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Best of the East Bay: Look

Boutiques, stylists, and services that will make you look marvelous.



The Perfect Dress / Men's Store / Shopping Block / Fashion Blogger / Going All Out / Reader Picks

Shannon McIntyre

A Dress To Impress

Design your own fabulous frock at this boutique.  

Editor Pick: The Perfect Dress

Signed up for the hottest gala, ballet, or theater performance, but can’t find something to wear? Or have you found a dress and are afraid every woman this side of the Bay Bridge will sport the same one? The solution: Have one custom made. At Glamorous Boutique, you can choose all the details—from the structure, such as sleeves or no sleeves, to the bling, such as a leather-trimmed zipper or Swarovski crystals. These babies range from $225 to $350, depending on the design, and you can pick ’em up in just a few weeks. Added bonus: Thick, durable fabric means you can skip the Spanx. 1048 Brown Ave., Lafayette, (925) 285-6096

—Caitlin McCulloch



Erika Pino



Reader Pick: Men's Store

Venture Goods

3571 Mt. diablo blvd., lafayette, (925) 385-0259, venturegoods.com.





Joe Budd

Bella Benicia

For a relaxing shopping experience, head north.

Editor Pick: Shopping Block

Benicia sparkles like a treasure box of charming boutiques and restaurants, just a seagull’s hop from the sea. Here are our choices for the best retail therapy in this beautifully preserved historic town.

On First Street, Benicia’s main drag, metaphysical mavens should head over to Angel Heart 4 You for candles, essential oils, incense, aromatherapy products, and healing crystals. Fun fact: Author Jack London was once a frequent visitor of the building (but probably didn’t go in for the crystals). 501 First St., Benicia, (707) 745-2024, angelheart4you.net.

For an afternoon pick-me-up, nothing revives like the Camellia Tea Room. Nibble on scones and finger sandwiches while sipping aromatic teas from traditional teapots that are also available for purchase. 828 First St., Benicia, (707) 746-5293, camelliatearoom.com.

Toward the end of the drag, pop into Christina S boutique for jeans by Joseph Ribkoff and dresses by Project Runway alum Richard Hallmarq. Christina S, 370 First St., Benicia, (707) 745-5125, christinasbenicia.com.

More threads are at Be Chic Boutique, including items from locally based Coco Peach. Be Chic Boutique, 309 First St., Benicia, (707) 745-1148, be-chic-boutique.com.

—Caitlin McCulloch


Blogging Beauty

Stoneridge Shopping Center’s fashion maven is all about classic style.

Editor Pick: Fashion Blogger

Doris Hobbs knows a thing or two about teaching women how to dress.

The official style-setter at Pleasanton’s well-known mall hosts shopping events in addition to creating fashionable looks in her blog, Rich in Love, all with the intention of inspiring working women to look and feel great—and to do so affordably.

Hobbs—who sports bright red lips, red nails, and naturally gorgeous red hair—worked in retail for a decade before landing her gig at Stoneridge. She describes her style as retro and relentless.

“I want to bring the ’50s back, with a modern twist,” Hobbs says.

After her 31st birthday, Hobbs’ boyfriend photographed her in an edgy date-night outfit, dripping with accessories. She then submitted the photos to an InStyle magazine contest. After not hearing back for months, Hobbs had given up on it—until she spotted herself in the December issue.

“I just screamed," she says. "I was freaking out."

Being featured in the magazine only fueled her passion for fashion.

“I know that so many girls who are working want to look fashionable,” Hobbs says. richinlovefashion.com.  

Richard Fisher

My East Bay

Hair Salon
“Fusion 3 Salon in Livermore and Pleasanton, but I typically go to the Brentwood location.“

Nordstrom Cafe.

Go-To Style
“Every girl should own the classic black pump, a sheath dress, and a blazer.“

—Mahsa Dinyari


Norma Cordova

Going All Out

A week-by-week girly guide to primping for a splashy event.

One Month Before

Face Roll back the years with a chemical peel at SkinSpirit. 1647 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 952-9200, skinspirit.com.

Three Weeks Before

Fashion Choose a floor-length Betsey Johnson stunner, or a short and sexy black knit number, at J. Colleen. 261 Lafayette Cir., Lafayette, (925)258-0300, jcolleen.com.

Two Weeks Before

Shoes Pick out a spiky pair of Valentinos at Nordstrom to match your new frock. Multiple locations, nordstrom.com.

One Week Before

Skin Head over to Lavande for a wax for silky smooth skin. While you’re there, ensure a red-carpet–ready glow with a vitamin C facial. 3589 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 299-8877, lavandenailspa.com.

Eyebrows Want perfect eyebrows but don't like waxing? Get them threaded at iBar instead. Multiple locations, ibarthreading.com.

Three Days Before

Relax Refresh and renew at Changes Salon and Day Spa with an aromatherapy massage. Before you leave, let manicurist Angela Hernandez whip your nails into tip-top shape. 1475 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, (925) 947-1814, changessalon.com.

Two Days Before

Tan Fake that summer glow without risking a sunburn with a visit to Utopia. 158 Sunset Dr., San Ramon, (925) 901-1001, utopiatanningspa.com.

The Day Before

Eyes Take those gorgeous eyes of yours up a flirty notch—or two—at Lashfully. 1629 Cypress St., Walnut Creek, (925) 296-0910, lashfully.com.

Day Of

Hair Silky smooth hair with tons of volume is yours for the taking at Blow Dry Bar. 1639 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 939-1639, bdbstudio.com.  

—Caitlin McCulloch


Reader Picks

Consignment Shop

Main Street Rags
1380 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 943-1459, mainstreetrags.com.

Hair Colorist

Nekisa Addis at Tribez
111 Town and Country Dr., Danville, (925) 362-8600, tribezsalon.com.

Hair Stylist

Donald Kolinski at Tribez
111 Town and Country Dr., Danville, (925) 362-8600, tribezsalon.com.

Women’s Hair Salon

111 Town and Country Dr., Danville, (925) 362-8600, tribezsalon.com.

Men’s Haircut

Katharina Hairstyles for Men
306 Rose St., Danville, (925) 451-2499.

Men’s Suit

1243 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 937-1808, daskalosfashions.com.

Vintage Shop

1367 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 952-4566, labelsluxury.com.

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