The next time you’re on M Street, wading through the swarm of sightseers clutching huge ice cream cones and even bigger Dean and DeLuca doggy bags, and sighing with frustration at slow walkers, you should pause for a second, and take some time to try and notice the hidden fashion gems on M Street.
One such secret treasure, Annie Creamcheese, was a haven for the Cindy Lauper meets Rihanna meets frilly desperate housewife. With hot pink walls, “Who runs the world???” blasting through the speakers, and salespersons who looked like they stepped straight off Betsey Johnson’s runway, it was just the right atmosphere to make you feel like you were edgy enough to pull anything off.
Alas, Annie Creamcheese is no more, at least not in Georgetown, as the store recently closed down with a notice that they would be relocating to Los Angeles. Unless you’re planning on transferring to UCLA or trekking to their other location in Vegas, your occasional fix of “Wear a 50s sundress and get half-off at Annie Creamcheese!” promos is no longer available on M.
This closure led us to wonder if there was something to be said for the competition posed by larger mainstream brands such as H&M and Urban Outfitter’s, as well as the numerous high end ready-to-wear boutiques scattered around Georgetown. For answers, we turned to another M Street fashion haven, Second Time Around. Now, for all the Georgetown self-proclaimed fashion gurus who know they are worthy of collegefashionista fame; if you haven’t heard about STA, you need to pull your Sperrys on, grab your Longchamp bag and book it to M Street!
STA, a vintage veteran, has been around for over 35 years with 33 locations nationwide. Jeanne Stafford, Director of Marketing of Second Time Around, pointed out the fact that bigger franchise brand names don’t necessarily act us competition. “We’re almost in a separate niche because we’re consignment. While our shoppers love mainstream stores – like Urban Outfitters, they shop with us for the designers. Those who love ready-to-wear boutiques throw STA in the mix because the price points are unbeatable for designer pieces, and we carry a lot of past-season items that you can’t find anywhere else.”
She also goes on to add that STA is targeted at the “fashion-conscious women who love looking great without spending a lot.” At Second Time Around, you can find that great pair of jeans that fits you just right as well as that Audrey Hepburn-esque cocktail dress that you’ve been searching for to no avail. STA is not your regular thrift store, they deal in high-end consignment, which is usually stricter about the pieces they accept. Stafford also added that some of the store’s distinguishing qualities are their dedication to seeking out the best pieces for their customers as well as taking care of their consignors.
The moral of the story, whether your style is classic Grace Kelly or raunchy Azaelia Banks, the undiscovered goldmine of vintage stores just might be your ultimate destination. Especially if you want that Chanel, but don’t have a Chanel-sized budget.