Runway Style House, Oakland

If you haven’t been to Runway Style House yet, go now! The problem might be that you’ve never actually SEEN it yet: it’s hidden on the second floor of a building in Downtown Oakland, but you’ve probably walked by it! Crane your neck a little, and you’ll see racks of colorful clothing right above Bar Dogwood! Like so-

runway style 17th

Another reason you might not have been yet- this little shop is basically a baby! Runway Style House has only been around for about 4 months. Boutique years are kind of like dog years, but that’s still pretty damn young. Anyway, I hadn’t even heard of this delightful place until a week ago, so if you start going there now, you can say you went there BEFORE it was huge!

As I climbed the stairs up to the second floor, I could feel vibrations under my feet, and a kickin’ bass line in the air. Once I peeked my head through the door, I saw that, by happenstance, I’d chosen to visit during a free concert; there were some badass chicks playing on a makeshift stage, and a few dozen well-behaved listeners.

This didn’t get in the way of my browsing, though. NOTHING gets in the way of my browsing! I listened with one ear while wandering around the back of the room, settling in to listen every so often when a new performer would hit the stage.


 I liked this dress- it’s simple, but perfect for work, or a picnic, or eating a fluffernutter sandwich, or whatever it is you love to do. A work picnic with fluffernutters? Sure, why not?
$188, seems like a medium-ish, label: Sabanoh

$110, seems like a medium-ish. Label: Sabanoh

It’s the little things that matter. Like this sweet heart-shaped zipper on the back of the dress.

Too Cute. (Have you seen that show on Animal Planet?)

These vintage shoes would look great with it, don’t you agree? I love a low heel. It gives your butt that little perk, your ankles that extra shape, but doesn’t kill your calves.

80s low heeled pumps

$38, around size 8, Anne Klein

Finish the outfit with this gorgeous vintage purse. Honor the memory of this innocent, long-dead crocodile by putting tampons and lipstick inside of a handbag made out of him!

black handbag


golden clasp

I like to think of this as the money shot.

There’s more than clothes and jewelry here. All you hipster Martha Stewarts need to check out the sunny, square room at the far end of the shop- it has quirky little trinkets and handmade tchotchkes that you’ll be dying to find space for in your walk-in-closet-sized room. Since it’s almost time for all Americans to unite in getting schwasted and pretending to be Irish, let me showcase these cheeky little clovers:

felt clovers

What on earth would I do with these? No idea. But I want them anyway.

And finally, because I love seeing a woman in a tie, here’s a whole trunk full of them. With a crisp white blouse, some mustard-y slacks, and a floppy hat, and you are more Annie Hall than Annie Hall herself! Just…don’t emulate Annie in way other than fashion, ok? Lady had some relationship issues.

flowered ties

By the time I left Runway (Now Urban Stitch), there was a bubbly, personable singer on stage crooning a sex-positive slow jam about being a slut, I could see dusk settling over Downtown through the floor to ceiling windows, and fairy lights were twinkling on the walls. I like this place a lot, I thought to myself. You will too, I promise.