Our readers voted, and here are their picks for D.C.’s best shops.
Best local women’s clothing shop, best vintage clothing shop and best place to sell your old clothes
Multiple locations; currentboutique.com.
At Carmen Lopez’s second-hand boutiques, designs from Ann Taylor mingle with vintage pieces, high-fashion styles from Rebecca Taylor, Gucci and Chanel, and even a handful of new items. The diverse selections have one thing in common: “We’re looking for pieces your best friend would want to borrow,” says Lopez, who examines the quality, fabric and construction of the garments before putting them out for sale. Vintage-lovers should keep an eye out for high-quality (never polyester) dresses, blouses and purses from yesteryear, which are mixed in throughout the store. “We look for things that aren’t too costume-y that fit in with a modern lifestyle,” Lopez says. In exchange for your pre-loved, in-season item, Current will give you 50 percent of its price in cash or store credit when it sells. New this year: Current launched an online shop with free shipping for those who can’t make it into one of the four local brick-and-mortar boutiques. H.S.
Best local men’s clothing shop
The Tailored Man
5243 Duke St., Alexandria and 1750 Tysons Blvd., McLean, Va.; 703-751-7868, tailoredman.com.
When 60 percent of your business comes from referrals, you’re probably doing something right. The Tailored Man’s VP of Operations, S. Daswani, whose uncles founded the custom suit shop in 1969, knows one strategy that’s working: “Sometimes we offer scotch tastings with fittings.” Their selection draws sharp-dressed men, as well: On an average day, the shop has 3,000-5,000 fabrics at a range of prices, including some from prestigious brands like Holland & Sherry and Dormeuil. H.S.
Best local home store
Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot
1626 14th St. NW; 202-232-8171, misspixies.com.
It’s hard to miss the shocking pink storefront that announces Miss Pixie’s presence on 14th Street. That’s good: Washingtonians really shouldn’t miss Miss Pixie’s. The home furnishings store stocks an ever-changing mix of vintage furniture, artwork and curios with a decidedly whimsical vibe; recent additions include a repurposed church pew ($295) and a champagne holder shaped like a top hat ($55). “D.C. can be a little conservative,” owner Pixie Windsor says. “This is a good outlet for people to throw a little spice into the equation.” R.S.
Best local gift shop
Salt & Sundry
1309 Fifth St. NE; 202-556-1866, shopsaltandsundry.com.
Union Market’s anchor store might have been ripped from the world’s most perfect Pinterest board. The shop specializes in small-batch or handcrafted home goods — with a particular bent toward kitchenware — so it’s just the place to find a knick knack for your hippest friend: Perhaps Turkish hand towels ($20) for decorators, or a flask bearing the face of Abe Lincoln ($32) for pretty much anyone. Gourmands will appreciate the hot chili spears from the local canners at Gordy’s Pickle Jar ($11) or the wood-barrel-aged maple syrup ($18). This fall, Salt & Sundry heads to Northwest, with a new location just off 14th Street. L.M.
2nd: Foundation for the National Archives myArchives Museum Store, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room G12; 202-357-5271, myarchivesstore.org.
3rd: Chocolate Moose, 1743 L St. NW; 202-463-0992, chocolatemoosedc.com.
Best record store
2314 18th St. NW; 202-387-6274, smashrecords.com.
It would be unfair to classify Smash Records as just a record store, considering its selection of vintage clothes, buttons and other ephemera. But vinyl is still why most of the shop’s regulars drop by. The rock-centric Smash has a wide selection of new punk and hardcore LPs, and a constantly changing used section stocked with classic rock, reggae, metal and more. More importantly, you’re likely to walk out with something you wanted, in good condition and for a fair price. They also have a selection of cassettes, in case you recently dusted off that old Walkman. R.G.
2nd: CD Cellar, 2607 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-248-0635 and 709-B West Broad Street, Falls Church; 703-534-6318, cdcellarva.com.
3rd: Red Onion Records, 1901 18th St. NW; 202-986-2718, redonionrecords.com.
Read the rest of the Express Best of 2014 issue.