Shop Class: Going the distance to shop

Some stores are worth the two-hour ride.

Rice’s Sale & Country Market
In the middle of rural Bucks County lies little Canal Street, or Rice’s Sale & Country Market. Though it’s surrounded by barns, this open-air market has all the makings of Philadelphia’s South Street and Canal Street in New York City. Dozens of vendors wake up before dawn to set up their tables and stands full of handmade jewelry and designer handbag knockoffs. If you’re lucky, you may just find the real thing – or a perfect clone.

Chloe and Fendi Spy bags hang from the ceilings of stands where vendors are always willing to negotiate prices. Check out the sunglass vendor who carries Ray-Ban Wayfarers for only $5. Sure, they’re not real, but no one will ever know. A handful of vendors specialize in genuine designer goods for super cheap, like Citizens of Humanity jeans, Ed Hardy tees and Juicy Couture sweat suits.

There’s also an abundance of Tiffany & Co. knockoffs that look like they came straight from a little blue box. It’s worth the trip through winding roads and little hamlets to stock up on faux designer pieces for cheap.

In Historic Bethlehem, there’s actually more to see than Revolutionary War landmarks: the half-art gallery, half-boutique Popmart is full of vintage finds (Courtesy Popmart).

Historic Bethlehem
In Historic Bethlehem, where buildings date back to the Revolutionary War, there are streets full of shops with the latest fashions. Step into a modern art fantasy by visiting Popmart. Half-art gallery and half-boutique, Popmart is a flash back to the days of Andy Warhol’s Factory, with modern art pieces from local artists and designs for men and women. Betsey Johnson is just one of the designers you can expect to find among racks of clothes organized by style and color.

There’s always a large clearance section toward the back of the store with great markdowns. Look for Jackie-O sunglasses and an armoire stuffed with chain necklaces and long dangle earrings, first made popular by pop art princess Edie Sedgwick.

Located on Main Street is another art and fashion destination – UnderWired. The boutique’s stock is 90 percent vintage styles from various decades, while the other 10 percent comes from local jewelry designers like Lalala, whose love of owls is reflected in her hand-painted glass charms and other owl-themed pieces.

Across the street is Pat’s Boutique, the perfect place to find Vera Bradley products. This place has everything Vera, and it’s getting new shipments in constantly. Aside from the handbags and totes, they also have other Vera Bradley merchandise like lampshades, umbrellas and even stationery. A favorite are the ID card key-chains, which are only $10.

New Hope
Spend an early winter evening in New Hope, Pa., where white lights adorn trees and shoppers in hats and scarves pass from store to store. Along the cobblestone streets lie vintage boutiques, garden shops, antique galleries and coffee shops. Panda Eyes Vintage is a vintage boutique so stocked that it would take a few trips to look at everything.

Also check out A Beautiful Life, a bath and body boutique that carries women’s apparel and jewelry. It’s the place to go for new designs from Sailor Jerry and cute holiday T-shirts by Made U Look. Prima Donna’s Closet is a women’s shop stocked with girly pieces from Gracia and party dresses from La Femme.

Nicole Saylor can be reached at

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