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Proper Topper

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Indie Boutiques for Fabulous Local Finds

DC is filled with locally-owned shops that stock cool clothing, shoes, accessories and gifts.

In need of seasonal wear, or something new and fresh to impress your significant other? You’re in luck, because the shopping inventory in the nation’s capital goes well beyond the standard name brands. Read up on some of our favorite indie boutiques below.


Bishop Boutique

This King Street gem in Old Town, Alexandria feels like walking into your (very fashionable) girlfriend’s closet. The pink-hued boutique is filled with feminine shoes, standout accessories and envy-inducing handbags—all generally under $200.

Find the best places to shop in Washington, DC


Sophie Blake New York

Jewelry designer Sophie Blake runs this long-term pop-up in Mosaic District, a burgeoning retail destination in suburban Virginia. Sophie Blake New York offers carefully crafted pieces inspired by an intersection of architecture, art and geometry.


Take 5

Azerbaijan-born beauty Sakina Iskender focuses on under-the-radar European brands in her high-end women’s clothing boutique. You’ll often find Sakina on hand herself for impromptu consultations, who shuttles between her store’s two locations in Mosaic District and Tysons Corner.


Tiny Jewel Box

This third-generation family-owned jewelry store is a DC institution, having served presidents, politicos and celebrities for decades. Look for the red awning on Connecticut Avenue and meander into the recently expanded store to find glittering baubles from designers like Marco Bicego, Penny Preville, Stephen Webster and Alex Sepkus. Want to take home a one-of-a-kind DC souvenir? The store’s on-site experts can help you design a custom piece.



Nancy Perlstein’s boutique may be tucked quietly in Georgetown’s Cady’s Alley, but Relish remains a cathedral of designer clothes. The stock leans toward the tailored, understated and European: Dries van Noten, Martin Margiela, Massimo Alba with a few American accents (hi Marc Jacobs!) thrown into the mix. The staff is a chic army of stylists.


Read Wall


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DC native—and sharply dressed man—Read Wall has been wearing finely tailored suits for years. He launched his eponymous company just a few years ago and recently expanded with a full service suit shop in DC’s Shaw neighborhood where fashion forward men can go to find a classic, custom American-made suit.


The Shoe Hive


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Shop this gem of a boutique in Old Town if you’re in search of the perfect pair of stylish (yet classic) shoes. The buzzy store stocks faves like Tory Burch, Kate Spade and Sam Edelman along with harder to find footwear like AGL and Freda Salvador. But don’t just outfit your feet: The Shoe Hive also sells eye-catching handbags and accessories.


Proper Topper

Proper Topper - Washington, DC

You’ll find more than just unique hats in this Dupont Circle shop (though you’ll find plenty of cool chapeaus). This DC establishment stocks finds like garden party clothes from Tracy Reese in the summer, après-ski looks from Plenty in the winter, as well as accessories, kid’s clothing, toys, gift books and housewares. Hats off to this shop!



Ella-Rue - Shopping in Washington, DC

This sweet shop stocks luxury label consignment finds from sought after brands like Chanel, Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli, as well as a collection of brand new apparel. Keep an eye out for when the store hosts on-site auctions if you want to snap up an investment piece.

Now that you have read up on indie boutiques, it’s time to start digging even further into DC’s shopping scene. Read up on the many options at your disposal.

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