Discount clothing, tattoo-inspired merch

As November nears its halfway point, one thing is certain: the start of the holiday season is close at hand. But before you save up money to buy presents, why not indulge yourself? Head out and do a bit of spending for you.

1 – The first destination is Five Below, the new addition to The Gallery.

This store carries everything from board games to hand weights. The baby barbells came in an assortment of colors and sizes and ranged in price from $1 to $5. Yoga mats, workout DVDs and fitness balls were all $5 each.

The name “Five Below” is right on target: all merchandise is $5 or less. Walking around the store, I could see similarities to a standard dollar store – white walls, beaming fluorescent lighting and overstuffed racks placed too close together. Yet, with 65 stores currently open, it’s clear Five Below is doing something right.

“We don’t like to think of ourselves as a dollar store. We like to think of ourselves as a place that offers a lot of trend-right products for a great value,” said marketing manager Elizabeth Romaine.

Those products include Puma ankle socks for $2.50, assorted men’s and women’s T-shirts for $5, baseball caps for $5 and an attractive adult bike helmet for $5. The store’s target audience is teenagers and tweens, but, looking around, I saw products for everyone. How can you argue with an outlet that offers Eagles fan accessories, The Simpsons metal lunchboxes and iPod cases all in one place?

2 Daffy’s offers clothes and accessories from low- and high-end designers at discounted rates. Because most folks love a good deal, they show both prices on the tag. Think Marshalls – but with more selection.

Keep an eye open for the small diamond shop, clothing and shoes for kids, a stunning array of women’s lingerie that features tons of beautiful camisoles, women’s boots in a bounty of styles and colors and glamorous cocktail dresses at affordable prices.

With restocks every week, it’s important for the determined shopper to stop back from time to time.

Elevators provide quick access to other floors. But it’s important to note that all items must be purchased on the floor you found them on.

Give yourself at least one hour when stopping at Daffy’s. With its extensive selection, it might take you longer than usual to find exactly what you want, or you might find so much that you never leave.

3 For those with extra spending money, chart a course for Sailor Jerry, the boutique at 13th and Chestnut streets. The store’s design features hardwood floors, bamboo, rope-tied racks and large fish.

This second location is the flagship store for Sailor Jerry brand goods, sold in 1,400 locations around the globe. The concept is a tribute to Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, who was a tattoo icon in Honolulu. He provided American sailors arm ink that reflected a life of binge-drinking and sexual promiscuity.

While this shop does not promote such destructive behavior, they do appreciate Jerry’s role in defining a tattoo era of pin-up girls, birds, boats, anchors and boldly-lined designs with bright colors.

The store also carries T-shirts, hoodies, coats and jeans all adorned with Jerry’s art. Looking for something more defining? Try the high-top and super high-top Converse All Star with Jerry designs. The store has also welcomed the unique designs of Lucky Girl Handbags.

The store is perfect for gift-buying, with its stock of pint glasses, wallets, flasks, tattoo books, CDs, DVDs, vinyl, Zippos and jewelry. Perhaps you should shop for yourself and your mates all at once.

Colleen Dunn can be reached at
colleen.dunn@temple.edu.

In the know:

Five Below
The Gallery at Market East
Ninth and Market streets
215-627-4303
www.fivebelow.com

Daffy’s
1700 Chestnut St.
215-963-9996
www.daffys.com

Sailor Jerry
116-118 S. 13th St.
215-531-6380
www.sailorjerry.com

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