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wonders never cease

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rent the Topper

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Small Business Saturday

Shouldn't every day be a #shopsmall day? We think so, but we also love a good celebratory day honoring Small Business Folk, and this year we have much to celebrate: in addition to our bustling Dupont Shop chock-full of goodies, we are adding a new location ON SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY (maybe even a hair before if we can swing it!).

Cathedral Commons, is a beautiful group of businesses on an historic stretch of  Wisconsin Avenue, in the shadow of the National Cathedral. It has some beautiful conveniences that our beloved Dupont shop just can't offer: parking (90 minutes free garage parking, plus plenty of street parking), space (high ceilings! room to pass other shoppers freely!), and lots of other shops and restaurants and activities nearby (Blue Mercury, Core72, Le Village Marche, The Cookery, Raku, Silver Diner, Barcelona ... Pure Barre, Zenga Cycle .. THE WASHINGTON BALLET!)

At the corner of Wisconsin and Newark, our hours are: 10 - 6, MON - SAT; 11 - 5 SUN

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Nancy and Beth and Megan and Stephanie

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Let’s Get Whimiscal

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Monday, March 6, 2017

A Day Without A Woman

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Countdown to Magic

This will be magical: "The DC Public Library Foundation is set to release a compilation album featuring several luminaries of the DC music scene entitled ALB’s Rock the Stacks. The release will come in both vinyl and digital format. The Foundation will host a local music festival and release party at the MLK Library on February 24, 2017. The proceeds of the album and all events surrounding it will go to the DC Public Library Foundation. ALB’s Rock the Stacks came together in memory of Annie Lou Berman, an essential member of the DC creative community and board member of the DC Public Library Foundation, who succumbed to cancer earlier this year.

Some of Berman’s favorite bands have donated recordings to the project while others collaborated to make fresh recordings in the state-of-the-art Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library recording studios. Some of the bands and musicians appearing on the album includeThievery Corporation, Deathfix, Fort Knox Five, Shortstack and Small Doses. The release party will feature many of the bands on the album, including Elmapi, Furniteur, Warm Sun and The ALB Allstars (a supergroup of members appearing on Rock the Stacks).

The project is being headed by a committee that includes Anna Fuhrman (Proper Topper),Brendan Canty (Fugazi, Deathfix), Jim Thomson (Gwar), Ben Gilligan (musician and restaurateur), Vida Russell and Jerry Busher (Deathfix, French Toast) as well as members of the library and Berman’s family members, including husband MJ Berman, sister Johanna Howe and cousin Kevin Bayly.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Shop Local Because ...

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pink October Rolls into November

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Banned Books Week Redux

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Maker Camp: Sun Dye!

This sunny hot week, a lazy week between camps and family expedition to NYC, we decided to host our own Maker Camp. We were ready to try some projects we've had up our sleeves for a while. We invited a BFF, cranked up the Hamilton soundtrack, and got started. First up: the Sun Dye project we saw here and bought materials for years ago ... but never quite got around to.

Step One was setting up a shady spot -- a little harder than imagined on a 99-degree, super sunny day -- and spreading out materials: Inkodye paints, brushes, rollers, jars for mixing. Plus: shirts, tea towels and scarves for dying. Step Two: gathering foliage from the garden to spread on the dye-covered fabrics and create patterns in relief. (I loved that Lucy asked me to show them which plant matter was permissable for plucking; she knows the relationship between me and my plants pretty well.) Step Three: spreading sun dye on fabric (we used sponge brushes; it was tricky), then placing leaves and objects in a pattern. Step Four: moving the creation into the light, and letting it rest for about 15 minutes while the sun activates the dye.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Why We Love DC

It's hard to escape this bizarre 2016 election. Among the (many) vexing issues: the frequently-invoked term "Washington" -- often cited with vitriol, occasionally with praise, but always with reference to a famous but not-the-whole-story capital city.

For most residents of the District, that "Washington" is as foreign as it is to folks in distant states. For us, DC is home. It's fun and challenging and exciting and currently very humid. It has scads of libraries, schools, museums, and a burgeoning creative class, all of which we are delighted to support.

I am proud to call DC my hometown. (I wish I could call it my home state.) And I am delighted that my DC business, which proudly supports local artisans, is now launching a couple of our own Made-in-DC product lines: DCProper (apparel) and The Proper Kind (paper goods with positive vibes).  We'll be telling you more ...

