Step off campus and into Urban Outfitters at 36th Street

It has been my New Year’s resolution to get out of the Swat bubble at minimum once a week because although it is great to enjoy the wonderful scenery afforded by an arboretum and by living in the suburbs, I need to be surrounded by non-Swatties, cars blasting loud music and streets with actual sidewalks. Even though I usually act like the stereotypical pretentious native New Yorker by stating that Philly should not even be considered a city, I have to admit that it is growing on me. So, this week I decided to pay Urban Outfitters a visit, figuring that it is a popular store among Swatties. Here is a Philly outing tip: If you don’t want to pay the sometimes painful roundtrip SEPTA ticket, you can always buy a one-way ticket on a Friday or Saturday and catch the Philly shuttle back to Swat from one of its three convenient locations, which are all a decent walk from this Urban Outfitters.

Urban Outfitters is a men’s and women’s clothing and furniture retailer which has merchandise fit for anyone interested in a bohemian, retro or kitschy look. Here, you can find products ranging from the perfect day dress to a classic plaid button-down and a Stanley thermos.

This retailer originated in Philadelphia and is also part of a larger corporation which includes Free People and Anthropologie, among others. The University City UO is located on 110 South 36th Street between Sansom and Chestnut Streets.

RATING: 4/5 stars

*Pros: *

What I absolutely adored about this particular Urban Outfitters is that everything they had on display on the first floor was the most recent in-season merchandise. As an online window shopping addict, I can guarantee you that the items they have are up to date with the newly added merchandise online. You are also welcomed into the store by a n outdoor sales rack which had women’s lightweight henleys and lightweight cropped three-quarter sleeve shirts for only $9.99.

The sales sections on the second floor include one for men’s wear, one for women’s wear and one for home goods. Most importantly, even though the clothing items were on sale, there was a variety of sizes available. You would be able to find something even if you do not wear a size extra-small or extra-large, which is more than you can say for most stores’ sales sections. The home goods section included anything from key caps to random books on translated slurs.

In the men’s section, you can find solid V-neck tees from BDG for $14.99. The shoe section for men also impressed me. Bed Stu sneakers which once cost $75.00 were on sale for $40.00 and Sebago shoes went from $175.00 to $40.00. Unfortunately, as in most cases, the men’s sale section was smaller than the women’s sale section with only five small racks.

The women’s section on the other hand, was at least twice as big and had everything from dresses to velvet cropped tops to ballet flats. The best buys I encountered were Kimchi Blue ballet flats for $19.99, Ecote long sleeve cropped texture tops for $9.99, and BDG slim fit long sleeve tops for only $9.99. All these items were around half off their previous prices.

During my trip, I also managed to score a striped cropped sweater from Cooperative previously $49.99 for $19.99 and chiffon printed shorts from Kimchi Blue previously $39.99 for only $9.99.
What surprised me the most about their sale section was that it had items available that never go on sale. For instance, I found a Pendleton backpack which used to cost $89.99 marked down to $39.99. There was also Beatles wall art for all you fans for only $9.99. Additionally, if you ever want to decorate your bay window with throw pillows, you can invest in them here for only $14.99 each. I even ran into an Andy Warhol inspired thermos with a Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup print for $4.99.


I really cannot say that there is a lot I disliked about this store. The only thing I noticed is that there are still so many articles of clothing from the fall and early winter seasons. Right now, the thick wool sweaters and long sleeve velvet dresses hanging on some of the sales rack are not going to be sold and not a smart buy since trend-wise they might not be in style for Fall 2012. The location of the UO at 36th Street is also a bit far away from the University City SEPTA station using the Media/Elwyn line if you do not like walking or if you do not know Philly well enough. The area is lovely for a walk in the city, but getting there is the only problem.

Moreover, some of the staff seem unwelcoming and unhelpful. The cashier just did not look happy to be there. However, the woman working in the dressing room was very kind and even offered to help me look for similar styles to some items that did not have the right fit.

Sadly, that is all for this week! Stay tuned for next time when I review a thrift store in Philly. Keep an eye out for shopportunities, my lovely shoppers! Just remember, go big or go home!

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Dying for me to visit a store before you give it a try yourself? Need me to go on a hunt for a store with a particular style of merchandise? Shoot your suggestions via email!

Gaby is a first-year. She can be reached at

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