Best Store for Jeans: Denim Bar
Yes, this boutique carries Seven and Citizens of Humanity. But with more than 45 lines of jeans on floor-to-ceiling shelves, it draws shoppers looking for such hard-to-find brands as Ksubi, Kicking Mule Workshop, Kasil, and Nudie. The stores also stock T-shirts, knits, and dresses, but denim is the focus. Prices for jeans range from $150 to $750.
Denim Bar, 1101 S. Joyce St., Arlington, 703-414-8202; 4939 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 301-986-5260; denimbaronline.com.
Best Vintage Store: Annie Creamcheese
The gems in this basement shop are labeled with the brand and era of origin. You’ll find pieces by big names such as Gucci, Chanel, Missoni, and Pucci. When Hollywood A-lister Nicole Richie was in town last summer, she stopped in to buy a pair of vintage Ted Lapidus shades and a Courreges scarf from the ’60s.
3279 M St., Georgetown; 202-298-5555; anniecreamcheese.com.
Best for Menswear: Universal Gear
Perennial favorites Nordstrom and Saks—known for their broad selection of high-end men’s lines—topped the voting in this category, but this lesser-known local store surprised with its third-place finish. It doubled its size when it moved from 17th to 14th Street last November. The new space houses a Diesel boutique and carries a wide range of casual lines including Ben Sherman, Scotch & Soda, Energie, and D&G. You’ll also find men’s grooming products from Kiehl’s, Art of Shaving, and more.
1529 14th St, NW; 202-319-0136; universalgear.com.
Best Boutique: Urban Chic
When Urban Chic opened in Georgetown, its mix of fun designers drew a loyal following. Four years later, owner Lindsay Buscher is spreading her classic, girly fashions around and beyond Washington—in the last year, Urban Chic has opened stores in Bethesda, National Harbor, and Baltimore; an Annapolis outpost will open in October. Although each store is slightly different, you’ll find a hip selection of dressy tops, trendy jeans, and flirty dresses at all—plus some carry men’s, baby, and maternity clothing. Prices range from $30 for a T-shirt to $500 for dresses and coats.
Georgetown, 202-338-5398; National Harbor, 301-965-3307; Bethesda, 301-657-0290; Baltimore, 410-685-1601; urbanchiconline.com.
Best Jewelry Store: Princess Jewelers
This 20-year-old family-owned store specializes in custom designs; ten certified jewelers create and repair pieces on site. You’ll find a broad selection of rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets as well as men’s and women’s watches by Baume & Mercier, Tag Heuer, and more.
529 Maple Ave. W., Vienna, 703-255-5050; 11520-G Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-231-6060; theprincessjewelers.com.
Agree with these choices? Disagree? Sound off—leave your own favorite stores in the comments.
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