by Cathy Bruneau
We know, we know. By designating this a “holiday” shopping guide, we’ve chosen sides in the big “Holiday Friend or Foe” debate. Truth be told, we could care less about the whole controversy. Call it The Williamsburg Christmas Guide if you prefer. Call it The Billyburg Hipster Guide. Rename Christmas “Freedom Day” if you want. It’s all the same to us. We only celebrate Festivus anyway.
The controversy we do care about, involves the MTA’s shoddy service. Slow weekend commutes and service interruptions are hardly mollified by the fare reductions. We’ll pay the extra dollar, just provide better service.
Luckily, we can get all of our shopping done right here in the ‘hood. Who wants a cashmere sweater from J Crew anyway?
Plus, in Williamsburg, you get the added pleasure of hearing hipsters debate whether to buy Care Bear belt buckles or limited edition Belgian screamcore CDs as stocking stuffers.
Here’s a list of some great local places to do your shopping:
Clothes and Shoes
162 Bedford Ave at N8th
Mon-Sat 11-9pm, Sun 12-8pm
One of the first shops to bring life to the neighborhood, this is the Williamsburg Gap. But better indeed, this place is “the” maker of the Brooklyn tee for the masses. Aslan the tiger, the Brooklyn water tower, the L train are among many of its notable symbols. But wait, there’s also cords and jackets for men & women, exclusive messenger bags & wallets, jeans, kids tees – all made by the Industries brand. Leather bags are at 40% off for the holiday season. Promote Brooklyn for Christmas and get those T-shirts for the whole family.
Other Brooklyn Industries location:
184 Broadway at Driggs
Oak & Brooklyn Flat
150 1/2 Ainslie Street btw Lorimer & Leonard
718 782 3632
Tues-Fri 1-8, Sat 11-8, Sun 11-6
Need something special for the man in your life? You’ll certainly find fashionable menswear and toiletries with a British bent in this cute little shop. Sweaters, shirts and jackets by Penguin and Ben Sherman, wallets, restrained yet imaginative cufflinks and ties. Modern fashions straight from the British Home Counties. For women’s fashions check out Oak’s sister across the street at Canary.
145 Ainslie Street btw Lorimer & Leonard
Tues-Fri 12-7pm, Sat 11-8pm, Sun 11-6pm
This lovely shop and friendly staff will help you peruse through its unique collection of womenswear by local designers at affordable prices. Enveloping tube scarves made from Alpaca wool nestle next to imported French jackets and tops. Lovely belts and bags available too. The owner has a second shop in Park Slope of the same name.
196 Bedford Ave btw N7th & N6th
Mon-Sat 1-7pm, Sun 1-6pm
Yet another Bedford Ave local, this small shop will satisfy the rock star in you. You will find a huge selection of brass belt buckles and unique belts as well as T-shirts and a vast selection of shoes and sneaks. You’ll find something new every time you wander in.
132 N5th Street inside mini mall
Mon-Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-6pm
A small and tidy shop, this is a great place to find contemporary fashions for women. Designers such as Wrangler, Seven, and Velvet line the racks along with many other Californian designers. You will find one of a kind designs great for all your hipsters as well as shoes and bags. Maybe you could buy yourself that Christmas gift you always wanted.
104 N6th Street btw Berry & Wythe
Mon-Thurs 11-9pm, Fri-Sat 11-10:30pm, Sun 11-9pm
If you hipsters have never been into an American Apparel, then you are missing out on a T-shirt layering paradise. Recently added to the streets of Williamsburg, this American staple is your shop to get every cotton possibility in every color you can think of. You never know when you’ll need that long sleeve tee for your awesome I Love Bush iron-on. Show your artistry and make your family silk screen T-shirts for Christmas with AA tees.
225 Bedford Ave btw N4th & N5th
A shop started by Pema Kongpo who sells her brother’s hand-made designs and other various well cut clothing lines for men & women at affordable prices. For those who love all things Hippiesque, nothing seems to be over a $100. Great use of silk, cute handbags, knitwear, hats, beaded shoes, and lots of imported Indian style jewelry.
If you are searching for more designs made by her brother, try their sister shop Tibet Boutique in the mini mall opposite. Here you will find the complete Pema line along with beautiful jewelry, stationary and other silk items and dresses.
218 Bedford Ave inside Mini mall
Mon-Fri 12-8pm, Sat-Sun 11-8pm
Triple Five Soul
Triple Five Soul
145 Bedford Ave Entrance on N9th
Yet another small chain exclusively from New York, this brand has managed to keep a selective profile among the urban gang. You’ll find sweatshirts with the embroidered Triple Five logo, a great selection of shirts and cords for men and wooly sweaters, shoes and bags for the women, all at affordable prices. Take note of the Holiday coat sale – 25% off this season’s must have: furry hooded parkas.