I love Aerosoles! Sadly, I'm relegated to having to see their wares via catalogs and online and that's never ever as good as seeing and trying them on in person.
Leaving Alma de Cuba the night before during a blizzard, I looked up through my low-hanging hood, through the snow, and there it was... beckoning like a beacon in the night! Driving by the next day there was a parking spot right in front of the place. We took it to be a sign. When we found out that they were offering 20% off boots, well... the sign was confirmed!
What to buy: I bought some fabulous green suede short go-go boots. They look amazing with my pink cords!
Fiona’s Childrenswear offers functional children’s clothing by Philadelphia-based brands Llum, Stun and Wonderboy, as well as hand-sewn sundresses by local seamstresses. Fiona’s Childrenswear also offers whimsical garments for children, including tulle tutus and ballerina skirts, fun fairy wings, capes, wands and floral hair pieces to enchant fairy princesses and little caped crusaders everywhere. Looking for a fun, unique party idea? Fiona’s Childrenswear offers themed costume parties and can assist with the planning and production of your next celebration! Visit www.fionasfairys.com for more information.
What to buy: Fiona's Fairys is a unique and handcrafted collection of costumes for little girls complete with wings and wands! Handmade costumes for boys are also available! The shop features Philadelphia-based children's clothing designers.
What to pay: Boutique Pricing
Fiona’s Children’s Special Occasion offers unique and beautiful children’s special occasion apparel. The salon-style boutique is dedicated to adorning little ones for every special event from Christenings, Holy Communions and Bat/Bar Mitzvahs to holidays and weddings. Fiona’s Children’s Special Occasion features fashions by Philadelphia native Joan Calabrese, including Joan Calabrese Couture and Joan Calabrese for Mon Cheri, and other quality children’s brands such as Malley & Co., Sarah Louise, Sweet Patti’s, Us Angels and more! Visit www.fionasfairys.com for more information.
What to buy: Handmade and specialty dresses and clothing for children.
What to pay: Boutique Pricing
Like most museums, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has both an on-line store and an in-person store.
What to buy: Items currently on sale in addition to 2005 Gift Ideas
include things from the
-DALÍ CATALOG (Dali is the featured artist)
-Books and Multimedia
-Objects such as a Heart Vase, painted glass ornaments etc.
-Asian Art Objects
-Prints and other paper items
If you're looking for serious antique bargains, you're better off waking up early on a weekend and driving about 45 minutest to Lambertville, NJ. There you'll find the Golden Nugget Antique Flea Market on Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays and you have a great chance to find some good deals if you get there before 9am (it opens at 6am).
If you don't have time to drive up to Lambertville, you'll find around 20 antique shops right here in Philadelphia on Pine Street between 9th and 12 streets. This area is clearly marked with banners proclaiming it as "Antique Row". I have only done some browsing here and while you will find some unique and interesting items, it's hard to find good prices.
The Marketplace Design Center is where the designer go! This is the finest of quality home design products, furniture, rugs, fabrics,kitchens, lighting, art, antiques & accessories. This place is Fantastic, but there are restricktions for public browsing, hours from 1-5 on weekdays and only in certain showrooms. There 50 showrooms with over 700 manufacturers. You have ideas for your home, go here, because you will be exploding with them when you leave here. This is NOT RETAIL, so be prepared with some money! You can get your own designer, there is a free referal program, suggest calling the front desk for details.
The same junky souvenirs you'll find at other shops -- they just cost less here. Postcards are 75 cents at other souvenir shops (and the price is NOT listed, hoping you'll over-pay for them). Here, they are 25 cents, and the price is properly displayed.
What to pay: 25 cents for a post card. Don't forget the 8% sales tax.
The name Wanamakers is not only synonymous with Philadelphia retail it is part of Christmas folklore in the city of Brotherly Love. No holiday season was complete without a trip to the famed department store located in center city. No matter that there was a sister store in NYC. For a boy growing up in Philly, there was no other city even if it was The City to the rest of the world.
