Funkin' and flashin' in Sebastopol

Tutu cute
All photos by Caitlin Donohue

So you're in wine country on your way to (or more likely, from) a bubbly tasting at Korbell when suddenly you realize something startling; you're not feeling so effervescent yourself. The answer to your frump? Well, I'm guessing a wine colored tutu or red corduroy cowboy pants embroidered with sequined cacti wouldn't hurt. Enter Funk & Flash, to my knowledge the best secondhand clothing store in the North Bay. Carnival/Sgt. Pepper/Mexicali fun time, here you come!

"Wild pants and marching band jackets really turn me on," says the funkster-flasher himself, owner Shane Sterling on his store's website. "Expressing yourself through clothing builds confidence, promotes self-love and makes life more fun." I dig. If you can't feel fly in ruffled retro tap pants and a St. Patrick's themed stretch belt, you maybe just can't feel fly.

Sterling has assembled a surprising collection in his recently opened little storefront on Sebastopol's quiet main drag. Combat boots, darling tennis cardigans, old school green tortoise shell shades you'd pay top dollar for in the city pack the small, well edited space- no hours of shuffling through racks of clunkers here. Rumor has it, he culls the items from opera sales and other used clothing outlets, relying on the efforts of a vast supporting cast for their 'fit spotting aptitudes. The team must be putting in their hours in, because some of the items at Funk & Flash are unlike anything I've ever seen at SF thrift/vintage stores- and I take these things seriously. The collection is packed with pieces that kiss at being costumey, but are old enough to look classic- if that's what you're going for (fyi, Burners, you've found your mecca- don't wait til this summer to make the trip out to stock up).

But fashionistas, move fast- this hidden gem is bound to be good and dug up sooner or later. An employee of the store tells me that Sebastopol is fast becoming a destination for city dwellers cruising for retro threads like they were a chemical addiction. I got my fix with a totally legit $14 1982 Bay To Breakers tee... but I'll be back out there soon enough. After all, you can't fake the funk.

Sequin rack? Oh, baby. Check.

Rock this Funk & Flash jumpsuit this spring time strut season. Do it!


Funk & Flash

Open 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. everyday

228 S. Main, Sebastopol

(707) 829-1142