If you’re stuck searching for the perfect pair of shoes around Washington DC, look no further than Major. The Georgetown boutique is jam-packed with cool kicks, along with t-shirts and fitted sports caps in a variety of offbeat colors. Major has a massive selection of funky sneakers, and is one of the few retailers in town stocking cutting-edge urban fashion brands. Of course, you can also find Adidas, Nike and Reebok lining the shelves. But even the shoes with the recognizable brand names are anything but standard fare, as colorful and hard-to-find kicks frequent the storefront. This is upscale streetwear definitely geared to a young, hip demographic.
“Made in USA” is the mantra of this popular Los Angeles-based clothing chain specializing in casual and fashionable basics. The petite Georgetown outpost of this national retailer pops with color, from the leggy mannequins in a multitude of tights hanging against a back wall to the sweaters, t-shirts and dailywear items that crowd the main walkway. You can find a range of jeans for him and her, colorful accessories and workout outfits, and a wide selection of soft, unadorned clothing for local college kids, nearby teenagers and anyone looking to dress a little hipper. You can also find sleepwear, lingerie, accessories like belts and hats, a wide selection of leggings, and, as befits a store located near a college campus, a full supply of backpacks.
Looking for a bargain on designer goods, from clothing to shoes to purses? Wander around Georgetown’s Second Time Around, whose “retail goes upscale” catchphrase suits the space perfectly. Unlike other vintage stores, this one is roomy, laid out in an organized fashion and well-maintained. Dressing areas are roomy and the place lacks that dusty mothball funk that can sometimes overwhelm lesser shops. You might even convince yourself that Second Time Around is just another retail boutique – until you look at the crazy-low prices on those Ferragamo shoes or that Armani jacket. Along with the most upscale designer brands, you can also find bargains on more moderately-priced labels like J. Crew. Once you’ve selected your garment, accessorize with some of the gently-worn costume jewelry. You’ll look like a million bucks, but have paid considerably less.
I. Gorman Jewelers is an all-around jewelry store, but there’s little doubt that the ring is the main thing here. Display counters are filled with wedding bands and engagement rings, waiting to be snatched up for that perfect moment. But you don’t have to be getting hitched to enjoy shopping at this high-end jeweler; I. Gorman stocks cutting-edge designer pieces that go far beyond the typical band, including other classic and contemporary ring looks and various bangles and baubles. Men can find a wide selection of sharp and stylish cufflinks, bracelets and rings themselves. The store is recognized for its outstanding service, which include repairing any item purchased at the store for free, and they only use ethically-sourced diamonds and gemstones.
Make no mistake: the Tiny Jewel Box shop is exactly as advertised. This deceptively-spacious jewelry retailer, watch repairer and general home decorator builds out into a much larger facility than first realized. Although each floor has a small footprint, like a jewelry box with fold-out compartments, the multi-story shop stores more than you might think. On the first floor, one can easily be bedazzled by the diamonds and high-end jewelry adorning the showcases. Then, take the elevator up to the other floors to find goodies like glassware, frames, paperweights and home accessories, many sporting price tags under $50. Also for sale here: luggage, cufflinks, pens and, of course, jewel boxes. The Tiny Jewel Box is DC’s only authorized Rolex repair shop, and the store also has an in-house custom jewelry designer.
On the showroom floor at Bensons Jewelers, display cases sparkle with diamonds, necklaces, watches, and charms from jewelry makers such as Reed & Barton, Elle, and Breuning. Rings missing gemstones or cursed tiaras in need of de-hexing can turn to the full service repair shop, where a jeweler with 20 years of experience fixes and restores baubles, backing all work with a six-month guarantee.