Online Exclusive: Recession Fashion

by Alexandra Marvar


If the country is really headed into another Great Depression, at least young New Yorkers are going down in (historically appropriate) style. In Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, the resurgence of feathers, vests and newsboy caps are a fashionable response to the plummeting Dow.

: Alexandra Marvar

A gamut of new old-timey eateries is springing up in Williamsburg. At the recently opened Walter Foods on Grand Street, bartenders wear bowties and make perfect Old Fashioneds.

: Alexandra Marvar

A brunch patron at Walter Foods.

: Alexandra Marvar

Andy, a bartender at Williamsburg’s Hotel del Mano, dressed in the unofficial bartender uniform of button-down shirt, vest and (occasionally) pocketwatch.

: Alexandra Marvar

Andrew Blasco has worked at Beacon’s Closet, a warehouse of second-hand treasures (and second-hand junk) in Williamsburg, for ten years. Even Blasco’s haircut (reminiscent of the 1930s) is a period piece, but with a tussled Brooklyn bent. According to Blasco, feathers, drop-waist dresses and bell-shaped hats have been hot sellers.

: Alexandra Marvar

Williamsburg boutique In God We Trust appears to be a treasure trove of beautifully preserved vintage pieces before you realize the items are all new. Designer and shop owner Shana Tabor has curated an amalgamation of local designers’ wares including bowties, flapper-esque headpieces and leather accessories.

: Alexandra Marvar

Fashion designer Jake Mueser, one of the two designers behind Doyle-Mueser, models a jacket and vest from his collection.

: Alexandra Marvar

A customer and salesperson sport old fur and lace at Old Hollywood, a boutique in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

: Alexandra Marvar

For sale at Old Hollywood, oxidized brass mustache necklaces on sterling silver chain. Here: Inspector Closeau and Phileas Fogg necklaces by Digby & Iona.

: Alexandra Marvar

Suspenders are a staple of actor Christpher Loar’s wardrobe, because, he explains, “with a pair of suspenders, you instantly make any second-hand pants or shirt a little more formal.” Loar works at Williamsburg’s Moto (right), another eatery that capitalizes on the neighborhood’s beloved bourgeois-bohemian aesthetic.

: Alexandra Marvar

In the new economy, it’s clearly all about the tie-vest combo. Musician John Brodeur, right, says he thinks of the dress vest as a less serious, yet equally sharp “alternative to a suit and tie.”