Readers’ Choice 2021: Clothing

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With three Bay Area locations in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto, American Israeli fashion designer Ruti Zisser has three rules for her design: it must be cool, it must be flattering, and it must be practical. Specializing in clothing for discerning women over 35, Ruti’s clothing is handmade Israeli fashion and modern styles that are both unique and effortless. They have been offering a 1:1 video chat born of Covid necessity — but check out their beautiful stores!





Making a return appearance again this year is J.’s favorite Ambiance, which opened in the Haight-Ashbury area in 1983, has three San Francisco stores (Noe Valley, Marina and Inner Sunset) focusing on Urban Chic; they offer “cute clothes, stylish options and great variety and prices,” says co-owner and co-founder Donna O’Leary, with items priced from $5 to several hundred dollars. The focus is on personal service, and the stores offer wardrobe appointments.



In Full Swing

(510) 654-5144  •

Appearing for the first time in J.’s Readers’ Choice, In Full Swing opened in 1994. Sharon Silverstein, owner, buyer, operator and everything else person had years of experience selling plus-size clothing. Starting in San Francisco at Union Square, Sharon moved to Rockridge which has been a great location for the business. Her vision:  a more contemporary look in a smaller boutique setting for plus-size women. What do they carry? Flattering fit — fun, casual, and updated pieces in sizes 14 to 24 and some supersizes, plus accessories like scarves, lingerie, swimwear year-round, and jewelry.

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