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More Great Shops
Even more from our extensive September shopping guide.
Comments () | Published August 21, 2013

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Bright Lights

Annapolis Lighting and Dominion Electric Supply Co.

Multiple Maryland and Virginia locations

Dominion Electric and Annapolis Lighting have both been in business for decades, with loyal staffers and customers. For good reason: They sell thousands of products, from light switches to the fanciest of chandeliers. The choices can be overwhelming, but each has certified lighting designers who can help you decide. Bonus: All of the showrooms have an LED lab where you can compare bulbs and hold fabric and paint samples up to them to get a feel for how they’ll look in your home. Dominion’s Arlington flagship has a delightful outdoor lighting display that makes you feel you’re on an evening stroll.


Modern Lights

Illuminations

3323 Cady’s Alley, NW, 202-965-4888; 415 Eighth St. NW; 202-783-4888

Ask any modern-minded architect or designer where to get top-quality lighting, and Illuminations is likely to be the answer. Artemide, Kartell, Foscarini, Bocci, and dozens more brands can be found here, and the consultants at its Georgetown and Penn Quarter stores will help you decide what should go where. Bonus: The store’s online sample sale is impressive for its variety of styles and sizes.


Rugs by Design

Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries

1651 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-333-0642

Designers have long been in the know about Matt Camron, a Texas company that specializes in reproducing antique designs in custom colors and also crafts contemporary patterns made to order. Now Washingtonians can see its work in a new DC showroom above Marston Luce Antiques. Bonus: Owners Elizabeth Esfahani and Dara Mersky are working with a Defense Department program to employ Afghan women to produce a new line of rugs for them this fall.


Clothing


Bohemian Chic

Anthropologie

Downtown DC, 202-347-2160; Georgetown, 202-337-1363; Chevy Chase, 301-654-1481; Alexandria, 703-535-8750; Tysons Galleria, 703-288-4387

Cozy, ladylike apparel in pastel and neutral hues rules at this national chain. You’ll find lace dresses, flowy blouses, and dainty accessories by hundreds of brands, from Citizens of Humanity to Meadow Rue. Bonus: Don’t miss the pretty, minimalist home pieces—from spice jars to duvet covers.


Carefree and Current

South Moon Under

Multiple Maryland and Virginia locations

Tribal prints, geometric shapes, and bright hues dominate the clothing and accessories at this chain. Brands include Free People, Rebecca Minkoff, and House of Harlow. Denim in both trendy prints and traditional blues by such labels as 7 for All Mankind and Joe’s Jeans round out the mix. Bonus: The nine area locations occasionally host in-store soirees, usually featuring discounts, refreshments, and blogger appearances.


Well-Priced Shirts

Madewell

1237 Wisconsin Ave., NW, 202-333-3599; Tysons Corner Center, 703-761-4301; 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, 301-469-0104

This chain is most reliable for its shirts—from rugged chambrays to classy silk blouses—and other timeless basics like tees and cardigans. Backed by the quality of J. Crew, this sister store boasts a younger, more relaxed vibe with its geometric jewelry, brightly colored flats, and “destroyed” denim—all at friendly prices. Bonus: Some labels, such as Herschel Supply Co., craft unique accessories exclusively for Madewell.


Sexy Party Outfit

Intermix

3300 M St., NW, 202-298-8080; Tysons Galleria, 703-506-0914

Sleek, body-conscious designs from the likes of Herve Leger, Helmut Lang, Sergio Rossi, Elizabeth and James, and Rag & Bone are infused with a sexiness that turns a ho-hum silhouette into a stand-out-at-the-party outfit. Bonus: Several times a season, Intermix teams up with designers such as Rag & Bone and Vince on exclusive pieces.


State-Dinner Gown

Saks Jandel

5510 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-652-2250

The odds of being invited to a black-tie affair are high in Washington, which is why we appreciate Saks Jandel’s racks of flowy, sparkly showstoppers from Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, and others. Bonus: For brides, this is the only area boutique to carry Vera Wang.


Gifts


For a Tween

Peeps and Company

National Harbor; 301-749-5791

It’s hard to not smile when you walk into this shop. An explosion of yellow and blue, it’s dedicated to the Peeps marshmallow treats. The gooey chicks and bunnies aren’t all that’s for sale—you’ll find “Chillin’ With My Peeps” tees, mouse pads (Peeps pads?), and tween-appropriate gifts like Peeps-scented glitter nail polish ($7.90 for a set of five). Bonus: Enjoy time on the National Harbor waterfront, lined with eateries.


Happy Gifts

The Blue House

7770 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda; 301-656-6088

In addition to adorable presents for babies and children, girlfriend gifts such as purses and scarves ($29) are deceptively inexpensive. This shop abounds with housewarming treasures—from the latest cookbook to a smashing bamboo-framed mirror ($349) in creamy orange to Le Cadeaux European-ceramic-inspired dinnerware in unbreakable Melamine. Try the local Chouquette chocolates—some have a sprinkle of Old Bay. Bonus: The shop is three blocks from the Metro and three blocks from the relocated Bruce Variety.


For the Glam Gal

Coco Blanca

210 S. Union St., Alexandria; 703-535-8002

Marked by French sophistication mixed with beachy boho and a dash of glamour, this expansive lifestyle boutique works a Zen-like palette of crisp white, soft beige, and shimmery metallic throughout its wares, which range from earthy, organic jewelry and breezy clothing (floaty kaftans from Baci, silver-foiled denim from Eugene Is My Middle Name) to sequined clutches and textured, gold leather wallets. This store also offers some majorly chic furniture, such as white lacquered console tables, gold-leaf accent tables, and oversize nail-head armchairs done in lush oyster velvet. Bonus: Marylanders can check out Coco Blanca’s National Harbor location for a slightly different aesthetic, marrying “French farmhouse” with “rustic lake cabin.”


Museum Pieces


Best for Future Aviators

National Air and Space Museum

Spanning three levels, Air and Space’s main store sells die-cast and assemble-yourself planes and space shuttles, bomber jackets, freeze-dried snacks, remote-controlled aircraft, and anything else a future aviator or astronaut could want. Independence Ave. and Sixth St., SW; 202-633-2214.


Best for Everyday Jewelry

Sackler Gallery

The shop in this Asian-art museum offers a noteworthy selection of wearable, non-kitschy jewelry. Sizable earrings and necklaces in silver and semiprecious stones start at less than $100 and move up from there. 1050 Independence Ave., SW; 202-633-4880.


Best Handmade Home Goods

Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery

The collection of vases and dishes in blown glass, wood, and ceramic at these two museums covers all prices and tastes—and most are made in the US. American Art Museum, Eighth and F sts., NW; 202-633-1589. Renwick Gallery, 1661 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-633-1585.


Best for Colonial Curios

The Mount Vernon Shop

While fans of George Washington will find much to love—from 12-inch-high busts of our first President ($65.95) to Mount Vernon Christmas ornaments ($18.95)—the sprawling shop offers a wide range of gifts and decor, including lamps, mirrors, weathervanes, and dinnerware inspired by 18th-century designs. History books and cookbooks abound, and you can buy a US flag that’s been flown over the mansion ($29.95). For kids, there are old-fashioned toys including a jaw harp ($8.95) and tricornered hats ($6.95) perfect for dress-up day. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon; 703-780-2000.

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Posted at 03:45 PM/ET, 08/21/2013 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Articles