Go exercise your purchasing power

Mazza Gallerie
5300 Wisconsin Ave.
Washington 20015

Mazza Gallerie is a three-floor shopping center with a lot of specialty stores and regular brand names that you’ve been looking for. The basement is a great place to go if you need something simple from well-known stores. There’s Filene’s Basement, which recently restocked its clothing inventory just in time for fall sweaters and jeans. If you are looking for that brand-new CD that’s out, there’s a FYE. Also, if you’re looking to tone up for the fall season, there’s a Foot Locker, just in case you need some running shoes.

The crown jewel of the basement though is Tabandeh, which sells jewelry and other accessories. With over 25 years in retail, owner Tabandeh Sizdahkhani is respected among designers and has hosted over 200 designers in her store.

Head upstairs and there is Neiman Marcus, Ann Taylor and Williams Sonoma. If you need a break from shopping, the third floor houses an AMC Theaters, and if you’re hungry, stop by Rock Creek Mazza for some chicken or fish dishes.

Chevy Chase Pavilion
5335 Wisconsin Ave.
Washington 20015

Walk across the street to Chevy Chase Pavilion for even more shopping, including J. Crew and Ann Taylor Loft, the less expensive version of Mazza Gallerie’s Ann Taylor. There’s also a World Market, for home appliances. World Market also has a great display of funky, bohemian jewelry if you need some new accessories.

If you need a pick-me-up after a long day of shopping, there’s a Cheesecake Factory attached to the mall that is a great bet to go to during off hours, such as early dinners or late lunches. There is also a Starbucks on the Metro level.

If relatives come to town and are looking for a place to stay with plenty to do, there’s an Embassy Suites in the mall as well. Come back to Chevy Chase Pavilion over the holidays, as there is a majestic Christmas tree in the middle of the mall.

Shops at Wisconsin Place
5300 Western Ave.
Chevy Chase 20815

The Shops at Wisconsin Place are brand-new additions to the Chevy Chase area. For those new moms, there is the upscale baby clothing, accessories and furniture store Giggle. If you’re interested in high-end clothing stores, a White House Black Market just opened late last month.

Also, if you’re in need of some cosmetics, there is a Sephora and MAC in the shopping center as well. A BCBG Max Azria just opened last month, offering great sales on otherwise pricey merchandise. Anchoring the whole center is a three-floor Bloomingdale’s department store, bringing a taste of New York to the District.

As far as restaurants at the Shops at Wisconsin Place, a Capital Grille is set to open by the end of the year as well as a Tasting Room, which is a wine and cheese bar.

Mustard Seed
7349 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda 20814

Mustard Seed is a new-, used- and vintage-clothing store in downtown Bethesda that I discovered while in college. Steps from the Metro, Mustard Seed sells clothing from Target to Prada, according to its website, mustardseedshop.com.

The shop is interested in unique clothing from the 1960s-’80s, and once you set foot in the door, it shows. There are plenty of throwbacks that look like they came straight out of “Mad Men” or your older sister’s closet.

Mustard Seed buys clothing by appointment only. If you’re interested, visit its website to book an appointment.

Bethesda Row
Bethesda 20814

Bethesda Row is home to some great specialty shops, and with 37 shops, 28 restaurants and a movie theater, this shopping area makes Bethesda a fun place to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The center plays on Bethesda’s active lifestyle, with a CitySports and a lululemon athletica store, selling upscale athletic gear. If your MacBook breaks, there is an Apple store in the area as well. The Barnes & Noble here is huge, and I have never once not found something I was looking for here. For clothing needs, there’s also a Tickled Pink, which sells Lilly Pulitzer dresses, as well as Ginger, home to contemporary women’s clothing.

Also, something to look forward to is the opening of a Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise, in addition to a Georgetown Cupcake.

The movie theater at Bethesda Row is home to mostly independent movies and offers a $7.50 matinee price, so the best chance on getting the most for your money is visiting Bethesda for a quiet weekend afternoon.