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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 ()
One weekend, two of our city's best shopping events. By Michelle Thomas
Last spring's Thread pop-up. Photograph by Leigh Vogel.

Get ready to shop: Next weekend, two of our favorite (and most reliably treasure-laden) shopping markets make their return to our city, right in time for the start of holiday gift-prep.

As part of Union Market's Fifth Street Folly weekend, curated retail event Thread returns for the third time, repeating its previous format—which last November pulled in more than 5,000 shoppers on each of its three days—by spotlighting a diverse lineup of national and local vendors that includes Southern-luxe designer Billy Reid alongside Washington-based brands such as DeNada, Matine, and Native Danger. One big difference this year: The market takes place in a new spot—the Maurice Electric Warehouse, just up the block and next the the Angelika pop-up.

So what's taking up Thread's previous space in the main building's Dock 5 space? That'd be Gilt's twice-yearly Warehouse Sale, a two-day ticketed shopping party formerly hosted at Long View Gallery. This year, the flash-sale site brings its discounted designer duds to Northeast. Along with cocktails, snacks, and music, you can expect to spy racks of clothing, shoes, bags, and home decor from big-ticket designers that include Helmut Lang, Zac Posen, Missoni, and more at discounts of up to 90 percent off. (Serious scores are practically guaranteed—in previous years, we've snagged pieces from Balenciaga, House of Harlow, and Pour la Victoire at major markdowns.) This year, the event will also host a special John Varvatos pop-up boutique with price cuts on fall and winter menswear. Tickets usually sell out fast—so get moving to snag one of the limited Friday-night entrance passes.

Thread. November 14, 1 to 6 PM; November 15, 10 AM to 6 PM; and November 16, 10 AM to 5 PM. Maurice Electric Warehouse, 500 Penn St., NE. Free.

Gilt City Warehouse Sale. November 14, 9:30 to 11:30 PM; November 15, 9 AM to 5 PM. Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 Fifth St., NE. $10 to $20 online.

Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 11/07/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
It’s a great gift for your worst enemy. By Benjamin Freed
Photograph via the NFL Shop.

It’s about that time of the year when people start shopping for holiday gifts. But if you’re hung up on what to buy for your arch-nemesis this year, the Washington NFL team’s got you covered. Enter the Robert Griffin III Ugly Sweater.

This garish rag, featuring the name and jersey number of Washington’s oft-injured quarterback against a festive burgundy-and-gold spew, goes for $84.95 from the NFL’s online store. Besides a wrap-around pattern of brightly colored footballs and the team’s racial slur of a name, the sweater also features sleeves adorned with the Native American graphic seen on Washington’s helmets.

Also, it’s made from acrylic, so in addition to being hideous and morally repugnant, it’s also highly flammable. The perfect gift for your worst enemy.

Posted at 05:40 PM/ET, 11/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The chain's Scandal-inspired line launched this week, just in time for Thursday's season premiere. By Kay Wicker
Image via the Limited's Facebook page.

In terms of Washington workwear inspiration, there are few better role models than fictional power dresser Olivia Pope of ABC's Scandal. Apparently the Limited agrees: The brand's show-inspired collection hit stores this week, just in time for tonight's fourth season premiere. Costume designer Lyn Paolo and actress Kerry Washington collaborated with the Limited to create the line, based on the designs for some of Olivia's iconic pieces—which means all those covetable tie-neck blouses, elegant trousers, wrap coats, double-breasted ivory jackets, and pastels can finally be yours. Best part: The (mostly) budget-friendly line starts at $49.50. Keep reading to see some of our favorites from the line, and pick up Washingtonian's October issue (on newsstands now!) for even more Olivia-inspired ensembles. 

From left: Double-Breasted Jacket, $168; and Livvy Slim Leg Ankle Pants, $98; Neck-Tie Blouse, $69.95 and Officer's Pencil Skirt, $79.95; Plaid Cape, $228; and Olivia Wide-Leg Trouser Pants, $98. 


From left: Epaulet Blouse, $69.95 and Liv Flare Leg Trouser Pants, $98; Black & White Sheath Dress, $128; Tulip Skirt Sheath Dress, $128 and Drape Collar Wrap Coat, $128.

For more fashion news and tips, follow Shop Around on Twitter at @shoparoundblog

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Posted at 04:14 PM/ET, 09/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your guide to this month's happenings. By Valeria Boucas
A rendering of the new C. Wonder store front at Tysons Corner. Photograph by C. Wonder.

Art of Style

The gentlemen behind DC’s most stylish startups, such as Stubble & ’Stache and Bull + Moose, have teamed up for a night of cocktails, style, and grooming (think barbers giving straight-razor shaves). Tickets can be purchased in advance through Eventbrite. September 176 to 10 PM. Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th St., NW.

Maison Martin Margiela's "Tabi Shoe-Maker" Exhibit at Relish

Famed fashion house Maison Martin Margiela will debut its retrospective “Tabi Shoe-Maker” at Relish boutique in Georgetown—the exhibit's first stop in America. The opening of the installation celebrates more than 25 years of Margiela’s iconic “Tabi” shoe. Held in the boutique’s lower level, the exhibit will be open to the public for two weeks. September 19, 10 AM to 6 PM every day except Sunday. Relish, 3312 Cady’s Alley, NW.

Outfitted x Chevrolet Shopping Experience

The LA-based traveling pop-up boutique teamed up with Chevrolet to bring together some of the city's most stylish brands in one place. Enjoy an afternoon of shopping while sipping complimentary cocktails, plus take advantage of styling sessions, a braid bar, and more. September 20, 1:30 to 6:30 PM. The Loft, 600 F St., NW. 

Forever 21 Grand Opening at Tysons Corner

The first 100 people to fete the newly remodeled store will receive a gift card with a value ranging from $10 to $210. A raffle will also offer one lucky winner the chance to take home a $1,000 prize. A deejay will keep shoppers entertained until 3 PM. September 20, 10 AM to 9:30 PM. Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., VA. 

Eileen Fisher's 30th-Anniversary Celebration

The modern-minimalist style lives on for this fashion house, celebrating three decades in business. Shoppers receive $30 off all purchases in stores and online Saturday, and 10 percent of the sale will go to a local charity partner that supports the empowerment of women and girls. In addition to music, fall fashion, and refreshments, you can also enter to win a $1,000 Eileen Fisher shopping spree. September 20, all day at Eileen Fisher retail and company stores.

C. Wonder's Denim Launch

C. Wonder will launch a denim collection this fall. C. Denim, which will be available online and at local retailers in Tysons Corner and Pentagon City, will debut with three signature styles—skinny, curvy, and skinny ankle with zip detail—and will range in price from $118 to $128. September 22, 10 AM to 9:30 PM. Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., VA.

Find Valeria Boucas on Twitter at @valeriaboucas.

Posted at 05:34 PM/ET, 09/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()