Affordable vintage clothing for men

July 11, 2013 6:12:11 AM PDT
If you're looking for first-quality men's wear, there's no shortage of exclusive retailers in the region to serve you. But men on a budget, especially just beginning a career, might not be able to afford the look they want or need.

Given that men's clothing doesn't change as much as women's, vintage clothing might be their answer. Briar Vintage at 62 N. 3rd Street in Old City sells nothing but.

Owner David Lochner stocks nothing newer than 1969. Garments of yesteryear tend to be well-made. Lochner will place nothing on his racks that isn't in pristine condition.

Often, a little tailoring can bring your purchase up-to-date and make it look like it was crafted just for you. While new grads on a budget are part of his client base, Lochner says a lot more are interested in re-creating looks they've seen in productions like "Mad Men" and "Boardwalk Empire".

He often has just what they're looking for. Lochner's experience gives all his clients pointers in pursuing the right fit, color combinations, etc. He enjoys stoking his store with locally-made products when he can. Among his racks, you'll see Philadelphia names of yesteryear like Daroff, Jacob reed, even John Wanamaker.

His garments feature natural fibers like wool and cotton and no polyester. These respond well to gentle care, often just a brushing and perhaps a little steam. He says dry cleaning should be rare, perhaps once a year.

Like tailoring, he recommends choosing a provider who'll respect your garments. After all, most of what he sells has already outlived your parents or grandparents.

His store has enough to outfit most men from head to toe, but there are other things that fit the retro feel...an antique typewriter and several suitcases, for example. His selection of headwear includes derbies and top hats...again, many made right in town.

Briar Vintage is open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00am to 7:00pm and 12:00 Noon to 6:00pm on Sundays and closed Mondays. You may phone them at 215-627-1990.

They're online at Briar Vintage, but Lochner says customers will get a better idea of what's in stock from his social media pages on Facebook or Instagram.

He tends to post more photos on these sites because they're easier to maintain. It's not possible to phone a supplier as you do with current-day men's wear and order things, but Lochner keeps information on interested customers in his iPhone, and he shops wholesalers likely to stock what they need. It's time-consuming, he says, but it serves the customer.


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