Arlington, VA

The third installment in ARLnow’s 2019 local apparel collection has arrived and it’s the perfect gift for the South Arlington resident in your life who likes geographically specific shirts.

Whether you live in Crystal City, Pentagon City, Shirlington, Fairlington, Green Valley, Glencarlyn, Arlington Mill, Forest Glen, Barcroft, Alcova Heights, Arlington Heights, Penrose, Foxcroft Heights, Arlington View, Columbia Heights, Arlington Forest (the southern portion), Douglas Park, Columbia Forest, Claremont, Long Branch Creek, Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, or in a van down by the river — did we cover all options? — this shirt proudly declares that living below Route 50 is totally cool.

Get your South Arlington 4 Life shirt in any of the following styles:

Two more local shirts are coming next week, just in time for the holidays.

Due to tonight’s fog and crash, this post will have to serve as the weekend discussion. So feel free to discuss anything of local interest in the comments below.

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The commentariat has spoken and ARLnow has listened.

The second item in our lineup of locally-themed apparel, just in time for the holidays, is our exclusive GONDOLA NOW! shirt.

Available in multiple hues so you can stand out at local meetings, the GONDOLA NOW! shirt tells the world that ariel lift transportation is, in fact, a perfectly modern and practical way to get from here to there. For instance, from Rosslyn to Georgetown.

The proposed Potomac gondola may be down — given its lack of support from the Arlington County Board — but it’s not completely out. After all, current Democratic County Board candidate Chanda Choun said last year that he would support “exploring this proposal” after exclaiming the very words on this shirt.

ARLnow does not endorse candidates nor transportation policy positions, but we do endorse looking good in shirts we designed. So get your GONDOLA NOW! apparel on Amazon in any of the following styles:

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So perhaps you’re not familiar with 90s-era German digital hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot. But you are undoubtedly familiar with the infamous Cheesecake Factory incident in Clarendon that happened around this time last year.

To mark the one year anniversary of that nationally-reported piece of uniquely Arlington local news (and as the first in a series of ARLnow merch we’re offering in time for the holidays this year) we have a new t-shirt for your online shopping pleasure.

Show your local pride and get the shirt today from Amazon, with either a black or a white logo.

We’ll get a few bucks from your purchase but more importantly you’ll get a novelty t-shirt that only about a half dozen other people will truly understand. Happy holidays from ARLnow!

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The women’s clothing boutique Malena has reopened in Courthouse (2111 Wilson Blvd) after a 40-year run on the second level of the Rosslyn Metro Mall.

Malena shuttered its Rosslyn location in mid-August. Store employee Laura Nickle cited the move as a result of the $35 million redevelopment project at the Rosslyn Metro Center building.

The boutique specializes in women’s clothing, featuring smaller designers such as Parsley and Sage and Clara Sun Woo.

This past Tuesday, October 8, the boutique opened its doors and celebrated its relocation with a grand opening party.

“All of our old customers are overjoyed that we didn’t move far,” said Nickle. “But we’re hoping the move to Courthouse brings in more foot traffic and people from the immediate area.”

The new Malena has kept the same ownership under longtime Washington resident Mercedes Cecchi. Cecchi’s husband, Guiseppe Cecchi, was one of the original developers of the Watergate complex.

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A new women’s luxury consignment boutique is now open in Crystal City.

Agents in Style (576 23rd Street S.) features curated collections of designer clothing in sizes 0-3X, offered for a third of the normal retail price.

Customers walking into the house-turned-shop alongside S. Fern Street are immediately met with a hand-drawn greeting that says, “You Look Beautiful.”

“I wanted to create a space where everyone would feel welcome,” said owner Rhoda Wheeler.

Wheeler, who worked for years as an English teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools before moving into real estate marketing, always wanted to take her love of fashion to the next step.

“I live in this neighborhood,” said Wheeler, “And as I was walking to dinner with my husband one night, I saw the ‘For Rent’ sign, and the rest was history.”

The store accepts upscale brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes, along with clothing consigned from department labels Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, among others.

“I’ve always had a passion for thrifting and thinking about how we can reuse things,” she said. “I think fashion and style are fun, but I understand the need to make things last for a very long time.”

Agents in Style also features an affordable selection from the LA-based clothing company Ellison Apparel. Items such as a green suede jacket and a leopard-print skirt might not appeal to the same audience as those shopping for say, Chanel, but it’s a part of Wheeler’s vision for a more accessible store.

Wheeler hopes the store can be used as a space for all kinds of community events, from fundraisers to book clubs. For example, on Thursday, October 17, all proceeds from the store will go towards the American Cancer Society.

As for staff?

“It’s just me,” said Wheeler with a laugh. “I’m tired, but it’s a good kind of tired. It’s worth it.”

