Arlington, VA

Anyone interested in getting their Arlington t-shirts or D.C. skyline onesies should buy now because local apparel store District Line Co. is going out of business.

The one-woman clothing company based in Cherrydale is planning to shut down by July after the rest of the inventory is sold off.

Lisa McLaughlin, the store’s founder, said as the store passed its five year anniversary in April, she discovered that she’d lost her enthusiasm for the business.

“That surprised me,” McLaughlin told ARLnow. “I looked at stuff coming up, like we were going to need to rebrand or rename, so it was kind of a combination of things but mainly I just realized on a business level that it’s a lot of work to continue growing a brand. You have to have a passion to do that, and I just felt like I wasn’t the right person to do that.”

McLaughlin said one of the early mistakes was not trademarking the company’s name, so she was in conflict with similarly named companies and often received reviews meant for the other companies.

“I loved doing business in Arlington,” McLaughlin said. “When I started this company we made about four shirts and did one event. I didn’t know if anyone was going to get this concept. But people loved their neighborhoods. The Arlington community was very supportive.”

In retrospect, McLaughlin said she would have hired someone to help manage the company.

“I would set it up differently,” McLaughlin said. “I’d have hired at least one person, even if it’s part time, to help with day to day. I’d have spent time on a business plan and think through how will I actually use my hours on what things.”

District Line Co. is currently working on selling off its inventory in a farewell sale. McLaughlin said anyone using the code “farewell25” on the website will receive a 25 percent discount on merchandise.

Image via District Line Co.

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UNTUCKit, a clothing brand focused on untucked, professional shirts, has just launched a new store in Pentagon City.

The new store opened late last week on the second floor of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

According to a press release:

UNTUCKit was created in 2011 to solve the problem of the long, sloppy look of untucked and ill-fitting dress shirts, by designing shirts that are meant to be worn untucked. They’ve since introduced categories ranging from t-shirts and polos to sports jackets and performance wear — plus, the launch of women’s and boys’ lines in 2017.

UNTUCKit at Pentagon City was the brand’s 61st store nationwide and the third in the region.

“We’re excited to be here, even closer to the District,” said Tomas Kurtz, assistant manager at the Pentagon City location. “It’s a new brand and we’re excited to see it grow.”

Kurtz said the store stands out for the way staff works closely with customers to find the right cut and style for them.

“It’s interesting because it’s not at all like a department store,” said Kurtz. “If you come in, you get fitted and staff will help walk you through it. It’s very personalized.”

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Ballston Quarter will soon welcome a new clothing retailer, store owners say.

Women’s fashion boutique Scout & Molly’s is set to host a ribbon-cutting for a new Arlington location on Wednesday, June 5, according to a press release about the opening. On Saturday, June 8, the store is scheduled to host a grand opening.

The North Carolina-based company sells clothing and shoes from mid-to-high-end brands including French Connection and Spanx.

“On Wednesday evening from 5-7 p.m., guests can enter for a chance to win a raffle prize and enjoy a free gift with purchase,” the press release noted. “During Saturday’s Grand Opening Celebration from noon-6 p.m., everyone will have the chance to select a surprise egg, with a discount or special gift waiting inside.”

Grand opening attendees will have a shot at snagging $15 gift cards, which store owners said will go to the first 50 customers on June 8.

“Women of all ages and styles will feel like they’re browsing in their best friend’s closet, with a wide array of options for unique gifts, an outfit for a special occasion, or just seasonal fashion inspiration,” said Betsy Abraham, who co-owns the Ballston shop with her mother Jane.

The pair opened their first Scout & Molly’s franchise in Reston two years ago.

Mall owner Forest City announced last April that Scout & Molly’s would open in the newly-renovated Ballston Quarter, along with four other new retailers.

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Have a devoted local news reader — or even a frequent comment section lurker — in your life? Want to support ARLnow and our mission?

If so, you’re in luck. We’ve produced some new shirts for you to add to your holiday shopping cart.

Maybe you are a believer in the power of local journalism and its role in a healthy democracy. Maybe you’re just here for the comments. Either way, we have a shirt for you.

Head to Amazon via the links below and claim one of your own. Each shirt nets ARLnow a cool $5, which we’ll promptly plunk right back into our freelance budget.

Want to help ARLnow create additional local journalism but don’t need more filler for your t-shirt drawer? Join our new Patreon community, which is helping us commission new feature articles each month.

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“The Clothesline for Arlington Kids” has already given away 3,500 pieces of clothing to 140 school-aged children of low-income families since it opened in August.

