See LBD Always Okay; Color, Lace, Patterns Make You Fashion Forward from Kate on Monday… and Let’s Get Some Shoes (and Bags): Check Local Boutiques for Holidays from Laura on Wednesday.
New Year’s is the one night of the year when it matters most to look your best. The more sartorially-minded among us recognize that where you are, who you’re with, and what you wear when the ball drops set the tone for the entire year to come.
After Christmas shopping and time off of work, you might not be able to justify splurging on a new outfit for one night out. If that’s the case, try dressing up your basic, go-to party outfit with distinctive jewelry and bold accessories.
Think of jewelry and accessories as smaller investments with potentially bigger returns than a pricey pair of heels or designer dress. The right necklace, colorful belt or pair of vintage gloves will make you stand out in the crowd on New Year’s Eve and could even become your new signature piece in 2012.
Current Boutique, 1809 14th Street NW. At Current Boutique, gold, dangly earrings ($25.95 – $35.00) have been selling quickly this holiday season. The store also features statement necklace ($48 – $62) and a pair of elbow-length black glove with crystal embellishment – ladylike charm meets New Year’s bling.
Some of the pieces are less unique, but they are also less than expensive than the handmade items at some other boutiques in the neighborhood.
As a cheaper option, you can buy someone this season’s trendier jewelry and accessories without having to worry that they might get lost on the dance floor somewhere between 2011 and 2012.
Ginger Root Design, 1530 U Streeet NW, Basement. Ginger Root Design is the perfect place to pick up one-of-a-kind jewelry. The boutique focuses on local artists with unique designs. For New Year’s, Ginger Root’s staff pointed me toward sparkling rings and pendant necklaces by Rachel Pfeffer ($92 – $173). Pfeffer works with materials like amethyst, pyrite, and drusy.
Large, geometric earrings by Jennifer Jeremias ($65 – $90) were another stand-out. These handmade metal earrings look delicate, but are durable enough to take the wear-and-tear of fighting the New Year’s crowds. Finally, tangled metallic necklaces by Lauren Joan ($120 -$150) tie any look together and are appropriate for any occasion – from a night out on the town to a big meeting with your boss at the office.
Junction, 1510 U St NW. A wall display at this vintage boutique showcases several classic holiday styles with on-trend accents. Store Manager Megan Gay highlighted a few key pieces that compliment a vintage-inspired ’50s silhouette and could add a retro touch to a contemporary outfit.
Like other neighborhood stores, Junction’s display of evening gloves suggests the ‘evening glove’ comeback. From black and wrist-length to winter white and elbow-length, gloves are easy and affordable ($28 – $36) items to add a bit of elegance to your look.
Gay also recommended the store’s selection of gold and emerald vintage jewelry for subtle New Year’s glitz. If you’re willing to spend more on a truly
distinctive piece, you can browse the collection of vintage fur ($98 – $215). Junction refurbishes gently-used furs, a material that Gay said can’t be recycled because of the chemicals applied during the tanning process. A rabbit-fur cape and a beige wooly jacket present dressier alternatives to that North Face puffer jacket.
Redeem, 1734 14th Street NW. Redeem carries a careful selection of edgy and distinctive jewelry, like the artisan SURevolution brand. Memorable items include necklaces ($95 – $125) and leather, stud, and suede cuff bracelets ($165).
Treasury, 1843 14th Street NW, second floor. This vintage shop tucked away upstairs next to Café Saint-Ex features a small selection of clothing, accessories, and jewelry, and offers a wealth of options for holiday wear. Saleswoman Joyce Guzowski noted that the shop’s collection of vintage brooches ($16 – $58) can make any outfit pop. Similarly, colorful skinny belts ($18) add festive sophistication to little black dresses or skinny jeans.
Treasury, like Junction, has a few pairs of gloves in stock. Long metallic chain necklaces with a single over-size charm ($52-$128) have been popular lately, and Guzawski suggested using them as a bold statement piece for New Year’s Eve. Treasury also carries its own line of customizable rings, Lithics and the chunky metallic designs.
