vegas, go shopping on the Strip, and then dine out at an award-winning restaurant later that evening.

The origins of She-bible began about seven years ago when owners Deidre Nagayama and Stacy Rogers started silk-screening graphic designs on American Apparel tees in their kitchen and then sold them to boutiques. As the trend of printing tees on American Apparel shirts grew, shop owners requested they sew their own designs to make their wares stand apart. After successfully creating their own shirt pattern, they decided to try their hands at a dress, and there the line was born.

Now you can find She-bible clothing in over 75 shops throughout the United States and Canada and online, and also in a new boutique named Curator opened by Deirdre and Stacy in Noe Valley on Church Street at Day Street. The most current She-bible line can be found in the store, along with a few sales items and a small stock of other local designers thrown in for good measure.

You can wear these clothes all day, not just because they are casual enough for the daytime when unadorned and chic enough for a night out when dressed up with the right accessory, but also because they feel good and are made of cottons, twills, and other fabrics that are breathable and stretchable. In addition, when you wash them, they won’t shrink because they are dyed and pre-washed to ensure their rich and sophisticated colors hold fast.

A bonus is that these clothes are made here in San Francisco and not in sweatshops — Deidre’s background includes time at SweatshopWatch — and they use eco-fabrics, prints and practices whenever possible.

These clothes could flatter any woman living in the city from Marina Boulevard to Geneva Avenue, and beyond. But that should come as no surprise; Deirdre and Stacy grew up in our fair city, so they are in touch with the needs, styles and shapes of the ladies here.

On the day I visited Curator, I found an organic cotton slub pullover with large cowl neck in “barrel,” a maroon color ($145); the organic version of their “Classic Dress” made of cotton, hemp, Lycra and Twill in midnight ($145); their snap front twill Earlywood skirt in coal ($110); a wool A-line Siberian coat with high fold over neck in coal, crème and navy ($244); and a black hooded pullover ($125).

She-bible’s designs are complimented by fashions from Danish-born, San Francisco-based Sofie Ølgaard, and the Micela and Greg line, made in Sacramento. There is also a smattering of other non-local items like handmade bookmarks from Brooklyn artist The Wild Unknown ($14 for three).

On a rotating basis of every six to eight weeks, Curator will exhibit the creations of mainly of local artists. Currently the store is showing selections of San Francisco artist Kristine Reano’s Whispering World series of delicate watercolor, ink, lace and wood pieces that run from $80 to $200.

Opened just shy of two months ago, Curator is still settling into its space. Soon to come will be soaps, candles, plants, hosiery, and socks. Check for the spring line, which will be coming out soon, too. Deirdre and Stacy will be returning to their graphic design roots with an all-over print in next season’s line.