The Brooklyn Summer Fashion Guide: The Best of Brooklyn Boutiques and Designers, Summer 2014


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July is here, and with it, oppressively hot, humid weather that makes looking cute, or even decent, really, a constant challenge. And lest you be the type to believe that this is all merely a two-month thing and that on September 1st we will be greeted with beautiful orange foliage and sweater weather, let us remind you that “fall” doesn’t really start happening until almost-Thanksgiving and you’ve actually got like, basically forever until then.

But, summer! Sure, it’s hot, but it’s also the season of trips to the beach, of outdoor film screenings and eating ice cream cones for no reason other than it’s nice outside. And you need some clothes to go with all of those fun summery activities, which is why we’ve rounded up the absolute best reasons to indulge in a brand-new wardrobe this season, courtesy of our favorite Brooklyn boutiques and fashion designers.



The Matching Set
If there’s one print we’d want to wear twice at the same time, it’s this joyous, semi-ironic Hawaiian design by In God We Trust. Ideal for the beach, sure, but we could also see ourselves sporting this at a concert or out shopping—presumably for more awesome matching sets like this one. Luanne Top, $110; Brenda Skort, $136, available at In God We Trust, 70 Greenpoint Ave, Greenpoint and 129 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg.



The Workshirt
For those days when you’re doing some heavy lifting, or perhaps camping, and hey, even anything remotely relating to the outdoors (grilling tofu? Sure!), this super-durable, heavyweight overshirt from Pilgrim Surf + Supply’s Nor’easter Series will help you look the part. Champlin Overshirt in Boat Bottom Blue, $230, available at Pilgrim Surf + Supply, 68 N. 3rd St, Williamsburg.



The Summer Pant (For Girls)
If you needed yet another reason to wear sweatpants to work, these are it. 100% cotton and light as a feather, they’re made for just about every hot-weather activity we can think of, including sitting in your heavily over-air conditioned office. Plus, when has anyone ever refused a drawstring? Tie-Dye Beach Pants, $106, available at Mary Meyer, 56 Bogart St, Bushwick.



The Summer Pant (For Guys)
Yes, men of Brooklyn, you can wear a cropped pant, just as long as that cropped pant is as well-tailored as these Lucio Castro cotton denim ones.  Lucio Castro Karl Chinos, $195, available at Swords-Smith, 98 S. 4th St, Williamsburg.



The Universally Sexy Slip
Just look at this thing: The flattering darts, the low-but-not-too-low criss-cross back, the lace detail—it’s hard not to look hot in a decent LBD, but this double-layered slip (so it’s wearable in colder weather, too) makes it downright impossible. Honey Punch Lace Trim Slip, $68, available at Article&, 198 Smith St, Cobble Hill.



The Graphic Top
Any good investment piece need only have one of a few qualities: it must either be exceptionally well-tailored, wearable with a wide variety of outfits, and not so bold that you’ll quickly tire of it. But the best investment pieces boast all three, which this Finnish-designed, semi-cropped shirt can certainly say for itself. Samuji Hylje Top, $270, available at Swords-Smith, 98 S. 4th St, Williamsburg.



The 60’s Shirt
It’s sixties-inspired twee at its most manly: The bright red and baby blue stripes are a bit boyish, but they also carry an air of “I’m-summering-on-the-South-Fork-sipping-gin-on-a-sailboat-with-my-dad,” which is, of course, what summer is all about. Levi’s 1960’s Striped Tee in red/light blue, $99, available at Hickoree’s Floor Tw0, 109 S. 6th St, 2nd floor, Williamsburg.



The Alternative To The Obnoxious Phrase Shirt
Sure, you could wear a t-shirt that makes a cat pun out of a designer’s name, or one that brands your torso with the charming phrase, “Whatever.” But another, perhaps more artful way of wearing your trademark cheekiness on your body is with these breast-bearing illustrations circa 1979 by Francine Dressler. Only Rachel Antonoff could make nudity this cute. Rachel Antonoff Dressler Print Daniel Dress, $225, available at Swords-Smith, 98 S. 4th St, Williamsburg.



