Over the next few weeks, we’ve partnered with one of our favorite shopping sites BESO.COM to bring you these EXTREMELY handy DC area shopping guides (and NYC area shopping guides, for that matter) just in time for all those new Spring things you NEED TO HAVE (check out OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA guide here). Bonus Note-all the places have online shopping too. This week we handle:
The 14TH AND U STREET CORRIDORS – click here for a handy map
Over the past decade, a retail renaissance has emerged along these two intersecting arteries in the heart of the city. We’ve enlisted CALLIOPE CARTER to canvass the boutique-laden streets of this Washington, DC neighborhood and report back with her finds.
1. Current Boutique www.currentboutique.com
1809 14th St NW, 202-588-7311
With the endless whirl of social engagements in DC, it’s no surprise that there’s a plentitude of consignment stores that cater to frequent party-goers. Local chainlet Current is our favorite of the bunch for its thoroughly modern, closet-friendly approach to retail: It mixes together both resale and new clothing, and so on-trend is the overall selection—be it an Alice & Olivia cocktail dress or a pair of Kate Spade kitten-heel pumps—it’s impossible to tell the gently-worn from the boxfresh.
2. Foundry www.foundrybyfreeman.com
1522 U St. NW, 202-599-0636
Interior designer Yvette Freeman has made a name for herself developing sought-after condos throughout DC’s hippest neighborhoods, so her foray into retail, with this Parisian-antique-market inspired décor shop, was a natural progression. Her lofty space is merchandised into elaborately themed arrangements, which range from storied country villa (old steamer trunks, rough-hewn clay vessels, cordovan-leather sling chairs) to girly city atelier (tiered bonbon stands, tufted chairs, silver trophy cups).
1428 U St. NW, 202-986-3640
No short text blurb can adequately do this captivating urban mercantile justice, so you’ll have to trust that a visit is an experience not to be forgotten. DC natives Anna and Dan Kehoe routinely trawl the globe for homegrown treasures both new and old—parchment-paper globes, juniper-scented soaps, hopsack dish towels, fern-printed dishware, earthy jewelry—to bring back and arrange into fantastically-inspiring vignettes that make you feel as if you’re stepping into a rustic world of yesteryear.
4. Home Rule www.homerule.com
1807 14th St. NW, 202-797-5544
One glance at the electric-blue and lime green façade of this kitchen goods shop, and you’ll get a good sense of the vibe inside: offbeat, colorful and no-holds-barred. Packed to the gills with more home problem solvers than we knew imaginable—with most under $50—it’s impossible to leave without a bagful of things you never knew you needed like an egg timer with feet, Crayola-bright ceramic chef’s knives, or a flashlight so flat it practically fits in your wallet.
5. Legendary Beast www.legendarybeast.com
1520 U St. NW, 202-797-1234
Tucked away on the top floor of an old-fashioned rowhouse, this antique jewelry shop is a best-kept local secret. And as you wander its jewel-tone-painted rooms, poking through endless cases of 1960s pendant necklaces, knuckle-dusting cocktail rings, and gem-encrusted brooches, it truly feels like you’ve made your own discovery. Adding to the shop’s exclusivity: it’s only open Friday through Sunday.
6. Muleh www.muleh.com
1831 14th St NW, 202-667-3440
Cavernous yet warmly welcoming, this inventive shop–the name means “to come home” in Javanese–combines sustainable furnishings with quietly elegant clothing and accessories. Shopping the store almost feels like wandering a chic friend’s house, starting with a living room filled with reclaimed Balinese teak couches, wandering into a bedroom complete with woven coconut-leaf furniture, and winding up in the retail equivalent of a massive closet filled with clothing by MM6 Martin Margiela and Ports 1961, Mulberry bags, and Lizzie Fortunato jewelry.
7. Redeem www.redeemus.com
1734 14 St. NW, 202-332-7447
Dark, dramatic clothing with an urban twist—along with requisite denim—is found in abundance at this neighborhood favorite. The labels on offer, many of which are emerging and exclusive to Redeem in the DC area, have suitably edgy names like Wolverine, Feral Childe, and Vanishing Elephant. Even the grooming products have a rebellious spirit: the CB I Hate Perfume line of scents features exotic notes, like smoke and bourbon.
8. Rue 14 www.rue14.com
803A 14th St. NW, 202-462-6200
After honing their skills in NYC fashion-industry gigs at Ralph Lauren and Theory, husband-and-wife team Jiwon Paik-Nguyen and Andrew Nguyen packed up and moved to the District to open this eminently shoppable clothing boutique. The pair knows exactly what both men and women want, and it shows in their democratic selection, which includes accessible picks from Marc by Marc Jacobs, J Brand, Engineered Garments, and Will Leather Goods.
1843 14th St. NW, 202-506-6908
DC does not lack for vintage stores, but the key is knowing the standouts, of which Treasury is an undisputed leader. Its strength is in its phenomenal edit: The shop features only the best of the best (no claustrophobic, overly-packed racks here), and the selection, which includes pastel cardigans, straw boater hats, and delicate lockets, strikes the perfect balance between retro and modern.
Beso.com is the site devoted to shopping ideas and style inspiration, which pairs stories created by a community of editors and guest editors (hailing from Lucky, DailyCandy, and more!), picks from the community, and access to millions of products from tens of thousands of the web’s best stores. Thanks to their just-launched sister coupon site, Robot Oatmeal, you’ll always find a great deal, too.