Thrift shopping for vintage treasures is easy when you know where to find them. Here are seven of our favorite thrift shops in Philadelphia.
It’s not always sunny in Philadelphia, but when the weather is less than great, what better time to explore the vintage shopping there. We were more than elated when these Philly vintage store tips were submitted by EcoSalon reader Joanne Stillman.
Vintage shopping is part skill, part luck and part perseverance, but you can stack the odds in your favor by hitting up stores known to always stock good stuff. Here are seven of our favorite thrift stores in Philadelphia. For those of you located elsewhere, many of these also have online shops.
Stocked with unique finds ranging from vintage clothing and jewelry to kitchenware, Astro has a little bit of everything. The shop is housed in a cute little space and the owner, Karin, is very helpful and curates the collection with lots of care. Her particular fondness for 50s owls means you should keep an eye out for Betty Draper-style dresses, pencil skirts, cat-eye glasses and lots of, well, owl jewelry and trinkets.
Astro Vintage, 720 S 5th Street, Queen Village
Retrospect has been around since 2001 and sells vintage clothing and accessories for guys and gals. The color coordinated displays feature everything from jeans and dresses to furs and coats to belts, hats, and sunglasses. The prices are decent enough – for a thrift shop located in a major city, that is – to enable you to find some true bargains.
Retrospect Vintage, 534 South Street, South Street District/Society Hill
Philly AIDS Thrift
This is your classic kind of thrift store, where you probably have to spend at least an hour searching through the racks, but can score amazing finds at great prizes. A non-profit, Philly AIDS Thrift donates a good portion of the profits from the used clothing and housewares they sell to local organizations involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In June, they surpassed $413,450 in total cash contributions to Philly area AIDS organizations. If that doesn’t make you feel good about shopping here, I don’t know what will.
Philly AIDS Thrift, 710 S. 5th Street, Queen Village
Featuring a well-curated selection of vintage goods, Wilbur Vintage is known for its style and charm. The main focus here is on women and you can find great dresses, shoes and bags. The proprietor is very friendly and will gladly help you find anything you are looking for. Prices are not dirt cheap, but you can expect everything to be in great condition.
Wilbur Vintage, 716 South 4th Street, Queen Village
Sazz Vintage Clothing
Sazz offers a curated collection of women’s and men’s vintage pieces ranging from the 30s to the 80s. There are lots of 50s and 60s dresses and a great collection of 70s and 80s band and concert T-shirts. You can also shop on the website and, if you let the store know a few days in advance, they can even arrange for you to try those web shop items on in the store. Sazz is also known for their vintage warehouse in Fish Town – a vintage paradise for men, where you can find disco clothes, western shirts, vintage t-shirts, bellbottoms, Hawaiian shirts and even ugly Christmas sweaters. Best of all, everything in the warehouse costs under $25.
Sazz Vintage Clothing, 38 North 3rd Street, Olde City
Malena’s Vintage Boutique
Located in West Chester, Malena’s features personally handpicked vintage and vintage inspired apparel. The items range from big-name designers like Gucci and Hermes to homemade tailored items. The store has been featured in many publications including Lucky Magazine, Latina Magazine, Spark Weekly, Budget Living Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine and Philadelphia City Paper. Owner Malena Martinez started collecting vintage when she was twelve years old and has honed her craft every since. A graduate of Pratt’s fashion program, she uses her technical knowledge and good taste to find unusual and well constructed vintage pieces.
Malena’s Vintage Boutique, 101 West Gay Street, West Chester
Greene Street Consignment
Currently in seven locations, Greene Street Consignment is run by a pair of sisters – Donna and Lynn – who use their fashion industry experience and business know-how to create a vintage shopping experience with a true boutique feel.The first Greene Street outpost opened at 700 South Street in Philly in 1997 and is, 15 years later, still going strong. Even though the shopping environment is polished, the prices are still great.
Greene Street Consignment, 119 W. Market Street, West Chester & 700 South Street, Washington Square West
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