Shopper - Second Time Around in Washington

Sunday, December 7, 2008


The fashion industry loves a buzzword. Last year, it was green, green, green. This year, slimming wallets have renewed a focus on all things secondhand. Whether consigning, thrifting, eBaying or clothes swapping, these long-standing M.O.'s of stylish bargain seekers are having a necessary moment.

Second Time Around, the District's newest consignment boutique, opened just as the bandwagon was passing through, but the retailer isn't new to the secondhand scene. The shop is the latest offshoot of a 16-strong chain launched more than three decades ago in Boston.

At the Georgetown store, exceptionally organized racks are filled with deeply discounted duds from such runway legends as Prada, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent, alongside midrange boutique labels including Rozae Nichols, Beth Bowley and Karen Zambos. (And a healthy helping of such ubiquitous mega-brands as Banana Republic and Steve Madden, of course.) Prices average around a quarter to a third of the original retail cost, and the wares are marked down regularly.

Particularly notable is the extensive accessories collection; watch for designer leather bags in great condition and nearly immaculate footwear with interesting details. Among the goodies on a recent trip: a black bowler's bag from Longchamp's Cosmos fall collection, bejeweled turquoise Marc Jacobs ballet flats and silver-and-black patent gladiator sandals from Modern Vintage.

Stylish stuff, and nearly all of it culled straight from the District's own fashionable closets. "Each store in each neighborhood fits the people that live in it," owner Jeff Casler says. "Our store is defined by the community."

-- Michelle Thomas

These items are from Second Time Around (3289 M St. NW, 202-333-2355,

Vintage Evening Coat

The store focuses on modern styles, but there are some vintage exceptions, such as this 1960s emerald brocade jacket ($37) with a charming rosette closure.

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