10 stores to buy quality basics in Toronto
Quality basics in Toronto may not be everyone's cup of tea. For the most part, higher quality clothing items are at a higher price point, and basic clothing items in general are no fun to buy. I've had my fair share of foolish decisions to purchase unreasonably impractical garments over well-made staple pieces, so at the ripe age of 20 I believe I'm finally wise enough to properly balance the two. Since basic shirts, cardigans, tanks, t-shirts, etc. (the list goes on and on) are worn way more often than - for example - screen printed palazzo pants, they're worth a little splurging.
Here are some places to get quality basics in Toronto.
As a boutique with a "functional over trendy" attitude, Woodlawn stocks clothing and accessories for both men and women that are less "out there" and more low key. Boasting over two dozen brands known for their simple styles, everything from jersey tanks to perfectly fitting oxfords can be found in the quaint, minimal space.
Dalston Grey is one of the most fashion-forward boutiques on strip-on-the-rise Dundas West, carrying both handpicked vintage pieces and contemporary brands. While the vintage selection offers wallet-friendly silk shirts galore, the quality fabrics and timeless cuts of brands Gat Rimon and Amour Vert are well worth the extra spend.
Lost & Found
Lost & Found - a peculiar breed of a coffee shop and a clothing boutique - prides itself in providing a welcoming atmosphere as well as garments that are sustainable and/or high quality. You can sip on a latte while browsing through Unis trousers and handmade Creatures of Comfort silk shirts. What's not to love?
Predominantly a menswear boutique, Oliver Spencer offers pieces that fall exactly between modern street wear and traditional tailoring, with a huge British influence. Though the prices are... well, pricey, they're made up for with meticulous stitching, exquisite fabrics, and overall obvious timelessness of everything from their jackets all the way down to their socks.
Jonathan & Olivia
I do realize that Jonathan & Olivia is way up there on the list of boutiques that carry trendy and elaborate clothing, but their large collection of T by Alexander Wang pieces serves as a wild card for being considered a "basics" retailer. The luxurious, graceful drape of the cotton t-shirts, tank tops, and dresses can only be described using corny words such as "luxurious" and "graceful."
Some may argue that American Apparel shouldn't be considered a "quality" clothing retailer, but I personally can't ignore the amount of available basics for men, women, children, babies, and dogs - which all come in every colour and style possible. With half a dozen locations in Toronto, and decent, affordable clothing that can be styled a million different ways, American Apparel had to be put on this list.
As one of the most coveted menswear boutiques in Toronto, Nomad is bound to offer a well-picked selection of must-have wardrobe staples in addition to their fashion-forward pieces. The supple cotton of their Wings + Horns striped t-shirts, the unique detailing of their Robert Geller Seconds sweaters, and the expert fabrication of their Engineered Garments oxfords adds just the right feel to either a put-together outfit and a lazy, laidback look.
Though only recently opened as its own freestanding location, Philip Sparks has already made a good name for himself in the local fashion scene through years of pop-up shop action. The tiny Ossington boutique makes up for its size in oodles of men's and women's basics made to last, including flawless raw denim trousers, flattering shirtdresses, and blazers tailored for royalty.
Although Aritzia started in Vancouver, the boutique-style retailer thrived in Toronto, opening a store in almost every notable shopping destination in the city. With well-fabricated womenswear garments including ultra soft tank tops by Wilfred and Citizens of Humanity's staple denim, it was hard not to include the popular store on this list.
Stollerys has been on the corner of Yonge and Bloor for over 100 years. The key to the store's long-lasting success is - you guessed it! - their British and European basics made to stay in one's closet for a lifetime. Far from casual, the ancient retailer offers luxury men's and women's clothing such as tailored shirts, classic-cut blazers, and cashmere cardigans.