It used to be that people came from all over the world to New York just to shop. People still come to Manhattan to shop no doubt but with the advent of Internet shopping and the fact that most shops nowadays are large chain stores found anywhere, shopping here has become a little lacklustre.
When I have guests visiting from out of town who want to purchase clothing or gifts, I find myself saying, “but you can get that back home” a lot. Has New York City lost its fashion edge? I don’t think so. It’s more that the smaller boutiques can’t afford the rent anymore so have moved to the outer boroughs like the rest of us.
Shopping in Bococa
Bococa is an area of Brooklyn that spans three neighborhoods: Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. It is short subway ride to a ten block rectangle of shopping bliss. If you are looking for gifts for others or yourself that are not from H & M (not that there is anything wrong with H & M) then go to Brooklyn to shop. When you are done shopping there are many great eateries in the neighborhood too.
TIP: For Ladies clothes head to Court Street first and then cross over and walk back the other way down Smith Street with its home accessories, men, women and children’s clothes and toys.
Diane T – 174 Court Street
Although I have only purchased one dress here (a Diane von Furstenberg), I know that the best dressed Brooklyn moms shop here. It carries high end designs by Marc Jacobs, Milly and Standard but the word on the street is that the staff can make you feel like Julia Roberts the first time she goes shopping in Pretty Woman, so make sure you bring your designer hand bag when you go.
Rapisarda – 177 Court Street
This little shop is worth the visit on a cold, dreary day. It is a color explosion of Brazilian inspired clothing, accessories and jewelry (much of which is made by the shop’s owner).
Pink Pepper – 201 Court Street
This is the new kid on the block but looks promising. It also supports local talent including jewelry by designer Laura Frank.
Lily – 209 Court Street
My sweet lily. I have been shopping at this store for years. If you need a cute gift for someone or yourself that will not break the bank this is the place to go.
Teddy – 216 Court Street
This shop is one of three in the city. It has an in-house designer and carries other lines as well. The clothing is clean and simple. It also carries great jewelry and vegan clutch purses—um whatever that is. Fork & Pencil – 221 Court Street A small shop with that sells an eclectic mix of vintage and new items including cards, toys, books and jewelry.
LF Brooklyn – 227 Court Street This is the Brooklyn location for a small group of boutiques that is geared toward teens. Teens with a healthy allowance, that is. Many of the clothes have been recycled and embellished such as a pair of cut-off jean shorts with sequence down the side.
Neda – 302 Court Street
Nice clothing, jewelry and accessories
Shen – 315 Court Street
A bright cheerful store with cosmetics, bath and skin care items. Inexpensive gifts for kids and adults. Who can resist glittering cupcake shaped bath salts?
Lee Lee’s Valise – 368 Court Street This boutique specializes in women’s sizes 10-28 but make no mistake this not your boring Lane Bryant, these clothes have style. It also sells great accessories for the below 10 set.
Atmosphere – 333 Smith Street
Tasteful home goods, jewelry, candles and hip tchotchkes.
ByBrooklyn – 261 Smith Street
Original home goods included food items like chocolate and jarred jams.
Refinery – 248 Smith Street
There was a time when everyone in the hood had one of their bags. While they are no longer the local craze they have been in business a long time so they must be doing something right.
Lucia – 243 Smith Street
Tasteful women’s clothing.
Smith & Butler – 225 Smith Street
The coolest shop interior on the block with the vintage motorcycle by the counter. Sells women’s clothing but also has a huge men’s section in the back.
Bird – 220 Smith Street I have seen this shop mentioned in many fashion magazines. Has the latest in women’s wear. Note that it is not for the financially challenged.
Dear Fieldbinder – 198 Smith Street Similar to Bird and only a block away.
Homage Brooklyn – 151 Smith Street Where the hipster’s go to buy their latest kicks. Sells skateboard and snowboard gear too.
Something Else – 144 Smith Street Cute and casual clothes plus it has great sales. Always stocks my favorite brands, like Spiewak. This is one of three stores in NYC.
Brooklyn Industries – 100 Smith Street The first cool kid on the block. The store makes their own brand of men and women’s clothing including their staple Brooklyn-themed hoodies.
If I Were a Toy – 369 Court Street
Pizzaz Toyz – 281 Court Street
The Green Onion – 274 Smith Street