Cool for Back to School


It’s Labor Day Weekend, a time of epic sales and school supply shopping. Chains like Target can fill a lot of holes, but these Brooklyn shops are stocking cool clothes and gear for pre- to high schoolers that you will never find at Atlantic Center.

This coat is insane, right?

Trendy Girls and Boys: Sweet William
If you’ve bestowed your keen eye for fashion upon your tiny trendsetters, then Sweet William is a sure bet for unique and avant garde back-to-school fashion. The Williamsburg shop is know for its carefully curated clothing and accessory lines. Any young gal arriving to the first day of school in P.A.M (Perks and Mini) Harem pants ($64) and Mini Rodini faux fur jacket ($128) is sure to be the next Tavi Gevinson. And perhaps a young Sir rocking an ESP no.1 Black Denim Anorak ($92) with matching jeans ($72) may in turn be asking the art teacher if they’ve updated Adobe Suite on the classroom computer. This kid learned lo-fi typography design over the summer. These ensembles are new for Fall, but the shop is currently having a huge Spring/Summer sale through Sunday, September 2nd. After this Sunday they will be restocking the entire shop with new Fall inventory. Prices range from moderate to expensive, but who said looking that freaking cute (not to mention cool) came cheap.

Sweet William, 112 North 6th St. between Berry and Wythe in Williamsburg, 718-218-6946.

Think Inside the (Lunch)Box: Whisk
You won’t find lunch boxes in the shape of Spongebob or R2D2 at Whisk. What you will find are well designed lunch accessories that help cut down on the use of plastic baggies and Saran Wrap. And many of the with-food-will-travel accessories at Whisk will also inspire you to think outside the lunch box. Take the Black & Blum Bento Box ($18) for example; this neat little box has a shifting divider, small removable sauce dish and comes with utensils. It’s begging you for a heaping of Quinoa salad and a side of cherry tomatoes with a dipping sauce. Another similar type of box, the Sistema To-Go ($26), is smart design that will inspire equally well designed lunches to inhabit it. The Sistema also comes with a refreezable ice brick. And for the parents who forgo making a complete lunch and leave their children to the mercy of the school cafeteria (hey you’re not a bad parent, just BUSY!) is the To-Go Wear Snack Stack ($20). This stainless steel two compartment deal will let you send your child off to school with a few healthy snack in addition to the schools mystery lunch. A few other notable lunch box items at Whisk would be the Paper Snack & Sandwich Bags that come 48 per box ($6.50) and a very impressive assortment of reusable water bottles. It’s easy to go green but getting them to eat greens, well that’s another story.

Whisk, 231 Bedford Ave. at the corner of North 4th St. in Williamsburg, 718.218.7230

Gadgets and Gear for Preschoolers to Teens: Module R
If you’ve yet to buy a lunchbox, or want to trade up from that year-old SkipHop, Module R on Atlantic Ave. has a dishwasher-safe Modular box that comes with its own set of recyclable, bpa-free plastic containers (one large and two small) and an icepack (prices range from $30-$40). You can get the optional set of medium containers and a drink holder, AND you can decorate the front and back with one of six different themes, including two that were specially made for PS 8 and PS 29 students. (If you’re interested in getting a themed plate for your school, it’s possible–just contact the shop for details.)

Module R also has a “Dorm Decor” section on their site, but your child doesn’t need to leave home to appreciate their gadgets and accessories, like a set of two, stackable ceramic shipping containers ($30), where they can store pens, pencils or whosiwhatsits on top of their desk. For the budding videographer, there’s a portable iPhone tripod ($40) that will stick to any surface–good for videos shot far from home, or behind bedroom doors. And if your child has a locker, and can use any kind of lock, the WordLock ($9) will let them create any password they like, instead of memorizing a string of meaningless digits.

One word of warning: If you are a design geek or you secretly love The Container Store (or both), you will have to get something for yourself here, too.

Module R, 141 Atlantic Ave. between Clinton and Henry Sts. in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill, 718-360-9304.

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