The Best Shopping in Brooklyn

03/26/2014 4:00 AM |

— Clothes —

Best Dress to Transition From Winter to Spring

Nihon Dress, $106

We don’t have enough money (or closet space) to have too many season-specific clothing items; we’re all about multi-purpose pieces, which is why we love this dress so much. It’s perfect for these last wintry days (wear with black tights and boots), but it’ll also be great once it gets warmer—just keep your legs bare and add strappy sandals. Article&, 198 Smith Street, Cobble Hill

Best Socks That Can One Day Be Turned Into Sock Monkeys

Fox River Red Heel Monkey Socks, $12

Remember sock monkeys? They were cute, right? But you can’t just go around anymore carrying stuffed animals with you everywhere. Grow up already. Or don’t, and wear these socks that will remind you that you still have a young soul. Or, um, young soles. (Wordplay! So grown up!) In God We Trust, 70 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint

Best Sweater with Animals On It

Mont St. Michel Bunny Sweater, $125

What can we say? We love sweaters that have animals on them, and this is the best one we’ve found. First, the animals in question are bunnies. Bunnies are superior animals. Second, the design is very spare and Nordic, so you won’t look juvenile when you wear it. Ad Hoc, 135 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg

Best Pajama Pants

Striped Pyjama Trousers, $98

Fact: a good pair of pajama pants is the single most important item in any adult’s wardrobe. Especially if that adult occasionally works from home and spends most of his or her free time watching
Netflix. Perfect for men or women, these pajama pants get softer (so, better) the more you wear them. So wear them a lot. And never leave your apartment again. That’s our plan, anyway. Hickoree’s, 109 S. 6th Street (2nd Floor), Williamsburg

Best Underwear That Won’t Embarrass You If You’re Hit By a Car

Huit Interview Demi Bra ($68) and Tanga ($34)

Most women (or is this just us?) have two types of underwear: fancy, impractical sets that are a shame to cover up, and comfortable, boring, everyday stuff. What we need is something in the middle, something that feels good and looks good, in case of, you know, emergencies. Enter this practical yet stylish red-white-and-blue lingerie set. Never feel nervous about getting caught with your pants down (or your skirt up) again. Brooklyn Fox, 132 N. 5th Street, Williamsburg

Best, Most Versatile Shoes You’ll Ever Own

Alden Plain-Toe Chromexcel Blucher, $508

It’s not lost on us—the way it is on all those editors at the big, stupid fashion magazines we all still read for some reason—that $508 is an obscene amount of money to spend on a pair of shoes. But we think these classic, plain-toe bluchers (from one of the oldest and most respected footwear companies in the country) are well worth it. You can wear them with anything short of, um, shorts: jeans, slim-fitting khakis, even a suit if you’re in a pinch. And with proper care—including a good resoling once every decade or so—they’ll literally last forever. Epaulet, 231 Smith Street, Cobble Hill

Best Skirt You Can Make Yourself

Flirt Skirt Sewing Class, $140

The ubergirly Park Slope boutique just added another, larger location farther south on Fifth Avenue, where your crafty alter ego can sign up for sewing and design classes in the back room. In the Flirt Skirt class, you can choose a pattern to work from and alter it to your heart’s content. (We’re sparing you the Tim Gunn “Make it work” joke. You’re welcome.) Flirt, 586 Fifth Avenue, South Slope

Best Men’s Sweatshirt That Just Screams “Normcore”

The West Is Dead Crewneck Sweatshirt, $155

Maybe the normcore trend won’t last (or maybe it never actually began?), but we’d be remiss if we didn’t include at least one reference in this shopping guide. So: hey, it doesn’t get much more normcore than a sweatshirt that costs more than a monthly Metrocard! Swords-Smith, 98 S. 4th Street, Williamsburg

Best Paddington Bear Accessory

Dark Blue Vintage Raincoat, $10

Mobile Vintage is a perfect place to shop for
secondhand niceties without being overwhelmed. The selection is small and rotates, and not only is everything on the racks very nice, it’s also all the same price: $10. Yeah, coats and shirts and pants alike. If you find your size and taste here, it’s a total score. Sometimes your taste coincides with your size such that you leave with a raincoat that makes you look like a pathetic human version of Paddington Bear. SO WHAT! It’s a great coat. Mobile Vintage, Afternoons and Evenings in front of 260 Moore Street, near Roberta’s, East Williamsburg/Bushwick

Best Affordable Fancy Coat that Probably Doesn’t Also Have BedBugs

Fur Coat, prices vary

Listen, we’re positive this ex-Williamsburg (now Greenpoint) and Park Slope standby is absolutely, 100 percent free of bedbugs. But with vintage shops, there’s always the risk of coming home with not only an awesomely chic dead woman’s fur coat from the 40s but with a few uninvited friends as well. And if you’re going to take that risk, you’re better off trusting the folks at Beacon’s as opposed to, say, that dude with the stray clothing rack on the street. Beacon’s Closet, 74 Guernsey Street, Greenpoint; 92 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope

Best Vintage Gym T-Shirts from Local High Schools You’ve Never Heard of

St. Francis Prep Track & Field Shirt, $32

From great old wool coats to well-cared-for classic dress shoes, this shop has plenty of vintage items we’d happily take home, but it’s their stack of old gym shirts from local high schools that hold our attention the longest. Just think: with the perfectly worn-in St. Francis Prep track-and-field tee, you could potentially trick people into thinking you’ve actually been outside of Brooklyn! And that you’re familiar with parts of Queens that aren’t Astoria! Front General Store, 143 Front Street, DUMBO

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