John Wanamaker got into the clothing business in the 1860s but the real deal started in 1876 when he purchased the old Philadelphia Railroad Station and converted it into the grandest and first true department store in the state and one of the few in the country. It was not just this grandiose building that set the retailer apart. He was a devout Christian and had got into the business due to a childhood experience when a merchant refused to exchange something he had purchased. Wanamakers prided itself on offering cash refunds if a customer was not completely satisfied. Sounds like right out of “Miracle on 34th Street,” huh? It should, the old Christmas movie is based on the store.
One of hallmark features in the store is its grandiose pipe organ brought in from the St. Louis World's Fair. Despite being the largest in the world at the time, it was still inadequate to fill the large main room of the department store so Wanamakers expanded it to 28,000 pipes, making it the largest operational pipe organ today. The store became famous for its Christmas Light Shows and its popularity went beyond locals with it becoming a true tourist attraction. Unfortunately, Wanamakers was absorbed by Macy's in 1995 though it retains nearly all of its regal air, especially at Christmas time when most people who lived back in the day still think of it as Wanamakers. It is a National Historic Landmark.
This store carries all manner of solar-powered products (the Solio line of chargers, solar backpacks and laptop cases), items made from recycled bicycle parts, a refilling station for eco-sensitive laundry detergent, biodegradable plastic doggie bags, soaps, etc etc etc. The proprietor is very friendly and knowledgable about all the products. I wish there was a Big Green Earth Store in my hometown!
What to buy: the entire Solio charger line is sold here
Jeans, jeans, jeans! Charlie's carries premium denim (Citizen, 7, Joe's Jeans) plus a nice selection of tops, dresses, coats and accessories. Sales people are friendly and very skilled. I have a terrible time finding jeans that avoid the dreaded "gap waist" and the salesgirl got me a perfect fit within 4 pairs. Charlie's will hem the jeans and ship them for a reasonable price.
What to pay: Premium denim prices seem to be a little less pricey than NYC costs.
About twenty different vendors sell antique and vintage wares inside this former synagogue just off South St.
What to buy: A good choice for vintage brooches, bracelets, earrings, shoes, scarfs, blouses, jeans, coats, hats, t-shirts, purses, ties and assorted junk. And, unlike in New York, hipsters haven't fully picked over the wares already so there's actually sweet stuff to be found.
What to pay: Prices aren't thrift store rock-bottom but aren't Brooklyn vintage prices either. A silk scarf might be $8 but a fancy '50s brooch might be $200.
You can cruise up and down Walnut and Chestnut Streets as well as the numbered streets in between for some great shops (start around 16th and Chestnut and park at Liberty Place shops):
Shops at Liberty Place, Zara - 17th & Walnut. Cool shop for both men & women.
Anthropology - 20th and Walnut (clothing, housewares, etc), Tiffany, Polo, Born Yesterday (Children), Kenneth Cole. Check out their website for a complete listing and addresses:
What to buy: Whatever you can afford!
What to pay: Depends what you buy!
So yummy! Stop by here in either South Philly or the Rittenhouse Square shop for some delicious cheeses, meats, oils and other specialty items. So much of what they have is so good, I can't possibly pick one thing... check out there website. They also have special events (wine & cheese parings, etc).
Grab a sandwich & a coffee from the from the cafe upstairs (Rittenhouse) and stroll to the park at Rittenhouse square for a romantic treat.
What to buy: Everything!
Di Bruno Bros have quite recently enlarged their city centre store on 17th and Chestnut. It's a really classy shop, great selection of meats, cheese, cakes and other gourmet delights. Also downstairs seating for a quick coffee and a snack, or upstairs for lunch. A bit pricey but worth it ! A pity the antiquated Philly booze laws don't allow the shop to sell wines ! If you want something downstairs, ask for Josh and tell him Dave and Dia sent you !!
Great shoes and great selection! A little off the beaten path (closest to Philly would be St Davids or Princeton/ Lawrenceville, NJ).
What to buy: Charles David, Via Spiga, etc. boots, shoes, sandals - they also have some purses and some accessories.
What to pay: Depends on what you want........... but you'll get everything at discount!
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