50 Comment

  • I hope this is a good one. The one on L & 18th sucks.

  • I don’t shop with regularity at either 18th and L or Friendship one, but I’m so confused as to how DC became this discount shopping mecca. Within city limits there’s one Bloomingdale’s, one Neimans (both barely in the city) and one not so great Macy’s; on the other hand there’s three TJ Maxx, two Marshalls, soon to be three Nordstrom Racks and an off 5th. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these stores but I would love a larger “regular” department store downtown. Now, if Macy’s got a much needed makeover, I’d probably change my tune, although I don’t see that happening in the near future.

    • justinbc

      This city of full of low level staffers in “professional” jobs that have to overdress to meet their outdated partners aspirations for a firm’s image.

    • Out of curiosity, what’s wrong with the Macy’s downtown?

      • I find the women’s clothing very difficult to navigate–instead of putting all the suits here, all the party dresses here, etc., it’s all organized by designer/brand/”lifestyle,” making it extremely difficult to compare items (or even find what I’m looking for).

        For what it’s worth I have had very good luck using their buy online/pick up in store service.

        • I find the whole store to be rather outdated. the lighting, particularly as you go upstairs is very dark, the stuff is never well organized. there’s a small selection and I think it’s skewed to a much older crowd. I do find that the men’s section is better.

        • that is unfortunately how all macy’s are. Drives me nuts, too.

    • As someone with champagne dreams and beer budget I welcome all the discount stores. The stuff is for the most part the same quality and style you would find at a Macy’s or Bloomies and much better priced? Even most of my friends who bring in more income than I shop at Nordstrom Rack.

    • +1. I’d much rather just go to one of the many H&Ms to get reasonably priced “professional” clothes than any of these kind of sloppy discount stores.

      • The difference in quality between most clothing from H&M and Nordstrom Rack is huuuuuuuuuuge.

        • +1000

          H&M, Zara and Forever 21 are great if you want knockoff designs for lower quality (see ‘fast fashion’, throw away fashion). You cannot compare brands such as DVF, Hugo Boss, Theory, etc. to H&M “professional” clothes.

          H&M is great for basics but I stopped buying business casual clothes once I started finding designer brands for the same price and longer wear.

          • Maybe it’s a sizing issue then. Whenever I’ve tried on other “higher-end” brands I’ve always found them to be poorly fitting (to me) and more expensive.

          • I should have added that I have several nice work skirts and pants from H&M that cost me around $30 and that I have been wearing once a week for about 4 years now without any noticeable fading/holes/etc. That’s quality enough for me. (Forever 21 on the other hand, is definitely a cheaper crappy quality and I don’t buy from there.)

    • If you’re talking about the bloomies in Friendship, it’s definitely over the line, further proof of your point.

    • I don’t think the discount trend is unique to the D.C. metro region. Its possible that online retail is doing to brick and mortar the same that it did to bookstores and this is the only large scale profitable scenario. Have a look at the 5 year stock price trend for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s vs. TJ Maxx

      • HaileUnlikely

        I agree with this. If I want a passable suit and my budget is like $300 – $450, I can get something much much nicer online than I can at any department store. If I want to spend double or triple that, I can get something much much nicer at a mens store than I can at a department store. I hardly ever have any reason to go to a department store unless it is to spend a gift card from a well-intentioned relative.

        • If you want a passable suit in this price range visit suitsupply in Georgetown.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I have other sources that I’m satisfied with but I generally agree with this recommendation. And what you get at SuitSupply for <$500 is nicer than the vast majority of what is available in department stores for twice as much.

        • Are you buying a suit online and then having it tailored locally? If you’re buying a pre-sized suit, you’re doing it wrong.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yes.

          • Shawnnnnnnnnnn works in fashion

          • HaileUnlikely

            I’m sure Shawnnnn would disapprove of most of my wardrobe, but that’s ok. In any event, my sole point here was that I don’t care about having large department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, etc around because superior options are widely available for pretty much any item and pretty much any budget.

