By  on January 24, 2008

Independent fashion boutiques are tucked throughout San Francisco's bustling neighborhood shopping districts. Here's a sample of specialty women's stores and how they interpret trends for spring.

"The must-have fashion piece is an oversize scarf as a wrap or layered around your neck for a dramatic effect," declared Cristina Moe, an owner of Hush, 1878 Union Street, in lower Pacific Heights ( The boutique is stocking colorful silk and cotton scarves from India, some personalized for Hush with Hindu prayer prints ($150 to $200). Other expected standouts are the season's bright colors, like canary yellow seen in a silk sleeveless racer-back top ($245) by San Francisco native Alexander Wang and a long sleeveless electric-blue cardigan for $154 by Clu, which go with $500 patent leather totes in bright yellow, navy and white by Graham and Spencer.

The season's primary colors are "great for San Franciscans" in the foggy summers, confirmed Melissa Grimm, partner in Carrots (, 843 Montgomery Street, in the Financial District. Also expected to score with local shoppers are casual dresses and lightweight outerwear with the season's defined waists, Grimm said, singling out a Kaufman Franco paper nylon belted jacket in sun yellow ($1,995) and a Sara Gueron navy V-neck shift with a waistband ($625).

"The return of the waist in both dresses and denim" is expected to boost business for the Candy Store Collective, 3153 16th Street in the Mission (, said partner Jennifer Jones. Examples the store carries are a Corey Lynn Calter fitted pencil dress with a thin belt, black chiffon top and green silk printed skirt ($238), straight leg jeans with a 9-inch rise by Good Society ($88) and wide-leg high-waist trousers from Found Denim and Dittos.

Russian Hill boutique In Lieu, 2420 Polk Street (shopin, is embracing trends like the safari and nautical looks, vibrant floral prints and boyish-fitted blazers and trousers. However, owner Christina Claypool noted she won't be stocking the season's expected fuller-skirt fad. "My San Francisco customer is not a big skirt girl," Claypool affirmed, adding one-shoulder dresses seen on runways for spring to her list of no-nos for the city's fashion flock.

Rather, arriving at In Lieu this spring will be more in the likes of the above-the-knee navy linen-blend safari dress by Dace ($271) or a blue and white seersucker fitted sportcoat designed by Built by Wendy ($299).

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