Posts Tagged ‘The Little Shop’


No photos of the velvet dresses but this is my dad and me one Christmas in Tahoe. The jacket I’m wearing was new and purchased at The Little Shop. It was powder blue. The photo was taken with my vintage (even back then) Brownie Holiday camera.

Here’s a fashionable holiday tale about my dad.

Sometime after my parents got divorced when I was around six, my father took over buying my clothes. A few times a year he and I would walk over to the children’s clothing store, The Little Shop on Chestnut Street in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco. The young salesladies would help me choose outfits to try on and I’d do a little fashion turn for my dad. I shyly walked around the store perhaps in a wool jumper, or plaid pants with a thick turtleneck sweater, or a simple cotton check dress. He would nod his approval, usually agreeing to whatever I liked best.

Among these shopping ventures was the important visit to pick out a nice dress for the holidays. My dad insisted on dressing appropriately and he usually had big plans for the season, which included dinners out and The Nutcracker ballet. An appropriate dress was essential and of course I had grown out of last year’s special dress.

Off we’d go to The Little Shop just before Thanksgiving to select a new dressy dress. I had a thing for velvet and there are two velvet dresses I remember clearly – one a very dark green with long sleeves and white smocking at the chest and my favorite was red and also had long sleeves with white cotton lace on the cuffs, the hem, and the collar.

I have no pictures except in my mind – my tall father in a blue suit and little me dressed up in velvet and patent leather Mary Janes, probably with a bow clipped to my long red hair. How charming we must have looked.


Read Full Post »

papa bearI often write about my mother and her fashionable influence over me but it’s time I tip my hat to Dad. After my parents’ divorce when I was six, he was the one who took me clothes shopping.

We lived in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco and a few times a year my dad and I would walk over to Chestnut Street heading straight for the local kids boutique called The Little Shop. He’d hand me over to the young saleslady and together we’d choose outfits. I tried them on and enjoyed giving a mini fashion show for Dad. I recall a tweed skirt in lemon yellow with a matching turtleneck and always a new velvet dress for the winter holidays. One time we were shopping for a road trip to Carmel and he asked the saleslady, who might have been in her 30s, if she’d like to come along. And she did, sharing a room with me of course, not my father.

My dad also enjoyed his own fashion, choosing a preppy casual look and always a classic suit when appropriate. I think of him in khakis with a white Oxford shirt, a navy blue cashmere sweater, and desert boots. He liked tradition and was a stickler for good manners, particularly table manners. For family dinners he would put on what he called his “dinner jacket”, which was a simple corduroy sport coat and my brothers and I were taught to place the napkin on our laps as soon as we were seated.

When I was old enough, eight maybe, Dad began taking me with him to fine restaurants, the theater, and traveling. In those days one dressed up to go out so I had to have nice clothes. On our big European trip when I was 12, we shopped at Harrods in London for a dress and coat. I chose a very 40s looking navy blue dress with short, slightly puffy sleeves, full skirt and a white patent leather belt. The coat was a beautiful navy blue wool, trim fit with white piping. (Seems my dad and I had a thing for navy blue.)

By the time I got to high school I shopped for myself but Dad was still interested and I showed him all my purchases. Thinking back, I bet he probably wasn’t so fond of my New Wave look with pink baggy pants and 60s snake-skin shoes but as long as I didn’t don such an outfit for a family dinner, he never said a word. I think he simply enjoyed the show.

I continue to enjoy it, now for both of us. Thanks Dad, for furthering my fashionable ways.

Happy Father’s Day!

Read Full Post »