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Nab some great deals from Georgetown’s Book Hill shops. By Caroline Cunningham
All photographs Sam Kittner/courtesy Georgetown BID

Leave the office a little early today and hit up the Georgetown French Market, running Friday and Saturday this weekend. The 12th annual open-air fest, hosted by the Georgetown Business Improvement District, is bringing together over 40 local boutiques, many of which are offering some big discounts on their goods.

If the concept of wandering Georgetown’s historic streets with the scents of crepes wafting through the air isn’t enough to entice you, here are a few addition incentives to check out the market this weekend.

1. Free parking. Until that Georgetown WMATA tunnel is a reality, driving to Georgetown is one of the easiest ways to get there--until you have to park. But on Saturday, drivers can park for free at the Hardy Middle School on Wisconsin Avenue.

2. French food. Do some carb-loading at Patisserie Poupon, where they will be an abundance of croissants, macarons, and tarts, with Illy coffee to wash it all down, or stick with the ever-delicious crepe at Cafe Bonaparte’s crepe stand. For the road, grab a $4 package of Sorelle Nurzia biscotti from Via Umbria.

3. Live jazz music. Enjoy some outdoor entertainment from Lassaiz Foure, a Washington-based 30s and 40s-style jazz quartet or the Swing Guitars DC, a gypsy jazz guitar duo, among other bands that’ll create the French market atmosphere, along with mimes, caricature artists, and face painters.

4. Discounted artwork. From a $400 Italian ceramic vase that’ll sell for $35 from Via Umbria to 30 percent off artwork on paper from Maurine Littleton Gallery, the market will transport you to the banks of the Seine, where there’s inexpensive artwork for sale every block.

5. Crazy clothing sales. A $365 Kiki Lynn gingham shirtdress will be sold for $182.50, and the whole Kiki Lynn collection is 50 percent off. Urban Chic is offering up to 80 percent off their sale items, and Redz Trading’s consigned goods are discounted by 20 percent.

6. Home goods galore. Check out David Bell Antiques, Marston Luce, Matt Camron Rugs, and Corner & Co. for discounted antiques and furniture for your home. Additionally, local stationers Winifred Paper and The Dandelion Patch have their high-end paper goods for sale.

7. Awesome accessories. From SwitchWood’s unique wooden bow ties to stylish jewelry and scarves from Urban Chic, Britt Ryan, and The Pheonix, there’s plenty of spring-wardrobe add-ons that smart shoppers can pick up for cheap.

The market runs April 24 through 25 from 10 AM to 5 PM both days from P Street to Reservoir Road on Wisconsin Avenue.

Posted at 12:40 PM/ET, 04/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Say no to “mom”-emblazoned tchotchkes. By Michelle Thomas

Trust us on this one: You don’t want to buy the youngish new mom in your life the same Mother’s Day gift you would choose for your own mom. And just because she has a new baby doesn’t mean she’s lost her interest in personal style, either. Instead, choose a present that appeals to her cool side while offering a touch of luxe pampering or stylish practicality. These 10 picks hit the mark:

1) She’s probably not wearing heels like she used to. Get her some sweet sneakers to run around in. Puma Match Lo leather sneakers, $65.

2) Can’t go wrong with a fancy candle she'd probably never buy for herself—bonus points if it’s made in France. This one was inspired by the lipstick worn by Byredo founder Ben Gorham’s own mother in the '80s. Byredo Parfums Loose Lips candle, $80.

3) This yoga mat is printed with a colorful geometric pattern. La Vie Boheme Phoenix yoga mat, $83.

4) Get her initial—or better yet, the baby’s. Initial bar pendant necklace, $32.

5) This to-do notepad was illustrated by French fashion blogger Garance Doré. Rifle Paper Co. Gal-On-The-Go Notepad, $10.

6) Pamper her with a super-luxe hand cream from cult-fave beauty line Rodin, delicately scented with jasmine and neroli essential oils. Rodin luxury hand and body cream, $84.

7) She can dream of being Kondo-level organized someday, right? The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, $9.34.

8) Coffee. She needs lots of coffee. Ban.do Hot Stuff thermal mug, $14.

9) Pair a bottle from this trendy nail polish brand with a gift certificate for a mani-pedi (and an offer to babysit while she indulges). Smith & Cult nail polish, $18.

10) Glow is hard to come by on little-to-no beauty sleep. Help her fake it with this set, which includes the all-natural line’s luminizer, cream eye shadow, lip/cheek color, and concealer. RMS Beauty Glowing Gift Set, $120.

