The shops in this neighborhood reflect the unique spaces where they're housed, be they former machine shops, warehouses, or homes, and have a distinctively high-low Brooklyn flavor. Whether near main arteries like Bedford Avenue or tucked away between row houses and factories, these shops (and their hard-to-find-elsewhere goods) are well worth a crowded ride on the L.
Oak, 208 N. 8th Street between Driggs and Roebling; 718-782-0521. www.oaknyc.com
Many a Williamsburg shopping excursion starts at Oak's glass-front garage on North 8th Street, just a block from the Bedford L stop. It-kids flock to Jeff Madalena and Louis Terline's recently expanded store for its carefully curated stock of men's and women's clothes, shoes, and accessories from hip and edgy labels like Acne, Surface to Air, Rick Owens drkshdw, Alexander Wang, Kaylee Tankus, and Oak's own line of on-trend pieces. The killer denim selection and range of shoes, not to mention A.OK, a shop-in-shop of clothes at lower price points, make a visit to the Brooklyn Oak essential.
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Bird, 203 Grand Street (near Driggs); 718-388-1655. www.shopbird.com
One of Williamsburg's most pleasant shopping experiences, Bird's spacious and welcoming, LEED-certified third location on Grand Street is the place to go for pretty frocks by the likes of Tsumori Chimato, Bodkin, Lauren Moffatt, and Isabel Marant. Owner Jen Mankins also stocks higher-end, of-the-moment designers (Thakoon, Yigal Azrouël), a great selection of Brooklyn-based labels (Loeffler Randall, Vena Cava), and housewares and gifts like Tamar Mogendorff's fabric art. The small but well-edited men's section includes clothes from Hermanos Estebecorena, A.P.C., and Shipley & Halmos. With it's exposed brick, warm wood, and high-design sensibility, Bird is Brooklyn through and through.
Sprout Home, 44 Grand Street; 718-388-4440. sprouthomebrooklyn.blogspot.com
If you're pining for a patch of green in the concrete jungle, Sprout Home has exactly what you need—even if you don't buy anything. The shop's verdant wares (houseplants, mainly, but a great selection of cut blooms as well) are displayed on shelves and in a space out back, as well as a selection of clever housewares and furniture. The real highlight, though, is the ultra-knowledgable staff, headed up by Tassy Zimmerman. Even if you can't keep cacti alive, they'll set you up with low-maintenance plants perfect for the shoebox-apartment-dweller. And for those of you fortunate enough to have a backyard, there's a garden consulting service, too.
Malin Landaeus, North 6th between Bedford and Driggs; 646-361-0261. www.malinlandaeus.com.
The 'burg is overrun with vintage shops, but Malin Landaeus stands out in the crowd. Owner Malin set up her store to feel as homey as a living room, and its racks of fun vintage invite you to play dress-up as soon as you step inside. The shop's long been an R29 fave, and is the only in-person place to find Erica Weiner's entire jewelry line. With Malin's recently-opened, appointment-only archive just down the street, the store is one of the only vintage shops you'll want (or need) to hit up.
Old Hollywood, 110 Meserole Avenue; 718-389-0837. www.oldhollywoodmoxie.com.
You'll feel like you're shopping in a pinup's 1950s boudoir at Old Hollywood, the Greenpoint shop started by former Catbird buyer Tiffany Porter. Clothing swings mid-century, with vintage pieces being sold alongside new, but one look inside and this will become your go-to spot for unique and well-priced accessories. Vintage baubles mingle with jewels by indie labels like Digby & Iona and This Charming Man, and Sybil Domond's embellished collar necklaces are sure to earn a spot on your gift-list this year.
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