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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 ()
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.

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Posted at 05:43 PM/ET, 04/15/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Carry a pop of color by your side to transition your outfits for the warmer months. By Caroline Cunningham

Washington weather hasn’t yet decided whether it’s winter or spring, and consequently we’re all caught in wardrobe limbo—wearing boots one day, open-toed sandals the next.

But even though you may not be ready to pack away all your dark winter clothes, that doesn’t mean you can’t start transitioning to spring. Pick up a new bright work tote to pair with the remnants of your winter wear, and take the first step towards a warmer, sunnier tomorrow.

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Posted at 05:05 PM/ET, 03/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Sephora’s FLASH service is either very good, or very, very bad for your wallet. By Caroline Cunningham
Photograph by Shutterstock/Sorbis.

With services like Amazon Prime offering free two day shipping at the cost of membership, shoppers are becoming accustomed to getting their products delivered quickly and without another seven or so dollars tacked onto the price. So in January, Sephora introduced FLASH, which allows the beauty company’s customers to pay ten dollars for a membership that grants them free two-day shipping for a year.

FLASH is a product of Sephora’s Innovation Lab, a program within the company that uses the collective brainpower of Sephora employees to generate new offerings and technologies for the brand. Bridget Dolan, vice president of Innovation Lab, says that FLASH is part of an effort to make their dotcom business just as seamless and convenient as an in-store experience.

“We hope that FLASH will give our clients faster access to the products they love and meet the demands of our growing online sales,” says Dolan.

FLASH comes free for the real beauty-obsessed: Sephora’s VIB Rouge insiders who spend $1,000 or more a year on Sephora products, who are also granted access to limited-list events, new products, and complimentary services at the company Beauty Studio. But with free two-day shipping available, it may not take beauty junkies long to hit that thousand dollar mark.

Enroll for FLASH here.

Posted at 02:51 PM/ET, 03/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The annual shopping event goes down March 3. By Caroline Cunningham
Image courtesy of District Sample Sale.

The 14th annual District Sample Sale will bring together DC’s most fashionable shoppers at Long View Gallery for a night of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres from local eateries, and items from Washington boutiques at some seriously discounted prices. End-of-season styles will sell for up to 90 percent off the ticketed price, and shoppers can preview upcoming collections with exclusive District Sample Sale discounts.

This year’s sale will benefit the DC Diaper Bank, which provides an average of 75,000 clean diapers to low-income families in DC, Maryland, and Virginia every month. Since 2006, the District Sample Sale has donated more than $315,000 to women’s and children’s charities in the area.

Tickets go on sale at 10 tomorrow morning through the District Sample Sale website, including $40 general admission tickets, $100 VIP tickets, $250 Benefactress tickets, and $600 Corporate Benefactress tickets. VIP tickets—which include the product-heavy goodie bag and an extra hour of shopping from 5:30 to 6:30—tend to sell out quickly, so make sure to be online when the tickets go live.

District Sample Sale. March 3, 5:30 to 9 PM, Long View Gallery, 1234 Ninth St., NW.

Posted at 01:49 PM/ET, 01/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus—details on the Italian brand's upcoming DC store. By Kay Wicker
Photograph courtesy of Moleskine.

Stumped on what to get the writer in your life this year? Perhaps you’ll be able to find something at the new Moleskine holiday pop-up shop opening, just in time for Black Friday. The famous stylish notebooks, synonymous with nomadic creativity, are finding a home in Georgetown.

In addition to its holiday pop-up shop, the company will set up shop permanently later this spring. Moleskine has signed a five-year lease to occupy the 1,300-square-foot former Scotch & Soda site. While the products are available in stores such as Target, Staples, and Barnes & Noble, this will be the first brick-and-mortar Moleskine store in the Washington area.

Even though the brand isn’t slated to make things official until spring, the holiday pop-up promises spoils such as a stamping station for customization, the (Moleskine)Red #OneREDDay Special Edition Collection, which includes a large hard cover notebook, a pen, a luggage tag, and planner, and of course those classic leather-bound notebooks.

Moleskine holiday pop-up. 3029 M St., NW; November 28, 10 to 8.

Posted at 10:59 AM/ET, 11/26/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
For those of you who don't mind crowds. By Kay Wicker, Caroline Cunningham
Photograph via Shutterstock.

