J. McLaughlin Opens on Hicks St.


If you start seeing more grosgrain ribbon belts and madras shorts in the neighborhood, it may be because J. McLaughlin is now open for business on 218 Hicks St.—just in time for summer and the jitney.
Luckily, the clothier—started by two Brooklyn brothers, Jay and Kevin McLaughin—doesn’t take itself too seriously. Yes, even preppies have a sense of humor, and in this case they practically wear it on their sleeve, with playful ribbon-trimmed lining on the cashmere cardis and martini glasses embroidered onto Devon Bermudas.

Video from Karl Junkersfeld after the jump.

But beyond the clothes, no two J. McLaughlin stores are alike, as they strive to blend into the local architecture and character of the town they reside. And for those who feel the whole operation is just too pricey, take a stroll over on your lunch break and you’ll find a whole selection, from dresses to totes and belts, that’s priced at $98—perfect for the guy or gal who wants to look like they know how to play tennis without having to fork over a ton of cash for lessons.

Without further ado, surprise fashionista Karl Junkersfeld took a look inside and reported back with this video.

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  • bhmom3

    Those clothes she is holding up don’t look too attractive…

  • the where

    can any commenter here ever ……..ever… be positive? and that’s coming from me!

  • BH Lover

    Welcome to J. McLaughin!!! So happy to have you in the neighborhood. Can’t wait to check the place out and good luck.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Couldn’t agree more with the “the where”. This store has Brooklyn roots with excellent people inside anxious to serve the community. The store is beautiful and fills an important niche in Brooklyn Heights. How many clothing stores do we have in the neighborhood? Let’s see, Tango and Banana Republic come immediately to mind. After that I am drawing a blank. I love walking on that side of Hicks and seeing these 3 charming stores, Overture and Seaport Flowers, one after the other. Almost feels like I’m in my favorite spot, Nantucket.

    The silk scarf collection alone is worth a visit. (see video) They are simply gorgeous. So many other colorful items from which to chose. I love this outfit and happy that they set up shop here in the Heights.

  • bornhere

    Karl – I think those shops are a nifty looking threesome; but I am not so sure where you’re getting all of this Brooklyn roots-ness: the McLaughlins are, I believe, from Queens (although there has been real estate activity with Brooklyn brownstones), and the bulk of their manufacturing is done in China, not Greenpoint. While it makes no difference if a good product/committed entrepreneur comes to BH from Buffalo or Boston, claiming “bragging roots” that aren’t quite right, especially to inspire interest/support, is not … quite right. If their stuff finds a market here, their shop will do well, wherever they’re from.

  • bhmom3

    Sorry for any negativity, but this place is way overpriced for most people. Even in this nabe. And do people around here really want to wear this ultra preppy stuff? I would love a place to get decently priced (not cheap, but not 75 for a tshirt) clothes for my kids, or even for myself. I’ll pass up the silk scarves for now.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Apparently, the term “roots” has hit a raw nerve with you, bornhere. I simply meant that their warehouse, which is their main manufacturing and distribution center, is right here in Brooklyn. They also chose to make Brooklyn their corporate headquarters.

    If you want to parse and dissect the term “roots” for argument sake, count me out. It’s silly.

    I wasn’t referring to their personal birth place, my statement clearly said, “the store has Brooklyn roots”.

    As an aside, personally, I appreciate the fact that the Mclaughlin’s have renovated brownstones in Park Slope and are probably employing Brooklynites in their warehouse in Greenpoint. Call me provincial but that means something to me.

  • bornhere

    Karl — I’m not fighting with you. Really. But I read a piece about the evolution of the McLaughlin brothers’ enterprise, and it was clear that Greenpoint is not their main manufacturing site, and that, despite some 30 years in business, the Hicks Street store is their first commercial venture into Brooklyn. And I, too, appreciate their renovating buildings — why set up an argument on that?
    There’s something so adversarial in your comments — really. I was just trying to suggest that invoking “roots” sometimes inspires extra support of a place/person/product that might otherwise be absent, and that if one gets all rootsy, the roots need to be identifiable. China and Brooklyn are two different places.
    Can there be no clarification/discussion without “silly” characterizations?

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    I abstain.

  • nabeguy

    Bornhere, do you have a link to the article you mention? It might help us make up our own minds. For his part, I don’t find Karl’s position as being particularly adversarial and more a defense of a company that has chosen Brooklyn as a base of operation, regardless of the depth of their “roots”. Given the mass flight of small manufacturing from the city, especially in the garment industry, it’s heartening to find a company willing to come back in any capacity. Besides, given their styles and prices, nobody is going to mistake them for Brooklyn Industries, although I do understand your argument against companies that use our borough as a branding tool, as flattering as that might be.

  • bornhere

    This was the piece I read, nabe.
    I admit I checked them out only because of the Brooklyn references made on BHB in the two pieces about the store — I don’t tend to read hamptons.com :). When reference is made to “a percentage” of production being carried out in Brooklyn, I interpret that as “not a lot.” My intention was not to make this a big deal. Really. I wish them luck, and my good wishes for success in these parts are not restricted to people from the Heights, Brooklyn, New York, or anywhere else in particular.
    On another note, does anyone know what’s doing above Variety Mart?