Six Special Stores
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The Dandelion Patch
This stationery store has invitations for any event. Employees will help you navigate brands such as Anna Griffin, Vera Wang, and Crane’s, and the store offers engraving, thermography, and letterpress printing. Still can’t find what you want? Custom work is available, plus there are do-it-yourself options. You can also find good gifts for baby showers, holidays, and housewarming parties.
111 Church St., NW, Suite 101, Vienna; 703-319-9099; thedandelionpatch.com.
The Freeman Store
This old-time general store looks much as it did when it opened in 1859. The emphasis is on simple pleasures, evident in a candy counter that stocks butterscotch and cinnamon sticks for a quarter and rock candy for 75 cents. The kids’ section carries wooden toy trains, Chinese finger traps, and books on how to make hand shadows. History buffs will find books about local history and lore. If the shop’s not busy, customers are welcome to go upstairs for a self-guided tour of the building’s 19th-century living quarters. The store is open Wednesday through Sunday.
131 Church St., NE, Vienna; 703-938-5187; historicviennainc.org.
Pear Tree Cottage
Need a bridal-shower or housewarming gift? This tiny home-goods store is brimming with options, some in a French-country style. The merchandise includes whimsical wineglasses, carved wooden serving spoons, wall art, vintage lamps, and a few antiques. There are also votive candles, lotions, and scented oils. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
130 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; 703-938-1331; thepeartreecottage.com.
There’s something for the whole family at this Lilly Pulitzer shop. Head to the back for a small selection of preppy boys’ clothes plus a larger stock of dresses, skirts, sweaters, and tops for girls. Men can peruse a shelf of bow ties and boxers while women browse the dresses, slacks, and sweaters. The many accessories include Vineyard Vines totes and headbands.
6647 Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-556-8750; thepinkpalm.net.
Smith’s of Bermuda
Ladies can find good daywear at this McLean boutique, which pairs classic staples with trendy accents. Popular labels include Brighton, French Dressing, Conrad C., and Tommy Bahama. Multitaskers can gift-shop, too—there’s a small selection of stuffed animals for kids plus seasonal home decor and cute hostess gifts.
6651 Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-556-4930.
This McLean shop is a good stop for wedding and housewarming gifts. The biggest draws are the hand-painted Herend china and figurines from Hungary, but there are also Baccarat and Moser crystal, Mariposa serveware and platters, and elizabethW candles and bath salts. Gift ideas abound for dog lovers—pillows, cookie jars, coasters.
1319 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; 703-790-5649; squirechase.com.
Like to go antiquing? Vienna and McLean are good stops for unique finds.
Thieves Market Antiques (6811 Old Dominion Dr., McLean; 703-360-4200; thievesmarketantiques.com) is a grab bag: Its wide selection includes home decor, jewelry, and collectibles as well as Oriental rugs, glassware, porcelain, knickknacks, and books.
Twig House (134 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; 703-255-4985) is a tiny shop that carries a well-chosen assortment of antiques. Owner Pat Bechtold gets almost everything she sells—from vases to wall art to furniture—from auctions. Shoppers might find good-condition furniture from the 1950s or a pewter wall piece from 19th-century France. Twig House is open only from 9 to noon on Thursday and by appointment. The best items go fast, so get there early.
McLean’s East & Beyond (6727 Curran St.; 703-448-8200; eandbeyond.com) is the place to go for Asian furniture and decor. It stocks pieces from China, Japan, and Korea that date back as far as 200 ad. Owners Joe and Mary Arnold travel to Asia a few times a year and bring back objects ranging from traditional porcelain and carved jade figurines to hand-painted sideboards and armoires. Open Tuesday through Saturday, the store offers free delivery in the Washington area and a 30-day return policy.
Lots of Finds in Tysons
With three malls and hundreds of stores, the Tysons Corner area is one of the region’s top shopping destinations. Here are highlights:
Tysons Corner Center
1961 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; shoptysons.com
Trendy twentysomethings head to Cusp, a Neiman Marcus boutique aimed at edgier shoppers. Just look at the mannequins: You might see a mini-dress by Nanette Lepore, motorcycle boots by Sergio Rossi, or a red leather shoulder bag by Kooba.