The nonprofit’s co-founders, Ellen Moy and Ben Sessions, said they decided to start the nonprofit after Moy got frustrated about the lack of options to recycle the clothes outgrown or barely worn by her two boys, who attend Arlington Public Schools, within the community.

At the Clothesline (2704 N. Pershing Drive), parents and children can find high-quality clothing including brands like Ralph Lauren and Northface.

The clothes hang on the racks, sorted by item type, gender and age range. Moy and Sessions said they invested in racks and hangers to mimic a retail store and to save people from picking through bags of unsorted clothing — what Moy calls ” a big bin of ‘good luck.'”

Students living and attending school in Arlington from kindergarten to 12th grade are eligible if they either receive benefits from the free or reduced lunch program or have a referral from a school social worker, place of worship, the county’s Department of Human Services or a local social services organization. One out of three students in Arlington schools qualifies for the lunch program.

The Clothesline lets children acquire a new wardrobe twice a year. The switch to colder weather clothing happened in mid-October, so families picking out wardrobes now can come back in March, April and May for spring and summer attire.

The full package includes:

  • five tops, shirts or blouses
  • four pants, shorts or skirts
  • five pairs of new underwear
  • five pairs of new socks

Additionally, students can pick out one coat or jacket, a pair of shoes, formal wear and a dress, along with accessories as available. If they need more shirts than pants, they can swap within the allotted number.

“They have really fun clothes they get to choose from,” Moy said. “It’s really a thrill when a little girl comes in and she says, ‘Mom, can I have this dress?’ and the mom can say, ‘Yes, you can have that dress.’ Money is not a hindrance.”

Parents can call ahead if they need to pick out formal clothes or are looking for specific items in certain sizes.

“Parents don’t have the time to shop and go all over town, so this is a nice one-stop shopping for their kids,” Moy said, adding that she and the volunteers keep tabs on who needs what and will let families know when requested clothing becomes available.

All of the shopping happens by appointment only, which gives Sessions and Moy a chance to prepare inventory based off of children’s ages and sizes. The store is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers help inspect the clothing multiple times, Moy said. No ripped, stained, torn or overly worn clothes are allowed. Clothing that doesn’t make the cut gets donated to places like H&M and Goodwill.

Once approved, the clothes get washed and steamed before they go on the rack. “We don’t want them wearing something that looks weird or has a huge stain on it,” Sessions said. “We want to get them into clothes that look exactly like their peers and help them focus on their classwork.”

Sessions, who has a background in finance, takes care of the business side. Moy used her 15 years of clothing retail experience to create simple and inexpensive store decor, which features green painted walls based on the color scheme of their logo, which she said a friend designed.

“People like to shop here,” Sessions said. “The idea is not only to provide a place for kids to get clothing but also to provide a place that really values the families that are coming in by providing a really nice place for them to shop.”

The Clothesline accepts items year-round and stores off-season clothing in boxes for the next switch. People can drop off new and gently used clothing in the donation bins in the front of the store on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Moy and Sessions said the support from the Arlington community has been a “heartwarming experience” — from Girl Scout Troops and churches helping them collect clothes to the bevy of volunteers who have helped staff the program.

So far, they have relied on more than 200 volunteers since they started collecting clothing last year, with usually one to eight volunteers helping out on any given day, they said.

“Arlington is a very generous community, so we’ve been very fortunate,” Moy said.

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Roots Canada, a premium leather and clothing outlet, will be opening a 3,200 square foot store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in August.

A Roots store also will be opening on M Street in Georgetown.

The Canadian apparel company’s long-term plan is to open a minimum of 100 stores in the U.S., adding in a press release that the two D.C. area stores will help the company reach its 10 to 14 U.S.-store goal by the end of 2019.

As of February of 2018, Roots Canada had 116 stores in Canada, three stores in the U.S., 10 partner-operated stores in Taiwan and 32 partner-operated stores in China.

Photos courtesy Roots Canada

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A home in the Penrose neighborhood has gotten in the holiday spirit by letting people pick up a sweater from its front gate.

The house, at the intersection of S. Fillmore Street and 2nd Street S., has a sign in English and Spanish offering a sweater for anyone who is cold.

“Are you cold? This sweater is for you,” the sign reads. “It is free. Pass it on when you don’t need it any more. Leave hanger and pins.”

A reader emailed to say that it appeared the offer has been taken up by passersby “a few times” since they started it a few weeks ago.

And on the home’s porch, a chalkboard offers passers by the chance to write what they are thankful for. Responses so far were “the internet,” “my daughters” and “flowers.”

