07/11/16 1:00pm
Say yes to the dress: How I found the perfect vintage summer dress in Brooklyn for under $20

For my first stop, I dug through the racks of juicy summer dresses at Fox & Fawn. All photos by Jess Keefe/Brokelyn.

You can do two kinds of thrift shopping in Brooklyn: the first is the heavily curated, heftily priced experience of the high-end vintage boutiques. Think a perfectly broken-in, 1994-era Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, or a handmade 50s pin-up dress, each with triple digit price tags. The second is the more appealing kind for the budget-conscious crowd. It’s the kind that involves rolling up your sleeves and digging through the heaps of WWE t-shirts and tattered peasant skirts in order to find that perfect $10 gem.

I enjoy doing the second kind of thrift shopping all year round, but especially in summer, because this time of year, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect summer dress. The kind of dress you can imagine yourself wearing while holding a rocket pop, or a sparkler; while strolling on a boardwalk, or standing on a rooftop. To me, it’s something just a little specialer, weirder, and cooler than my usual style. And of course, it’s gotta fit right.

Since this season’s trends are not appealing to me (Off-the-shoulders? Laces? Pseudo-bohemian nonsense? No, no, no), I decided to take my quest exclusively to the thrift stores. Bushwick is teeming with affordable shops lately, and friends tipped me off to great stops in Greenpoint and Park Slope/Gowanus. My perfect summer dress was in reach, I could just feel it. Here’s how I found it. 

05/09/16 2:15pm
July 4th, 2015: a young Hope and her Mom shorts.

July 4th, 2015: a young Hope and her Mom shorts.

Winter has come and gone, and good fucking riddance. It’s time to banish away the fleece leggings and skinny jeans and take on a Royal Teens’ “Who Wears Short Shorts?” outlook for the blistering hot days to come! Whether your legs be hairy or shaven, toned or flabby, stretch marked or nah, this is the time for us Brooklyn girls to observe our patriotic right to Bare Legs. And what better way to do it than with a classic pair of mom jeans, cut off to the length of your choice? That’s right. I’m here to spread the good word of Mom Shorts.

Even as I say this, I sense a strange shift in the air. As I preach for my beloved lady jorts, I feel the collective energy of boners going down. Men everywhere are shaking their fists toward the heavens, cursing Mom Shorts with a resounding, “Those aren’t hot!”

All it takes is one quick Google search to get a glimpse of the hell that was raised when the shorts became popular in 2012. To this day, men and “I have guy friends!” women alike continue to voice their outrage about the “granny panties of pants,” whatever that means. (Also; what’s a “cigarette smoker’s butt?” I’m not a smoker, but I’m intrigued.)

But as a serious advocate for Mom Shorts, I find these stances irrelevant and lacking in reasonability. And I declare the wearing of Mom Shorts the best way to smash the patriarchy, one high-waisted denim pair at a time. (more…)

02/16/16 1:24pm

Gear for blizzards in the city This post is brought to you by Sorta Outdoorsy, a weekly newsletter full of ideas for outdoor adventures around New York City. Like what you see? Subscribe to Sorta Outdoorsy.

There are days when we can’t leave our desks, let alone go outside or head out of the city to have an epic adventure. So on those days we make a point of checking out what our friends over at The Field are up to. Generally it’s something like splitboarding in Washington, fishing in Norway or backpacking in Montana. They’ve proven themselves to be a reliable source of trip inspo and gear recommendations so we’re so excited to present The Field’s list of gear to help you survive the next blizzard in the city! (more…)

08/13/15 10:49am
Congratulations, Queens! via Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Congratulations, Queens! via Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Queens has been prophesied to be a new Brooklyn for some time now, even if no one exactly knows what they mean when that tag is applied to a city. And while the two places will never be exactly the same, Queens has at least become like Brooklyn in one aspect: soul-crushing rent. For this month anyway, the median rent in Queens is higher than Brooklyn’s. Enjoy it, suckers! (more…)

03/11/14 2:04pm
H&M wedding dress

It’s only $99, so you could feel good about never wearing it again. Courtesy Washington Post, via H&M

Weddings are expensive. Or so said my recently married best friend, who as a bride-to-be had to stress about things like dress alterations and plus-ones and cake tastings and optional vegan dinners. While I was busy trying to figure out how I would pay my rent and feed myself post-college graduation, she was trying to figure out how to feed hundreds of distant relatives, and look good doing it. Not that I’m getting married anytime soon, but I know as a twenty-something New Yorker, a wedding is totally out of my budget.

