Thrifting Your Way Through Philly

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Taleen Postian is an Armenian American writer from New York, and a current student at Villanova University. Her writing has fallen under the realms of scientific literature, journalism, poetry, and heartfelt birthday cards. Her journalism has been published in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator Newspaper and her college’s newspaper, The Villanovan. Her poetry has been published in Hyebred Magazine as well as Moonstone Art Center’s New Voices anthology. Her scientific literature has been published with MagellanTV and the International Young Researchers’ Conference.

You can write her at [email protected]!

Guest-written by Taleen Postian

As a transplant to Philadelphia, one of the best parts of my college experience has been exploring all this city has to offer. One of those things is its thrift shops! Thrifting is a great way to add to your closet & try different styles.

Here are four Philly thrift stores to explore…

1. Philly AIDS Thrift, 710 S. Fifth St.  

Philly AIDS Thrift is a non-profit, so you can be sure that your vintage t-shirt haul is benefiting a good cause—specifically local organizations that are united in the fight against HIV/AIDS. They are also a charitable organization, so you can donate your own vintage items to them. This also means that they need to move their merchandise fast, so prices are low compared to neighboring shops.

This thrift store is unique compared to the others featured in this article, in that it is a treasure hunt in a store—none of the Philly AIDS items are curated. They have great jackets, cutlery, tee shirts, and more… you just have to find them! I got two matching tulip candlesticks, which was definitely a special find.

2. Retrospect Vintage, 508 South St.  

Retrospect Vintage, besides having a delightful name for a shop centered around going back in time, is owned and operated by Goodwill. Goodwill is committed to the community via their mission of providing job training & other career services that help local residents of Philly with disabilities and disadvantages find work.

Don’t worry, you are definitely going to find something you love in this vintage store because someone has already hand-picked the inventory. Retrospect has buyers that spot new finds daily for you and the price range goes from mid to high on all sorts of items. Can’t get to the brick and mortar but still craving a new funky sweater? No worries, Retrospect has Etsy and Depop shops for you to shop online.

At Retrospect, I bought a long purple skirt that feels like it was made for a Little Women reboot!

3. Raxx Vintage, 534 South St.  

Raxx Vintage Emporium is a spacious vintage shop whose items fall on the medium to the higher end of the price range. Though my friends and I mostly browsed the aisles admiring the racks of denim and varsity jackets, my eye was drawn to the back of their shop which houses their vintage sparkly dresses.

In the mood for some jewels? The center of their store is home to a jewelry cabinet with lovely gold, silver, and other metal jewelry laden with stones and crystals of all colors and sizes! One of the best parts about this vintage stop is the styled mannequins that can be just the thing to inspire your next thrifted outfit.

Interested in thrifting but want to get into it from the comfort of your bedroom? This vintage shop also has a Depop.  

4. B-Bop Vintage, 619 S. Fourth St. 

The last vintage shop on this list is rather new to the city: B-Bop Vintage. They are a brand new vintage apparel & housewares store. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, this shop is run by Bridget Tyrrell, who formerly worked at Retrospect and will be filling her store with her favorite era of style: the 1960s & 1970s.  

The opening of a new store focused on curated vintage finds only goes to show you that Philly is the place to be for all your thrifting needs. The great thing about these shops is that they are all within short walking distance of each other, surrounded by food shops and restaurants to fuel your day of thrifting. Happy shopping!

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