Family & Leisure

Best Dress Clothes
Natan Borlam
157 Havemeyer Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

At first glance, Natan Borlam looks like an Orchard Street shop circa 1947: old boxes lining chipped shelving that seems to be on the brink of caving in, exposed piping that was clearly not a design decision, scuffed floors, and peeling paint. And that’s just the boys’ department. To find the girls’ department, you have to pass through a squeaky brown door in a dank alley. The proprietors, Auschwitz survivors Borlam and his wife, Lucy, are the two nicest people you’ll ever meet, and they have devoted their American lives to dressing children up. Since 1952, they have offered top-of-the-line clothing, and folks come from as far away as Australia for the Italian-couture Super 100s wool boys’ suits and the softest French cotton nightgowns. While a portion of the clientele is made up of Orthodox Jews from all over the region, Borlam also caters to those in need of Communion dresses (rack and racks of them), fancy bathing suits, and the like. Beautifully embroidered dresses are great for girls, especially when they’re under $75. Boys will look like they stepped off the runway in high-closure four-button suit jackets.