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Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for Racked's first Neighborhood Style Showdown, a week-long quest to determine which part of New York City has the best local style. Today and tomorrow, we'll be pitting eight first-round picks against each other, Wednesday and Thursday we'll narrow them down, and on Friday we'll crown a winner. Of course, we can't do it without you, so get ready to vote!
First up: Williamsburg versus The Lower East Side. Before we get to analyzing Bedford Avenue's style scene, let's take a look at the LES. The birthplace of the some of the city's best indie boutiques, the neighborhood now has morphed into a varying mix of college kids, trendy restaurant goers, and musicians who shop at Ludlow Guitars. Overall, the dress code is casual with a side of sexy, and the means to that end can be found at shops like Gargyle, Honey in the Rough, Pixie Market, Spiritual America, The Reformation, and more.
Across the river we have Williamsburg, both beloved and bemoaned for its hipster residents. A single stop outside of Manhattan will present you with an under-forty set that mixes vintage with of-the-moment ,and does so on a freelance income. The high density of buy-sell-trade shops like Beacon's Closet and Buffalo Exchange are joined by boutiques like Bird and specialty shops such as Pilgrim Surf + Supply. Don't be surprised to see a limited-edition color of the Alexander Wang Diego bucket bag paired with a $3 thrifted maxi skirt.
Update: We have a winner! The Lower East Side will move on to compete in Round 2.