I'll be in SF for about a week this fall and want to do some shopping. I'm much more into boutique-y type stores than department stores and definitely don't want any super high-end names. I'd like to get things that are a bit more unique or even one of a kind!
There are tons of great shops! I agree with Debbie above that 16th St. and Valencia St. are both great areas to stroll along to find shops. If you head down Valencia towards 14th, make sure you check out the following:
Taylor Stitch does bespoke shirts for men and women, and they have a cool store.
In Hayes Valley, you'll find even more for women:
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Ooooh, I love
Therapy in the Mission! There are actually a lot of little independently owned shops in the
Mission District that sell both new and used goods, so you can go shopping for new stuff or go thrifting. Just walk down Valencia between 16th and 24th St. and you'll walk by quite a few. There are some on 16th as well, and if you go on both Mission St. and on 24th St., the boutiques tend to lean more towards Mexican boutiques, which is a unique experience, too.
There's also the infamous Haight-Ashbury district. There are so many boutiques on Haight St! There are also a bunch in Hayes Valley and on Polk Street.
The best part about shopping in these neighborhoods -- once you're done shopping and or you get hungry, there are plenty of restaurants and bars around. In fact, all of these neighborhoods are known to be the best for bar- and restaurant-hopping. I know, welcome to the best city on the planet ;)