On one of the walls of Mary’s Closet, a new fashion boutique located at 1231 Franklin Mall, is a saying by Coco Chanel painted in calligraphic font: “A girl should be two things, classy and fabulous.” This quote reflects the store’s upscale apparel and must-have accessories. The ribbon cutting of the store will take place on Friday, January 24th from 3 to 4 p.m. and the official grand opening will be on Saturday, January 25th from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
“I want to offer women a variety of clothes they could buy or rent at an affordable price and still be fashionable,” says Mary McCaman, owner of Mary’s Closet. “My store isn’t just for high school and college girls. It’s for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. My consignment items are limited to dresses. When I take someone’s dress, I’ll give them 50 percent if it sells. Right now, I need people to come in and find out there’s this little gem in the city of Santa Clara.”
A subtle aroma of cinnamon and cloves greets visitors to Mary’s Closet. McCaman’s extensive dress collection accommodates all occasions, from cocktail parties to pageants to formal events, such as weddings, reunions, proms, debutante balls, and quinceaneras. The boutique’s jackets, pants, sweaters, ponchos, jewelry, scarves, shoes, and purses can satisfy the style appetite of any fashion-forward individual looking to enhance their wardrobe. Rental and retail prices are very reasonable.
Also known around town as the executive director of the Miss Santa Clara Auxiliary, McCaman has been acquiring her wardrobe collection over many years. She has a reputation for being a talented wardrobe stylist who collaborates with her contestants to assemble their alluring stage attire.
“I’ve been volunteering for the Miss America program for over 30 years,” says McCaman. “About 20 years ago, I started providing contestants wardrobe for the competition because I felt there was a disparity between girls whose families could afford a nice competition wardrobe and those who couldn’t. I wanted to level the playing field.”
“My store is called Mary’s Closet because my clothes used to be in a walk-in closet,” McCaman continues. “From the walk-in closet, it grew into a room in our house. We outgrew that. Now we’ve evolved into the store, Mary’s Closet.”
The store also carries the Miss California collection, which includes clothing worn by the current Miss California, Crystal Lee, as well as clothing worn by former Miss California titleholders. Those longing for a healthy tan before a big day can get airbrush tanning done by Felicia Alvarez, a former Miss Santa Clara who runs Body Candy, a separate business set up inside McCaman’s store.
A sentimental reason guided McCaman’s decision to open a store in Franklin Mall.
“My dad owned Pereira’s Men’s Store, and my grandmother owned May’s Dress Shop,” says McCaman, a native of Santa Clara. “When I was looking to start my dress shop, Franklin Mall was a natural place to look because my roots are here.”