As you meander around Philly, you'll notice there are many different types of people walking the streets. From the casual nature of south Philadelphia to the bankers of Market St., to the emerging hipster culture of the northeast, there are a variety of styles strewn across the myriad of neighborhoods in the city. So, we decided to categorize the style types you see most often during your day to day living in the city of brotherly love to set the landscape of men's style in the city. If you've lived in Philadelphia long enough, chances are you know at least one person in each of the 9 major archetypes, and probably fall into one of these yourself. Which one are you and which ones did we miss?
1. South Philly Native
We all know the type. He is usually spotted mildly intoxicated, hovering around the dolphin tavern at 11:30pm on a weeknight, or seen roaming the Italian market, with what you can only assume to be a joint sticking out of a knockoff Eagles hat he copped from a street vendor outside of the Xfinity center before the 2010 Wildcard playoff loss to the Packers. This style is a distinct one. At least one item of clothing has to be something Eagles, Flyers, or Sixers related like a hat, shirt, sweatpants, oversized sweatshirt, or jacket, heck why not all of them; even if it is early May and none of them are playing. His footwear of choice is a loose-laced pair of beat up boots that could be Timbs, but may also be the off-brand steel-toed boots he's required to wear for work. He will almost never be caught wearing a scarf, unless it's sports team related, and will almost always have a lighter that he'll let you borrow when you've gotten drunk enough to feel the need to bum a cig.
Strengths: Loyalty, Scrappiness, Passion for Philly Sports, Knows all the names of the random side streets in South Philly, Has a working knowledge of plumbing and electrical work, and can tell you where every Eagles player went to college.
Weaknesses: Thinks Zahav is a providence in Iran, smells of cigarettes, gentrification of Passyunk Square
Favorite Stores: The Mitchel & Ness Sales Rack, Street Vendors, Dicks Sporting Goods
2. Market Street Banker
Aspiring to achieve the essence of Wall Street currency clergymen, this guy wears a suit or at least a blazer to the office daily regardless if it is casual Friday or 105 degrees outside. He makes million dollar deals during the day and takes home about 10% of that a year, which he will somehow allude to during a conversation lasting over 35 minutes. His formal and business clothes are all tailored and likely purchased from the classy section of Walnut Street (west of 15th) where he exclusively does his shopping. Subtlety is not his strong suit, with loud pocket squares he was up-sold at the checkout counter, and enough gel in his hair to make a wet noodle seem uncooked, his presence must be known on the street, in the boardroom, and at the overpriced Center City bar he frequents. His casual wardrobe consists of polo golf shirts and khaki pants or some tight pair of ribbed jeans he saw a northern California billionaire wearing the last time he was in Vegas. He rewards himself weekly with a steak dinner and repents in the form of an overloaded Sweetgreen salad for lunch the next day. He is a burnout waiting to happen, but damn it if he doesn’t look sharp, or at least expensive.
Strengths: Mental math, his tie collection, loyalty points, analytical thinking, arrogance, mentioning how much money he makes, tipping hot waitresses
Weaknesses: consistent exercise, Heineken, happy hours, relaxing without the use of a substance, partying without the use of a substance, lunch salads, topics other than work
Favorite Stores: Commonwealth Proper, Theory, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Allen Edmonds, Indochino
3. North Philly Hipster
An interesting bread of Philadelphian, the North Philly hipster is typically a suburban runaway from Montgomery or Bucks County that chose to flee his parents' in the name of self-expression and scrape by in the city. Armed with a generalized degree in liberal arts, he is inspired by the old gods of brooklyn’s past. This new-wave hipster channels his energy into growing his unapologetically large beard, obtaining jean jackets, drinking craft beer and posting everything he finds on the street to the local buy nothing FB page. This guy won’t be caught dead anywhere south of Arch street other than Tattoo Moms and he actually knows the band playing FungFu Necktie on Friday, if he isn't in it himself. You will find him wearing tight light-wash jeans from a local vendor or thrift shop, a flannel or vintage sweatshirt, a 5-panel hat, thick-rimmed glasses, rocking either beat up Converse hi-tops or Vans, and a carabiner keychain attached to his belt loop.
