Friday, October 15, 2010

Styles & Smiles: Friendly Fashion on J Street

Somehow, it happened: J Street is the unofficial ground-zero for Sacramento's indie fashion.  Teeming with small locally owned shops, J Street is an avenue of sartorial self-expression with a milieu of clothing choices for Sac-town stylistas.  Three shops in particular represent this rainbow of fashion flavor. You won’t find big-time labels or big-town prices or big bad attitudes inside these store’s doors.  Step into warm and friendly spaces with charming and uber-chic salesgirls who seem genuinely happy to see you.  Style meet smile.  Happy shopping, Sacramento!

Marilyn, Thunderhorse Vintage

Thunderhorse Vintage rode into the Sacramento fashion scene and into a wink of a storefront on J street over a year and a half ago..  Created by the colorful wunder-twins, Jen & Marilyn Ayers, this store is packed with funky goodness. The d├ęcor definitely smiles on the 1980’s but the vintage sold within runs the gamut of choice vintage pieces from the turn of the last century to the almost very nearly present. The funky decor is reminiscent of the Bay Area, but the style at Thunderhorse Vintage is pure Sacramento. Eclectic, colorful and personal, the inventory is hand-picked from the Ayers sister’s decade long collection, showcasing unique and quirky style. “We don’t do trends here,” says Marilyn, “we focus on classic personal expression.” Says the coolest kid on the block with shock-pink hair. The sales kids, like the owners, are no strangers to friendly, showering shoppers with warm and friendly chit-chat. At Thunderhorse Vintage, cool is in, but the cold shoulder is definitely out.

Thunderhorse Vintage
2522 J Street
(916) 444-7723

credit photo:

Across the street from Thunderhorse Vintage, you’ll step inside a whole different world of hip, Cuffs Urban Apparel. Cuffs is a young fashionista’s delight. This cozy 3 year-old boutique packs a punch with carefully selected new and vintage clothing that reflects the cool, chic style of the proprietress, the urgently lovely Lacadia Olsen.  Blonde, lithe & willowy, this California beauty radiates warmth & sincerity, and her style is at once cutting edge & classic. There seems to be a deliberate focus on offering affordable season essentials. What’s in for fall? Keywords here are lace, transparency, maxi dresses with boots, and socks with everything. 

Cuffs Urban Apparel 
2523 J Street 

photo credit: Sugar Shack Boutique

Presiding over the scene is the grand dame of Sacramento indie fashion: Mary Kawanao, aka Krazy Mary. One of the first to cultivate and support local designers in her shops, Mary has reigned as THEE Sacramento style maven for over a decade. She had, up until recently, not one, but two boutiques located on J Street. Sugar Shack, the little-sis to the more upscale Krazy Mary’s, still resides here, and for the past 7 years has been filling the large store windows with spirited fashions. Sugar Shack's style is constantly evolving. And what's developed this Fall?  Mary flutters her eyelashes, leans forward, and in with a low, smoky voice, whispers   “Ruffles & romance.” The clothing at the Sugar Shack is a lot like Mary: fun, flirty and very (pocket) friendly. 

Sugar Shack Boutique
2425 J Street
(916) 447-4435


mispapelicos said...

I could do with a good shopping trip to those wonderful shops.
Thank you for sharing.
Is it always warm in Sacramento???
Mil besos.

the Citizen Rosebud said...

You would absolutely LOVE these shops, Sacramento. It is a Mediterranean climate, and warm 3/4 of the year. Our winters are VERY mild, some rain, sometimes a chill, but all in all more like an extended Fall than a winter.

Luna Tiger said...

this street looks funny, I would like to go there !

Marta said...

should shops in Sacramento be on my ;list of things to visit' in Cali?
girl from the first shot looks fabulous - adore her hair!!!

the Citizen Rosebud said...

Marta! YES. Sacramento MUST be on your agenda, I insist!

Anonymous said...

I love Marilyn's hair!
And, great post!!!! (couldn't resist :) )

the Citizen Rosebud said...

ah ha ha. <3

Violet Folklore said...

Yeeeah! Marilyn is always rocking the freshest style. Thanks for keeping Sac style in the public eye the way you do RQ. I miss it there!

the Citizen Rosebud said...

It misses you Amber Magnolia Hill.
Marilyn is true cool. I loved her quote about how THV doesn't promote trends, but classic style. Her style is classic, killer cool.

Sjaar said...

looks like cool shops!

Heather Fonseca said...

You're making me want to move to Sacramento! You know I've never been to the state's capitol? It seems silly really, I've been just about everywhere else in Cali.

the Citizen Rosebud said...

Thank you Heather. Well, you being a So-cal girl, I will forgive you for not seeing our state's capital. After all, you have Disneyland. LOL.

If you do decide to come pay Sacramento a visit, please email me, and arrange a meet-up. I'd love to show you around my little stomping grounds, the Midtown area, which is in my opinion a very good place to be.

Flotsam Tide said...

Really nice post and in depth assessment of these three shops. It is so nice to see someone contribute to developing Sacramento as a whole. I love the focus on friendly approachable stores that don't alienate their clientele.

Hope Adela Pasztor said...

wow all of these shops look so unique and interesting! wish i could go there! =)

Unknown said...

You always keep me on my toes my lovely Rosebud <3 :)
I LOVE to hear/see other neighborhood street style and shops. I love to meet/hang and photograph them.
You weren't on my blogroll, sorry!
Just added you amist the clutter that is my side-bar ;) ~ What can I say, I am a widget nut with AADD (really! :)
I just read over some of your interviews, too. Great peeps and questions, very interesting people!

SaffronHaze said...

I need to go to Sacramento, it looks so fun and colourful!

Missing you on Chictopia!


the Citizen Rosebud said...

Thank you so much Corvid/kim, and Hope. Reva: I am HONORED to be on your blogroll. I love your spirit and style! Saffron: I will head over to Chictopia tommorrow to check out fab you! xo. -Bella Q

jemina said...

Bella darling, if I could fly right now to Sacramento I would. Thanks for sharing with us all these wonderful shops, if only there is such a thing that is called thrifting here in Indonesia and Singapore. Btw, how have you been amiga? I miss you so muccchhhhhhhh, enjoy your weekend, and keep on shining, LOVE LOVE LOVE, always, J, xoxo

Rosalind said...

Wow, some of those photos are very eye-catching! It sounds like a very interesting shopping area full of some real characters!
Especially love the shot of the girl in the hat.

Anika said...

Hi hon, your blog looks great! I would so love to do Sacramento with you! I love the pink mohawk :)
love, Anika

Ashley [Free Honey] said...

Such a cool, vintage vibe! Kudos to anyone who can pull off blue hair.

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to thank Mary, Lacadia and Mar/Jen for contributing heavily to my wardrobe. It's hard to post an outfit without mentioning one of these stores. Shop local!

Raquel said...

these are so inspiring! :)

natale eve said...

I love these shops so much- and I love/ miss you Mar (if you read this)! I think it's definitely been too long since I've made the J street rounds...