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Update at 5:15 p.m. — The store is actually expected to open next week, a PR rep says, correcting an error in an earlier press release.

Earlier: Hot on the heels of UNTUCKit’s Pentagon City opening, fellow trendy clothing store and caps-lock enthusiast G-Star RAW is set to open a location this fall.

The “eco-friendly, luxury denim brand,” as a press release describes it, is expected to open in October next to the Victoria’s Secret on the first level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The Dutch fashion brand is a destination for Canadian tuxedo enthusiasts, in addition to celebrities and race car drivers. G-Star RAW sells jeans, denim shirts and jackets, in both men’s and women’s varieties, in addition to an array of non-denim clothing and accessories.

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Last month, when Jeannie Osborn dropped off her new dress at her usual Arlington dry cleaner, she never thought it could be the last time she would see the garment

Osborn now lives in D.C. but still drives to Arlington to do her dry cleaning at the same spot for years: Family Dry Cleaners on 5021 Columbia Pike. The business offers nearly unbeatable prices — normally charging $2.29 per piece of clothing — which Osborn said made up for inconvenience of having to pay upfront in cash.

But five days after she took her new $128 Banana Republic dress to the dry cleaner on June 25, the business closed.

Now there’s a sign taped to the door reading “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!” and asking customers to pick up any garments by June 30, “otherwise you will not be able to pick up your clothes FOREVER.”

Osborn was on vacation when the business went under, and only learned her dress was locked in the building when she tried to pick it up last week.

“I’ve been going there for six years,” she told ARLnow Monday. “And the fact that they are just closed is shocking.”

The business is located in the Columbia Pike Plaza shopping center, near the Arlington Mill Community Center, between a CVS and a Little Caesars. ARLnow could not reach the strip mall’s property management company, Bethesda-based Rakusin & Becker Management.

After reaching out for comment to the company and the county, Arlington Resident Ombudsman and Director of Constituent Services Ben Aiken said he had good news to share.

Family Dry Cleaners will temporarily re-open on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. so customers can retrieve their belongings, per Rakusin & Becker.

“Anyone with clothing that needs to be picked up should try to go,” said Aiken, who noted afterward the owners may be unavailable to re-open the shuttered shop.

Family Dry Cleaners’ phone number was out of service when called on Monday and a Facebook page for a business with the same name had no posts nor ways to contact the owner.

Aiken previously said he heard from two customers whose clothes are apparently locked in the cleaners, and told ARLnow today (Tuesday) that he “shares their frustration.”

“It’s an unfortunate circumstances,” he said, adding that whenever dry cleaning customers are left out to dry it can be “tricky” to access legal remedies.

When a dry cleaner business closed in Silver Spring two years ago, the Montgomery County Consumer Protection Agency had to step in to return clothing.

Last August, customers in Austin, Texas, taped signs to the locked doors of a dry cleaning business, pleading with the owners to call them and return their clothes after the business unexpectedly shut down.

Last September, a Denver cleaner posted a sign for its customers that read, “if you have clothes, sorry we are closed.” Those customers were out of luck until another cleaning company purchased the inventory and returned the clothes to customers for free, per a press release.

Jeannie Osborn took pictures of the storefront and its sign last week that show a full rack of clothing behind the counter. She says she could see her dress through the glass.

“It’s just hanging there in the front,” Osborn said. “They hadn’t even put it on the conveyor belt yet.”

Map via Google Maps

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A new store selling handmade goods from small vendors is now open in Ballston Quarter.

Steadfast Supply opened last week in a 1,000 square-foot retail space, joining a cast of new eateries, cooking classes, a popup-library, and small shops inside the renovated mall.

The D.C.-based business aims to sells wares from a collection of small makers both local and from around the U.S. — everything from home goods to beauty supplies to pet accessories — thus supporting “creative entrepreneurship.”

“Our mission is to contribute to the advancement of the local community and to the creative growth of Washington, D.C. at large by introducing the creative force of emerging independent brands and designers into the D.C. market,” the store’s website said.

Steadfast started as a pop-up in 2016 before expanding to a 3,000 square-foot space in Navy Yard, according to a press release. The store announced plans to open its second location in Arlington last April.

Some of the goods currently in the new Ballston location include handmade leather bags made by the Atlanta-based company Neva Opet, T-shirts for kids made by YOUTHS, and jewelry from Vajzë. In addition to retail, the business is offering space for DIY workshops or other events on its website.

The store’s owner describes the business as something of an incubator for artisans and small producers.

“My goal with Steadfast Supply was to create a cool retail setting where talented creatives can grow their brands,” said owner Virginia Arrisueño in a statement. “As a designer myself, I know how tough and competitive the retail industry is, and I wanted provide a supportive space where brands can ask us questions about line sheets, packaging, etc., receive direct feedback and suggestions on how to improve their products.”

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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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