Philadelphia Back-to-School Guide

August 3, 2012 6:00 AM

New classrooms, new teachers, new friends: Back-to-school time can be stressful for kids. To make the transition from summer fun to the classroom easier, take your budding students on a shopping spree. New outfits, new shoes and new notebooks are just the thing to bring a new attitude to the back-to-school blues. Here are some great places around Philadelphia to start your spree that won’t take a huge chunk out of your checkbook.

(credit: Worn Yesterday/Facebook)

Worn Yesterday
4228 Main St.
Manayunk, PA
(215) 482-3316

Worn Yesterday in Manayunk is a top-of-the-line consignment shop that features exclusive and gently-used boutique clothing. It’s closed Mondays, but Worn Yesterday carries clothes, shoes and accessories for infants and kids up to age 12. Whether your kindergartner desires a colorful Catamini cardigan to catch the eyes of her classmates the first day of school, or your preteen needs a jean jacket by True Religion for chilly autumn mornings, the store has that one-of-a-kind item that will make your child shine. While price tags are much less hefty than major department stores, with brands like Juicy Couture, Betsey Johnson, Burberry, Seven and Flowers by Zoe, don’t go in with a thrift shop mentality. These are high-end designer items with prices that reflect quality and brand name. You can offset the damage, however, by bringing in your own classy cast-offs for trade-in cash.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Bulk Vintage
2438 Coral St.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 923-9009

It’s a vintage lover’s paradise at Bulk Vintage warehouse, just a 10-minute drive from the heart of downtown Philadelphia. The 6,000-square-foot facility carries a massive inventory of 200,000 pieces of 1930s to 1980s clothes, shoes, accessories, estate jewelry and military gear at low, low prices. Kids’ clothing sells at $5 a piece, and shoes and sneakers are just $8 per pair. The kicker here is that the more you buy, the less you pay. Purchase 10 items, and the price goes down 50 cents. Buy 25 items, and you save a buck on each piece. Open to the public on Mondays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., the packed-to-the-gills warehouse can get hot in the summer, so dress lightly and bring plenty of water. Better yet, shop in the cooler months, because kids younger than 10 are not allowed in the warehouse during summer months. Lastly, bring cash and a sense of adventure, scoring good stuff here is a guarantee, but you’ll be digging for a bit.

Related: Best Thrift Shores In Philadelphia

(credit: Wiggle Worms/Facebook)

Wiggle Worms
171 Byberry Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19116
(215) 969-2399

Price: from $10

In business since 2003, Wiggle Worms delivers a complete kiddie haircut experience at reasonable prices for children ages 0 to 14. Little ones can sit on a horse, motorcycle or police car while watching videos as the experienced stylists snip away. Everything from basic cuts and curls to feather hair extensions and temporary color gels are offered at this sassy salon for kids. For a real deal, it even honors local competitors’ coupons. Walk-ins are welcome.

Related:  Best Children’s Clothing In Philadelphia


Snip-its Salon
191 West Lincoln Hwy.
Whiteland Towne Center
Exton, PA 19341
(610) 524-9100

Price: from $15

Snip-its Salon in Exton may be a 30-minute ride from downtown Philadelphia, but the drive is well worth it. Your kids’ jaws will drop when they set eyes on the colorful, cartoon-y, Pee-Wee’s playhouse-like decor. Kids ages 0 to 12 can sing along with an animated show or play computer games while stylists work their magic. All of the trendiest cuts are available here, as well as lice prevention treatments, spa treatments and special parties.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Christmas Tree Shops
Garden State Plaza
2130 Marlton Pike West
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
(856) 910-8320

Christmas Tree Shops sells more than just holiday items. Despite the name, the store offers some of the best deals on unique back-to-school gear. Disney lunch boxes, plush totes and laptop covers sell for less than $10. Rulers, notebooks, folders and novelty pens go for a song, beating out even the cheapest art supply stores in the area. Expect a few imperfections, but for the prices at this awesome area store, you can’t go wrong.

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at