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Fashion Stores

Basics Apparel

Posted by Kevin Naulls / Posted on January 13, 2011

Basics Apparel TorontoBasics Apparel has a business model that's a lot more difficult than it sounds. Anyone can throw together a pile of underwear, some v-neck and Oxford shirts (see, I just created a store model), but only the stores that do basics well stick around because the store stock is curated by the most anal of aesthetes (Anal Aesthetes could be a great name for the store model above - also, porn).

Basics Apparel TorontoBasics Apparel TorontoBasics Apparel is the new kid on the block, having opened up shop on Manning, favoring it over the bank breaking real estate of College St. The idea of "off the beaten path" anything usually holds a bit of cache, which helps garner the attention of early adopters. It is for this reason that it makes sense that Basics Apparel has seen steady traffic since it opened in October.

Basics Apparel TorontoBasics Apparel TorontoOwner Blake Stavro Pearce jokes and says, "we finally have a sign" which is funny considering the former occupants of his Manning space were dentists. It is my understanding that some people don't like going to the dentist, but good word of mouth, well-considered stock and enthusiastic staff bring the bodies - cavities, or not.

Basics Apparel TorontoBasics Apparel TorontoAs of now, Basics Apparel carries three brands, which is unusual for a retailer that isn't carrying its own house label, but BA is new and it is growing. Blake has taken items that he knows people love, from his running inventory of Levi's 501s, 511s and 514s (all, $75) to high and low top Converse shoes. Rounding the store out is an assortment of t-shirts and hoodies from Alternative Apparel, but Blake says that coming soon are options from Cheap Monday and Gant - shoppers will be able to find new and old classics alike, helping them level out the wardrobe they thought had everything).

Basics Apparel TorontoBasics Apparel TorontoAs for meeting the needs of its client base, Basics Apparel will be open until 11pm on weekends as the weather gets warm in the summer months. Until then, savvy shoppers should look at Basics Apparel's mostly unisex offerings and stock up on those pieces they know they'll always need. Pretty soon, summer will be here and a v-neck will come in handy to accompany that Big Chill cone (it's just down the street).

Basics Apparel TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak



KAM / January 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm
awesome blurb Basics! can't wait for more!
Aldrin / January 13, 2011 at 09:59 am
I'll have to check this place out. Great read!
Stefan / January 13, 2011 at 10:45 am
I think you mean "holds a bit of cachet" instead of "cache." An easy mistake to make!
Alex / January 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm
Levis and didn't know we had places that sold those brands in Toronto!

Come on! It's a barren store that looks like every other pseudo-hip clothing store in the city. Nothing to see here, move along.
josh / January 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm
How did this store become one of BlogTO's best new fashion stores in 2010 (as voted by readers in a poll of all new stores reviewed in 2010) if their review is only coming out now? Or did I miss something?
Kenny / January 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Look, im all for supporting local, independent shops but after a quick browse through here (literally everything is in that second photo) it occurred to me that i was staring at the sales rack at Urban Outfitters.
clinton / January 13, 2011 at 01:04 pm
The American Apparel has shut down on College and Bathurst. Better odds?
Merlock / January 13, 2011 at 01:11 pm
Waiiiit, the American Apparel closed down at College and Bathurst? But that was the best one!

Also, I agree with Josh: how is this store included in the "Best of" series if it the review is just coming out?
Tim replying to a comment from Merlock / January 13, 2011 at 11:57 pm
To qualify for our "Best of 2010" post the store needed to open in 2010. It didn't need to be reviewed by us to qualify.
Miranda / January 14, 2011 at 09:03 am
This place looks cool and for a place that only just opened it looks well stocked. Great idea to open off the beaten path...we need way more of these venues in Toronto to keep our streets busy and interesting. And thanks for opening late for those of us who work late:)
I will be visiting just as soon as I can.
Great review.
JT / January 14, 2011 at 09:32 am
Whats the deal with all these new stores having massive amounts of "open" space and hardly any merchandise? It is a clothing store or an indoor open space park?
Mike / January 14, 2011 at 01:01 pm
American Apparel is overpriced garbage. Now that they're no longer operating on College, Basics has the monopoly on comfortable cotton in the neighbourhood. Great clothes, great selection (despite the fact some of you believe the store is empty), and great prices. Highly recommend
KAM / January 14, 2011 at 06:43 pm
I enjoy the open space concept. I hate stores that are over crowded.
bob / January 14, 2011 at 07:44 pm
"American Apparel is overpriced garbage."

I too hate high-quality, non-sweatshop garments, and prefer those made by child-labour type process using materials created in factories, cut-down rainforests, etc. (escpecially in third-world nations).

Did I mention I hate it most cuz since the teens started shopping there, its totally not kewl anymore.
yobro / January 16, 2011 at 04:51 pm
most boring store
Luci / January 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm
The bare space is actually quite awkward when you walk in and want to browse. The sales people are staring at you like no tomorrow.

Nothing special about this store. I don't think they'll be in business for very long because I can get these sort of basics for a way better price than what they have to offer.
Regina / January 17, 2011 at 01:28 pm
Walked in and out with friends in two minutes flat, which was enough time to glance over everything pictured. Basically what Luci said. Very awkward.
TC / January 27, 2011 at 01:38 am
I actually love the open concept - sure it leaves for you to be out in the open for a little bit (dont worry you wont be the center of attention for long) but it also gives it a wicked show room type style...something that fashion designers really like when showing off their styles.

I've been in the store - the staff there are really attractive and very friendly...overall plus for me. Love the brands they carry - and I hear they are bringing in more stuff too! Keep it up - i'll be back!
ppr / February 18, 2011 at 08:25 pm
price of a t-shirt?
Basics Apparel Inc. replying to a comment from ppr / February 23, 2011 at 05:46 pm
$15 for 100% cotton T

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