Tucked away in the historic Curtis Center, Philadelphia Diamond Company’s jewelers hone design aesthetics, helping students craft blueprints for unique neckwear, tinkling bangles, and sparkly finger baubles. From casting wax molds to figuring out which diamonds are ready to hatch, the jewel-savvy staff illuminates every step of the jewelry-making process. After drawing up plans for fresh finery or redesigning well-worn accessories, students munch on continental-breakfast nibbles while waiting for custom molds to emerge. Students hungry to turn their designs into reality benefit from a 20% discount on required materials, letting designers cast personalized wedding bands or dreamy amulets without the hassle of prospecting for precious metals or melting down old debate-club lavalieres.
Nestled in a funkily refurbished old house, Julie's Bottega harbors a sumptuous selection of high-fashion designs, cherry-picked by a stylish mother-daughter team. Try on a pair of Only Hearts leggings in black, navy, or chocolate ($55), and slip into a shiny elbow-length turtleneck from Michael Stars ($50) for a flattering fall look that complements backyard leaf piles. A plush, poncho-like cashmere ruana from Minnie Rose drapes torsos in a spectrum of colors ($200), and the wide range of baubles, jewelry, and other accessories underlines each wearer's trendy taste.
The impassioned pavement pounders and foot beglovers at Born to Run set inner chariots on fire with a tinderbox of name-brand running shoes, athletic clothes, and sundry accessories. The Oasis 2 from Fitflop ($50) combines the company's patented muscle-toning Microwobbleboard with soft, lustrous suede, straddling the divide between fashion and practicality along with stylish foot-envelopes from Asics, Adidas, and Saucony, among others. Born to Run also peddles essential accessories like heart-rate monitors, athletic socks, and motivation-pumping carrots to dangle before reluctant runners.
Hope Chest curates a trove of designer intimates that sensuously shelter curves and help to shape physiques. Boutique attendants measure figures to unite AA- to H-cup bras and band sizes ranging from 30 to 42 with their convex counterparts. Independent, multi-lingual panties, hose, camisoles, and shapewear are recruited from European and American lines such as Chantelle, Wolford, and Fleur't. With seamless underwire cups and front closures, Le Mystère's signature y-back bras modestly mask their structures ($60+). Organic-cotton Hanky Panky thongs ($18 for one, $48 for three) compete for seats with Cosabella hot pants and bikinis in games of musical chairs ($22+), and Spanx stockings and leggings sculpt and cinch below the belt ($26+). Pajama sets round out the collection with varying degrees of sultriness, as camisoles provide the missing link in the complex evolution of underwear to outerwear.
For more than 80 years, the retailers at Robinson Luggage have packed their showroom with functional and stylish luggage, business cases, and bags from brands such as Kenneth Cole, Johnston & Murphy, and Kipling. Today, more than 60 brands of luggage, computer cases, and backpacks line the shelves waiting for somebody to entrust them with their clothes, business documents, or treasured slinky collections. A close-knit family, the staff averages 12 years of experience, with many team members having been a part of the store for more than 20 years. They welcomely combine their expertise to aid shoppers searching for pieces that fit ideal factors such as budget, aesthetic, or function.
Andrew’s Ties USA’s seasoned haberdashers ensconce torsos in Italian-made ties, shirts, and fine accessories. The Collection tie’s ($69) heavy silk cuts a resplendent blaze across dark-hued formalwear, and the Pari Pari's ($49) woven diagonal stripes bespeak classic elegance while offering advance camouflage on battlefields filled with barber poles. Pants stay obediently hip-bound courtesy of striped or polka-dot suspenders ($59), the flashier twin cousins of more business-minded leather belts ($69). A black check dress shirt ($99) lends gravitas no matter the occasion, and a crisp silk bow tie ($55) adds aplomb to tuxedos and football uniforms alike.