Having run her kiosk, Istanbul, on the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues since 2006, Hatice Rosato wanted to try expanding into apparel. And once the former Coco Mio space on Bethesda Avenue became available, she seized the opportunity to open Definition Boutique.
Open for five weeks, the women’s apparel store carries dresses, jackets, shorts, denim and tops imported from Rosato’s native Turkey. On a recent visit, she was busy crafting new displays for earrings, most made with semiprecious stones like rose quartz and turquoise ($15 to $35). She also put her creative hand to refurbishing the other displays and fixtures in the store.
Inside a mix of fresh merchandise enlivens the peaceful décor. “The biggest sellers are the dresses,” Rosato says. In a variety of designs reminiscent of the ‘30s and ladylike ‘60s, they offer classic lines with unique details like pleating, ruffles and colorblocking. A simple turquoise and striped frock, sleeveless on one side with a capelet-like sleeve on the other, costs $129. The most expensive was $179.
There’s something for most ages here. Rosato says her typical clientele ranges from young professional to middle-aged women.
Linen lovers will be happy to see an entire rack of 100 percent linen and cotton skirts and trousers. An elegant belted linen dress with soft gray embroidery was a standout ($139).
Also unique are the jackets. One in a sharp, striped knit ($119) could work with just about anything. A favorite was a flowing silky belted topper ($69) in deep green with button-up sleeves.
And, of course, there’s denim. Rosato says that Liu-Jo Jeans is a popular European brand that goes up to 300 euros. She sells them here for $129. And that’s the most expensive pair; most are about $79.
Not to miss are the colorful handbags in both genuine and manmade leather. I especially liked the boxy ladylike shapes, and I don’t think you’ll find someone else carrying the same bag.
In fact that’s the point. Not only are the finds here unique, but Rosato only stocks “a couple” of each item.
“It’s important that you’re not seeing what you’re wearing on everyone else,” she says. And, happily, you probably won’t.
4700 Bethesda Ave. (downstairs at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue), Bethesda, 301-986-8518, www.definitionboutique.com