Free People, part of the Anthropologie/Urban Outfitters empire, caters to an eclectic crowd. The store’s Bohemian-chic style means lots of layers and accessories—ripped jeans, crocheted tops, chunky jewelry. Free People carries some well-known brands, such as Levi’s, and stocks its own labels.
Madewell is a J. Crew spinoff that emphasizes denim. The women’s store stocks jeans in several washes and cuts—from the slouchy “ex-boyfriend” to the painted-on skinny ankle. It also sells tops, shoes, and accessories.
Department-store lovers have their pick of three at Tysons Corner Center. Bloomingdale’s attracts shoppers looking for designer labels such as Diane von Furstenberg and Theory, while Macy’s customers are drawn to the chain’s solid housewares selection. At Nordstrom, it’s the good customer service and the robust—yet well-edited—shoe department that bring shoppers back. Men’s, women’s, and kids’ feet can all be outfitted nicely here with the best that Jimmy Choo and Ecco have to offer.
2001 International Dr., McLean; tysonsgalleria.com
7 for All Mankind isn’t just for jeans anymore. The brand now makes handbags, shoes, and casualwear for men, women, and kids. Denim is still its bread and butter, though—the label has cuts and washes for style mavens of all ages.
Salvatore Ferragamo is the place to go for luxury shoes and handbags. The late Italian designer’s legacy lives on with his namesake brand, known for its good-quality, innovative pieces for men and women.
Other high-end designers have found homes at Tysons Galleria, too. Versace caters to a glamorously over-the-top crowd, while Chanel, known for its handbags, makes more wearable looks. Head to Cartier to finish an outfit with a bit of functional bling.
With the recent shuttering of its Chevy Chase store, the Max Mara in Tysons is the only one in the area. The shop supplies Washington women with stylish day and evening wear, handbags, and accessories.
Stuart Weitzman’s shoes run the gamut from statement pieces—think thigh-high leopard-print boots—to office-appropriate footwear for women. The nearby Swiss outfit Bally stocks shoes for men and women plus a good selection of handbags.
Gucci-owned Bottega Veneta sells ready-to-wear men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, and other accessories. Look for the brand’s signature woven-leather detailing on handbags, shoes, and belts.
Men and women can be outfitted in the Burberry signature tartan print, which appears on clothing, scarves, umbrellas, and more. But the store also has subtler options, such as trench coats in black and tan, striped knit sweaters, and even stonewashed denim.
Tumi is good for serious travelers; it has luggage, passport cases, garment bags, and products to streamline packing. Briefcases and laptop carriers marked with the T-Pass label are carryon-friendly—they meet airport security requirements, so computers don’t need to be removed for scanning.
The Shops at Fairfax Square
8045, 8065, and 8075 Leesburg Pike, Vienna; theshopsatfairfaxsquare.com
It’s all about leather and the label at Gucci. The handbags and shoes are perhaps the most popular items, but Gucci also sells sunglasses, wallets, luggage, and fragrance.
Washington women flock to Hermès of Paris—the only outlet of the brand in the area—for perennially fashionable stitched-leather handbags and silk scarves. Hermès is famous for keeping waiting lists for its highly coveted items, including the Birkin handbag, which starts at around $5,000.
Need another handbag fix? Head to Louis Vuitton, the French fashion house famous for its gold monogram. The Vienna store carries a good selection of handbags, accessories, and shoes for men and women.
For a home that needs a French-country touch, Pierre Deux is a good stop. The store carries everything from rustic scalloped sofas to country-toile wallpaper. For pets, there are French-inspired beds, collars, and water bowls.
Brides can get a complete look at Priscilla of Boston, which carries the brand’s namesake line as well as Melissa Sweet, Platinum, Vineyard, and Reverie collections. Also in stock are accessories such as tiaras, jewelry, gloves, veils, and shoes.