Thursday, January 7, 2010

Field Trip: Clothes Encounters (...Of a Second Kind)

202 7th Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

Clothes Encounters is a shop that benefits from its location directly across the street from Eastern Market.  I had overlooked the shop for months as I must have been too preoccupied thinking about food and snacks to notice the shop next to Java City.  Bigger than it looks from the outside, Clothes Encounters has several rooms full of women's items.

It's hit or miss depending on what you're looking for.  If you need something for a costume party, you might find it here.  Some of the items are dreadfully outdated and are best suited for the dress-up trunk.  But, there are some great career pieces and casual items in the mix.

The presentation isn't all-around fabulous.  You'll have to dig in crates of shoes organized by size; the best ones are on the shelf, including some classic Ferragamo shoes for less than you'd expect.  It's worth taking a few moments to rustle around in the $2 bins, even just to see what designer labels have been tossed in there.

Two categories stood out as unadvertised specialties at Clothes Encounters.  The first is designer bags, from Kate Spade to vintage Coach (pre-emblazoned, repetitious logo).  There were a ton of cute bags, small and large, ranging from $15 to $50 and beyond.

The second specialty might make you laugh: leather pants.  I know, who wears leather pants anymore?  I always think of the episode of Friends during which Ross wears leather pants on a date and has a ....memorable night, but you never know who might be in the market for some leather.  Do you want leather pants for $10 or $20 bucks?  If you've got a craving, you can find the cure at Clothes Encounters.

If you're in the area, step out of the cold and into the warm store that plays some sleepy jazz.  If for no other reason than to take a moment away from life's hectic pace, Clothes Encounters offers the respite you might need.


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