Street-style is a big thing in Brooklyn. "You are what you wear" and all that. As a parent, though, you actually wind up entering a whole new world of "you are what your children wear." So you need your children to look good. Does this sound...pretentious? Superficial? I mean, maybe. Maybe it sounds that way, but, really, it isn't that way at all. The thing is, just like adults, kids like to express themselves through their clothes and accessories. Now, maybe those accessories include Spiderman masks and My Little Pony t-shirts—frequently at the same time—but it's still self-expression. And self-expression is a great thing. We spoke with seven of the best Brooklyn kids stores and found out what items are flying off the shelves and onto the the backs of Brooklyn's best-dressed kids. And, honestly? We wish a lot of this stuff came in grown-up sizes.
Located in center Slope, Lolli stocks a full array of clothes for children ages 0-12. Popular brands include Appaman and Splendid, and the clothes are arranged in an easy-to-navigate fashion. This is important because kids clothing stores can be really overwhelming. Lolli never is. The staff is friendly and is particularly adept at helping you pick out the perfect baby shower present.
Pink Olive carries a truly unique blend of clothes and accessories that offer both a Brooklyn aesthetic sensibility and a level of practicality that every parent appreciates. Beyond children's items, Pink Olive carries everything from letter-press stationery to home decor. We're kind of obsessed with their Metrocard baby rattle, which seems like the perfect first toy for any Brooklyn baby.
My Brooklyn Baby
My Brooklyn Baby owner Darcy Le Fleming has curated the perfect shop for parents of kids ages 0-5. In this vibrant, light-filled Fort Greene storefront, parents are encouraged to come in to shop, sure, but also just become part of a larger parenting community. Le Fleming made sure that her stop has a changing table, a breastfeeding area, and a place for little kids to sit and snack. All of these features make My Brooklyn Baby a pleasure for parents to peruse the items for sale, but none of this would matter if what was for sale wasn't also great. And it is! One of our favorite items is the crocheted toddler handbag that is made locally and sold at the store. It's the perfect gift for any kid in your life.
Stork opened in 2011 with the intention of offering high-quality clothes and accessories for children up to the age of 6. They carry a wide variety of clothing brands, including the incredibly popular NUNUNU, but haven't limited themselves only to things that can be put on the body. Stork carries well-designed children's furniture—everything from easels to coat racks to desks—and even kid-oriented tableware. It's a must-visit store for anyone who wants to treat the child in their life to something special.
Located in Williamsburg—which sometimes seems to have take over Park Slope's role as Brooklyn's baby-center—Smoochie Baby has everything that you could possibly want for your child. Beyond the incredibly stylish clothes (seriously, we would wear half of what's on sale here, including the gorgeous Mayorcan sandals below) Smoochie Baby has a great selection of toys, books, and even musical instruments. But perhaps our favorite item is the vintage chatter phone toy, which is just like one we played with when we were young. Which was so, SO many years ago.
Hank & JoJo
Located in the heart of Fort Greene, Hank & JoJo is one of those rare spaces that transcends any easy definition. Not only is it an ecologically-minded children's clothing purveyor (their off-the-charts adorable retro tube socks are made from bamboo), but it is also a place to take classes or even host a birthday party. Classes offered include French, dance, and musical theatre, thus making Hank & JoJo's a really valuable addition to their community.
Class schedule at hankandjojo.com
This Williamsburg standby always has exactly what kids want. Whether it's the perfect toy or a t-shirt adorned in skulls, cars, and a hula girl, Flying Squirrel speaks to a very Brooklyn sensibility. The staff is incredibly warm and friendly and can help you out if you're at a loss because you're shopping for someone else's kid. The other awesome aspect of this store is that it also operates as a consignment shop, so you don't need to feel guilty about the vast amount of material consumption that goes hand-in-hand with parenting. Shopping with a clean conscience is always a great feeling. And it's even better when you get to walk out with some really cool stuff.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen