Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Mod Shopping Guide to Philadelphia

I consider Philly one of the top cities to visit in the United States. I was first acquainted with The City of Brotherly Love years back when my parents moved for work into a small flat near Rittenhouse Square. On a couple of occasions I got to extensively explore the city but my wife had never been. So a quick road trip was in order.

Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed.

Aside from the incredible architecture, abundant historical significant sites, rich musical heritage, museums and tasty Philly cheese steaks, there's plenty of Mod shopping to be done. This guide should help you spend that vacation money in no time. Make sure to keep a few bills aside for some records! I'll tell you where to find some in the next post.

Philadelphia City Hall

You may want to start your spending spree on South Street.

South Street has a young, hip, urban, trendy, artsy vibe to it with its many shops, art galleries, cafes, restaurants and clubs. Most shops aren't worth a second glance, unless you're looking for some bling or a pair of neon trainers. Hopefully these addresses will narrow your browsing time.

Ants in your pants?

I wasn't in town to have my hair cut neat but if I were, I would probably start with the Modish Hair Salon.

A must stop on your stroll down South Street is Greene Street Consignment.

Consignment shops seem to have picked up in popularity lately. I may not be aware of any in my own town but the concept seems to have taken root in many major North American cities. It makes sense. It's socially responsible and promotes green living. Whether you adhere to those principles or not, chances are you'll find a few nice pieces in the place. My wife sure did! You can find a cool retro dress for the price of a couple of Latte Ventis at the Starbucks down the road.

Your next destination should be Retrospect. As they advertise on their website, it's "vintage through and through"and "is the cure for the chain-store shopping blues". Couldn't agree more. If you're looking for a vintage couch or a simple silk scarf, then search no more.

It certainly chased the blues away as soon as I put my hands on a stunning green glen check 60s jacket. My mood quickly changed from blues free to utter excitement when I saw the price tag of 18$.

At that silly price, I managed to score a few extra slim ties. Hard to say no at 5$ a pop.

Looking for a hard to find short brimmed trilby or a classic driver's cap? Then you should head over to the Hat Shop, 524 South St. I think the name of the place is pretty self-explanatory.

A good fifteen minute walk from South Street is Metro Mens Clothing in the rapidly developing neighbourhood along Passyunk Avenue. If you don't like taking the vintage route, this place will meet all your Mod clothing needs.

You'll find all the Mod friendly brands like Fred Perry, Ben Sherman, Original Penguin all under one roof. According to the very friendly owner, his shop has the exclusivity for all the Fred Perry products in Philly. True or not, the impeccable customer service is worth the detour. Just a couple days before, I had received an email announcing the new Fred Perry Northern Soul - Twisted Wheel collection and he already had it in stock.

Of course, I kept the best for last. A street away from our hotel, in the Old City, is the exquisite Briar Vintage. A bit more expensive then your average second hand shop, the selection is carefully hand picked. You'll only find the finest examples of vintage clothing from the 20s to the 60s. 

The only reason why I didn't leave with half of the inventory is because I didn't find anything that fit well. But it wasn't from a lack of trying!

So I had to settle for a couple of pocket squares and a few ties. Don't hesitate to strike a conversation with the manager David, a very swell gentleman. He knows a thing or two about clothes and if you're as passionate about the subject as I am, the next thing you'll know half an hour will have passed.

What would I give to have a vintage tie clip display case like this.

While in the neighbourhood, might as well visit Sazz Vintage next door. You might just end up finding something you like.

All that shopping will certainly make you hungry. The perfect way to end an intense day of shop hopping is to walk a few blocks South to the National Mechanics Pub & Restaurant. The place, set in an old bank, offers a selection of 33 different beers and a menu of savoury pub grub. Believe me, you won't be disappointed.

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