The Best Independent Shops for Womenswear in Philadelphia
A guide to owner-operated retailers selling women's clothing and accessories in Philly...
In Philadelphia, owner-operated shops are a way of life — and have been since the 17th century.
Independent storefronts fit naturally into the city’s fabric; their size and spirit thrive amid similarly independent restaurants, bars and cafes in close-knit neighborhoods.
It’s perhaps no surprise that, when it comes to outfitting the ladies, Philadelphia’s indie shops are the way to go. Also not too surprising: The city’s recent surge of upscale boutiques and haberdasheries that have followed Philly’s surge of stylish residents and visitors.
Certainly pleasantly surprising to shoppers: Philadelphia levies no sales tax on apparel or shoes.
Here are some standout, sought-after, Philly-proud indie womenswear shops.
Note: This store is currently closed for renovations.
Esteemed circa 1940 clothier Boyds carries topline men’s and women’s fashion. Four polished floors display Alexander Wang, Cushnie, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, Marchesa, Proenza Schouler and more alongside in-house tailors, custom valet parking and personal shoppers.
Where: Boyds, 1818 Chestnut Street
This Old City spot is known and loved for its staff of fit experts. Slim, distressed, dark, flare, pencil, straight, bootcut, styles for work or for play are all on the menu, as is the store’s American-made denim brand, Sebastian McCall Jeans, named for the store’s owner.
Chestnut Hill is the second location of a trendy, Avalon, New Jersey-born boutique from Pennsylvania native sisters/owners Liz and Laura Rymar. Shoppers can find fashion-forward skirts, dresses, tops and more. Bonus: ellelauri also has a retail outlet store in Hatboro.
VIEW OTHER LOCATIONS (1)
Joan Shepp has been a Philadelphia fashion powerhouse since 1971. Named by Harper’s Bazaar as one of the country’s style leaders, she and daughter Ellen stock their 9,000-square-foot store with designer womenswear from Maison Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garçons and Balenciaga, along with local designers.
Owner Joey Clark’s 700-square-foot women’s boutique stocks reasonably priced basics — white button-downs, distressed denim, sleek jumpsuits — from designers like The Fifth Label, Eugenia Kim and Vetiver. Customers stay apprised of Kin ’s latest looks via the shop’s Instagram.
Where: Kin, 1014 Pine Street
Styles by Milan Harris, the designer and creator of Philly-based luxury streetwear brand Milano di Rouge , have been worn by huge celebrities like Angela Simmons, Blac Chyna, Lil’ Kim and Meek Mill. The Spring Garden Street shop sells bodysuits, leggings, sweatshirts, tees and more adorned with the brand’s name.
More than jumpsuits, rompers, bodysuits and going-out wear, this personal stylist boutique owned by Crystal Jackson is a one-stop shop for beauty. The airy, welcoming Germantown space also offers on-site manicures and makeup by esthetician Sade Jennine.
The warm, chic storefront sells vintage clothing, holistic body care, new and used books, eclectic housewares, jewelry and leather bags. TSC also holds lifestyle and yoga workshops and recently reopened inside Fashion District Philadelphia .
VIEW OTHER LOCATIONS (1)
Main Line mainstay Skirt brought a battalion of personal stylists to Rittenhouse Square to better meet Philly’s demand for Veronica Beard, Theory, Elizabeth and James, DVF, on-point denim, office and cocktail wear.
Elegant Rittenhouse Square boutique Sophy Curson has serviced debutants and doyennes since 1929. Fun fact: The owners are the niece and great-nephew of the shop’s eponymous founder. Shoppers can find everything in the decorous display here, including ball gowns and blue jeans. Note: Shoppers make requests rather than browse racks.
Trove General Store peddles an eclectic mix of clothing, shoes, bags and homewares at its spacious Paoli storefront. Its collection of rain boots, utility jackets, flannel shirts and light-weight tees cater to active, outdoorsy types.
This husband-and-wife owned store is all about the bohemian style, created with hand-printed natural fibers and traditional hand embroidery. Shoppers can book an appointment or stop by the store Wednesdays through Fridays. Bonus: All in-store purchases get a 10% discount.
Where: Voloshin, 2930 Jasper Street