The best of 2012: Retail and fashion

Curves ahead:?Bettie Page Clothing takes its cues from pin-up bombshells.

All week long, Metro will be highlighting our selections of the city’s best — from bars to salons to dance parties — of 2012. Check back tomorrow for our picks in health and beauty.

Best sneaker store disguised as a Chinese restaurant: Abakus Takeout

This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it streetwear emporium cleverly blends into the heart of Chinatown by putting a creative spin on classic takeout tropes — see the sneakers strung up in the window, a la roast duck breasts. Ground zero for one-off collectors’ kicks and limited-release collaborations from brands like Crooks and Castles, 10Deep and Married to the Mob, the store released its first collection of its house brand of clothing this fall. Owners have also tapped into the area’s growing creative scene, with First Friday open houses featuring art auctions and Tiberino Family paintings for sale. 227 N. 10th St.


Best terrarium porn: City Planter

Whether you’re a hardcore gardener or just dabble in window boxes, this NoLibs nursery has all of your green needs covered — including a badass selection of Venus fly traps. Don’t like to get your hands dirty? Check out its gorgeous pre-assembled terrariums, which require little more than a quick mist and a nurturing wink. 814 N. Fourth St. 215-627-6169

Best place to warm up for Eagles games: I. Goldberg Army & Navy

We’re not sure if Andy Reid is, but the hand-warmers here are environmentally friendly. Stock up for next year. 1300 Chestnut St. 215-925-9393

Best place to buy a gift for your not-quite-right-in-the-head great aunt: The Mutter Museum Store

Conjoined gingerbread twin cookie cutters? Cuddly stuffed toys in the shape of giant chlamydia, gangrene and syphilis microbes? The gift shop attached to the museum of medical curiosities is the go-to present place for the person who has everything — or nothing, depending on how you look at it.

19 S. 22nd St. 215-563-3737

Best place to stock up on legal health supplements: GNC on Columbus Blvd.

It’s a rogue GNC! They stock the lean muscle-builders you can’t find anywhere else.

1100 S. Columbus Blvd. 215-334-2022

Best vintage Halloween costume: Retrospect

We’re pretty sure this is where John Travolta found that UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs T-shirt.

508 South St. 267-671-0116

Best thing to buy at a Phillies game: Phillie Phanatic Dangle Hat

It’s a Phillie Phanatic that you can wear on your face. Need we say more?

MVP of the Piazza at Schmidts: Jinxed

We knew and loved Jinxed in its original location just off South Street — but we’ve got to admit that its new incarnation at the Piazza is even more fun. They still have the designer toys and artsy tees, but this time they’re also packing a treasure chest of vintage oddities and ends. Wingback chairs, pope sculptures, outdated globes, teeth collections: It’s all here, and then some.

1050 N. Hancock St. 215-978-5469

Dream sleepover venue: Anthropologie

Oh, like you’ve never played house at Anthropologie’s dreamy Rittenhouse store. What we wouldn’t give to take even a cat nap on one of their impossibly pretty beds.

1801 Walnut St. 215-568-2114

Best shopping for your best friend: Chic Petique

In addition to supplying Northern Liberties with top-of-the-line natural pet food and supplies, Chic Petique has long served as the place to go when you found a dog, lost a dog or needed advice about a dog in the neighborhood. Their new rescue focused on special needs pets, Street Tails, opened earlier this year, making their nook of Liberties Walk one of the cutest in the city.

1040 N. Second St. 215-238-0981

Best place to send your scrubby boyfriend: Sugarcube

There is, of course, plenty for ladies to love at this Old City mainstay. But send your jeans-and-tee boy here to really see the magic work. They do the staples, only softer and sharper, so he’ll barely realize that he’s been made over.

124 N. Third St. 215-238-0825

Best foot forward: Bus Stop

Because shoe shopping is about far more than shoes: Skip Zappos and treat yourself to this gem on Fabric Row, where the prettiest peep toes and best booties have been carefully curated by owner Elena Brennan.

727 S. Fourth St.215-627-2357

Best news for hips: Bettie Page Clothing

With all due respect to those flowy frocks they’re pushing up the street at Free People, Walnut Street newcomer Bettie Page sells clothes you’ll actually look good in. Inspired by pin-ups, their retro party dresses will fit right in as you toast 2013.

1605 Walnut St.



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