Wedged between Royalty Bar and Braude & Margulies, P.C. Law Offices on M Street lies a rare find in preppy Georgetown: Annie Cream Cheese, a vintage boutique whose free-spirited ambiance is more reminiscent of Adams Morgan or Takoma Park than any other Washington neighborhood. Yet Annie Cream Cheese’s unlikely presence is refreshing in a district where Burberry coats, Vera Bradley bags, and Ralph Lauren khakis run amuck. If you want a good deal on luxury secondhand fashion with a bohemian twist, you can’t do better than Annie Cream Cheese.
First, time for some clarification: understand that Annie Cream Cheese is not one of those “trash culture” vintage hole in the walls. No clunky Doc Marten’s, D.I.Y. bottle cap belts, crudely cut-off granny dresses, or glittery Elton John sunglasses here. (The tackiest items in there are the shag rugs in the dressing rooms but you’ll quickly forget them when you start fawning over the regal purple, velvet curtains that give you privacy.) Their nostalgic look may serve as a quirky contrast to the typical Georgetown get-up but that doesn’t make it any less sophisticated. When I checked out the store on the weekend before Christmas, Audrey Hepburn posters and LBDs a la “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” graced one display window while elegant combinations of black, silver, and gold graced the other. Annie Cream Cheese is about class from days gone by.
Dior, YSL, Etro, Betsey Johnson—these are just a few of the high-end names you’ll come across at Annie Cream Cheese. But expect to pay dearly for them, just not nearly as dearly as you would buying them new. A $75 Dior blazer, for instance, may still seem like a bit of a splurge during hard times but it certainly beats paying $400 at Saks. If a Dior blazer isn’t on your wardrobe wish list, however, don’t worry; the boutique boasts a wide variety of goodies, all carefully selected and in fine condition.
From belts to jackets to dresses to jewelry to jeans to shoes to hairpieces and more, Annie Cream Cheese doesn’t fail to show off their eye candy. Their prices make it clear that they’re not some charity-driven thrift shop, though. This is not the place to shop for your everyday, romp-around clothes if you’re on a tight budget. (You know those black, shiny leather leggings that were so popular this fall? The only version they had cost $85. That’s a no-no if your wallet’s begging you for mercy.) When I said it’s a great shop for luxury fashion, I meant just that. Buy your replacement LBD, a cocktail dress, a two-piece suit for your friends’ weddings, an evening coat, your Christmas party dress—a special investment you plan to keep and wear more than once in your life if you’re truly thrifty. After all, it’s difficult to find such adorable dresses anywhere else in the neighborhood starting under $100. A few of their accessories are reasonably priced, as well. Many of their belts and costume jewelry earrings go for as low as $8—a bargain in Georgetown (and almost anywhere else, for that matter!)
All in all, Annie Cream Cheese offers an enticing collection and a lot of ambiance for your buck. Budget-conscious gals should avoid this store if they’re simply shopping for casual duds but if you want a fun accessory or a glamorous vintage piece, hit Annie Cream Cheese. At the very least, you won’t come off as another Georgetown clone.
Annie Cream Cheese
3279 M Street NW Washington, DC 20007?
Phone: (202) 298-5555
Monday-Saturday: 11- 8 p.m.?
Sunday: 12-6 p.m.?