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 (and today-check out Svetlana’s TOP 11 Things You Need To Look Rested Even If You Haven’t Slept In 5 Years list on their homepage). Bonus Note-all the places have online shopping too. We kick things off with:
OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA (click ehre for a handy map):
Highly historic, supremely strollable, and studded with quaint boutiques, this charming, cobblestoned Virginia community is only a few miles from the bustle of DC—but feels light years away. (feature image via Pretty People Vintage)
- Bellacara (www.bellacara.com) – 1000 King St, 703-299-9652
Right in the thick of the King Street shopping stretch is this expertly-stocked beauty boutique. Founded by a onetime district attorney, the soothing, spa-like space is brimming with hard-to-find makeup and skincare products from names like Fresh, Smashbox, Tocca, Mario Badescu, and Deborah Lippmann (whose brightly-hued, seemingly chip-proof polishes are a cult favorite).
- Bishop Boutique (www.bishopboutique.com) –815-B King Street, 571-312-0042
Owner Kelly Frenec, a former Martha Stewart editor, has a finely-tuned eye for design, which is as apparent in welcoming country-cottage décor of her shoe and accessories shop as it is in her edit of modern-meets-feminine footwear. Expect picks from Loeffler Randall, Nanette Lepore and LK Bennett (whose Kate-Middleton-favored patent “Sledge” pump is currently flying off the shelves).
- Hysteria (www.shophysteria.com)-125 S. Fairfax St., 703-548-1615
For more than a decade, women have flocked from all over the District to this townhouse boutique for enduring wardrobe essentials. Tory Burch embroidered tunics, MZ Wallace nylon carryalls, and sailor-stripe Autumn Cashmere sweaters are perennial favorites—and perfectly illustrate Hysteria’s standout strength: its consistent offering of virtually seasonless pieces.
- Periwinkle (www.periwinkleshop.com)-1557 Potomac Greens Dr., 703-519-5242
With a name that conjures up sweetness and light, it’s no surprise that this upbeat shop, located just north of Old Town, specializes in colorful, print-splashed pieces. Part of a local chainlet—each location features periwinkle-painted walls & lavish Murano chandeliers—the original Alexandria spot is particularly plentiful, with weathered-wood racks full of Trina Turk, Shoshanna, Tracy Reese and Yoana Baraschi.
- Pretty People Vintage (www.prettypeoplevintage.com)-108 N. Patrick St., 703-739-2522
Part of a rapidly-expanding stable of vintage stores helmed by local retailing legend Annie Lee (she’s also behind Georgetown’s legendary Annie Creamcheese), this cozy shop is still a secret of sorts. Tucked down a side street and packed with offbeat finds from the 1950s through ‘90s (hello, chambray Betty-Boop-print culottes and giant sphinx-head necklace), it’s well worth seeking out.
- Red Barn Mercantile (www.redbarnmercantile.com) – 1117 King St., 703-838-0355
Defined by an old fashioned general-store-inspired mix of antiques and modern-day décor, this lofty housewares destination is type of place you could easily get lost in for hours. And we did just that, sniffing grass-scented Tisane candles, flipping through a book dedicated to cake recipes that celebrate each US state, and wondering if that 100-year-old cranberry rake would work in our living room.
- Stuart Nordin (www.stuartnordin.com/shop )– 101 South Saint Asaph St., 571-357-1144
Just look for the bold striped awning and you’ll know you’ve arrived at this purveyor of impeccably-selected gifts and decorative goods. Owner/interior decorator Stuart Nordin, grew up on the very street the shop is on, and stocks the colonial-modern space with a curated assortment of little luxuries like ikat-print pillows, quartz chandelier earrings, antique barware, and glimmering geode chunks that would make excellent paperweights.
- The Shoe Hive (www.theshoehive.com) – 127 S. Fairfax St., 877-548-7106
Everyday-wearable statement shoes and accessories are the specialty at this Old Town favorite. From snakeskin Cynthia Vincent sandals to quilted French Sole ballet flats to rubber Hunter wellie-style rain flats, expect to find footwear that you’ll want to wear long after summer is over.
- Torpedo Factory (www.torpedofactory.org) –105 N. Union St., 703-838-4645
Located within a former ammunitions factory on Old Town’s historic waterfront is this multi-story gallery center, home to more than 80 working artist’s studios. Standout talents include classically-trained engraver Eric Margry, who, when he’s not doing work for the White House, hand-crafts heirloom-worthy family crest rings; Dawn Benedettos’s Poppi line of candy-colored glass-bead rings; and metalworker Dejan Jovonvich’s earthy oxidized silver and marbled-gold fine jewelry.
- Vintage Mirage (www.vintagemirage.com) –117 S. Columbus St., 703-535-8200
Roam from room to room in this centuries-old brick rowhouse and discover a museum-worthy, impeccably-preserved trove of vintage apparel and jewelry (we fell in love with the elaborately bejeweled brooches and Victorian lockets). Proprietor Elinor Coleman is often on hand to offering styling advice and period context for each of her pieces, and her enthusiasm for all things past-era is infectious.
Virtual Shopping Guide – Alexandria, Virginia (left—right): Bellacara – Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, $5.99 & Up; Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, $18 & Up; Bliss Ingrown Hair Eliminating Pads, $10 & Up; Bishop Boutique – Elaine Turner Kayla Black Wedge, $275; CC Skye Deco Bangles, $150; Jay Bee Run Bumblebee Ruing, $110; Hysteria – Scotch Naturals Nail Polish Canal Street Daisy, $14; Kai Body Lotion, $42; Sondra Roberts Laser Cut Tote in Bronze, $100; Periwinkle Shop – Yoana baraschi night/day party dress, $438; jwl fornash enamel bamboo bangle, $20; mudpie cooler tote, $33; Pretty People Vintage – Vintage Ladies Windowpane Check Pattern Knit Jacket, Sweater, $63; Vintage Ice Bucket, Champagne Cooler vintage MOD, $25; Cockatiel 1950s vintage oversized Parrot pin Brooch hand painted, $29; Red Barn Mercantile – Washington, D.C., Pillow, $170-$180; Mercury Glass Pendant Lamps, $65; Knot Door Stopper, $50; The Shoe Hive – KATE SPADE NEW YORK CHRISTY QUILTED SHOULDER BAG, $398; Gold Large Studded Hinge Cuff by Alexis Bittar, $225; Saskia by Asha by ADM Ring, $695; Paimyra by Jon Josef, $140; Stuart Nordin – Jonathan Adler Gold Piggy Bank, $168; Vintage AMF Bowling Pin, $45; Burrow & Hive Large Wings Pillow, $100; Illume Pineapple Cilantro Demi Boho Candle, $13; Torpedo Factory – Eric Margry 14k Yellow Gold ring Hand Engraved with Family Crest, $1,336 & Up; Dejan Jovanovic Spanish Steps III Ring, Price by Request; Dawn Benedetto moonscape petal sterling and glass ring, $72; Vintage Mirage – Whiting Davis Gold Mesh Chain Mail Purse, $210; Rosenfeld Blue Leather Purse, $175; Marian Haskell Long Necklace, $390;
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.