January-February 2019

Shop Talk

Tie-neck blouses for work or play. Plus, a new Potomac boutique offers edgy athleisure clothes.

Far from prissy, a ladylike bow can take a blouse from polished and professional to downright dazzling. A workhorse in any wardrobe, tie-neck blouses can be dressed down with jeans and boots, worn to the office under a sharp blazer, or taken out on the town with leather pants and heels.


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Dolce & Gabbana’s rose print tie-neck stretch silk blouse, $1,195 at Nordstrom

(Westfield Montgomery mall, Bethesda; 301-365-4111; nordstrom.com)






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FRAME’s black velvet tie blouse, $275 at Sassanova

(7134 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda; 301-654-7403; sassanova.com)






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J.Crew’s tie-neck button-up shirt in subtle pink, $79.50 at J.Crew

(5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-537-3380; jcrew.com)






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Gucci’s long sleeve rose print tie-neck blouse, $1,600 at Saks Fifth Avenue

(5555 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-657-9000; saksfifthavenue.com)





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Alice and Olivia’s Willis striped tie-neck blouse, $295 at Bloomingdale’s

(5300 Western Ave., Chevy Chase; 240-744-3700; bloomingdales.com)





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Equipment’s Luis nostalgia polka dot silk blouse, $298 at Saks Fifth Avenue

(5555 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-657-9000; saksfifthavenue.com)





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7 For All Mankind’s silk tie-neck blouson-sleeve top, $189 at Neiman Marcus

(5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-966-9700; neimanmarcus.com)







Caption: Amy Block (left) and Wendy Abelman recently opened Gym & Tonic at Park Potomac. Photo by Liz Lynch.


Sporty and Spicy

A new Potomac boutique offers edgy athleisure clothes


Neighbors Amy Block and Wendy Abelman, who live in Symphony Park in North Bethesda, spotted a hole in their local retail landscape, so they decided to do something about it. “When I moved here in 2017, I noticed everything just seemed so conservative. We needed a shopping experience that offered a little spice,” says Block, who previously lived in Miami, where she owned a fitness club with a retail space to help outfit gym-goers. Block joined forces with Abelman, who had 20-plus years of retail experience with Lucky Brand Jeans, to launch Gym & Tonic, an athleisure-focused women’s clothing boutique. The store sells “clothes you can wear all day, then throw on a blazer to go out for drinks and feel fantastic,” Abelman says.

Gym & Tonic opened its doors this past September in a Park Potomac storefront strategically positioned near Life Time Athletic and Orangetheory Fitness. Clothing at Gym & Tonic is both on-trend and versatile enough to work for women of any age “depending on how you style it,” Abelman says. This means the store carries fun, glitzy leggings from brands like Terez and Ultracor; curve-hugging separates from Pam & Gela; soft pullovers and cozy joggers from brands like Monrow and n:Philanthropy; yoga (and après yoga) gear from Alo and Beyond Yoga; and casually luxe couture from Zadig & Voltaire. This winter, Block and Abelman are stockpiling items with textural details—Sherpa coats, leather leggings and velvet anything.

Accessories run the gamut from gym bags and fanny packs to sneakers and hats. Gym & Tonic also offers on-site customization services—so you can personalize anything from leggings to T-shirts to backpacks with letters, glittery graphic designs and punchy motifs such as skulls, hearts, lightning bolts and stars.

As for the duo’s preferred form of exercise: Sure, cardio and weight training are important, they say, but shopping is their favorite workout.

Gym & Tonic, 12435 Park Potomac Ave., Potomac; 301-340-8800, shopgymandtonic.com