Stem, 1412 U Street NW. The tiny shop adjacent to DC Noodle stocks flower beaded rings ($18-$38), colorful beaded and woven cloth necklaces ($48 – $55) and delicate bead and wire bracelets that add a touch of whimsy to the usual New Year’s glam. Knit scarves ($75 – $135), chunky knit or funky structural designs, are also a good way to accessorize a plain peacoat.
Rue 14, 1803A 14th Street NW. Rue 14 carries trendy, contemporary brands for both men and women. The store has the popular long charm necklaces ($49-$129) and chunky bracelets ($110). For men, Mister Vintage cufflinks ($50) add a subtle special touch to a French-cuff shirt.
Lettie Gooch, 1517 U Street NW. Big, dangly earrings and long necklaces are your best bet here. These pieces are noticeable enough to embellish a simple black outfit, but are also easy to mix and match for more shine.
So a couple of months ago, right around when I started writing this column, Zach, a friend of mine, asked me to take him shopping. Specifically, he wanted casual wear, including going-out clothes.
Now, I generally hate the idea of going-out or “club” wear as it reminds me of college (not in a good way!) and the Jersey Shore. After you reach a certain age, fitted tees with sexually suggestive puns are so not appropriate. Well-tailored casual wear is all you really need to hit the bars/clubs.
But I love shopping and love giving advice even more, so I suggested (well, actually insisted) to Zach that we go that afternoon!
Of course, this being DC., everyone (including yours truly) is over-scheduled and booked for weeks. So we finally found a day that worked for both of us: last Saturday.
Zach’s already a pretty snazzy dresser; he has a conservative and understated style, which I dig.
We just needed to push the boundaries a bit with his fashion choices; not to completely reinvent the wheel, mind you, but to accentuate what’s already there.
J’Adore Rue 14.
Greetings, Borderstanis. I’m sure many of you have been to Rue 14, a lovely clothing boutique nestled in the heart of Borderstan 14th Street just above S). If you haven’t yet, I’m going to give you several reasons why you should. And if you have dropped by, I’m going to give you even more reasons why you need to go back. (See Rue 14 Style: Forward Thinking from Cecile Oreste, October 2010.)
As much as we love the District, can we all agree that D.C. is not most customer-service oriented city? I call it the “CVS effect,” which somehow trickles into restaurants, clothing stores, bars, coffee shops, etc. I certainly know that I’ve walked out of many an establishment wondering why my sunny disposition was met with indifference and/or mild scorn — not to mention outright incompetence.
Lucky for us, Rue 14 has none of that. You’ll find that folks there are friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, i.e. the holy trinity when it comes to consumerism. The boutique is run by Jiwon and her husband, Andrew, both of whom have quite a pedigree in fashion (so they totally know what they’re talking about). On their staff is Jeff, who has a savant-esque knowledge of denim. He’s the District’s premiere Denimologist. (No, that isn’t a word, but it needs to be).
From Cecile Oreste at danceDC
This weekend marks the two-year anniversary of Rue 14 located on 14th St. NW, just north of S St.. Owners Andrew Nguyen and Jiwon Paik-Nguyen plan to celebrate in style with champagne and cupcakes from Iza Cupcake — as well as a three-day sale.
Despite starting a new business during the troubled times of the recession, Rue 14 has been growing consistently since it opened and the Nguyens hope to expand their product offerings and eventually find a larger space.
I recently met up with Jiwon to talk about the business of fashion and to learn more about the men’s and women’s clothing boutique.
Borderstan: You and Andrew previously worked in New York for famous brands like Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren. What brought you to the District?
Jiwon: There is more opportunity in DC as there are not a lot of boutiques in the area. We wanted to bring a fresh, new store to DC that felt very local and not commercial. Our vision for the store was to recreate cool boutiques in New York City by offering a mix of well-known and up-and-coming designers.
We’re always on the lookout for something new and interesting. The style is forward thinking, not too cutting edge, but also not too conservative.
Borderstan: What made you choose 14th St.-Logan Circle for the location of your boutique?