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The National Retail Federation’s Retail's Night Out brings together local and national shops. By Caroline Cunningham
The Park at CityCenterDC. Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/Payton Chung.

In celebration of small business week, the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, is hosting a pop-up shopping bonanza on Wednesday evening at the Park at CityCenterDC. The event will include local shops, food trucks, as well as CityCenterDC retailers who will have related specials within their stores.

For one night, Washingtonians can shop some of their favorite local companies all in one place, including Hugh & Crye, Salt & Sundry, Propper Topper, Urban Stems, Tuckernuck, and Potomac River Running. Foodies can indulge in Milk Cult’s ice cream, ‘Chups fruity ketchups, and Undone’s artisan chocolates. Jose Andres’ Pepe, CapMac, and Ball or Nothing food trucks will also be on hand to fuel the party.

While in the neighborhood, attendees can also take a look at all the brand-spanking-new retail that’s taken up residence in CityCenterDC--stores such as Arc’teryx, the technical outerwear apparel company, Zadig & Voltaire, the French luxury streetwear brand, and Loro Piana, which markets high-end cashmere goods, will all have their doors open for the evening’s festivities.

Retail’s Night Out will take place on Wednesday, May 6 from 5 to 9 PM at The Park at CityCenterDC, 11th Street and New York Avenue.

Update: Bull + Moose will not be participating in the pop-up.

Posted at 02:59 PM/ET, 05/05/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
VIP tickets for The Front Row go on sale this Thursday. By Caroline Cunningham
Photograph by Abby Greenawalt.

Bethesda’a annual three-day fashion event, The Front Row, has made a name for itself as a celebrity sighting opportunity—Jessica Alba, Kelly Cutrone, Christian Siriano, and Maria Menounos have all made appearances—and this year is no exception. Aliza Licht, the social media guru and PR executive behind the DKNY PR GIRL Twitter handle, will be signing copies of her new book, Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media., which goes on sale May 5.

Aliza Licht will sign copies of her new book. Photograph by Gerardo Somoza.

The celebration will kick off with a showing of the Dior and I fashion documentary on Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 PM at Landmark Theatre. On Friday, May 29, attendees can pick up a copy of Licht’s book and have it signed between 5 and 6:30 PM on Bethesda Lane. The runway show, featuring Bethesda Row retailers’ Spring/Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 collections, follows at 7:30 PM on Bethesda Lane. Seating for the show is reserved for VIP ticket holders, but standing room is available.

The weekend will wrap up on Saturday, May 30 with trunk shows and sales from Bethesda Row retailers. Tickets for the weekend will go on sale on Gilt City at 10 AM on Thursday, May 7. Attendance is free, but a $29 VIP ticket grants access to the documentary showing, a VIP party, and a signed copy of Licht’s book, and a $49 ticket includes the former plus a front row seat at the fashion show.

Posted at 10:46 AM/ET, 05/04/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Shop for flowers and artisan gifts at this family-friendly fest May 1 through 2. By Caroline Cunningham
Image via Shutterstock.

The All Hallows Guild has been bringing together the community for a outdoor floral festival since 1939, and this year’s celebration has a lot to offer a out-of-town visitors and locals who want to enjoy the gorgeous weather Washington is promised this weekend (currently: sunny and a high of 73). Even those who have no interest in strolling through fresh flowers on a sunny Saturday—of whom, we must politely ask, “What is wrong with you?”—will find plenty to see and do at this year’s market.

Here’s some of the best things you can experience at the National Cathedral on May 1 and 2.

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Posted at 11:02 AM/ET, 05/01/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus—tips from wedding planner Emily Butler on how to put together a pretty (and comfortable) ensemble. By Sarah Zlotnick, Caroline Cunningham
Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

The attire requests on wedding invitations run the gamut these days, and Emily Butler has seen them all. As one half of the bicoastal event planning company Karson Butler Events—which she owns with her twin sister, Amber—she has worked on more than 100 weddings in the course of her career.

When she attends a wedding as a guest, color and comfort are her main priorities—no matter the dress code. “You’ll definitely see me on the dance floor, so something that can move and allow me to have fun is a must,” she says.

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Posted at 08:00 AM/ET, 05/01/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Mother's Day on a budget doesn't have to be tacky.

