Imagining D.C. Buying Patterns by Neighborhood
Yesterday our sister publication, the Chicago Reader, posted an item about buying patterns in Chicago neighborhoods, based on information from the bargain-searching website shopittome.com. Since D.C. was not one of the four cities on the list (the others were New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles), we're left to speculate on shopping patterns in District neighborhoods.
This unassuming, family-friendly neighborhood in the shadow of Catholic University isn't the trendiest part of town, but that's not what its residents are looking for, anyway–they want value and a solid place to live long-term. Accordingly, the clothes they wear will be reasonably priced, classic pieces they'll still have in their closets ten years from now, from brands like Levis, L.L. Bean, and Eddie Bauer.
Filled with congressional staffers who wear suits on weekdays and play cornhole and beer pong on weekends, the residents of this 'hood are more likely to take chances on the flag football field than in fashion. They'll shop at sartorially safe, reasonably priced places like the Gap and the Brooks Brothers outlet at Potomac Mills on the way down to UVa for reunion weekend.
With a diverse, youthful population that heavily trends toward hipster, the residents of Columbia Heights typically have style–but not necessarily cash–to spare. Target is a convenient and affordale option, obvs, but the urban bohemians will also fill out their wardrobes at American Apparel and thrift stores.
Though City Paper dubbed Georgetown "Banana Republic Republic" two years ago in the Hoods & Services issue, the moniker might be more appropriate for Dupont. With career-oriented late-twenty-somethings and early-thirty-somethings whose tastes are preppy but with a bit of a Euro edge, Banana Republic–along neighborhood haunts like Benetton and G-Star RAW–is a natural shopping destination.
Contrary to popular perception, the 25-year-old prepsters roaming M Street in their Topsiders and Madras shorts aren't usually the inhabitants of Georgetown. No, it usually takes a few more decades for one to contemplate the purchase of one of the multi-million dollar homes that abound in the neighborhood. The well-heeled middle-aged-and-better residents have classic tastes, and price isn't an object: Look for them to shop designers like Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and Oscar de la Renta.