College life in Philly

How to buy Philly college gear without getting ripped off at the student bookstore

Temple general

When you’re in college, the thought of buying gifts for friends and family generally comes at about the same finals end. Finals usually end right before Christmas. Thus the act of gift-buying must be something that happens at the last minute.

And that can lead to the desperation of buying gifts at the campus bookstore, where they are always very expensive. Luckily, the campus bookstore is not the be-all, end-all for college gear in Philadelphia.

This is a guide for other places you can find college apparel and memorabilia so you can give gifts related to your school without emptying your wallet.  

Chestnut Hill Sports

WHERE: 8628 Germantown Avenue

BEST BET FOR: Probably your best bet if you go to Villanova, Philadelphia U, St. Joseph’s or any of the other schools in the northern and western parts of Philly or in the ‘burbs.

City Sports

Where: 1608 Walnut Street

It’s going out of business soon. No guarantees they’ll have any cool Philly college stuff but if they do it will likely be for a good price.


This is where you especially want to look to find old memorabilia.


Old-school Penn pennant ($30)

Penn pennant
Screenshot, eBay

Temple beer stein ($8.99)

Temple beer stein
Screenshot, eBay

St. Joe’s champagne glass ($15)

St. Joe’s glass
Screenshot, eBay


Search for any school and you’ll find a plethora of vintage t-shirts, banners and ticket stubs you wouldn’t be able to find at any store here in Philly. Some of it is a little pricey, but plenty can be had for the $20-$40 range.


The Penn Bowtie ($28)

Penn Bowtie
Screenshot, Etsy

Scary, yet awesome Temple knitted owl cap ($25)

Temple knitted cap
Screenshot, Etsy

Swarthmore vintage sweatshirt ($48)

Swarthmore sweatshirt
Screenshot, Etsy

Villanova hipster tank-top ($34)

Villanova sweatshirt
Screenshot, Etsy

Most everything on this website is available for at least a 20 percent discount off sticker price. Doesn’t feature Philly’s smaller colleges like Philadelphia University or Swarthmore but has more than 200 apparel items available for schools like Penn, La Salle, Villanova and the other City Six.

Punk Rock Flea Market

Where: 461 N. 9th Street (only this Friday through Sunday)

Pay a $3 cover this weekend, and you’ll be able to walk into a warehouse full of new and used items. Among them, at least if this year’s Flea Market is similar to previous ones, you’ll find old school college memorabilia and apparel.

Want some more? Explore other College life in Philly stories.

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