There was no answer at the door of the house when an ARLnow reporter knocked on Monday morning.

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A British-based clothing store is now open at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Superdry opened a 5,600-square-foot store next to Kate Spade New York on the mall’s second level earlier this month.

The chain offers “vintage Americana and Japanese-inspired graphics with a British style,” and is known for, among other things, its Windcheater jackets that keep the worst of the weather off. It also has clothing for men and women, and does a line of sportswear.

Its only other location in Virginia is in Tysons Corner, with another at the Clarksburg Premium Outlets in Maryland.

“Inspired by a trip to Tokyo in 2003, Superdry fuses design influences from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana, with the values of British tailoring,” reads a blurb on the mall’s website. “The result – unique urban clothing, with incredible branding and an unrivalled level of detailing. Such distinctiveness has gained the brand exclusive appeal, as well as an international celebrity following.”

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Morning Notes

ACPD Helping Out in Puerto Rico — Arlington County Police officers are on the ground in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, directing traffic at critical intersections in areas without power. The officers were sent there as part of a national disaster mutual aid agreement. Local residents, meanwhile, have been expressing their appreciation for ACPD’s presence. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

Blind Triplets Utilizing New Tech — The blind triplets who recently made history by all becoming Eagle Scouts are also among the early users of new Aira glasses. The technology, launched in April, uses camera-equipped glasses to allow a remote agent to narrate what they see in real time, thus providing additional autonomy for the wearer. [Washington Post]

School Board Members Ditch Ties — At Tuesday’s Arlington School Board meeting, the two male members of the Board “committed sartorial faux pas,” in the words of the Sun Gazette, by not wearing ties. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

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Three new clothing stores and a home furnishing store will open soon at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

London-based Long Tall Sally is expected to open Tuesday, August 15 on the second level of the mall, next to ZARA. The store offers clothes and shoes for women who are 5’8″ or taller.

Also opening this month near ZARA is Whiskey Ginger Men’s Shop, described as “the premiere destination for a highly curated collection of exceptional men’s clothing and accessories.” The store touts European tailoring with the laid-back styles of Southern California.

Superdry rounds out the clothing stores set to open soon. Its 5,600-square-foot store next to Kate Spade New York on the mall’s second level is expected to open this fall. The British-based chain offers “vintage Americana and Japanese-inspired graphics with a British style,” and is known for, among other things, its Windcheater jackets that keep the worst of the weather off.

Home furnishings company LoveSac will open this month next to ECCO on the mall’s second floor. LoveSac makes modular furniture known as Sactionals, which are sectional sofas that can be reconfigured in various combinations.

Meanwhile, mall leaders lauded the recent openings of restaurant Sugar Factory and shoe store ECCO, as well as the expansion of former clothing pop-up store ELOQUII.

“It’s important that we continue to bring in stores that complement the center’s ever-growing roster of sought-after brands,” said Todd Jerscheid, director of marketing and business development for Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, in a statement. “With the recent opening of the highly anticipated Sugar Factory, we hope to continue to provide shoppers with the ultimate shopping experience.”

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Ten years after it began in Clarendon, the Current Boutique consignment clothing shop is beginning a new chapter as it launches a new website.

The boutique, which owner Carmen Lopez first opened at 2601 Wilson Blvd in 2007 before expanding to Alexandria, D.C. and Bethesda, intends for its new website to allow women to consign clothes from their homes anywhere in the U.S.

From a press release announcing the new platform:

The new online website will give consigners anywhere in the U.S. the opportunity to consign with Current Boutique. Targeting the market of modern working women between the age of 24-45 with active social calendars that have quality contemporary designer goods to sell, but their garments don’t fit in the realm of qualifying for fashion sites like The Real Real (focused on luxury consignment, or Thread Up (geared toward bargain thrift consignment), consigners can pop their items in a box, drop it in the mail using the prepaid shipping label and the boutique will handle garment review, pricing of items, online placement, and the donation of items that were not selected for consigning. The online consign option will accept women’s clothing (sizes 0-12), shoes, jewelry and designer handbags in perfect condition, with consigners receiving 50 percent of the selling price. Consigners can receive payment at any time and cash out online.

And this weekend, all Current stores will offer complimentary food and drink, giveaways, a chance to win a $100 gift card, 10 percent off shopping, a photo booth and curated fashion sections throughout the store highlighting the latest seasonal trends.

Current celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its launch with an event on Tuesday at its flagship Clarendon location. Attendees wrote down what they are “currently craving,” fashion-wise, while there was also some informal modeling throughout the evening.

Photos via Maurisa Potts/Spotted MP

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