The Shirt You Will Want To Wear Every Day, All Year
Ladies and gentlemen, we present the summer shirt in its perfect form. Brooklyn designer and Parsons grad Suzanne Rae’s iteration manages to toe the line between structured and airy, boxy and feminine. In other words, Rae’s design captures the “self-informed, progressive, considerate, modern gentlewoman” of Brooklyn, she explains. “One of the things that I love about Brooklyn is its uniqueness in how it promotes individuality. Nowhere else in the world is individual style or personality encouraged and appreciated; this makes designing in Brooklyn so inspiring.” (We’ll take twelve.)  Collared T-Shirt by Suzanne Rae, $245, available at Joinery, 263 S. 1st St, Williamsburg.



The Statement Sunnies
Much like an exceptional haircut, a really, really good pair of sunglasses is worth the purchase, if only for the simple fact that they’re worn every day. Here’s a pair you’ll want to wear even on the subway, sans shame: The Klein, a subtly extravagant, limited-edition design by Etnia that uses the famous shade of blue made popular by artist Yves Klein. Klein Limited Edition Sunglasses in Yves Klein Blue and gold, $295, available at Bird, 203 Grand St, Williamsburg.



The (Far Cheaper) Statement Sunnies
This Park Slope boutique, which now boasts two locations on each of the northern and southern ends of the neighborhood, is a rather sneaky resource for anyone nursing an addiction to cheap trendy shades. No pair in the store, which range from pastel pink to flower-bedazzled, will set you back more than $12. Cat-eye Sunglasses, $12, available at Flirt Boutique, 93 Fifth Ave, Park Slope and 586 Fifth Ave, Park Slope.



The Beach Jumpsuit
Finally, it’s the female equivalent of the glorious men’s summer staple known as the linen suit. You’ll stand apart from all your caftan-wearing friends. UPSTATE Wilson Jumpsuit in Beach Wash, $460, available at Jill Lindsey, 370 Myrtle Ave, Fort Greene.



The Non-Scary Bikini
Sometimes it pays not to mess with success. Take, for instance, this 40’s-esque two-piece that lifts where it needs to lift, tightens where it needs to tighten, and begs the question, why did we ever stop wearing these? Norma Kamali Bill Bikini in Red, Top and Bottom $175 each, available at Brooklyn Fox Lingerie, 200 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg.



The Office-Appropriate Romper
The word “romper” might invite images of small children frolicking in the dirt, so we were as shocked as any upon finding this—dare we say—demure version of the oft-infantalized garment. Sweet Rain Arrow Print Romper, $59, available at Article&, 198 Smith St, Cobble Hill.



The Everyday Kicks
We’re all about chambray, especially in summer, but it’s never been a huge draw for shoes until these low-tops from The Hill-Side caught our eye. Now we kind of want chambray on all of our sandals and heels—anyone? The Hill-Side Chambray Low Top Sneakers in Indigo, $175, available at Hickoree’s Floor Tw0, 109 S. 6th St, 2nd floor, Williamsburg.



The Ugly Sandals
Yes, flatforms have been experiencing a bit of a moment, but how’s a busy Brooklynite supposed to walk around in those all day? Trade in your painfully en-trend flat platforms for the 1” of lift you’ll get with these far more city-friendly sandals.  Sol Sana Celeste Sandals in White, $135, available at Shoe Market, 160 N. 6th St, Williamsburg.



The Ladylike Shoes
In a season that hath wrought both fabulously ugly, clown-like sandals and tons of dainty, pointy-toed pumps, we like to think these patent oxfords occupy a middleground between the two—much like a grown-up version of your Sunday Best when you were seven. All Black Patent Leather Oxfords in Ivory, $75, available at Violet Pepper, 688 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint.



The Impossibly Versatile Print
Brooklyn-based designer Ilana Kohn seems to have achieved the impossible by finding a print we’d wear on a top, on pants and on no less than four different sundresses—all of which are 100% cotton and made fair-trade. Roxey dress, $256; Georgie Dress, $250; Black Flowers Tank, $88, available at ONA, Swords-Smith and Thistle & Clover.



The Skort for Grown-Ups
The big wooden buttons and flattering high waist make this 100% linen skort a practical alternative to summer mini skirts or worse, jorts. Kenny Striped High Waisted Skort, $99, available at Poppy, 217 Fifth Ave, Park Slope.



The Beach Waves Whisperer
This all-natural sea salt spray contains only a few ingredients: distilled water, sea salt, aloe vera, vegetable glycerine, organic oils of rose geranium and palmarosa—and the miracle solution to those beach-y waves you no longer have to, you know, actually go to the beach to get. Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray, $24, available at Catbird, 219 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg.

Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa.

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