          • It has nothing to do with price really. But you should always have your suit tailored to your body. It just looks 100 times better. Even if it isn’t some expensive suit from Nordstroms.

      • I never buy full-price anymore, thanks to online retail and these discount shops

      • That’s what I was thinking. I want to to shop at Banana Republic I’ll do it from the comfort of my home, where I can read reviews and find more things in my size. The only clothes shopping I do IRL is the occasional bargain hunting at a discount store like TJ Maxx.

        • I think for BR and JCrew and stuff where you’re pretty sure what your size is, that’s great. I hate trying on stuff so I do that too. But for a suit or something I’m paying money for, I want to go in and have it tailored to me.

          I say that with the caveat that I always find weird discrepancies in how the same size fits across different things at BR. I can buy the exact same size pants in different colors and they will all fit differently. It’s kind of annoying. Thankfully it’s easy to throw them back in the bag and mail them back.

    • DC used to have several Filene’s Basements and a Loehmann’s (RIP), so I don’t think that the demand for discount clothes shopping is new, although there are more young people choosing to live in the city (vs. the suburbs) and I think that may account for more discount stores opening up in the city itself. 15 years ago I had to shop in Pentagon City and Friendship Heights (or Ballston or White Flint or Wheaton), so it’s nice now to not have to travel so far. I agree that young staffers are expected to dress well in DC while earning barely enough to pay rent and feed themselves, so unless you have family assistance in paying your bills (or work at a clothing store part-time in order to qualify for a discount, I used to know several people who did that) than these stores are a godsend.

  • this spells trouble for me

  • I miss bookstores.

  • goaldigger

    I don’t think N Rack is all that cheap (I used to buy a lot of shoes at the one in Silver Spring back in the day but since they did away with the color coded percentage off pricing scheme I’ve stopped shopping there). I wish we could get a Kohl’s somewhere in town. They have decent prices (great sales) and most importantly, a petite dept (I have to go to the Macy’s and Penny’s in PG Plaza to find a petite dept since TJ Maxx/Mashalls and downtown Macy’s doesn’t have).

    • Kohl’s is one of the few things I miss from the suburbs! I hardly ever shop in regular stores anymore because so few of them have a good Petites selection.

  • justinbc

    Instead of yet another Rack, would be nice to see a Neiman Marcus “Last Call”. Pretty much the same concept but with better brands (in my opinion) and even steeper discounts. At least the website does free shipping.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I agree with this. I’d prefer either over a large full-priced department store, but yeah, a Last Call would be a nice addition rather than having one Nordstrom Rack 2 miles from another one.

      • Or a better Barney’s Co-Op

        • Wasn’t there a Barney’s Co-op in the plaza along Wisconsin on the MD side when it first opened? I feel like I remember seeing it there, then going out of business.

          • Hm, not sure. I googled it and it seems even the one in Georgetown is now closed. No big loss though. I didn’t find it to be all that.

    • Although I LOVE Nordstrom Rack I would like to see some diversity in the retail offerings. I’m looking at you Century 21! I think Sephora would crush it at this location.

      • +1 Century 21 and Sephora, yes yes. I think a Top Shop/Top Man would also do well.

        • By the way SaraEP Nordstrom Rack sells Top Shop at half the price! I’m just saying 🙂

          • Whaaaa? Which location? I’ve never seen it at the crappy L&18th one haha

          • SaraEP I’ve seen nice Top Shop stuff in NR in Pentagon City and Mazza Gallerie/Chevy Chase. Not sure if either are close to you.

            I work in near the new proposed NR location so looking forward to not having to take the Red Line to get to NR!

            I agree with the first comment the NR on 18th & L is not that great BUT there are hidden gems – I found a Burberry wallet for $180, a Hugo Boss dress for $63 and Ferragamo sunglasses for $70 at that location…

  • I second the wish for a full service/stocked Nordstroms or Bloomingdales downtown. There’s no reason we can’t have both this and the several discounted versions that are already available.

  • Can’t wait for this store to open!!!

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