Old Town Merchants/Periwinkle – Periwinkle adds spring to wardrobes


Elizabeth Mason believes its never too early to do a little spring cleaning of ones wardrobe. 

If the winter blahs have you pining for a garden party in Palm Beach, Mason advises her clients to try sprucing up their wardrobes with cheerful colors, spunky accessories and bold patterns.

A boutique to resuscitate your New Years style resolutions is Periwinkle at 1557 Potomac Greens Drive in Old Town.  Mason, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, offers a boutique laden with ladies apparel for all sizes, tastes and ages. They really have the wow factor. I shop here for myself and for my 30 year old daughter for things that are fresh and edgy, said Deborah Reeve of Alexandria,  a customer since the shops opening three years ago.

Inspired by her personal style icons Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, Mason said Periwinkles looks are personified by feminine, whimsical and fun. Mason, who always wore a school uniform growing up, said her interest in fashion began at a young age when she discovered how clothes could reflect ones creativity and individuality.

Mason strives to bring out her customers inner Audrey in a small boutique atmosphere that allows for greater customer care than at a large department store. She hosts trunk shows and parties in the boutique to zero in on the needs of her patrons. Mason said her clientele ranges from suburban housewives to Washington insiders like Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

With the shabby chic decor and Victorian flair, the boutique is a girly girls dream shopping destination. Visitors are greeted by bubbly sales girls like Catherine Eagleton and Emma Post, a Senate Budget committee press secretary who moonlights on weekends. The merchandise encompasses day and evening looks from designers like Nanette Lepore and Yoanna Baraschi, handbags by J.L. Lane and baubles by local jewelry designer Melissa Emerick.

Mason said the best way to spring forward your wardrobe is to accessorize with elan. Think of putting a bright necklace or earring with your sweaters or wear a spring dress with leggings, Mason advised.  She also said color is key. Mason has her store front decorated with the candy-coated hues of the upcoming season-pinks, corals, yellows and greens.

The 1960s and 70s are being revisited in Masons new spring merchandise. Were seeing a lot of Jackie Kennedy style shift dresses with the matching bolero jackets and a lot of tunic style dresses from the 70s, she said.

Even without a Palm Beach getaway to run off to this winter, at least Mason can outfit you like a jet-setter, ready to pounce on spring.