Posted at 01:19 PM/ET, 04/23/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Washington women can hunt down the perfect pair at the new shop in Pentagon City Nordstrom. By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy Shoes of Prey.

Women can be pretty picky about shoes—wishing the heels were just a bit shorter, they came in more colors, or they were patent leather instead of suede. Jodie Fox, the founder of Australia-based Shoes of Prey, appreciates this need to find the perfect shoe, which is why she launched an online custom shoe shop in 2009 with the help of two Google alums.

On Thursday, Shoes of Prey will open in the Washington area for the first time with an in-store shop within the Pentagon City Nordstrom. Originally an online-only retailer, the brand opened its first physical store in Sydney, Australia in 2013.

“The one question we heard the most from our customers before opening a store was ‘What will my shoes look like in real life?’” says Fox. “We saw that what our customers really meant was: What does the shoe feel like on my foot? What does the leather feel like? What do these colors look like side by side?”

After great success with their first store—they won “Store Design of the Year” in 2013 from the World Retail Awards—the brand began expanding in the US market, choosing Nordstrom as their host. The Pentagon City Nordstrom’s Shoes of Prey shop includes "sculptures of flowers from shoes to shift your thinking from pulling something off the shelf to creating something you'll love,” says Fox

It works like this: after locating the women’s shoe section of Nordstrom where Shoes of Prey resides, pick up an iPad, loaded with the software that renders an image of the shoes as you design them. To get a feel of what you’re working with, there’s material swatches, sample shoes, and sizing shoes to make sure the fit will be right. After you’ve selected the shape, height, toe style, materials, and colors, and placed your order, your custom shoes will arrive on your doorstep three weeks later.

After a soft opening last Friday, Fox is confident the shop will be a hit with Washington ladies. “We already know that Washington women love to design their own shoes, because it's where we have the majority of our happy customers,” says Fox. “We cannot wait to shoe the women of Washington.”

Visit the Shoes of Prey boutique at Nordstrom, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, 1400 South Hayes St., Arlington; 703-415-1121.

Posted at 12:45 PM/ET, 04/22/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The New York-based brand is bringing more luxury retail to town. By Caroline Cunningham
Pictured is Vince's store at Brookfield Place, New York. Photo courtesy Vince.

Vince, a luxury apparel retailer that got its start in Los Angeles with women’s knits and cashmere sweaters, is the latest in the long chain of new brands arrivals at CityCenterDC. The store is slotted to open on April 30 alongside other high-end shops: Boss Hugo Boss, Alexis Bittar, Burberry, and Kate Spade, among others.

The brand has international boutiques, but the CityCenterDC shop will be its first Washington storefront. The DC location will carry Vince women’s and men’s apparel and accessories, a go-to for high-end, "iconic essentials," from their $60 v-neck tees to their $995 glossy, slim-cut leather jacket.

The 2,562-square-foot shop will be located at 1093 Palmer Alley, NW, and it will be modeled after the design of the Brookfield Place Vince store in New York (pictured above).

Posted at 03:24 PM/ET, 04/21/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Earn some work friends through the menswear retailer’s Outfit Your Office giveaway. By Caroline Cunningham
Photos courtesy Ledbury.

Want to be an office hero? Enter to win Ledbury’s Outfit Your Office giveaway to gain some fans around the conference table. The winner will receive 100 shirts for himself and his office pals, including a private fitting and bourbon-fueled celebration with the Ledbury team.

Based in Richmond, Ledbury has popped up a couple of times in Georgetown, giving DC gents the chance to try out the online retailer’s luxury menswear in person. Though Ledbury sells everything from men’s neckties to socks to handmade leather belts, their specialty is shirtmaking, so the contest winner will get a sample of what Ledbury does best.

Last year’s Outfit Your Office giveaway saw over 6,000 entries, and one lucky office in Richmond took home the lot. Enter the to win contest online by April 24, 11:59 PM for a shot at working among some better-dressed colleagues.

Posted at 01:22 PM/ET, 04/21/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Join Washingtonian at Saks Fifth Avenue for an afternoon of fashion. By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy DKNY.

Head to Saks Fifth Avenue Tysons Galleria on Saturday from 2 to 5 PM for a presentation of DKNY's spring styles. Be there at 2:30 PM for a wardrobe presentation, hosted by DC fashion blogger Meaghan Moynahan of District Sparkle. At the event, guests can shop the brand's spring designs: geometric patterns with bold pops of color, pastels and longer hemlines that appear to nod at 1960s fashion. With platform sneakers and rugby stripes also in the mix, the collection also has an high-fashion athletic element that makes sense with the rise in popularity of athleisure wear. Browse the whole collection on Saturday, and take home a free DKNY tote bag with a $300 or more regular-price purchase.

