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Why blowouts are such a big business in Washington. By Cathy Alter
Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

"No cuts. No color. Just blowouts.” It’s the maxim chalked on the Rococo-esque blackboard at the entrance to Drybar, and it reminds me of the David Letterman bit in which he walks into a store called Just Shades and asks, “But seriously, what can you get besides just shades here?”

Blowouts are all Drybar does, and they’re so popular that on this summer Saturday, all of the chairs in the Georgetown outpost are occupied by 8 a.m., including the ones in the reception area where women wait their turn while thumbing through back issues of In Touch or texting on their iPhones. Above them hangs a chandelier made of hair dryers, bundled and dangling upside down from their cords.

According to a maniacally cheerful video on the company’s YouTube page, Drybar came to be after West Coast hairstylist Alli Webb began a one-person side business that provided in-home blowouts to women around LA. She quickly had more clients than she could handle, and after securing a loan from her brother—a former Yahoo executive who is now Drybar’s executive board chair—Webb opened her first store in Brentwood, California, in 2010.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 08/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The airport’s redevelopment brings new luxury retailers to the concourses. By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy Dulles International Airport.

Malls have left their heyday behind, but it’s looking like the new weekend hangout for shopping and dining may just be the airport.

In 2013, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) embarked on a nearly 36-month-long process to redevelop 90 percent of the dining and retail offerings at Reagan National and Dulles International airports. MarketPlace Development was hired to take on the task, and on August 19, they celebrated the launch of the new luxury shopping wing in Concourses A and B at Dulles.

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Posted at 02:12 PM/ET, 08/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
From left to right: McKenna Bleu, Monling Lee, Desiree Venn Frederic

There are more fashion and style bloggers in DC than you might imagine. They're bravely marching the cobblestone streets in stilettos and taking snapshots all over DC's brick-lined alleyways. Washington may get a lot of flack for being unfashionable, but here's 35 Instagram feeds that will prove that stereotype wrong.

1. Ashleigh of The Daileigh

A stylist and consultant based in Maryland, Ashleigh is the author of three books about building a winning wardrobe.

2. McKenna Bleu

There are so many amazing inspirations for the bright-colored obsessed in Bleu's feed--as well as snaps of all the sandy beaches she visits as a travel blogger.

3. Monling Lee of Color Index

As a DC architect, Lee knows the best buildings to serve as colorful backdrops for her color-block attire.

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Posted at 11:34 AM/ET, 08/25/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
You don’t want to miss all the couture goods up for grabs. By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock/ChiccoDodiFC.

During the warm months, you could probably find a local yard sale every weekend to dig up some discarded treasures. But most yard sales aren’t run by a fashion stylist who’s been in the business for over 20 years and is cleaning out her closets.

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Posted at 10:36 AM/ET, 08/21/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Follain, a Union Market retailer, has the scoop on the chemicals to avoid. By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy Follain.

There seem to be more and more “all-natural” beauty supply shops popping up all around Washington: Be Clean, Florescent, and Lather all among them. In May, after three pop-ups at Union Market, Boston-based Follain took up permanent residence in Union Market--the shop’s first non-Massachusetts store.

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Posted at 02:58 PM/ET, 08/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The brand is celebrating their new space with giveaways and light bites. By Caroline Cunningham
Photograph of Free People store in Philadelphia courtesy Free People.

On Friday, boho apparel retailer Free People will join its sister brands Anthropologie, BHLDN, and Urban Outfitters on M Street in Georgetown.

The new location, which is Free People’s 110th boutique, is the first to open in the District, and according to Beth Wehagen, director of retail for Free People, it’s been a long time coming.

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Posted at 01:15 PM/ET, 08/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
T-shirt Tuesdays and meet the man behind Yarok hair care products. By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy Follain.

T-shirt Tuesdays at Onward Reserve

Every Tuesday, the new Georgetown retailer is offering shoppers who spend $100 a free Penley or Onward Georgetown graphic t-shirt. The shop, which markets men’s lifestyle brands including Smathers & Branson, Shinola, and Southern Proper, is a perfect one-stop shop for shopping for men’s gifts and preppy accessories. 1063 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

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Posted at 04:33 PM/ET, 08/18/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Keep the goosebumps at bay. By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock/Sebastian Gauert.

It may be 93 degrees outside, but if you’re a woman who works in an office, you’re likely still reaching for the hot coffee and wishing you’d stashed a fleece blanket under your desk.

The reason you’re so cold at work has to do with the fact that the ages-old formula used to set office thermostats was developed around the needs of a 40-year-old, 154-pound man. So it makes sense that once you arrive at work in your sleeveless summer dress--sensible for Washington’s extreme heat and humidity--you start to freeze.

While wearing pants is a good start to keep the chill at bay, your best bet for staying warm is layering your lightweight blouses with a jacket once you’ve settled in at your desk. Though the arctic air conditioning may have you dreaming of a puffy parka, here are 17 jackets that won’t look out of place with your work wardrobe--all under $100.

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Posted at 04:08 PM/ET, 08/17/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

These beauty savers are small enough to stash in your purse, gym bag, or to keep in your desk drawer. Stay fresh—not sweaty—through the rest of the summer.

1. Supergoop’s Defense Refresh Setting Mist

The three-in-one product was made for summer: It sets makeup, controls shine, and, with broad-spectrum SPF 50, offers extra sun protection. Mist your face before a working lunch on a restaurant patio. $12 (small) or $28 (large) at Sephora.

2. Boscia Clear Complexion Blotting Linens

Put the powder away until fall—these sheets remove excess oil and sweat without the heaviness of extra makeup. $10 at Sephora.

3. Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

Re-volumize hair and soak up grease by spraying this at the roots, letting it absorb for one minute, then lightly massaging it in. $13 (small) or $28 (large) at Drybar.

This article appears in our August 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 10:06 AM/ET, 08/14/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The luxury store celebrates its opening today, bringing high-end handbags to downtown DC. By Caroline Cunningham
All photographs by Caroline Cunningham.

For the first time, DC welcomes a free-standing Louis Vuitton boutique into town today with its opening at CityCenterDC. Located directly across Palmer Ally from Hermès, the shop is another feather in the cap of downtown’s new luxury shopping scene.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of our newest store at the CityCenterDC,” says Anthony Ledru, president and CEO of Louis Vuitton Americas. “This store, int he heart of the city, will offer an exceptional level of service and a unique experience to local clients and visitors to the nation’s capital.”

The new boutique features a spacious, well-lit interior, filled with the brand’s luxury goods, including men’s shoes, accessories--from wallets to key chains to neckties--women’s shoes, handbags, wallets, and scarves, and a fleet of the classic brown leather luggage.

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Posted at 01:04 PM/ET, 08/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()