Mother’s Day is around the corner—in fact, you might want to just go ahead and set a reminder to call your mom on May 10 right now—and if you forgot to save up to buy your mom a $400 Le Creuset dutch oven, you may be scrambling to find inexpensive gifts. She did give you life and all, but if $20 is all you’ve got to spend, you can still treat your mother like the lovely lady she is with one of these 15 gifts (that don’t look cheap).

Simple gold bangles are always in style, and they will go with everything she owns. Exotic Enamel Bangle Set, $19.50 at LOFT.

If you can’t afford to buy out Sephora for her, you can at least give her the tools she needs to make all-natural beauty remedies--not that she needs them. Homemade Beauty by Annie Stole, $12.97 at Amazon.

Your mom is pretty perfect, but there’s no woman alive who's never lost or broken a pair of earbuds. Make sure she always has a backup with this cute set. Ear Buddies in Perfect Pink and Cantaloupe, $16 at

Buy her a red rose and a tin of these sweet treats that she can toss in her purse to nosh on the go. Milk Chocolate English Toffee Caramels, $6.25 at Dean & Deluca.

Flowers will wilt and die, but succulents last forever--or at least as long as she remembers to water them. Succulents in White Painted Mason Jars, $12 at Etsy.

It’s a little narcissistic to give her a photo of yourself for Mother’s Day, but she’ll love seeing loved one’s faces on the fridge with these clever magnets. Instagram Photo Magnets, $14.99 for set of nine at Sticky9.

Keep her up-to-date with the latest jewelry trends with these ear cuffs that are subtle enough to still fall within her comfort zone. Studded Arch Ear Jacket, $18 at Hanuel.

Spoil her with some soothing soaps, such as this floral-scented bar. Fresh Freesia Oval Soap, $15 at Bluemercury.

Give her a daily reminder of how much you love her with this elegant “Home is where mom is” print. Mother’s Day Print, $5 at Etsy.

Encourage her healthy eating habits with a water bottle that makes staying hydrated a lot tastier. Flavor Infuser Water Bottle, $15 at Uncommon Goods.

Pair this candle with bath salts and tell her to take the night off and relax. Voluspa Maison Blanc Pink Citron Candle, $16 at Nordstrom.

Cheesy? Maybe. But the follow-through is everything. Vouchers for Mom, $8.95 at Paper Source.

Send her dreaming of wine country with Caudalie’s vinotherapy anti-aging hand cream. Hand and Nail Cream, $15 at Caudalie.

Don’t turn up your nose at Trader Joe’s. One of these chocolates will keep her sweet tooth in a good mood all afternoon. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, $5.49 at Amazon.

Sometimes a simple note of love and thanks says it best. Copper Foil Mother’s Day Card, $5 at Etsy.

Posted at 05:27 PM/ET, 04/28/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
District Sparkle’s Meaghan Moynahan shows us how she dresses for her serious 9-to-5. By Michelle Thomas
All photos by Laura Metzler.

Who: Meaghan Moynahan, 27

Program Analyst at the Department of State; style blogger at District Sparkle

My work style: “At nights, on the weekends, and at most blog events I wear a lot of black, white, and grey, and dressing for the office is no different. I never know where the day will take me so I like to layer pieces and I always keep a black blazer on hand for important last-minute meetings that inevitably come up. Due to the nature of the work that we do and my sartorial personality, I'm never completely comfortable in bright colors; instead I'll make a statement by layering delicate necklaces or focus my outfit around a great mixed-leather blazer, printed sheath dress, or a funky heel.”

Where I shop for workwear: "ShopBop, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, ASOS."

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Posted at 02:49 PM/ET, 04/28/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Pamper her with sweet treats and tools to fuel her culinary creativity. By Caroline Cunningham

Some women find kitchenware gifts insulting, so when shopping for the foodie or home chef in your life, make sure to ask this question before you buy: is this a gift for her, or a gift for you? But a smart shopper who’s perused the home section of Anthropologie or spent time in Salt & Sundry will know that there’re a lot of kitchen goodies out there that aren’t desirable just because they’re practical—they’re pretty as well—and that’s the sweet spot for Mother’s Day gifts. For the mom who loves to cook but wouldn’t splurge on gorgeous copper measuring cups or gold polka dot canisters for herself, here’s some inspiration for pampering her on May 10.

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Posted at 03:33 PM/ET, 04/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
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.

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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 ()