In general people in Sausalito dress in a casual and informal style. If you want an elegant special occasion dinner you can dress up and you'll fit in with the people around you, but there will be casually dressed diners there as well.
There are no longer any "jacket required for gentlemen" restaurants, as was the case for many years in the dining room at the now-closed Alta Mira Hotel.
For questions of clothing chosen for warmth rather than fashion, check out our page on Sausalito Weather and What to Wear.
If you compare Sausalito to Union Square in San Francisco, or to comparable areas in LA or New York, it's our perception that a smaller percentage of people will be "dressed foir the paparazzi" at night. There are a lot of venues for listening to jazz, blues, rock and Latin music, but Sausalito's only real dance club is Seahorse and many in the crowd there dress casually.
If you're looking for Mad Men style traditional dining, The Spinnaker is probably the most formal restaurant in Sausalito and the one where Don Draper would feel most at home.
If I had to name a spot where younger people are fashionably dressed I'd think of Murray Circle (and its cousin Farley Bar) or Poggio Trattoria. If you extend that to casual spots then Bar Bocce and sometimes Wellington's Wine Bar will have guests who focus on fashion. We've also seen people sporting vintage style, especially in the art galleries.
As one editor notes, "If you're walking in heels, valet parking is a fashion issue, and it doesn't matter if your shoes came from Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik or Sears." Murray Circle, Poggio Trattoria, Buckeye Roadhouse and Spinnaker offer free valet service , while Trident offers paid parking that is offset by validation from eating at the restaurant depending on how long you stay.
Our restaurant listings note many places that have their own free parking in adjacent lots.
If you're people-watching in downtown Sausalito at lunchtime, many of the people on the street are visitors, but scattered among them are local business people. Most wear "business casual," but you'll also see some men and women wearing tailored suits.
One of the questions we recently got for Ask Annie was "where do we most often encounter celebrities in Sausalito?" Probably by coincidence more than anything else the answer to that question is Poggio Trattoria, Murray Circle and Sushi Ran.
Insiders Tip: One of our editors is (pure coincidence) friends with a public figure. He notes, "If I'm out in public with him walking down the street we're stopped every 30 feet by someone asking for his autograph. The worst part is that if he's out having dinner he's constantly interrupted as he tries to eat."
Some of these famous people are truly nice and try to accomodate fans, but please avoid interrupting their meals and you'll earn their gratitude.