You’re going to have to take your Thanksgiving dinner to go this year if you want to make it to the best of the Black Friday deals. Last year, Target, Sears, Kohl’s, and Macy’s all opened their doors at 8 PM on Thanksgiving Day. While it was already ridiculous to start Black Friday sales on a Thursday, this year, the same four stores have announced their deals will debut at 6 PM.

It’s a good thing you weren’t planning on eating second helpings, right?

To give yourself time to plan and prepare, we’ve rounded up the best (and the earliest) doorbuster deals for Black Friday—er, Thursday.

Thanksgiving Day

Old Navy
Doorbuster deals: Be one of the first 100 shoppers in line on Thanksgiving Day to be eligible for Old Navy’s Overnight Millionaire drawing and get 50 percent off everything in the store on Thursday and Friday, with 40-percent discounts continuing through Saturday and 30 percent on Sunday. 4 PM. 3500 East-West Hwy., Hyattsville, MD.

Best Buy
Doorbuster deals: Grab a Panasonic 50-inch LED HDTV for $199.99, save $100 on iPad Air 2 (prices start at $399.99), buy Beats by Dr. Dre headphones for $79.99, and pick up a 13-inch Apple Macbook Pro for $899.99 (you should probably already be in line if you want any of these). Or take advantage of Best Buy’s online deals from the comfort of your couch, pie included. 5 PM. Tickets distributed up to two hours before store opening. 3100 14th St., NW.

Doorbuster deals: Though discounts of 30 to 75 percent are promised throughout the weekend, show up at 6 on Thanksgiving Day for $39.99 cashmere sweaters, $19.99 Club Room men’s dress shirts, and $19.99 Rampage boots. 6 PM. 1201 G St., NW.

Doorbuster deals: Take advantage of 40 percent off all apparel and 50 percent off all handbags, wallets, and fine boxed jewelry sets, with women’s riding boots selling for $18 and men’s Tumi outwear priced at $50. 6 PM. 3100 14th St., NW.

Doorbuster deals: Receive $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, with 50 to 70 percent off Croft and Barrow, Sonoma, and Apt. 9 and 40 to 60 percent off Chaps, LC Lauren Conrad, Elle, Jennifer Lopez, and Juicy Couture apparel. 6 PM. 5701 Kingstowne Blvd., Kingstowne, Va.

Doorbuster deals: Thanksgiving shoppers receive savings up to 30 percent off. The first 100 in line for Black Friday will receive a scratch-off ticket up to $300 in value. November 27, 6 PM. November 28, midnight to 9 PM. 3222 M St., NW.

Black Friday

10th Annual Downtown Holiday Market
Doorbuster deals: Get there on Black Friday to shop Naked Decor, Lil Fishy, and Jon Wye. Over the next four weeks, shoppers will find more than 150 exhbitors and artisans offering fine art, crafts, jewlery, photography, clothing, and more. Local favorites like De*Nada Design are slated to be there later in the month of December. November 28 through December 23, noon to 8 PM. Downtown, centered at Eighth and F sts., NW.

Bishop Boutique
Doorbuster deals: Breakfast bar provided by Bittersweet starting at 5:30 (set up in front of the Old Theatre). 30 percent off between 6 and 8 AM. 20 percent for the rest of the day. 815-B King St., Alexandria.

Shoe Hive
Doorbuster deals: Receive 30 percent off from 6 to 8 AM, 20 percent off from 8 to 10, and 10 percent for the rest of day. 6 AM to 7 PM. 127 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria.

Doorbuster deals: Storewide except for gift cards and designer jewelry at 40 percent for the first hour, 30 percent off for the second hour, and 20 percent off for the rest of the day through Monday. 9 AM. 7114 Bethesda La., Bethesda Row.

Hu’s Wear
The Deal: 30 to 50 percent off on fall merchandise. 10 AM to 7 PM. 2906 M St., NW.

Brooks Brothers
The deal: 20 percent off when using the Brooks Card or the Brooks Brothers Platinum MasterCard, 15 percent off with any other form of payment. Multiple area locations.

Alton Lane
The deal: cocktail and suiting specials up to 40 percent off, plus surprise deals throughout the day. 1506 19th St., NW.

