D.C. Shopping Guide
As much as I love being able to see a million and one options when I shop online, nothing beats the instant gratification of walking out of a store, shopping bags in hand. Luckily for me, American University’s campus is close to not one, not two, but three major shopping areas.
Friendship Heights (Chevy Chase, MD) – Friendship has a weird dynamic because it’s a combination of high-end department stores and discount name-brand stores. On one end of the block you have Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus, and on the other you have TJ Maxx, Marshalls, DSW, and Nordstrom Rack. If you go a little bit further down from the Metro Station you'll find Tiffany & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue. The closest you'll get to a moderately priced item in Friendship Heights is J.Crew. Beyond that, your options are spending more than you hoped to or bargain shopping. Friendship my go-to place if I don’t want to spend a lot of money or if I want to check out Bloomingdales new arrivals in person (their original brand Aqua is one of my favorites – they make such versatile pieces and dresses are usually around $88). However, Friendship doesn’t have a lot of quick and easy food, it’s primarily sit down restaurants so it’s best for quick or less expensive shopping trips.
Transportation: Metro – Red Line
Bethesda, MD – Bethesda Row is ideal for a leisurely shopping trip, because what really stands out there is the food. I love popping into Sugarfina, mostly because they always have free samples of their seasonal candy: so expensive, but so good. There’s also a Georgetown Cupcake, but unfortunately the line is more often than not just as bad as the original Georgetown location. Some other great choices include Bethesda Bagels, Sweetgreen or Chop’t. As far as shopping goes, there’s a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, Kendra Scott, Kate Spade, Paper Source, and Lululemon just to name a few. I also always love spending some time in Barnes and Noble; it’s a great escape from school to be around books you actually want to read rather than stuck in a stuffy library with textbooks that overwhelm you.
Bonus: If you’re not afraid of a little walking, Wisconsin Avenue features a great little consignment store called Mustard Seed. They sell some new products but primarily second-hand clothes. I stopped in recently and they had quite a few cute pieces including J.Crew shorts, skirts and dresses, vintage Lilly Pulitzer, and two brand new-looking Kate Spade bags (and it was all SO cheap – I tried on a pair of white J.Crew jeans that were $7!!!)
Transportation: Metro – Red Line
Georgetown – the holy grail of D.C. shopping. Reserve Georgetown for when you’re ready to shop ‘til you drop because they have everything you could want, and everything is fairly spread out down M Street. Starting on Wisconsin, there’s Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Tuckernuck and Patagonia for all of your preppy needs. From there, heading west down M Street you’ll find J.Crew, Anthropologie, Rent the Runway, Barbour, Olivia Macaron and of course, Georgetown Cupcake. If you turn east you’ll find Steve Madden, L’Occitaine, Kiehl’s, Ladureé (when it finally opens) and another Kate Spade and Paper Source. There’s also Baked and Wired and Sprinkles, but there’s too much to say about cupcakes in D.C. to cover it all in this post. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or just want a great day spent outside window shopping, Georgetown is the place to go. It’s also where these pictures were taken – I love the different colored brick houses that line the side streets.
Transportation: Metro Bus - 30N, 30S, 31, 33