Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pumps & Pleats: Smith & Butler revs up fashion

Story and photos by Michèle De Meglio

If James Dean were still around, he might shop at Smith & Butler.

Inside the Carroll Gardens shop, visitors are greeted by vintage motorcycles, leather jackets to match and a wall of worn Levis.

The store’s lower level is chock full of menswear for the most rugged and ragged tough guys. There’s brown leather combat boots, rustic Filson messenger bags and distinguished Zeha Berlin loafers for $380 because even the manliest men sometimes want to dress up.

This menswear shop wouldn’t be complete without an iconic black leather motorcycle jacket. The most perfect vintage version for $390 sits opposite, you guessed it, a motorcycle with canvas totes dangling from its handlebars.

Of course, there’s also a plentiful collection of shiny new duds perfect for any of Brooklyn’s fashionable guys and gals.

The Warriors of Radness clothing line offers the coolest yellow and blue plaid button-down shirts and graphic tees for guys.

On the store’s main level, ladies can peruse designer duds and shoes.

Silky lavender blouses hang near nautical blue and white striped tops. A pair of dark wash Wranglers with a giant “W” on the back pocket sits beside tan woven leather high heeled sandals which could work with a cowgirl chic or downtown chic look.

The show-stopper of the section is a Mike & Chris denim jacket with panels of woven denim in a glorious ocean blue shade.

Smith & Butler’s footwear section screams two words — quality and cool. The sandals, heels, boots and sneakers range from affordable to über pricey but you’re sure to feel satisfied with whatever sole you select.

Get your last licks of summer with a pair of Cynthia Vincent sandals made of knotted rope.

For fall, black leather riding boots with buckles would be divine over skinny jeans.

Tired of your old Converse? Check out the retro cool Ospop sneakers in tan or navy and adorned with olive trim and a bright red circular logo.

The laid-back feel of these goods could make any Brooklynite think they’re as cool as James Dean.

Smith & Butler is located at 225 Smith Street. For hours, call 718-855-4295 or visit

Michèle De Meglio is a native Brooklynite addicted to all things chic. Check out Pumps & Pleats each week for more adventures as she scours the borough for fab duds and accessories.


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