Budget Shopping: Philadelphia

Just because this economy has forced you to impose some uncomfortably restrictive spending limits on yourself, you might still be looking for ways to treat yourself to a few fashionable wardrobe additions to keep yourself from looking so entirely 2007. Sure, many retailers have slashed, slashed, slashed their prices but for some of us, those reductions still don't jive with our idea of a bargain. Here are some places where you should be able to find a couple of cute pieces and manage to keep a few bucks left over for lunch.

Updated: November 16, 2009

Shop 'til You Drop

Piccolini (20)

264 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

This hip kiddie store has rebranded itself as an outlet that sells many of the same items as the flagship Bryn Mawr store--but here those rockin? AC/DC onesies sell for an average of 50% off. Diaper bags with fun patterns, toddler backpacks that are bigger than the toddler, and Steppenwolf-does-lullabies CDs might not guarantee that your kid won't get picked on for being a dork but at least no one will make fun of him for his clothes or accessories.


534 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Maybe your preference is to pull together a look that's more reflective of 1959 than 2009. If vintage is your bag, you can fill up your cart with jeans, belts, fur coats, dresses and jewelry that span the ages at this South Street boutique that also supplies retro kids and men. With frequent half-off sales that discount the already low prices, your back-in-time experience may not end until after you hit the cash register.

Gap Outlet

1875 Franklin Mills Circle, Philadelphia, PA 19154

Get that casual preppy Gap look without paying for it. This chain outlet takes 30%-40% off the cost of a typical Gap outfit, while treating you to the style that has defined this clothier for decades. Although some clothes are the same as in the regular stores, most of the outlet's merchandise is stuff that's designed specifically for the chain, rather than out-of-season or gently damaged leftovers.


1725 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

You may see them practically everywhere you go but have you ever stepped inside one of these multi-level meccas for the bargain shopper? If your tastes are relatively simple and casual with a dash of flair, you can put together an entire wardrobe for less than what one blouse would cost you at many nearby purveyors of couture. This international chain deals mainly in cotton--think stretchy tanks, plain v-neck sweaters, patterned sundresses, button-downs and men's and women's capris--and will help you replace all of your worn-out staples while adding your collection of after-work dinner-with-friends ensembles. Plus, bring along your boyfriend and kids... this store will dress them, too.

Lost & Found

133 N Third St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

We wouldn't call this a budget shopper's paradise, necessarily, but compared to its Old City neighbors, prices at this casual and eclectic boutique are bargain basement. Comfy jeans tend to sell for $69, sweaters are $40 and dangly silver earrings and multiple chain necklaces hover around $20-$30. But let's not leave out the men... or the feet. Guys? fashions are affordable here too, as are the shoes you can wear to walk all over them.