Another spring, another successful night of shopping, cocktails, and good causes at the District Sample Sale. On Tuesday night at Washington’s favorite semiannual shopping event, such boutiques as Propper Topper, Hysteria, Wink, Urban Chic, Rue 14, Sassanova, Sherman Pickey, and Lettie Gooch set up makeshift changing rooms and clothing racks to hold the remaining winter merchandise and a sneak peak at spring collections. Recession be damned, some shoppers walked out of the event with five or six bags of shoes, jewelry, and dresses that were up to 75 percent off.
A Cause Worth Spending For
Run by the District Sample Sale Foundation, the event donates proceeds to a new Washington-based charity each go-around. This spring, the benefactor was CityDance Early Arts, a program that offers free after-school dance classes and performances to underprivileged youth. Liberty Jones, a founder of the event, was excited for the cause: “It’s great to work with a smaller, community-based cause—we know exactly who our donation is affecting.”
New Additions This Year
The Bethesda boutique Daisy Too debuted its three-week-old couture-consignment collection, which includes vintage Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton bags as well as high-end dresses, blouses, and coats. Three adorable Baltimore boutiques (Cupcake, Babe, and Poppy & Stella) also had well-scoured stalls.
Tweet All About It
The Georgetown-based store Propper Topper proved social media is a powerful shopping tool with its use of Twitter-exclusive sales and giveaways. Followers of the store snagged free totes, earrings, and silk clutches.
Caught Them Shopping
As expected, this see-and-be-seen social event attracted its fair share of local notables: Rumored Real Housewives of DC star Mary Amons, wearing a fitted Black Halo sheath, shared a laugh with her husband—and Washingtonian Style Setter—Rich Amons, while their daughter Lolly perused the buffet; Glamazon Diaries blogger Makeda Saggau-Sackey snapped pictures; USA Today fashion writer Rebecca Heslin wore yellow and black; and former Miss DC Kate Michael stopped for a friendly chat with several shoppers. Fashion Washington editor Betsy Lowther arrived late and went straight to the sales: “I get anxious seeing so many bags walk by! I keep thinking, ‘Did they get something I missed?’ ”
The Food! The Food!
Sweetgreen, Occasions Caterers, Guarapo, and Peacock Cafe offered wraps, bite-size sandwiches, and salmon skewers, while Georgetown Cupcake and the chocolate lounge Co Co. Sala handled the sweets—we loved the latter’s strawberry-cheesecake lollipops. Drinks included a mojito bar, Absolut Berry cocktails with açai and pineapple, and Champagne.
Deals You Missed Out On
Though many of the sales left something to be desired, we did manage to find a few great steals. At Urban Chic: a $32 backless, burgundy body-con dress by Free People and an elegant tie-neck Diane von Furstenburg blouse, down to $77 from $225. Simply Soles had $75 Tory Burch moccasins, Rue 14 sold $60 mod 213 Industry shifts, and Fornash had Kenneth Jay Lane-inspired animal bangles for $30. Silent-auction items included a contemporary Marc Jacobs leather handbag, lunch for four at the wine bar Proof, and a membership to the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s hip 1869 Society. The K Street salon One80 gave free hair makeovers, while a nearby lipstick bar provided shoppers with the opportunity to try out makeup from a new, exclusive line called Le Metier.
“We like to think of it as a boutique experience plus,” said Jones. With discount shopping, a wonderful charity, cocktails, cupcakes, music, and grade-A people-watching, we can’t help but agree.