Noe Valley Voice March 1999


By Jim Christie

Storetrek is a regular feature of the Voice introducing new shops and businesses in the neighborhood. This month we unveil two stores, one selling recycled clothing and housewares on Church near 30th, and another offering men's clothing, for play or work, on 24th Street's busiest block.

CeCe's Closet

1781 Church St.

(between Day and 30th)


A new consignment clothing store opened last October in the burgeoning village of "Uptown" Noe Valley. Called CeCe's Closet, the shop is located on Church Street in the storefront formerly occupied by Top Drawer consignment shop, near Valentine's Cafe.

Owner Cecy Salas has spruced up the three-room interior with a new paint job, carpets, fresh-cut flowers, and artwork; and the store's colorful exterior sign was painted by Cecy herself.

The first room is dedicated to women's outfits, hats, belts, shoes, and jewelry. CeCe's carries only contemporary fashions (she says she's not interested in '70s or '80s clothing), and a quick look through the racks reveals names like Donna Karan, Gap, and Bennetton.

Women's shirts and pants sell for around $15 each, while blazers range from $20 to $25. Shoes are about $25, and a couple of leather jackets were $60. Since this is consignment merchandise, the selection is always changing. CeCe's typical arrangement is to display merchandise for two months at prices set by the shop. Receipts are divided equally between the consignor and CeCe's.

The middle room is where you'll find men's clothing and shoes, with prices similar to the women's wear. Sport coats are around $25, shirts are $12, and both dress and casual slacks are $15.

A larger room in the rear of the shop is set aside for home furnishings such as tablecloths, pillows, glassware, and furniture. Smaller knickknacks start at around $5, while the most expensive item was a large sofa for $500. This room is also where Cecy keeps coffee cake and a fresh pot of coffee for customers who want to relax a bit.

Cecy's husband Bertin comes over from the couple's home in Balboa Park to help out on weekends. That's when new goods are usually stocked. Would-be consignors should call Cecy for an appointment -- sometimes she'll make house calls, but more frequently her clients bring their merchandise to the shop.

CeCe's Closet is open six days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays.


3989 24th St. (near Noe)


Cotton Basics women's clothing store at Castro and 24th has been a fixture in Noe Valley for over 15 years, and its two other stores, in Berkeley and Rockridge (in Oakland), continue to be successful as well.

Now Cotton Basics has doubled its pleasure in Noe Valley by opening a new store on 24th Street called Workwear. In mid-January, Workwear materialized in the storefront once filled by Bakers of Paris, next door to Herb's Fine Foods.

Workwear features casual clothing for men, mostly under the Cotton Basics private label, but with a broad range of well-known brands like Dickies, Carhartt, Oshkosh, and Ben Davis to round out the selection. (There's also a small selection of women's wear, but women should visit Cotton Basics at 1301 Castro St. to see the full range.)

The clothing is displayed in a well-lighted, spacious interior with hardwood floors and metal and wood fixtures. There are three dressing rooms in the rear of the store.

The manager of both Noe Valley stores is Kay Lamming, and she says the name "Workwear" was chosen because the merchandise is truly work wear. "Guys can wear the clothes if they're working in the yard, or just walking on 24th Street," Lamming says. "They'll feel comfortable either way."

Most of the clothing comes in earth tones, but tee shirts are available in bright colors as well. Long-sleeved tee shirts range from $30 to $35, with V-necks around $38.

Denim jeans are $32 to $44, and Carhartt jackets are $65 to $82. Socks and briefs range from $5 to $7. There's also a large selection of pullovers, chambray and khaki shirts, and dungarees.

If you're unable to find your size or color, Workwear will special-order your merchandise at no extra charge (they dye all the clothes with the Cotton Basics label). Special orders take three to four weeks.

Workwear is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.