Cheap Chic: Planet Aid
When I want to show up at a party wearing something fabulous and yet affordable (which is pretty much always), I head to Planet Aid. My weapon of choice is Planet Aid at Yonge, just south of Wellesley (the Kensington location just doesn't compare), but two new locations have their Grand Openings this weekend: 77 Roncesvalles and Buy the Pound at 480 Parliament.
The first floor of Planet Aid at Yonge and Wellesley has loud funky music and good quality secondhand clothing. I always head straight for the Just Arrived rack. Right now, sweaters are $10 and coats are 50% off but sadly, the trenches that tempted me lacked belts. In some instances, their regular prices are significantly higher than my usual secondhand haunts ($14 for a t-shirt), but the selection is better so I get instant gratification. If it's the day before payday, the $5 rack usually has a gem or two to tide me over. The second floor has vintage and reworked clothing, such as the ketchup dress--perfect for telling your date you want to go slow. There's also a better shoe and boot selection upstairs; today I snapped up a classy pair of brown leather pumps from Town Shoes for $15.
A preview visit to the Buy the Pound location revealed bins and bins full of tangled sweaters, shirts, skirts and coats all for $3 a pound with lots of big names, like Gap, American Eagle and Guess. I scored a brand new Ralph Lauren dress shirt for less than $3. Time-consuming, but satisfies the hunter-gatherer urge.
Planet Aid's website states that it "uses funds raised through the sale of secondhand clothing to supply a financial source to improve people's living conditions in the developing world" although there has been some controversy.
Planet Aid Locations
546 Yonge Street (2nd Floor,sometimes known as Groove 2, has vintage and reworked clothing, )
160 Baldwin St
480 Parliament St (Buy the Pound)