Buffalo Exchange carries less vintage items and more secondhand modern cloth- ing. While you may find some good deals, it really is hit–or–miss here. Most of the clothes are things you passed up at H&M and J. Crew a year or two ago. Be sure to check for holes or tears before you purchase. Fortunately, they have a great selection of Halloween outfits come October. If you’re willing to wait in a long line, you can sell your gently–used clothes for 50% of the original cost.
Go for: Pleather, Forever 21 from 2010 and cable knit sweaters
This store is stocked with vintage finds, from faux fur coats to leather bags and plaids. A trip here can last hours, because there's just always one more thing (or two or three) you want to try on. The prices vary greatly—before looking at the tags I found myself torn between a $15 dress and a $175 one.
Go for: Vintage jewelry, cardigans, leather boots and cowboy shirts
Cultured Couture has two locations in Philadelphia—one in Old City and the other in Northern Liberties. The stores stock menswear that pays homage to times gone by (think tweeds, two–piece suits and bowties). Even if you don’t buy any- thing, a trip to the store is well worth it—the paintings, furniture and soft jazz are sure to transport you to your very own "Great Gatsby" fantasy (sadly no Leo, though).
Go for: Silk pocket squares, men’s sunglasses, cufflinks and designer luggage
While Sazz Vintage is mostly marketed to men, there is a fine array of unisex sweaters and shirts to be found. The collection is organized by style and era, so the 1970s disco pants are separated from the concert tees and bowling shirts. The prices are affordable so you can get your smoking jacket, Carebear shirt and platform shoes all for under $20.
Go for: Christmas sweaters, Hawaiian shirts and a variety of purple, velvety things
In 2011 Philly AIDS Thrift moved from its lo- cation on Bainbridge to a larger venue in Old City. The store is a two–story emporium of ran- dom and delightful donations. Stop by if you want to shop for a difference, or to donate any- thing from shoes to sporting goods. Be sure to check out the witty comments on the price tags!
Go for: ‘Presidential sweaters,’ vintage ties, books, furniture and snark
Get 34th Street's newsletter, The Toast, delivered to your inbox every Sunday morning.Newsletters