The Philadelphia area is home to some of the biggest shopping malls and chain stores in the country, but there are some great small-scale alternatives when it comes to shopping for kids’ clothing. The region boasts a wide variety of boutiques, so when it’s time to shop for back to school, why not patronize local shops and boutiques to find unique items and give the local economy a boost in the process? Here’s look at five Philly-area favorites for back to school shopping.
The Children’s Boutique
1702 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 732-2661

Tasteful, well-made clothing is on the menu at this Walnut Street shop, and the place has history, too. That’s because this family-owned children’s boutique has been in business for 40 years and counting. There’s something for everyone, with designer duds by Ralph Lauren and Petite Bateau mingled with tried and true everyday brands like Levis, Nike and Stride Rite. In addition, there’s a unique create-your-own custom sweater option for back to school sweaters that will make your child stand out in the bus line.

Elizabeth Maar
20 Haverford Station Road
Haverford, PA 19041
(610) 649-7677

Happy girls are the prettiest, right? That’s the theme at Elizabeth Maar, a Main Line boutique that specializes in causal and cutting edge clothing for teen girls and  women. Recently voted “The Best of the Main Line,” this boutique’s two locations in Haverford and Newtown Square offer up a great selection of sophisticated  clothing and accessories from brands like alice + olivia, Drew, Fifteen Twenty and more. The mother-daughter boutique has been in business for 28 years and is known for its welcoming, “Cheers”-like atmosphere.

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Born Yesterday
1901 Walnut St.
Philadelphia PA, 19103
(215) 568-6556

This Rittenhouse Square boutique is the go-to place for Philly’s best dressed kids. For more than 30 years, Born Yesterday has served up an eclectic selection of styles exclusively for kids up to size 16. In addition to handmade sweaters and imported fashions, the shop offers T-shirts and denim fashions. Some of the brands available include Lili Gaufrette, Bitz Kids, Rowdy Sprout, Deux par Deux, Little Traveler and more.

Worn Yesterday
4228 Main St.
Manayunk, PA 19127
(215) 482-3316

From born to worn! It’s pre-schoolers to pre-teens at this Manayunk gem, which offers new and gently used (as in mint condition) styles for younger students. The well-stocked store offers popular brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Flowers by Zoe, Seven and Diesel, all at broken-in prices.  It’s also jam-packed with selections for back to school, giving an elementary-age spin on secondhand chic.

Lolli Lolli
713 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-2655

Boys and girls up to size 16 can get their school clothes as well as educational toys and books at this fun boutique located on Washington Square in Philadelphia. Owned by a former lawyer, this full service shop wraps, ships and even delivers gifts in the Philadelphia area. There’s even a children’s play area to keep not-so-enthusiastic shoppers occupied. (Hint: that restless little brother.)

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Victoria Miller is a freelance entertainment writer who also covers recreation and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. Her work can be found on