Indie boutiques and Target don’t have to be enemies, at least not as the mega-retailer launches its second The Shops collaboration Sunday. Merch from a quartet of born-in-the-U.S. stores include a patriotic cutting board by San Francisco’s Curiosity Shoppe (shown, $25), a bird lamp by Boston’s Patch NYC ($50) and Manhattan fashion power Kirna Zabete’s leopard-print trench ($60).
No matter where you stand politically, at least make sure your legs are moisturized while you ponder the issues. Bliss Spa’s new Eau-lection Face Off Creams combat dry skin in such fair and balanced scents as the citrus-laced O-bama or the invigorating Mint Romney. Vote for your preferred scent and receive it free with any website purchase over $50 (Blissworld.com).
Not since swapping whole milk for skim have we gotten so many compliments on our waists, thanks be to Jon Wye, the D.C. leather craftsman and Eastern Market legend. His latest, limited-edition collection of unisex striped belts (only 200 available!) are a grown-up spin on the zombie and sea monster designs he is loved for ($75, Jonwye.com or Sat.-Sun., Eastern Market, 225 7th St. SE).
Capitol Hill is known for vintage lawmakers, not vintage clothing boutiques. Enter Butler and Claypool, a secondhand showroom curated by a rat pack of local style hounds. Arrange a viewing by phone or email (202-509-3873; firstname.lastname@example.org) at the apartment/shop and have your pick of reasonably priced Western-inspired worn-in leather cowboy boots and precious Pollyanna-style 1960s dresses.
Kidnapping a Venetian grandmother — or Mario Batali — is not only illegal, it’s also not necessary to guarantee a delish noodle dinner, thanks to Marinelli’s new pasta sauces ($10 each, Whole Foods). Such flavors as Mushroom Softrito, Spicy Peproncino Arrabiatta and plain-Giovanna marina smack of fresh ingredients but won’t overwhelm starches from agnolotti to ziti.