Posted at 03:35 PM/ET, 11/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Bloggers, junior fashionistas, and trendsetters celebrated the launch of the rent-to-wear boutique. By Kate Bennett
Rent the Runway's Georgetown store. Photograph by Joy Ascio.

If you spotted more stylish young women than usual in Georgetown Monday night, odds are they were headed to the packed VIP opening party for the new Rent the Runway boutique on M Street. After doing a buildout on the 4,000-square-foot space, RTR's founders, Jenn Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, invited several dozen guests to toast the launch of their first cohesive brick-and-mortar location. "We found that Washington is an incredibly important market for Rent the Runway," says Hyman. "It's first when it comes to brand awareness, and second, behind New York, in membership."

For the uninitiated—though we assume if you're reading Shop Around and live in DC, you are already initiated—Rent the Runway is an online market for dresses and accessories to rent for a handful of days, and then return, all for a fraction of the retail price. Most dresses rent for $75 to $250. The Georgetown store operates under that same principle: Nothing here is for sale, only for rent. "In addition to walk-in shoppers, for a $25 fee, customers can even book an appointment to come in and work directly with a stylist to find the perfect outfit," says Fleiss, who started Rent the Runway with Hyman five years ago.

"Our customers are professional, educated, go-getters," explains Hyman of the Washington client. "They need to optimize their time, while still thinking about every outfit for every occasion, and they need to do it in a smart way."

With the new spot, you can call, tell the stylist you have to be at a wedding in two weeks and have no clue what to wear—it happens—book an appointment, and arrive to have 15 dresses and coordinating accessories waiting for you to try on, in dressing rooms with flattering, adjustable lighting systems. "It's no muss, no fuss," says Fleiss, "but it's also really fun."

The store is designed for comfortable lounging, with the most space dedicated to the trying-on area. There's plenty of seating for friends, lots of well-lit displays of chunky necklaces (a Washington-girl-about-town staple), and more than 25 staff members to fulfill your fashion needs. And if you can't find what you're looking for inside the boutique, there are still the 80,000-odd dresses from more than 270 designers at Rent the Runway's headquarters and shipping department.

"I think what's nice is that it started as getting off-the-runway, real fashion and collections, at all price points," says designer Christian Siriano, who attended the opening party, and whose designs have been carried via Rent the Runway since its inception. "It's something for every girl, and that was always the goal."

Rent the Runway. 3336 M St., NW; 202-774-5380.

Photograph by Joy Ascio.
Jenn Hyman, Christian Siriano, and Jenny Fleiss at Rent the Runway's opening in Georgetown. Photograph by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Rent the Runway.
Photograph by Joy Ascio.

Posted at 03:18 PM/ET, 11/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get details on the professional-wear brand's pop-up shop, open in DC through the weekend. By Kay Wicker
Photograph courtesy of MM. LaFleur.

Women’s professional wear brand MM. LaFleur has set up a pop-up shop in Washington this week, running through the weekend. This week Washingtonians will be treated to a sneak peek of the brand’s premier outerwear line as well as special events happening nearly every day of the pop-up’s run. We were able to catch the brand’s coufounder Sarah LaFleur during her busy week for a quick Q&A. Read on to learn about how the women of DC, a city she called home briefly during her more formative years, have inspired and shaped her views on fashion.

Why DC for a pop-up shop?

We felt a lot of love from DC—though that isn’t to say we don’t feel the love from other cities. LA is a great market for us, but there’s also a lot of fashion activity going on in LA; the same could be said of New York. We wanted to do something a little bit different, and DC has the potential to be very fashionable.

What events are happening in conjunction with the shop?

Thursday we have an event called Women in News that features Betsy Fischer Martin, formerly of Meet the Press, and CNN's Elise Labott. On Friday we have a Women in Entrepreneurship evening, featuring Mrs. Nobuko Sasae, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to the US. I will be speaking, as well. It’s a pick-your-flavor pop-up store.

What items should we expect to see?

It’s the first time we are launching coats to the public. (We’ve only been on presale to our VIP customers.) This is the first time anyone will be seeing them. We’re also releasing a lot of our holiday gifts baskets. We have a professional woman’s gift basket. It’s a really cute case made out of beautiful coating fabric, and inside it has everything from stain remover to hand cream and sewing kits—anything that a professional woman would need. We also have beautiful pieces of jewelry. We tend to do more subdued, elegant jewelry that you could wear any day, but we’re releasing kind of bigger pieces that are perfect for the holiday season. They’re just beautiful, beautiful pieces of jewelry that are under $200, so very accessible, as well.