Strengths: Gentrifying neighborhoods, bowling, facial hair, keeping plants alive, bartering, balancing on a bike while still, finding gems at thrift stores in Bucks or Montgomery County.
Weaknesses: Any item with the word “Craft” in front of it, indie bands, investment accounts, non-organic meats, being on time.
Favorite Stores: United By Blue, Salvation Army, Franklin & Poe, Norman Porter.
4. Grad Hospital Yuppie
The evolutionary cousin of the North Philly Hipster, the Grad Hospital Yuppie is also likely from a neighboring county (other than Delco) but he has a "real job", likely in consulting, accounting, or IT and has a savings account he's not afraid of looking at. All of his decisions are based on the 20 men’s lifestyle Instagram accounts he follows, and he only goes to the gym to maintain a somewhat desirable physique. He has a large brand name TV, an overly expensive couch from crate and barrel, and a closet full of J.Crew. He is the "nice guy" at every bar who is either trying a little too hard or not trying at all and then goes home upset because he didn’t get any numbers that night. Bumble is where he meets his potential love interests and has a set list of topics he runs through for each date. While he will never be the most interesting person in the room he is stable, treats his girlfriends well, and will usually help you move because his need to feel needed is insatiable.
Strengths: Bank accounts, saying hello to doormen, matching, home theater systems, canned pickup lines, collared shirt collection.
Weaknesses: student debt, J. Crew, parking spot fees, self-confidence, “as seen in GQ” labeled clothing, mirror selfies.
Favorite Stores: J. Crew, All Saints, Barbour, Banana Republic, The Tie Bar
5. Old City Fashion Marauder
A man who desires peace and quiet, he is the most likely of all the archetypes to own a dog and own his own mildly successful business related to something creative. He is an amalgamation of a tortured New York startup owner and a budding LA musical artist striving to achieve a distinct “look”. You will find him wearing the most layers of any guy on the street corner, usually including a scarf, dark-wash slim cut jeans, chukka boots, and driving gloves for some reason. He prefers to make his own coffee and finds it wildly annoying how far he has to uber to get a decent cocktail because he can only go to Sassafras on 2nd so often. He has a lot of forced self-confidence and feels that his edginess is his main source of identity.
Strengths: Access to 95 and Columbus Blvd, confidence in outfit choice, home decorating, making an old fashion.
Weaknesses: Exposed Brick, small apartments, Inspired Brews Kombucha, overpriced bomber jackets, droopy beanies, mobility in tight jeans.
Favorite Stores: Club Monaco, DSTLD, Zara, Totem Brand
6. DelCo Class Act
You won’t normally encounter him during your day-to-day within the city limits, but he will venture out of his 191 square mile domain on a special Friday or Saturday night with 4 of his buddies because one of them got promoted, fired, or was born. While he is used to going to the bar in sweatpants, he will spruce himself up, adorning ill-fitting jeans, a slightly oversized button down he bought for his last job interview, and the black dress shoes he got half-off with his Jos A. Bank suit. On the plus side, he has a lot of bros for someone in their late 20s-early 30s, all of them being from high school or from his Wednesday Night Softball League. He will almost always answer the question “where are you from?” with his street, neighborhood, and either his high school or the parish he belongs to (chances are it’s Cardinal O’Hara). If you take him to an upscale restaurant he won’t know what charcuterie is nor know the proper order to use the silverware, but that’s okay, he is a simple man and he likes it that way. Give him a light beer and a good hoagie, and he is right as rain.
Strengths: Comfortable at all times, size of friend group, sense of community, hometown pride, can have private conversations in public due to a strong accent and Delco-specific slang.
Weaknesses: Leaving Delco, enforced dress codes, tucking in shirts, cargo shorts/pants, local Deli sandwiches.
