Shop Local


With Mother’s Day just a few days away, I thought I’d put up a list of my favorite local shopping destinations to pick up last-minute gifts (including for yourself). Read on!


When I want to splurge on a really special, one of a kind wardrobe piece, my go to place is Hu’s Wear and/or Hu’s Shoes. Marlene Hu (look for her Proust Questionnaire on the blog soon) has one of the finest eyes in the District when it comes to fashion, and every piece in her tastefully curated universe is beyond covetable. She carries my favorite, Isabel Marant, along with other high end brands like Stella McCartney, Chloé, Valentino, Lanvin, and FLOTUS fave Proenza Schouler, to name a few.

For stylish but practical wardrobe pieces, I go to Refine. There is always a great selection of things to make your everyday look a little more put together without compromising comfort. I especially like the stress-free, by-appointment only shopping format. For more details on the boutique, check out my write-up here, and get to know it’s fabulous owner Tanya here. Everything in the store is 25% off through Mother’s Day (May 8th), so make your appointment now!

When I want an affordable something that’s a little offbeat yet chic, I go to Ella Rue. Krista and Alexa’s consignment boutique has a great assortment of unique, high end designer finds from a well-traveled and sophisticated clientele. I love the fact that chances are very low that I will ever run into someone wearing the same thing as whatever I have picked up there.


I spend an inordinate amount of time in workout clothes, but I rationalize it by telling myself that it’s to look good in my swag. One of my secrets for staying motivated is to wear killer gear, and for that I go to S3 Active, currently located in the Shaw neighborhood of the District. Owner Sarween Salih carries a great selection of modern, edgy, designers like Michi (my favorite), Alo, Splits 59, Vimmea and Koral. Her style and color picks are on the sexy side of the spectrum without being totally in your face – perfect for me, and appropriate given her slogans: “Sweat Sexy” and “Femme Fierce.”

I recently discovered Core 72 because the Cathedral Commons location is very close to my ballet studio. They carry a range of products – everything from lip balm to leggings and swimsuits – that’s perfect for active, outdoorsy types. They also carry a fair amount of athleisure wear (i.e. sweats and tees) from designers like Spiritual Gangster and Sundry Clothing.


I love the selection of French inspired home decor and gift items at Le Village Marché. They carry pretty French soaps, scented candles, table wear, glasses, napkins, dish towels and many other things you might find in a boutique or at the flea market in Paris. They also have a great selection of coffee table books – always one of my favorite gift picks.

On the less frilly side of things, there’s Salt & Sundry. The selection of gifts and home items here appeals to my inner boho – modern and sleek, with the occasional touch of whimsy (who doesn’t need a planter in the form of a T-Rex?)


If you read my post on manners last week, you know how I feel about handwritten notes, especially on personalized stationery. I like Just Paper and Tea, where you’ll find an amazing range of styles to fit your budget and needs, and you won’t be able to resist picking up one of their amazing teas in those candy colored cans.


I could spend all day in a book store, especially one like Politics & Prose.  You’ll find books on every possible subject under the sun here, and the staff picks displayed on the center tables are always on point. An added advantage is the store’s proximity to The Little Red Fox, one of my favorite places to grab coffee and peruse my literary purchases, or to pick up food on the go.


I love flowers, especially when they are tastefully arranged. My favorite locals are Green Hydrangea Flowers (see photos on Instagram @greenhydrangeaflowers) and Ultra Violet Flowers. Their picks are fresh, colorful, and fragrant, and I know that any bouquet sent from either one them will be as carefully composed as if I had done it myself.

Hope everyone has a great Mother’s Day!

Photo: Jen Eun


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