Once upon a time, I owned a boutique on 14th Street so I have a special space in my heart for these smaller retail destinations that specialize in the special. Today, as a personal stylist/shopper, I start my clients off with a strong foundation of wardrobe essentials. Once we get you those wardrobe “building blocks,” it’s time to round it out with unique pieces that are going to truly speak to your personal style. One way to find those types of pieces is to shop boutiques. Check out our boutique shopping pro, Jenn Barger’s roundup of the best and brightest new shops in the DC area.
There are local boutiques where I’ve been snapping up clothes and shoes for years. (Hello, Georgetown’s Hu’s Shoes) and Dupont Circle’s Proper Topper!) But when an interesting new shop opens, it’s like making a new friend. Here are the latest additions to my circle:
1666 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC (www.emporiumdna.com)
Like a splash of South Beach in D.C., this mini department store offers up bright, sometimes tight party and work wear by the likes of Yumi Kim,Clover Canyon. and Parisian-cool label IRO (think a shredded, slouchy T-shirt, $137). There’s a Rebecca Minkoff shop-within-a-shop too, which means shoes and bags with that downtown edge.
Celebs who’d shop here: Kardashian sibs, Georgetown socialites.
2910 District Avenue #150 Fairfax, VA 22031 (www.shopanthom.com)
This Mosaic District cool kid — the bricks-and-mortar locale for a local webtique traffics in up-and-coming clothing, jewelry and shoes brands, some of them local. The gallery-like digs (brass fixtures, pale wood wall accents) set off pieces like Samantha Pleet’s easy dresses ($248) and Miista’s sandals in this summer’s got-to-have-it white ($165).
Celebs who’d shop here: Alexa Chung, Chloe Sevigny
320 Prince St, Alexandria, VA 22314 (www.saracampbellwebsite.com)
Ladylike frocks made in the U.S. headline at this Old Town newbie, a branch of a small East Coast chain. In a yellow, Victorian storefront decked out like a seaside house with striped walls and cabana-like dressing rooms, expect pretty cubicle-to-cocktail dresses like a linen, daisy-appliqued shift ($200) plus breezy accessories including bangles and straw bags.
Celeb who’d shop there: Michelle Obama— just think of the great press she’d get for wearing American-made merch!
3307-B M St. NW Washington, DC (www.calypsostbarth.com)
I don’t live on a Caribbean island, (sadly), but the clothes at D.C.’s first outpost of this small chain certainly make me feel like a boho beach babe. The white-on-pale décor at the Georgetown storefront sets off vacation-ready finds like gauzy dresses, pretty embellished sandals and the floppy straw hat you’ll need to wear for a weekend in Bermuda. Oh, and there are exotic housewares like Moroccan leather poufs, too.
Celebs who’d shop there: Rachel Zoe, Heidi Klum
2001 13th ST NW (13th & U) Washington D.C (www.rosiesandrockers.com)
Channel your inner Debbie Harry on a non-rock star budget at this second-story Shaw boutique, where a jamming soundtrack and groovy art on the walls keeps the vibe cool. Both women’s and men’s pieces line the loft-like space, and for chicks, we liked the rockabilly-inspired frocks ($72, ) and Hella’s Stevie Nicks-esque maxi skirt printed with magical symbols ($58).
Celebs who’d shop here: Anyone with a microphone and/or a guitar.
Post by Jennifer Barger (www.jennbarger.com, @dcjnell)