Thanks to the opening of fashionable shops around North Third Street, Old City is finding a new groove. T+L gives you the highlights.
Deep Sleep You'll find the latest in street styles at this small men's shop, including reversible hoodies by MHI by Maharishi and highly sought-after T's by Seattle's Flying Coffin. T+L Tip Limited-edition merchandise is displayed on the store's Web site (deepsleepphilly.com). Call or e-mail if you want something held or shipped. 54 N. Third St.; 215/351-9124.
Sugarcube The demand for vintage clothing from this boutique (which stocks new pieces, too) has been so great that it just moved into a much larger space—to accommodate even more immaculate hand-me-downs. T+L Tip On the hunt for something specific?Owner Elisa Buratto can probably source it from her extensive network of vendors, as she did recently with a red silk 1950's dress and a 1940's crocodile bag. 124 N. Third St.; 215/238-0825.
Third Street Habit Locals love this chic boutique as much for its roster of labels (Sass and Bide, Sonia Rykiel) as for its laid-back vibe, courtesy of feminine design elements like beaded-glass chandeliers and a large red velvet couch. T+L Tip Add your name to the mailing list for info on the SugarHabit sale—clothing from Sugarcube and Third Street Habit is marked down as much as 90 percent. 153 N. Third St.; 215/925-5455.
Vagabond Credited with starting Old City's fashion renaissance when it opened several years ago, this women's boutique carries cutting-edge labels (Twinkle by Wenlan, Alex Gaines, Ulla Johnson), local lines (Arwen Spargo, City of Brotherly Love), and designer vintage (Ferragamo, Delman). The back room doubles as an art gallery and showplace for artisanal items like yarn and organic soaps. T+L Tip Co-owner Mary Clark's Stellapop hand-knit sweaters, which sell at Barneys for more than $200, wholesale here for as little as $90. 37 N. Third St.; 267/671-0737.
J. Karma This accessories haven, which opened as a jewelry shop last December, has recently expanded with shoes and bags by of-the-moment designers like Faryl Robin and Jeffrey Campbell. T+L Tip Make sure to check out the selection of Melie Bianco's faux-leather handbags. They look expensive but are well-priced (from $65). 62 N. Third St.; 215/627-9625.
Bruges Home This two-story design studio carries everything from coffee-table books to club chairs. All the price tags have lengthy descriptions because, according to owner Ed Gray, "people like things with a story." T+L Tip Don't be put off by the listed item dimensions; many pieces can be customized to fit your space. 323 Race St.; 215/922-6041.
Minima Eugenie Perret fills her sleek, white-lacquer furniture studio and gallery with a veritable who's who of modern designers: Piero Lissoni, Marc Newson, Eero Saarinen, Philippe Starck. Art exhibitions rotate, and works are often commissioned for the showroom. T+L Tip Most of the staff has a background in interior design. Bring pictures of your room, and they'll do a consultation. 118 N. Third St.; 215/922-2002.
Reform Vintage Modern This is a secret source for other Midcentury furniture dealers, who come for original finds by design legends like Warren Platner and Tommi Parzinger and then resell them at a premium. Expect coveted items at affordable prices. T+L Tip Ask owner Arthur Meckler to take you to his warehouse across town. That's where he keeps bigger pieces—chairs, sofas, tables—that he'll sell at a discount. 112 N. Third St.; 215/922-6908.