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Making Good Vibes

Hey there, friends.

I think we've all been touched this summer by all of the sadness and anger unfolding in the world. In the wee small hours, when dark thoughts come out to play, it can be pretty hard to shake a sense of hopelessness.

Though hardly original, my plan of defense is to greet each day with the goal of bringing as much good into the world as I can. Random acts of kindness, positive thoughts, good work in the community. Stuff that's important any time, but is actually important and theraputic in times such as these.

How are you doing? I'd love to hear your ideas and inspirations.

Peace and love to all,


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Sunday, July 3, 2016


As we ease into midsummer, we're looking forward to the lazy-ish days and fun escapes ahead, mindful that they'll roll by quickly. We plan to document get-aways and adventures -- our own and others' -- but first, we forge on with the second and final week of our 26TH anniversary sale and an Homage to the Aughts (which rolled by quickly). Our sale is reminiscent of the HUGE PATIO SALES that defined the first decade of this century in our Georgetown shop. We're playing our 22-hour play list of favorite songs we were listening to back then ... you can find the play list here. Hope you enjoy listening to it in your midsummer revelry.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

26 Years!

So, maybe you've heard (because we've been making a pretty big deal out of it ... ), Proper Topper just turned TWENTY-SIX. Which is like a billion in shop years.

Needless to say, we're celebrating. 

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Mr. Reliable

This week's installment of Proper Style Picks,  by our own Mr. Reliable, Jake:

With Father's Day this weekend, I'm thinking about how glad I am to have three fatherly figures in my life: my dad, my stepdad, and my mentor. While I've had my ups and downs with all of them (but who hasn't, especially as a teenager?), they have always been reliable.

With their reputations of reliability, they deserve gifts with the same reputation this Father's Day.

I already expounded on the quality of Lisa B. socks in a previous post (but you should definitely give dad some); here are some other favorites you can rely on.

Rustico leather products are all hand-crafted in Utah, ensuring their reliability for years to come. (I use one of their Departure leather wallets and can report that it's worn in beautifully.) I like the idea of sharing special memories in a brag book, making a date to spend time outdoors with a golf or fishing log, or writing a travel itinerary and wrapping it up with a passport cover and luggage tag.

Is there a more reliable summer hat than one made from panama straw? (The answer is no.) Always hand-woven in Ecuador,

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Spotify Summertime

Our weird spring weather has blossomed into summer, and a sunny swelter has gripped our city just in time for the longest sultry days of the year. We invite you to enjoy another of our in-store play lists from our Spotify account. It sounds just as good by the pool as it does holed up in an air-conditioned home, and it's appropriate for discerning listeners aged 5 to 95.

Log on, kick back, relax and try to stay cool. If you're looking for a good sun hat to stay shady, swing by and let us hook you up.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

An Ode to Socks

Today's Proper Style Pick from dapper staff member Jake:

Socks and underwear: gifts men typically dread receiving. Too often they are something needed, not wanted.

Recently, though, there's been a revival in sock love. Colors and patterns have reappeared --  much to my liking. As someone who loves color and appreciates quality, I was drawn to these new offerings.

But: I'm hard on my feet, and socks take the brunt of my abuse. I had come to accept that socks never lasted long in my life. 

Then I gave the Lisa B. socks we sell in the shop a try. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you they changed my life. 

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Summertime Chill

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Nick Offerman Can Canoe, Can You?

The sunshine spilling over our waterlogged metropolis is such a welcome sight today. Alas, it seems to be only dropping by for a quick visit and will be replaced by a few days more of grey skies and gross rain. This will undoubtedly put a damper on your big plans for the weekend, so we thought we'd turn you on to a product that might be of some interest to you.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Spotify Your Life!

I love it when visitors to our shop compliment the music we play. We put together our sets pretty carefully, mixing up genres from the last six or seven decades, so I'm delighted to know folks are enjoying.

It occurs to me that there's no reason you can't enjoy our playlists wherever/whenever desired. Like our sporadically-published, themed playlists on this blog, we're also going to release the store playlists over the next few months. Use a Spotify account and feel free to join the party, starting with week one.


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wonders never cease