BEST KILLER FOOTWEAR
Trash and Vaudeville 4 St. Marks Place, trashandvaudeville.com. Since 1975, this historic East Village palace of punk couture has provided the beautiful freaks of NYC with spectacular combat boots and goth-glam fashions. Similarly, their selection of leather goods, shall we say, is the best around. Even if you don’t consider yourself edgy enough to shop here, do it anyway.
BEST BOUTIQUE FOR THE STYLIN’ CITY GIRL
Meg 312 E 9th St, megshops.com. Meg’s offerings are minimalistic yet chic, simple yet trendy, and always extremely fashionable. From adorable cardigans to wildly comfortable scarves, this place has everything you need to battle the winter weather with panache.
BEST HIPSTER THRIFT SHOP
Grand Street Bakery 602 Grand St, Brooklyn, grandstbakery.com. We’ve still mourning the closing of Atlantic Attic, but luckily we have this Williamsburg staple, housed in a former bakery. Here, we can satisfy our need for rad classics like denim overalls, knit sweaters and vintage hats. Plus, their American-made salves, tinctures, candles and soaps make stellar gifts.
BEST FEMME-FRIENDLY THRIFT SHOP
Le Grand Strip 197 Grand St, Brooklyn, legrandstrip.com. For the vintage-loving femme in your life (or if that’s you) head to Williamsburg’s Le Grand Strip, a thrift gem that includes a boudoir-inspired lingerie section. From delicate underthings to party dresses and shoes, you’re certain to find girly treasures galore.
Guilty jean guiltyjean.com. We always scope Guilty jean's website and stalk their NYC pop-ups with the best of gift-giving intentions. Instead, we end up buying something irresistible for ourselves. Sorry not sorry, y'all! This lesbian-owned operation creates gorgeous hand-crafted jewelry for sinister gypsies and sweet bohemians. Be sure to peruse their Solstice collection this winter.
BEST EROTIC ACCOUTREMENTS
Babeland 43 Mercer St, 212-966-2120, babeland.com. It’s tempting to wax rhapsodic about Babeland because, well, how could we ever live without it? It’s the definitive toy store. Even if you don’t ‘need’ anything to put zing in your sex life, we dare you not to walk out with the latest vibrating marvel and loads of luscious lube.
St. Mark’s Bookshop 136 E 3rd St, stmarksbookshop.com. Declining sales and rising rent threatened to ruin this landmark shop, which first opened its doors in 1977, but owners and patrons weren’t going down so easily. After a bit of shuffling, this charming nook (with tons of queer books!) has a new home in Alphabet City, where both beach readers and discerning academics will be happy as clams.
BEST CULINARY BOOKSTORE
Kitchen Arts & Letters 1435 Lexington Ave, kitchenartsandletters.com. Bookstores are awesome. Bookstores that focus on food are, in a way, even more awesome. Located on the Upper East Side, this one contains about a million perfect gift ideas for the cooking aficionado in your life.
BEST PLACE TO FIND A STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST
Bergen Street Comics 470 Bergen St, Brooklyn, bergenstreetcomics.com. Nope, it’s not Netflix—this Park Slope comic book shop boasts a truly legit selection to please any comic connoisseur. They also consistently host gloriously nerdy events, including a recent launch party celebrating the creators of hugely successful web comic Strong Female Protagonist taking their work to print. Get a copy; you need one.
Sprout Home 44 Grand St, Brooklyn, sprouthome.com. Maybe you have a green thumb; maybe you could kill weeds by glancing in their direction. Either way, Sprout's wares will brighten up your indoor and outdoor spaces, big or small. The staff is super-sweet and knowledgeable, so pay attention and your green babies just might make it.
Seigo Neckwear 1248 Madison Ave, seigoneckwear.blogspot.com. Simply put, Seigo makes fantastic, pure silk Japanese ties and bowties. Worried about showing up at a party wearing the same neckwear as another guest? Avoid an embarrassing faux pas by asking about their limited edition designs; there will be only eight of those ties existing in the whole world.
BEST VNITAGE STREET THREADS
Rags-a-Gogo 218 W 14th St, rags-a-gogo.com. When you’re tired of looking like everyone else, get yourself to Rags-a-Gogo to find the eclectic, fashion-forward duds you didn’t even know you needed. The clientele here are fiercely loyal, and it’s no secret why—everything is personally hand-selected from textile houses, and the prices are totally reasonable. Bonuses: It’s lesbian owned; you can shop online; and the ugly Christmas sweaters are on sale now!
BEST BUTCH HAIRCUTS
Tomcats Barbershop 135 India St, Brooklyn, tomcatsbarbershop.com. Get it tight and get it right, bois. This Greenpoint clip joint specializes in classic American retro styles from the ‘20s to the ‘50s, including pompadours, greaser cuts and anything rockabilly. If you see a Harley out front, you’re in the right place. Leaf through a Playboy and sip a free PBR while you wait. And don’t forget to load up on pomade.
The Hat House 131 Thompson St, thehathouse.net. You can tell everything there is to know about a person from their choice in hats. So let's make sure we’re sending the right message, ladies. The Hat House does one thing and does it well—you’ll find everything from bowlers and derbies to Stetsons and skimmers.
Brooklyn Industries 70 Front St, Brooklyn (and multiple other locations), brooklynindustries.com. A girl needs a bag. You practically keep your entire life in there, so don't skimp. Brooklyn Industries hits the sweet spot between durable and stylish; everything from wax-coated handbags and leather-studded crossbodies to zip duffels and the ultimate functional accessory, the water-resistant nylon messenger.
BEST OVERALL FASHION DECISION
Scotch & Soda 866 Broadway (and other NYC locations), webstore-us.scotch-soda.com. We all have our Crocs-and-sweatpants days, but the modern lez knows when to class it up. And that’s when we head to Scotch & Soda’s swanky location in SoHo. It’s dyke-friendly and posh, so be warned—you’ll want to buy everything in the store.
BEST APARTMENT-WARMING GIFTS
Brooklyn Brine Co. 574 President St, Brooklyn, brooklynbrine.com. Anything can be a pickle, if you pickle it! Beets, carrots, beans, asparagus, you name it—this small, artisanal brinery in Gowanus makes the best pickles around. A jar of these babies makes an excellent gift, and the BBC offers sage advice on pickle pairings.
BEST HOUSEWARES (AND EVERYTHING ELSE)
Macy's 151 W 34th St (and multiple other locations), macys.com. Macy's needs no introduction. Whatever you need—be it a new mattress, huge flatscreen TV, toaster oven, holiday gifts, clothes, shoes, perfume—they have it. We could go on and on. Basically, if you love shopping, you love Macy's. It’s a given. And if you hate shopping, you still love Macy's. That’s the magic of Macy's, indeed!
BEST LUXURY CONDIMENTS
Empire Mayonnaise Co. 564 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, empiremayo.com. Yeah, we put mayonnaise on this list. Because it’s stuff like exotic, seasonal mayo that makes NYC the greatest city in the world, dang it! Staff faves at this Prospect Heights shop include smoked paprika, white truffle and sriracha.