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Welcome to Perfect Saturday, a weekly Racked feature in which we ask our favorite New Yorkers to outline the best places to shop and spend the afternoon in a particular neighborhood, starting with brunch and ending—who knows!
Don't let Samantha Pleet's sweet silhouettes fool you. The designer's scalloped-hem crop tops and sweet ‘60s-girl-group dresses were made for adventures. This was proven to us when we met up with Pleet on a sunny Saturday to make the trek from her Greenpoint apartment to South Williamsburg—and hit up all of her favorite spots along the way. "I've been in this magical spot for seven years and it's amazing how much the area has changed," she says.
Join us as we sample Japanese candy, scour for records, play a few rounds of backyard ping pong, and (almost) walk down Bedford Avenue in our underwear.
Casa Pleet: Somewhere in Greenpoint
The first order of business: choosing an outfit! We meet Samantha at the Greenpoint apartment she shares with her husband, Patrick, and their cat, Franklin. The designer pulls a few pieces from her hand-painted closet, including this white shirtdress ($279) from her spring 2015 collection.
McCarren Park: 776 Lorimer Street
Our journey from Greenpoint to South Williamsburg begins! Samantha's first pit stop is McCarren Park—the stretch of green that separates the two neighborhoods. The only thing on today's park agenda is laying out in the sun for a bit, but if you're feeling more active McCarren also boasts tennis courts, soccer fields, a bocce area, a skate park, and yes, those magic summer words: a pool.
Concrete + Water: 485 Driggs Avenue
With its patio area and ping pong table out back, Williamsburg boutique Concrete + Water feels more like a hangout that happens to be full of cool things you can buy. The shelves are stocked with womenswear, menswear, accessories, home goods and beauty picks from the likes of Deer Dana, Etre Cecile, Westward Leaning, Fort Standard, and of course, Samantha Pleet. Samantha picks up Cedrus, a cedar cologne for her and her husband to share."It's dangerous that this place is on my way from the studio every day," she says. " It's great passing by and seeing my dress in the window, too." After a quick ping pong match with owners JD Gluckstern and Hannah Dilworth, we're on our way.
Earwax Records: 167 North 9th Street
Earwax Records is one of the last remaining vinyl stores off of bustling Bedford Avenue, and it's held strong thanks to its excellent selection of rare albums spanning everything from punk and metal to jazz and soul."Yes I download music, but it's always nice to listen to records too," Samantha says. "I was tempted to buy a '60s horror film soundtrack by one of my favorite composers, Emilio Morricone."
Midoriya: 167 North 9th Street
Right next to Earwax is Midoriya—a Japanese market stocked with everything from Hello Kitty chocolates to steamed sweet potato cakes and garlic shrimp chips. "I buy candy for my nieces here," Samantha says. Don't miss the beauty section on your way out, either—our tour guide made sure to stop. "I've been wanting to check out their eyeliner so I picked up one by Dolly Wink."
Bakeri: 150 Wythe Avenue
After we've worked up an appetite shopping, Samantha steers us to Bakeri—a delightfully carb-y cafe and coffee shop known for its sweets and sandwiches. "Everything they make is amazing, I think they use real magic as an ingredient," she says. "They bake the best bread too!" Some highlights: Skolebrod, a Norwegian cardamom bun filled with custard, and Bakeri's signature chocolate banana bread pudding.
Space Ninety 8: 98 North 6th Street
A shopping tour in this hood wouldn't be complete without a stop at Urban Outfitters' concept space, which has so much going on it kind of feels like a tiny mall. In addition to the usual UO inventory, there's a market space that features collabs, pop-ups, vintage clothing, and select pieces from indie designers. "I just did a collaboration with Urban Outfitters and premiered a short film here last month that I produced featuring the collection," Samantha says.
Brooklyn Fox Lingerie: 123 North 5th Street
"My friend Hannah Metz knows her bras and recommended I try this place, and it's changed everything," Samantha says of North 5th Street shop Brooklyn Fox Lingerie. "They have an amazing selection and the staff is extra helpful and can actually find the right bra size for you. A great bra makes a world of difference, dressed or undressed." With a wide spectrum of styles (Lacy! Contouring! Meant to be seen poking out of your tank top, Ilana-from-Broad-City-style!) from brands like Mimi Holliday, Only Hearts, and Undrest, it's easy to find your Bra Holy Grail here.
Spoonbill & Sugartown: 218 Bedford Avenue
"I can't walk down Bedford Avenue without stopping by here for a second to check out what inspiring books will be on display," our guide says of Spoonbill & Sugartown. The popular bookshop is somehow cozy-yet-quiet—just the place to get lost thumbing through a new title or a hard-to-find treasure. There's a little bit of everything here, from fiction to stationery, but the store is especially known for its beautiful books on architecture and art. Pop through the back door of the store and you'll end up in a mini mall, where you'll find Handsome Dan's Snocone & Candy Stand and Hello Beautiful salon.
Swords-Smith: 98 South 4th Street
We end the tour at our southernmost stop, Swords-Smith. The airy, minimalist space is one of our favorites for its smart mix of indie designers. "It's a wonderfully curated shop where I am honored to have my pieces sold," Samantha says. Statement accessories sit side-by-side with basics from the likes of Welcome Companions, Samuji, Venessa Arizaga, and Carlos Campos. We were seriously tempted by a buttery pastel leather backpack from Aandd, a sequined-pill sweatshirt from Saunder, and the pretty (expletive-laden) greeting cards from Calligraphuck.