Favorite Stores: Marshall’s, Ross, Macy’s, Jos. A Bank
7. The Assimilator
As the new kid on the block, this guy is a part of the growing minority who are not originally from the Philadelphia area, which means he is shrouded in mystery and confusion. He started out unsure about living in Philadelphia due to the reputation of our sports fans but has found a love for the city rivaling those who grew up here. He is wildly confused by the abundant references to the towns and counties outside of the city limits, and will never truly understand what the blue route is. His favorite Philly sports team is most definitely the 1-2-3-4-5 Sixers because after experiencing the pain of watching them lose every game in the final 5 minutes for two years, he feels he can be an authentic fan. However, unlike his new-hometown brethren, his mood is not entirely based on how well the birds play on Sunday and he finds value in personal emotional development, something that most northeasterners have neglected since birth. He does yoga, wears clothes that fit his body type, and will even get his casual clothes tailored, making his closet the most well-fitting of all the archetypes. Will he be here forever? No, but he will always think of Philly as a second home.
Strengths: Optimism, a demeanor that doesn’t rely on how well Philly sports teams perform, smiling at strangers, holding interesting conversations about events outside of the tri-state area, owning clothes that fit.
Weaknesses: Optimism, Commits to winter coat too early, says “Pass-e-yunk”, expects a Sam Adams when ordering a lager, easily singled out
Favorite Stores: Warby Parker, Toms, Rag & Bone, bonobos, Suit Supply
8. The Invader from Springsteen Island (Guys from Jersey)
A toned-down version of his North Jersey guido cousin, the invader from South Jersey can’t completely hide his lineage. Whether it be his skin-tight fade, the tuft of spiky hair adorning the crown of his head, the unused t two 2-3 buttons loud button-down shirt, or his bedazzled jeans, he is easy to spot from a block away. If you have your back turned, he can be identified by the misplaced Rs in his casual speech pattern, and his unexplained long island guttural tonality. He is a flashy man, one of great of self-confidence, and possess an impervious ego that gives him the ability to get shut down by five or more women at a bar and still feel like the most attractive guy in the room. He can and will try to sell you on anything and everything he believes in; creatine, lucky brand jeans, Romanian deadlifts, or an Invicta watch, if he owns it or does it, he will try to get you to own or do it too. He is the master of vodka-redbulls and any shot you put in front of him. He is a slave to nothing but his own ego and will chase any girl shorter than 5’6” with brown hair, a tan, and a pulse.
Strengths: Self-confidence, persistence, ability to take vodka shots, assertiveness, short commute to the shore, max bench press, ability to be noticed
Weaknesses: controlling vocal volume, Edm music, embroidered jeans, owning at least one mildly bedazzled item on purpose, rooting for the Devils, tolls coming into the city, not knowing how to pump one’s own gas, deep conversations
Favorite Stores: H&M, Polo Outlet, Lucky Brand, Vince
9. CC Sk8r Boi
This man’s grind is not like the others. His is literal. This playful, free spirit of a man has more freedom than most; at the cost of mildly disappointing his parents, which he has come to terms with. He is likely your barista, barkeep, or weed guy, and has a slew of tattoos. When he is not slinging drinks or weed he can be found outside the Municipal Services Building either being featured in, shooting, or caught in the background of an underground skate video for his buddy’s local skate brand. He is a huge fan of city-wides with PBR and Jameson as his go-tos, owns a guitar, and is super into the old pop punk scene from the mid-late 2000s. One-on-one he is kind, chill, soft-spoken, and polite, while in a group he is tough, daring, and a self-certified badass. He can be identified by the lack of a clean shave, a beat up old band tee or pop culture t-shirt from the 90s (think Kelly Kapowski's Senior Photo), skinny jeans that somehow are in need of a belt, vans, and a hat facing forward at all times except for when he is concentrating. He is part of the heart and soul of Philadelphia, he helps give this place grit and keeps the dream of being young alive forever.
Strengths: kickflips, packing a bowl, having more than 3 friends, jeans, wearing hats forward, neck tattoo collection
Weaknesses: The Wonder Years concerts, a steady paycheck, snow, finding clothes in their closet appropriate for a wedding.
Favorite Stores: Vans, Pac Sun, Nocturnal Skate Shop, Zumies, Hot topic, Exit Skate shop