I was on a mission. My objective? To find a dress for my office holiday party. But as anyone who's ever shopped for an OHPD (Office Holiday Party Dress) knows, it is not an occasion for just any old dress, or even any old cocktail dress.
An OHPD must meet the following fairly specific requirements: festive, but not cloyingly so; dressy, but not over-the-top; body-conscious, but not overtly sexy; and versatile enough to make the leap from OHPD to other future occasions.
Sure, I had a LBD (that's Little Black Dress) tucked away in my closet that would've made a perfectly adequate OHPD. But, I thought to myself, scanning my closet for other contenders, my co-workers see me in a basic black suit (the office equivalent of the LBD) pretty much, like, um...every day. It was time to branch out.
So the Sunday before the holiday party, the mission began. After browsing through a bevy of trendy boutique-y places in the U Street area, I found my winning OHPD at the last place I visited. However, I could've skipped the other places, because I should have known it would be at Pop.
Pop is a place I keep coming back to (and not just because it's located right next to hip plant shop Garden District and directly on top of funky independently owned gift store Pulp, though that certainly doesn't hurt.) Stepping into the tiny upstairs space always makes me feel like I'm about to raid the closet of my coolest friend. You know, the one who always looks casually flawless. That seems to be the ethos at Pop, whose racks - well rack, actually - brims with a perfectly-edited selection of playful, trendy, yet wholly accessible styles. (Also, the sales associates are super-friendly, helpful, and completely devoid of that more-fashionable-than-thou attitude sometimes found at these trendy little places.)
It was love at first sight with my OHPD. Made by 213 Industry, she's taupe with a subtle peach shimmer, a suggestive, but not too revealing neckline, ruffled bust with loose cap sleeves, and a sweet a-line silhouette. And the look on Jason's face when I emerged from my closet after getting dressed in my dress and heels was worth way more than the $88 I spent on it. Next year, I'll just go straight to Pop.
Good to know: Pop is located at 1803a 14th St., NW, at the intersection of 14th and S, a few blocks from the U Street Exit on Metro's green line. The shop is open Monday through Saturday from 11am-7pm, and Sunday from 12pm-5pm.
Photo of Pulp/Pop by Flickr user Ronnie R (who, by the way, is taking some of the more beautiful photos of DC I've ever seen).