Check out the invitation below, and make sure to RSVP to tysonsrsvp@s5a.com to attend.

Saks Fifth Avenue, 2051 International Drive, McLean; 703-761-0700.

Posted at 02:51 PM/ET, 04/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Shop the collections of indie New York designers and pick up some retro Pan Am bags. By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock/oneinchpunch

Shop Indie Designers at Urban Chic

This spring, Urban Chic relaunched with a new vision, featuring designers at more accessible price points. The shop is maintaining it’s new on-trend image with a trunk show of up-and-coming indie designers from New York throughout the weekend. Enjoy some gratis wine while shopping the spring collections, and enjoy 15 percent off any purchases. Urban Chic, 1626 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-338-5398.

Check Out Claire Florence’s Exclusive Line at M29 Lifestyle

The M29 Lifestyle boutique at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC launched an exclusive collection designed by Georgetown designer Claire Florence on Thursday. From tote bags to cashmere t-shirts, the collection is targeted at the boutique’s luxury customers, with prices running from $170 to $525. M29 Lifestyle, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-295-2829.

Get Great Discounts on Eileen Fisher

Hit up Alexandria’s Gossypia boutique for deals on Eileen Fisher apparel. Shop the new collection for ten percent off, and nab 50 percent discounts on any Eileen Fisher sale styles. A chance to win door prizes and refreshments are also promised for those attending the shopping extravaganza. The sale runs through April 18. Gossypia, 325 Cameron St., Alexandria; 703-836-6969.

Pick Up Retro Pan Am Accessories at Acme Mid-Century + Modern

The mid-century decor and home furnishings store just got in a shipment of Pan Am bags, luggage tags, briefcases, and more. A fun accessory that’ll add a retro vibe to your look, these bags come in all shapes and sizes, they’re all marked down 15 percent. In keeping with the aviation theme, Acme is also marketing vintage airplane carts that can be used as a bar cart or makeshift kitchen island. The sale kicks off at 3 PM on Friday and runs through 5 PM on April 19. Acme Mid-Century + Modern, 218 South Royal St., Alexandria; 703-836-0333.

Posted at 11:19 AM/ET, 04/17/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
This Columbia native is bringing her retail dream to life at & Such Shop. By Caroline Cunningham
Photographs courtesy Charo Bishop.

A tax accountant by day and an NFL cheerleader captain for the Redskins by night, and Charo Bishop has somehow found the time to launch an online store, & Such Shop. It went live on April 13, and Bishop has already packed her first order shipment.

A native of Columbia, Bishop began her intensive dance training at the age of five, attending the Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland and studying ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop, building the foundation for her cheerleading moves in the years to come. She then enrolled at the University of Maryland College Park, earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Now, when Bishop isn’t filing tax returns or cheering on the Redskins, she’s pouring her creative energy into & Such Shop. To find out how she does it all, Shop Around got in touch for an interview.

What inspired you to open an online store?

This idea has been swimming in the back of my head for years now, but I was never quite sure what route to take. In stereotypical candor, I read the book #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso in February and it jettisoned me into the free fall of e-commerce. While I enjoy my career as a tax accountant, it is just that much more fulfilling to be working on something that I have built entirely myself, and that allows me to use a mix of my business and creative skills.

Have you always been interested in fashion?

To be honest, I have always been intimidated by high fashion, in the same way that I love math, but am intimidated of higher mathematics: there’s just so much unattainable out there. I admire women who are able to put themselves together so meticulously and flawlessly every single day and who are always right on trend. However, the majority of women are not those people, nor can we afford to be. Style is what is important. Like art, style is a true expression of self; it takes self-awareness and confidence—that’s what ultimately drew me to clothes. I really just want a woman to feel as comfortable and confident in her clothes as she is in her own skin.

What kind of woman do you envision shopping at your store?

My target customer is a woman who realizes she is unique, yet also recognizes the uniqueness of others. She is economically savvy, coy, quick-witted, imperfect, and appreciates the unexpected. There are not many basics sold in my shop, so women who understand that there’s no reason to go through life unnoticed will be more likely to shop & Such.

What’s your process for curating the pieces you sell in your shop?

