Christine Blechman is about as big a Phillies fan as they come: She’s been going to games for as long as she can remember; she waxes nostalgic about The Vet like it’s a long, lost relative; and she goes to Florida for spring training every year. But something’s always bothered her: “I would look around at all the women at Phillies games and notice that they were either buying a kid’s size or taking a men’s jersey and tying or cutting it,” she says. “There isn’t anything that fits us the right way. I wanted to bring something to the market that’s comfortable, flattering and fits nicely.”
In December, her dream became a real-live storefront in Northern Liberties when she opened Broad Street Broad. The shop is meant for ”women who support the hometown sports heroes in Philadelphia,” according to the website, and the focus is on comfort and style. All of the products—from tanks and tees to sunglasses and sweatpants—are printed with the company’s super cool logo. Although team-specific options aren’t yet available—licensing, says Christine, is crazy expensive—the clothes are still totally Philly. And I like that.
If you’re looking for the typical bubblegum-pink garb other sportswear companies market for women, you’ll probably want to shop elsewhere. It’s not that Christine has something against the color or anything, but come. on. “I just think it’s unfortunate that all these retailers assume that female sports fans want to wear a pink verson of a guy’s T-shirt or jersey,” she says. “It’s a little insulting, honestly. I wanted to do cute and flattering and trendy clothes, but they’re never going to be pink or have sequins on them or anything that’s too overly girly.”
That mentality fits nicely with the kind of female sports fan Christine wants to appeal to—the tailgate-loving, beer-chugging, diehard hometown ladies she lovingly refers to as broads, a word, she says, that “embodies what a female fan in Philadelphia is”: not super girly, tough-as-nails, and proud to be a strong, confident woman.
Broad Street Broad apparel is available online or at the store at 737 North Fourth Street in Philadelphia. The line is also sold at the Monkey’s Uncle in Doylestown, with more wholesalers on the way.