08 Nov Get your Gritty gear, Broad Street Bully beanies, and all-things Flyers apparel from these local shops [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
[Originally posted by the Philadelphia Inquirer Nov. 8, 2023]
Only a few games into the 2023-24 NHL season, and the Philadelphia Flyers are already proving to be the scrappy underdogs Philly sports fans know them to be.
It’s a team that, according to Flyers winger Cam Atkinson, has “Grade-A opportunities” with a dire need to capitalize. The Broad Street Bullies are currently going a bit under .500 this season with more losses than wins. Still, they’re performing better than last season and turning analysts’ expectations on their heads, writes The Inquirer’s Flyers reporter, Jackie Spiegel — so much so that fans should expect “a competitive, complete game every night.”
To support the boys in orange and join the city’s masked icon, Gritty, in cheerleading — you’ll need some gear. And the best way to support a Philly sports team is by supporting local businesses .
Art History 101
This northeast Philly sports apparel store and clothing brand, owned by Jay Pross, excels at creating bold designs of the city’s sports teams, which is why so many Philly celebs wear their gear (including Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni). For Flyers fans, they sell Gritty-centric pieces, like bright orange Gritty t-shirts or more subtle black Gritty hoodies with a jersey number on the sleeve. You can check out their Frankford Ave. shop in the Mayfair section of Philadephia.
Blessed in Distress
The brainchild of Philadelphia school teacher Jennifer Basile, Blessed in Distress grew from selling graphic tees to becoming a sports apparel brand with style and variety for Philly sports fans. Stand out in some tie-dye Flyers t-shirts or get cozy in a “Fly Guys” (stylized like the Top Gun logo) hoodie. There are also vintage-style tees, sweatshirts, and hoodies commemorating the Flyers’ founding in 1967.
Exit 343 Design
Stephanie Harvey’s designs can be found online and in stores throughout the U.S. under the brand Exit 343 (a nod to the PA Turnpike), but she keeps her process homegrown, working right out of her basement in Greater Philadelphia. She’s got Flyers fans covered with her “Gritty Gang” t-shirt. Plus, there’s gear for the whole family, as you can order the design on baby bodysuits, toddler t-shirts, and dog bandannas. You can buy Gritty Gang t-shirts from the local shop Philadelphia Independents in Old City, too.
Mitchell & Ness
One does not simply look for sports apparel in Philadelphia without first checking the city’s oldest sporting apparel company, Mitchell & Ness. With its flagship store on Walnut Street in Center City, the walls of this place are dripping with nostalgia and quality merchandise. From satin jackets, vintage jerseys, and windbreakers to snapbacks, beanies, and hoodies, you’ll pull up to a Flyers game with swagger.
Paul Carpenter Art
Paul Carpenter is a multi-disciplinary visual artist who has his graphic design, illustrations, and printmaking on lock, churning out some of the most interesting sports apparel in the city. His intricate and complex designs weave the jampacked scenery of Philadelphia with Philly sports icons to make some real “Where’s Waldo”-esque t-shirts. You can order these artistic sports shirts online or from a local shop like Philadelphia Independents in Old City, Pennsylvania General Store in Reading Terminal Market, or Open House in Center City.
This t-shirt and sports apparel brand wouldn’t call itself a t-shirt company, but rather a group of people who like to party and just happens to make t-shirts for sports fans and local businesses. Alex Einhorn, the founder of Philly Drinkers, is a Philly sports fan who likes to have a good time — so much so that the brand partners with Funk Brewing Co. to create their own Lawn Jawn IPA. The Philly Drinkers Flyers gear is brimming with tongue-in-cheek jokes about the team, and references to Always Sunny in Philadelphia, all wrapped up in Broad Street Bullies or Gritty iconography.
Philly Goat is a hits factory of Philly sports apparel, releasing enough clothing styles to fill your entire closet. Flyers fans are treated to vintage-style track jackets, “Philly Fuzz Brothers” hoodies and t-shirts (a play on the 2008 movie Step Brothers) featuring Gritty and Phanatic, and a “Broad Street Babies” onesie for the little one. Philly Goat’s designs are so beloved even Phillies players Alec Bohm and Kyle Schwarber wear their stuff.
Philly Sports Shirts
Philly Sports Shirts specializes in quality clothing with fun, comedic designs that stretch from vintage to modern. They’re big fans of Philly sports teams too. That’s why they’re the official merch providers for multiple local sports podcasts in town. If designs like Ben Franklin in Nike Air Max shoes, “Gritty Claus” stylized like the White Claws seltzer logo, or “Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia” with Gritty eyeballs looming in the background are up your alley — you’ve come to the right shop.
Veterans Stadium, the namesake of local sports apparel brand Veterans Shirtium, was a palace to Philadelphia sports history throughout the later half of the 20th century (feel old yet?). The mere mention of its name to Philly sports fans brings forth waves of nostalgia crashing down and memories of its eventual demise in 2004, which was caught on camera for the city to remember forever. Veterans Shirtium’s designs ooze with that nostalgia with limited edition drops of Philly greats like young A.I. or Broad Street Bullies Flyers throwback sweatshirts. They even got a t-shirt with Gritty as The Notorious B.I.G. in a Coogi sweater — what’s not to love?