What about those rumors claiming you’re looking to stay here permanently?

[Laughs] That’s definitely a rumor that has legs. We are looking into a few places. We love our DC customers, and they seem to love us. In fact, they’re our second biggest market outside of New York, which caught us by surprise. We thought it might be LA or San Francisco or Chicago, but it turns out it's DC, and by a long shot. So we have a lot of love for DC. We’d love to be on the ground here.

Why do you think the Washington woman loves MM. LaFleur?

Ninety-nine percent of why our customers love our product so much is because they can see the high-end tailoring. It’s very simple things, like seams. We tend to not do side seams, which is basically a seam that runs down the side of your dress. Instead of two seams, we try to do four, which creates a more three-dimensional dress so that curves fit nicely. You don’t have to be a flat, thin person. I think Miyako Nakamura, my designer, has been able to bring a lot of thoughtful architectural elements into her design. What we hear from customers so often is that it looks like just a simple dress, and it’s not until you put it on that you realize how much thought has gone into it. With professional wear you can’t really do anything too crazy, so it’s really the simple details that can elevate a dress.

How has women’s professional wear evolved?

I think people are showing more of their personality. I think about when I was working in consulting and “leaning in” hadn’t really started as movement. In the past four years we saw so many conversations happening, and it’s funny because clothing hasn’t really taken center stage. I think the conversation about clothing is just starting to happen. I think a lot of people shy away from it—they think it’s too trivial, and they want to be taken seriously. But the truth is clothing actually matters a lot, and clothing choices reflect what you stand for and how you want to be perceived. So I think a lot of women are starting to think more about it, and getting bolder with their choices, more demanding. They don’t want to wear the same boring suit or the same kind of pants. They are looking for more options, and hopefully that’s where we come in.

What do you think of Washington style?

I have to say, the customers I’ve met from DC are very stylish—they care about good taste, and they care about good fashion. I’m inspired every time I come down to DC. There are all these hardworking women who are trying to make it in whatever industry they’re in, and they want clothes that reflect that. And I’m sure whether it’s House of Cards or Scandal, those shows play a role, too. You know, She works so hard and she looks so good. I think a lot of women want to feel that way—especially when you’re at work for 12 hours a day and that’s so much of who you are as a person. My DC customers are really inspiring, very fashionable, and not schlumpy in the least!

You spent some time here during your youth. What fashion inspiration did you take away?

My mother is a huge, huge inspiration—I named the company after her. Her nickname was Mm. She was kind of always in the limelight, being my grandfather’s daughter [he served as Prime Minister of Japan from 1991 to 1993], so she needed a lot of clothes that made the transition from day to night, from the office to a cocktail party or a reception. I grew up watching her getting dressed for work every day, and that was the kind of essence I wanted to exude with my brand: that these are women doing lots of interesting things, going from one place to another.

MM. LaFleur pop-up. District Architecture Center, 421 Seventh St., NW. Wednesday through Friday noon to 8, and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5.

Posted at 02:32 PM/ET, 11/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Richmond-based menswear brand sets up shop in time for the holidays. By Kay Wicker
Photograph courtesy of Ledbury.

When you're finalizing your shopping list this holiday season, make sure to add Ledbury: The Georgetown store has opened its seasonal pop-up shop on Wisconsin Avenue for the second time. The brand kicked things off with a private launch party Thursday, featuring craft cocktails created by James Kohler.

In addition to running for a bit longer than last year (just a little over two months this time) the Georgetown pop-up offers three shirts sold exclusively in-house. Two flannels and one twill-brushed shirt, each inspired by the nation’s capital and the men who call it home, complete the line. Ledbury’s driving force has always been its customers, which is reflected in this year’s store theme: a quail hunt the brand hosted for its top customers last month.

Throughout the holiday season there will be several store events, such as a “sips, snacks, and stocking stuffers” session during the weekend of December 20 for last-minute holiday shoppers. Keep a close watch on the brand for announcements about other potential events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

The Ledbury pop-up shop. 1254 Wisconsin Ave., NW. Open Sunday through Friday 11 to 7 and Saturday 11 to 8, through January 25.

Posted at 12:49 PM/ET, 11/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()