However, the new $99 wedding dress from H&M brings a totally new budget-friendly gown to the bridal game. (more…)

01/17/14 1:51pm
Alexander Wang is bringing this look to BK via annexmagazine.com

Alexander Wang is bringing this look to BK. via annexmagazine.com

Now when people decry our flannel and home-cut bangs and holes in our stockings, calling us hipsters for the 11242324346 time, not that we suffer fools, we can say, “Oh yeah, well Alexander Wang didn’t seem to think Brooklyn was too below him to stage his Fashion Week show here!” That’s right, February 8, 8:30 p.m., Wang is trading in his usual spot at Midtown’s Pier 94 for the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to unveil his 2014 collection, making Brooklyn’s debut Fashion Week Fashion Show. (more…)

01/15/14 3:55pm
When you're this bundled up, who cares what you look like?

When you’re this bundled up, who cares what you look like? via popsugar.com

Although it’s been fairly balmy this week, the polar vortex is far from a distant memory and we’ve got plenty of winter ahead. On those brutal days, you don’t even want to get out of bed, much less get dressed and present yourself to the world. But part of being a socially-acceptable adult is practicing good decent hygiene and achieving some semblance of style, you know, for your own self-worth and so as not to gross out others, unless that’s your goal. Winter upkeep is like Chinatown: Forget it, Jake. Wait, wrong quote, I mean this one: Do as little as possible. But rock it. The Brokelyn girls traded tips on how to get as much bang for your I-Don’t-Give-a-Fuck.


The site of the original Loehmann's on Bedford Ave. and Sterling Place in Crown Heights

The site of the original Loehmann’s, opened in 1921 on Bedford Ave. and Sterling Place in Crown Heights, via Brownstoner.com

Legendary NYC designer discount store Loehmannn’s filed for bankruptcy last month, another augur of changing New York, though really we see it as part of the trend of off-price retailers like Filene’s and Daffy’s going out of business. Whether you feel sentimental about the shuttering of an old-school institution or you’re a clothes horse always on the look-out for a steal, Loehmann’s is having liquidation sales at all 39 of its nationwide locations (two in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, in Sheepshead Bay) from now until it closes in March. (more…)

07/30/13 9:24am
We're back for more. via Flickr user emily geoff

We’re back for more. via Flickr user emily geoff

As we’ve all learned, I’m a Fulton Mall junkie. I just can’t stop, won’t stop this affordable and stylish lifestyle. I hopped on over to my preferred shopping strip to hopefully find some threads that won’t make me want to jump into the dreaded East River the second I leave my A.C., and while I was there, I decided to take tips from the street by checking out what the ladies were wearing right now. Take a look at what I found. (more…)

05/15/13 9:06am
Mermaid Parade ready eyeshadow from the dollar store? Methinks so. All photos by Cat Agonis

Mermaid Parade ready eyeshadow from the dollar store? Methinks so. All photos by Cat Agonis

As much as we adore all those summer moments on rooftops and in hydrant pools, it takes a little extra care to stay fly and fresh to death in the heat. That’s already hard enough when you’re hustling in this city, and time and money is always something you’re running short on. So you need to learn to take advantage of beauty product deals at your local dollar store, mine being Flushing 99 Cent Plus, on Flushing Avenue. Unfortunately since many things at the dollar store aren’t actually a dollar anymore, prices here cross the .99 cent threshold. But they’re still way cheaper than anything at Sephora or even Duane Reade where you have to spend upwards of $8 just for a flippin eye pencil. WACK. Anyway are we ready? Let’s do this! (more…)