Philadelphia has been getting some special sartorial attention in the last three years. Though its a place normally derided as being a city of uncouth swines casually decked out in sweatpants and not much else, some menswear influencers have quietly gone about building stylish oases devoted to elevating Philly’s style influence.
Lapstone & Hammer
1106 Chestnut St., 215-592-9166
The newest arrival in the city’s menswear scene, Lapstone & Hammer opened for business in May. The 4,000 sq. foot art deco space features everything from Japanese denim, coffee table books, covetable sportswear, and the holy grail of footwear aficionados: rare sneaker drops.
Lapstone & Hammer lies squarely in the Market East neighborhood – a major transit hub currently experiencing a sweeping, dramatic renovation. Century 21 opened just last year, bringing designer discounts on everything from previous season Lanvin, Margiela, and other premium designers. Major redevelopment is also planned for The Gallery, the largest shopping mall in the Center City area.
535 South St., 215-440-9922
A testament to the success of quality menswear, Totem Brand recently moved to a larger, renovated space three doors down from its original South Street location to house an even bigger stock of classic Americana.
Its niche is an unparalleled approach to quality American styling seen through its commitment to stocking shoes made for marathon hikes, and backpacks and rucksacks for weekend adventures. The store prides itself on staunchly supporting American industry. Keep an eye out for Red Wing footwear, limited edition Levi’s clothing, and Portland-made Mazama ceramic ware.
704 S. 4th St., 267-928-2002
Armour opened in late 2013, fittingly along “Fabric Row,” an enclave of low-key boutiques and fabric stores. The store’s founder, David Grimes, is a Philly native and recent Brooklyn transplant who questioned the city’s lack of independent mens’ retail outside of bougie mainstays in Center City.
Philadelphia is notorious for being skeptical of anything New York influenced (as seen by the city’s vocal opposition to ‘Brooklyn Flea’). However, Grimes’ hometown cred lies in his ability to curate a minimalist, directional aesthetic for the Philly style set without the need to hop on a Megabus to specialty menswear stores up north.
Look out for rarified, specialty finds like NYC produced Ace & Everett socks, eco friendly Arthnic, which produces garments from 100% recyclable fabric, and sculptural jewelry from Bernard James.