Philadelphia has so many stores, but somehow we keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, Racked Philly's Julie Davis asks local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems. Cue the Beatles: We’re about to get a little help from our friends.
Dana Bank doesn't have to go far to score a great piece of jewelry (her boutique TownHome is one of the city's top spots for gifts and accessories) but for everything else, she needs to venture outside of her Walnut Street shop. Here, the storeowner reveals the Philly boutiques that never fail to deliver the goods, from staple white tees to stellar salesclerks.
Knit Wit is "go-to," especially for the basics, like Michael Stars t-shirts and great tank tops. Owner Ann Gitter understands the importance of good staple pieces! They also have the best jean selection in the city, making it almost impossible to buy just one pair. J Brand, Citizens—you name it, they have it! Noelle, one of the sales associates, has the best style. I always head straight to her and ask, "What do I need?" She never fails me. I was super excited when Barneys Co-Op came to Philadelphia. They have some of my favorite brands (Helmet Lang, Vince, and Isabel Marant), and they have lots of awesome accessories that are well-priced (Alexander Wang). Yoko is there and knows clothes and fashion better than most. I trust her suggestions, always.
I think that what has been done with the J.Crew brand over the past few years is brilliant. I love to mix one of their simple white t-shirts (they always have a vintage feel and look) with a pair of jeans, a fabulous Celine bag, and a colored scarf—simple but classic! I also love their casual clothes, what I call a "Sunday outfit." The sale rack always has great items—you just have to be patient as it's sometimes a bit of a mess (but worth the effort!)
I am a shoe-crazed girl, I admit it. Head Start Shoes has the best boots in town, no question. Fiorentini + Baker brand is my absolute favorite!
I decided a while back that if I was going to have to wear glasses, I would make sure they were cool. Modern Eye helps me do that because they have the best selection in the city. Sometimes I find a brand that needs to be special-ordered and it's never a problem. Kate (from the University City store) is the best and totally honest with her opinions, which is so important when buying something that is sitting on your face.
I know it might be obvious, but it must be said that if I were able to be a fan, TownHome would definitely be a favorite! We really do have the best jewelry in the city, which is a must for every outfit. Jewelry is the one thing that can make the same outfit look different every time you wear it. Jewelry is my passion—what can I say?