There are a few things you’ll notice when you enter the parallel universe of Brooklyn, New York.
Number one: you’ll feel like you’re on a TV, or movie set. From the skyline you’ve so often admired on Friends and Sex and the City to the coffee shops and bars of Girls, there really is no vibe like it. You might round a corner and bump into Lena Dunham or Alexa Chung – when you’re a person as into millennial TV shows and fashion culture as me, it’s a truly magical place.
Number two: you will notice that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is well-dressed.
I mean, the first week I spent in New York four years ago I just felt incredibly displaced. I like my clothes, but I hadn’t been prepared for the incessant fashion parade of young and hip Brooklynites. Every time I went out I felt like the kid at school who dressed in their school uniform on non-uniform day: uncomfortable and just a little bit out of place.
The next time I visited I was prepared. I’d reviewed my wardrobe, picked up some sartorial tips (hi, Pinterest) and packed my Samsonite accordingly. I strode onto Bedford Avenue each and every day in my revised look feeling a million dollars – if not a little hungover.
And I have carried those fashion rules I learned through to my everyday-maybe-slightly-more-mundane life back in the UK where, it has to be admitted, Brooklyn style is not so de rigueur. It has revolutionised – nay, simplified – the way I dress.
Look, I don’t think it’s a positive thing to judge one’s self-worth against what they wear, especially in the cultural wasteland of my hometown Milton Keynes, but sometimes you can’t help but let the way you look affect your confidence and I love my new borderline Brooklyn fashion
There are a couple of staples that Brooklyn style women seem to gravitate towards, particularly in the summer (during the freezing winters you’re mostly bundled up in Michelin Man coats and boots).
Go backless: The first is anything casually backless or with open sides: think in an easy-breezy way rather than in a body-con dressy way. I like to indulge this trend with denim dresses like this one I’ve just bought from Free People via ASOS (it’s on sale!), this butterfly maxi, this halter neck playsuit, or perhaps this cutout tshirt dress. Wear with a pretty bralet (or no bra, if you’re brave) underneath.
Beautiful sunnies: Because of all that sunshine in the Big Apple, you’re going to want a beautiful pair of sunglasses to edge your Brooklyn style. NYC girls don’t go big on their accessories but they do go cool on their face furniture, and as I’m a lifelong Ray-Ban fan (6 pairs at last count…) and here my current favourites are these classic polarised aviators. I get mine from SmartBuyGlasses, which I find edges Duty Free when it comes to value for money.
Rock the high-waist
NYC ladies love high-waist and a crop top as a staple of their Brooklyn style, and although I steer clear of the crop I do always love that I can tuck my mum tum into a pair of high-waist denims (anyone else?). My absolute favourite for looks and comfort are for sure the Cheap Monday revive – you can’t go wrong.