Preakness At The Piazza: Last-Minute Shopping Tips


Sorry for the radio silence: my family’s been in town for my brother’s college graduation (!), so I’ve been pretty busy. So busy that Preakness at the Piazza (an epic outdoor Preakness viewing party, with all proceeds benefiting the National MS Society) is in two days, and I don’t even have a hat yet. Thankfully, Center City has a lot of shopping options, so I should be able to pull this off.

Just bought a last-minute ticket to the Preakness at the Piazza too? Now’s not the time for online shopping, so here’s your guide to derby attire in Philly:

TO SAVE: because most of your budget went to your ticket

Burlington Coat Factory (11th & Market): Whether you still need a flirty frock (skater dresses are my favorite!), heels made for dancing or a statement-making hat, you’ll be able to find it here. The prices are comparable to big-box retailers, but the quality is better and the pieces will be more unique — you just have to do a little treasure hunting!

H&M (16th & Chestnut, 18th & Walnut): Come for the hats (I like this one), stay for the dresses (I need this teal one). Just be ready for a long wait to pay.

Old Navy (10th & Market): A solid standby for cute and  colorful dresses. They’ll have a range of styles and prints/colors, so you’ll be able to find something to suit you. The accessories also aren’t half bad.

Payless (16th & Market): There are other places to buy higher quality shoes, but now is not the time for that, especially if you’re looking for something trendy. Like Old Navy, Payless has lots of colorful options (in lots of sizes) for cheap.

TO SPEND: because sometimes you need to invest…in your wardrobe

Century 21 (8th & Market): Just an excellent hat selection (located on the first floor behind the escalator). In the fall, I scored an amazing wide-brimmed BCBG hat for less than $30. (It’s also wool, so I won’t be wearing it on Saturday.)

Nordstrom Rack (17th & Chestnut): Have you been eyeing a cute Kate Spade wristlet? It’ll tie your Preakness look together, and add a pop of color to your outfits all spring and summer.

J. Crew (17th & Chestnut)*: The store if you want something to wear to the Piazza and to the office, for years to come (look at this beauty). While you’re there, pick up a sophisticated (instead of over the top) statement necklace.

Express (16th & Chestnut)*: Another work-weekend-Preakness option, but more on the trendier side than J. Crew.

Guess it’s time to get shopping! Last year’s hat was actually from the gardening section at a grocery store, so Preakness at the Piazza is really a great time to dress up and get creative. See you there!

~ Sarah

*The Shops at Liberty Place are an official Preakness at the Piazza sponsor.