Nobody really does any shopping in the city. Most of the bargains are unfortunately available where all the people live -- in the suburbs. The malls and the like ring the outside of the city, except in Georgetown, which is described elsewhere as the most 'European' shopping area, except that we can't seem to close down a road. Basically, Georgetown is like most European city-center shopping areas, except we didn't brick over and close down the streets.
However, there is plenty of good American-style shopping available within Metro Distance. The largest is Pentagon City, and the Metro for Pentagon City will take you directly into the mall. Four stories of unabashed commercialism, American-style.
For those of you who want to check out the Maryland side, Chevy Chase also has a large mall within walking distance to the Chevy Chase metro.
This is a continuation from the above 'General' list where I mentioned briefly about shopping in Washington D.C. You'd be pleased to know that the sales tax here is one of the lowest in U.S.A. (besides Hawaii, that is). Only 5.5% (if my memory didn't fail me).
So, remember to bring along an extra bag in cloth material (like what I did). :-)) If you're coming from Europe or Asia, buy only the American brand products. They are really, really worth it (read: cheap).
Brands like Clinique, Prescriptives, Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Donna Karan, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Estee Lauder etc. are really good buys.
I gave Calvin Klein products a miss because there are just too many imitations right now in the market (to say it's being flooded would be an understatement!). Sorry, Calvin!
And if you're really SERIOUS about coinciding your holiday with a MAJOR sale, I can't think of a better time than the FANTASTIC 4th of July sale - yes, nation-wide.
And for those who absolutely MUST know how cheap American products really cost in the U.S.A., here's a rough guide. Let's take the brand Clinique as an example. Their LARGEST bottle of Clarifying Lotion cost only US$15.50 (excl. sales tax) in U.S.A. That same bottle costs:-
450 French Francs in Paris/ Nice (France).
US$34 (S$58) in Singapore.
O.K., I'm sure you're convinced now. :-)) Happy Shopping then!