I choose the pieces for & Such essentially in the same way that I choose the clothes I purchase for myself, but with an even broader taste. I go for comfortable pieces that have an unexpected “wink”—meaning maybe an open back, a near-hidden slit, an interesting but not overwhelming print, a dramatic high-low hemline. I want the pieces to be memorable, but I also want women to be able to wear it more than once, so choosing pieces that have longevity and that surpass fads is also important.

So you’re an NFL Cheerleader and a professional accountant and you decided to launch your own online shop. How do you do it all?

It most definitely involves an IV of coffee, endorphins, and extreme time management. Surrounding myself with positive people is also so incredibly important in feeling balanced and focused. I make to-do lists and check them off obsessively. Last night, after our first Redskins Cheerleader practice of the season (which was after a full day of my accounting job), I stayed up until 2 AM packaging my very first shipment. It was exciting. I really love all of the things I’m doing with my day, so it’s easy to succumb to the adrenaline.

What’s your favorite thing you’re selling on & Such Shop right now?

I absolutely love all of the Hanuel jewelry that I’m selling, but my favorite clothing piece is probably the Terez Playsuit. It has this wide-open back with a subtle pink and grey snakeskin print—one-pieces are making a strong and comfortable comeback.

Why the name “& Such Shop”?

I’m a huge word-nerd, so first off, the word “such” is a determiner. In other words, it doesn’t mean anything—you define it by whatever is proceeding or preceding it. I want the & Such Shop customer to do the same with herself and with her style. The possibilities are limitless, just like her.

Posted at 11:31 AM/ET, 04/16/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Dress like Farrah Fawcett, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, or Marilyn Monroe for the beach. By Caroline Cunningham

On par with jean shopping, bathing suit shopping can be a pit of misery—no one wants to see that much of their untanned skin in a florescent-lit dressing room mirror. But when you’re slipping into a designer-made, movie-star-inspired suit, the process can be a bit more fun.

Everything But Water’s 30th Anniversary Collection paired big-name designers—Kate Spade, Mara Hoffman, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk, among others—with iconic movie stars as inspiration.

Take a look at some of their designs, then head to Everything But Water (Westfield Montgomery, 7101 Democracy Blvd., 301-365-0954; Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, 703-748-1987) to shop.

Read More

Posted at 05:43 PM/ET, 04/15/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Japanese retailer announced they will finally open in the DC Metro area. By Caroline Cunningham
March Marcho / Shutterstock.com

On April 6, Uniqlo announced that it would open stores in three new areas in the United States: Seattle, Denver, and the DC Metro area. The new DC-area store will occupy around 10,000 square feet at the Silver Line-accessible Tysons Corner Center.

The store is slotted to open in spring or summer of 2016, and even through that’s still a ways off, it’s okay to start getting excited. Here are five things you have to look forward to at the new Tysons Corner Center Uniqlo.

1. Non-bulky, warm clothes

Forget about layering four pairs of leggings underneath your pants so that you don’t freeze on your walk to the Metro: Uniqlo’s Heattech products are specially designed to keep you toasty. The shirts, jeans, and leggings with Heattech are constructed with “a totally new material to combat the cold,” according to Uniqlo’s website, offering heat-trapping apparel that’s still slim fitting. Additionally, their “Ultra Light Down” jackets, parkas, and vests will repel water and keep you warm without creating a marshmallow silhouette.

2. Free alterations

Shorties, rejoice! The bane of a petite person’s existence is pants that fit everywhere except for in length. You can only get away with cuffing pants so many times, and taking them to seamstress or tailor can be inconvenient or expensive. With Uniqlo’s in-store alterations, jeans and pants over $20 can be hemmed on the day of purchase for free.

3. Under $40 jeans

Speaking of pants, if you’re a denim hoarder, Uniqlo will be your best friend for inexpensive jeans. Women’s jeans run around $39.90 full price, and with their ultra stretch, boyfriend, and slim fit cuts, you can have a cut and color for every day of the week that are comfortable, but still chic.

4. Outfit the whole family

With apparel in newborn, toddler, child, and adult sizes, Uniqlo could be your one-stop shop for flushing out the family wardrobe, from yellow duck onesies to office-appropriate dresses. Uniqlo sells everything from underwear to outerwear, so for everyday apparel, it’s a great go-to.

5. Clean and classic basics

Step aside, American Apparel. Chambray shirts, tees, and dressy blouses in a range of hues run around $13 to $30, rather than in the $30 to $60 range of American Apparel’s fashionable basics. Uniqlo isn’t around for the hyper-trendy dressers, and there’s not much in the way of formal wear, but for staples that will hang in your closet for a few seasons, it’s a no-brainer.

Posted at 12:16 PM/ET, 04/14/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()