Starring Vin(tage) Diesel
From the outside, Briar Vintage looks like a store where your grandfather or that weird thespian kid from high school might shop. But inside, this Old City men’s vintage clothing shop offers an inviting atmosphere that encourages you to look at the multitude of 1800s cufflinks and 60s–era blazers on display. Some jaunty 1930s music plays in the background, contributing to the feeling that you’re spanning 100 years of history in one confined space.
And you are. Complete with three–piece suits, top hats, letter jackets, suspenders and bow ties, Briar Vintage features male fashions that range from the early 1800s to the 1960s. Polyester is a big no–no in this store.
Each piece sold is hand–selected from estate sales and flea markets, with an emphasis on Union– and Philadelphia–made clothing, ensuring that only the highest quality of merchandise is displayed. Worried you’ll end up looking like too much of a dandy in these vintage digs? Briar offers personal on–site styling advice so you’ll know exactly what shapes and colors work for your body. You’ll go from disheveled to dapper in no time.
But the real value in Briar Vintage comes from its dedicated and enthusiastic staff. Tattooed and pierced, store manager David Lochner seems like the last person you’d expect to find in an impeccable suit working in a vintage fashion store, but he’s clearly passionate about what he does. He discusses different types of tie bars, cufflinks and suspender buttons for nearly 10 minutes before giving me a full breakdown of what clothing and cut would go best with my coloring, complete with a reference to illustrations from a pre–1960 Gentlemen’s Quarterly. And he’s absolutely insistent that I try something on before I leave.
The music changes to some Bing Crosby as I don a grey plaid blazer, as suggested by Lochner. With his proposal of a light blue button–down, chinos and a green bow tie, I end up looking rather debonair (if I do say so myself). After that, I feel slightly underdressed in my T–shirt and jeans, but it speaks to the ability of Briar Vintage to transport you to a different time. A combination of the music, that antique smell and the collection of vintage suitcases makes you slow down just a little bit and forget about the hustle and bustle of the city around you.
One final look through the scarves, shoes, bowler hats, cardigans and suits (both single– and double–breasted) solidifies the charm and excellence that pervade Briar’s pieces. While the items might be a tad pricey for the average college student, with blazers ranging from about $60–$100 and suits going for a little more, the quality of the pieces is unparalleled. This store is no place for the hipster looking to branch out from Urban — only true vintage lovers will find what they’re looking for here.
62 N. 3rd St.
What you’ll find here: Vintage menswear going back to the 1800s
Bottom line: Vintage purists — look no further