DC has as a strengthening tradition of local fare, with the popular Crafty Bastards fest, world famous Eastern Market and a growing number of homegrown specialty shops at 14th and U, Adams Morgan and other areas of town. As for clothing, apparel and accessories, which make up a decent chunk of all holiday sales, we have it made in mid town and on the 42 bus line. Here are a few upcoming events and places I'd recommend to get your alternative shop on.
Rock N Shop: At the Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW). Rock N Shop is described as a junk sale, but over the last few years, has turned into something much more. The vendors sell everything from original prints and photographs to homemade clothing to vintage toys and records. Quite a variety. I always end up buying for myself, which is totally allowed. Plus DJs spinning tunes. That's the rock part. Sunday December 21 at 8pm. Upstairs.
Trunk Show Part One: Craft Mutiny Holiday Trunk Show. Hosted by Design Within Reach in Georgetown (3307 Cady’s Alley NW). Hopefully with crafty prices and not DWR prices. It's Saturday, December 13 from 12-5pm. All kinds of stuff from about a dozen vendors.
Trunk Show Part Two: Ninnole Holiday Trunk Show. Ninnole is a DC clearing house of sorts for indie designers. Some designers are local, others national and even international. There will will be great indie clothing for men! That's rare in DC, as far as I'm concerned. This show/sale is in Adams Morgan (1741 Lanier Pl NW #2). This Sunday December 14th, 12-5pm.
Try visiting our great friends and neighbors at Listopad. They partner with the Mercedes Bien Vintage store in Adams Morgan every weekend. Men's (again, key for me) women's, handbags, ties(!), accessories and more. Its located above the old DCCD (2423 18th St NW). Listopad + Mercedes Bien on Saturdays 12-6pm and Sundays 12-5pm.
And not far from Mercedes Bien, is Meeps. This former U Street store moved three blocks west to 2104 18th Street a few years ago. Same great owners and buyers. This place is always stocked with new finds and just thumbing through some of the selection can take you back to the 60s, 50s or even 1940s. Buy for work, or a night on the town; a very versatile assortment. And yes, they sell men's vintage. Detect a theme here?
This isn't an exhaustive list. There are other options, but it'd be nice, and very easy to shop local for the holidays. Even if you're shopping local for yourself for the holiday.