Being a broke college student, there’s nothing more depressing than walking down Walnut Street near Rittenhouse Square. The only problem is there are identical stores all around the country…it’s almost impossible to find anything unique. I can understand shopping national stores if they’re your only choice, but Philadelphia has so many boutiques to explore, each one different from the next. I walked down 3rd street and visited four completely different stores in two blocks, each catering to a different sense of style.
Sugarcube is a swank boutique on 3rd and Arch streets. Their unique selection of clothing ranges from a sexy faux leather dress to sophisticated men’s cashmere cardigans with vintage and new clothing sprinkled throughout the store. Laid back owners Elisa and Edward were eager to help customers with every need without breathing down their necks, a huge plus in our book. While the prices are what one would expect of a high end boutique, the quality and selection of clothing makes it worth every penny. In addition to great quality, the store sells Williamsburg Garment Company selvedge denim, one of only a handful in the country, for significantly cheaper than any national store carrying selvedge denim. The chic atmosphere and eclectic range of clothing makes this boutique one to check out next time your wallet is burning a hole in your pocket.
The Franklin Square Boutique is just down the street from Sugarcube at 128 N. 3rd St., but stylistically, it’s a completely different vibe. The eclectic boutique sells mostly women’s with a dash of men’s clothing, housewares, and handmade jewelry. Owner Liz Burt creates each piece of jewelry by hand, tres chic. Among the hot items was a sexy black leather dress, men’s cowboy boots, and cute cardigans. Definitely a place to visit if you’re looking for a truly unique outfit piece.
Located on 62 N. 3rd St, Briar Vintage is unlike any other store I’ve ever seen. Briar sells exclusively men’s clothing dating from 1800 to the 1960s. The pieces in the boutique are completely unique and priced reasonably considering the age of the merchandise. The very dapper manager David offers personal styling and shopping services to anyone interested in incorporating vintage apparel into their wardrobe. Among my favorite outfits was a tuxedo from Wannamaker’s, and it could be one of the only of its kind. Talk about breaking away from the pack.
Vagabond boutique is filled to the brim with handmade women’s clothing ranging from knit wear to jewelry. The clothing in the store is the perfect blend of form and function, unlike some pieces that are purely a fashion statement. I fell in love with a table of hand knitted sweaters from a local designer. They were warm and functional, yet chic, very practical. In addition to new clothing, Vagabond sells a series of vintage clothing, among it was a pair of Chanel flats. The bohemian chic boutique is definitely one to shop for this summer’s hottest boho trends.