BY REBECCA GOODACRE Vagabond is a distinctive fashion boutique with uncommonly good taste located on North 3rd Street in Old City, Philadelphia. The adorable flower box hanging outside the front window makes for a very welcoming shop front, but what it contains inside is even more inviting to fashion lovers. The store is separated into two distinct sections that for the sake of clarity we will refer to as ‘the front section’ and ‘the rear section.’ The front section is stocked with earthy tones, floral prints and cute leather accessories; perfect for a delightful feminine spring and summer day looks. The décor also follows this trend, with bare brick walls and heavy wooden tables evoking a casual, pragmatic cool. The rear section however, is full of eccentric vintage pieces, ideal for those who wish to express their retro side.
The interior of Vagabond has the look of a high-end boutique and a jumble sale all at once. Rows of higher-priced brand label items line the sides of the store, whilst tables of more reasonably-priced secondhand fashion odds and ends fill tables and shelves in between. By stocking a wide selection of both labels and thrift, Vagabond has something for just about every fashionista. The labels they offer vary from bigger names such as Rachel Comey and Dolce Vita, to smaller more local crafters such as Erik and Mike. These varying levels of label status are also reflected in the prices. You can leave Vagabond with the smug satisfaction of having snagged a vintage bargain, or the pain of a mortally wounded bank account. This range in prices enables Vagabond to cater to most budgets — both big and small.
Founded by Mary Clark and Megan Murphy, Vagabond originated in the Jersey Shore area. Both Clark and Murphy have backgrounds in knitting, crochet, sewing and other wooly type things — which explains the piles of wool and crocheting magazines which litter the store, making it a handcrafter’s paradise. Nominated by the 2010 Philly HOT LIST for Best Women’s Boutique, Vagabond certainly has a lot to offer. However, considering the size of some of the price tags, the service and some of the store presentation is lagging behind. Unlike other boutiques, there was a distinct absence of a welcome greeting and insistent offers of assistance. While the freedom to browse unmolested has its charms, when being asked to pay $150 for a day dress, a little customer service would go a long way towards easing the pain of departing with that much cash. Just sayin’.