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Best of Toronto

The Best Clothing Stores for Local Design in Toronto

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / December 18, 2013

Local clothing torontoThe best clothing stores for local design in Toronto give valuable exposure to Toronto-based designers in a hugely cluttered retail market. No matter their aesthetic or clientele, all of these stores put handmade, independent clothing and accessories first; some are aggressively locally-focused, while others handpick Toronto talent to add interest to a pool of designers from across Canada and around the world.

Worth noting is this list does not include stores that focus on only one or two lines. The boutiques that do appear on the list below carry a range of lines from eco-friendly to sleek and high-end to artsy and eclectic, proving that there's no singular Toronto style. Wearing local can look however you want it to.

Here are the best clothing stores for local design in Toronto.

See also:

The best fashion designers in Toronto
The top 10 independent jewellery designers in Toronto

Gerhard Supply

Gerhard Supply

Gerhard Supply stands out among its Junction neighbours as a destination for menswear with nearly everything in the store both designed and manufactured in Toronto. Check out the immaculately-edited store, and you'll find shirting, ties, accessories and grooming products. Everything a sharp-dressed man needs. More »

Shopgirls

Shopgirls

At this long-running Parkdale boutique, it's all handmade and all Canadian, with many of the 80 featured lines (including Opelle and Ferhn) based right here in Toronto. Bonus! Ffor those who have a rough time finding great-fitting threads, they recently launched an in-house "shop your shape" system. More »

Fresh Collective

Fresh Collective

This Queen St. mainstay recently marked a decade of existence and has spawned sister stores on Roncesvalles and in Kensington Market. All three are a reliable source for eclectic handmade wares, from Nude's sophisticated, tailored womenswear to Oddbird's domino pendant necklaces. More »

Coal Miner's Daughter

Coal Miner's Daughter

This bright, girly boutique feels like raiding your cool older sister's closet. The boutique's owners, Krysten Caddy and Janine Cockburn-Haller, sell their respective jewelry and clothing lines out of the store. Local faves like clothing designers Rachel Sin and Dagg & Stacey and a station full of makeup by local line Pretty round things out. More »

North Standard Trading Post

North Standard Trading Post

There's made-in-Canada, and then there's Canadiana. North Standard Trading Post does both at once, offering rugged, outdoorsy wear in a boutique festooned with antlers and point blankets. Among the local picks are outerwear from OSC Cross and jewelry from Happy Camper. More »

Charlie

Charlie

This airy West Queen West boutique is bursting with stellar picks from across Canada and around the world, with one-third of the lines based right here in Toronto. Local accessory designers make a particularly strong showing. Check out cold-weather accessories by Westlake Designs, Mary Made and Julie Sinden, and colourful geometric jewelry from Curious Oddities and Moonlight For Violet. More »

Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle

A decades-old Yonge and Wellesley institution, Cat's Cradle showcases Canadian and international designers. True to its origins as a menswear destination in the '30s, the now womenswear-focused shop focuses on serious wardrobe-building pieces, including wrap dresses by Bionic and tailored coats and suits from Paul Ho. More »

Black Daffodil

Black Daffodil

Black Daffodil, home of shop owner Cynthia Rea's eponymous retro-glamorous clothing line, encourages shoppers to "embrace their inner dame." Visitors to this Junction boutique will also find 3rd Floor Studio sundresses and some Ophelia hats to top the whole thing off. More »

Discussion

9 Comments

Stick it to H&M, Forever 21 / December 18, 2013 at 02:21 pm
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It's my goal to offer my patronage to every store on this list.
Morris the kitty / December 18, 2013 at 05:00 pm
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Wherever robffford buys his HUGE FUCKING UNDERPANTS!
1/3 Toronto / December 18, 2013 at 06:28 pm
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All these shops seem nice but if Charlie is only 1/3 Toronto designers should they really be included in this list? Seems like there would be many other shops in the city offering at least 1/2 Toronto made products
courtney / December 18, 2013 at 07:07 pm
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You missed Distill http://www.distillgallery.com/home.html -- they only sell Canadian designers (many of whom are from Toronto or towns around the GTA). The staff are great and the shop is beautiful. I highly recommend checking out for Canadian jewelry and winter accessories.
Gnarlk replying to a comment from Morris the kitty / December 18, 2013 at 08:45 pm
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From your Mom?
Steve / December 19, 2013 at 11:16 am
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How Parkdale's 'Community 54' is not on this list is beyond me.
They're entire stock is local designers
Dylan / December 19, 2013 at 08:24 pm
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Homegrown Boutique is amazing!!!!! Best find on Cumberland. Some amazing Canadian talent is carried there.
Crystal / December 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm
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I love Charlie Boutique!! Too bad that this BlogTO post didn't provide more recent pictures of the store though. Over the last 6 years, the owner has done some fabulous things to the exterior and interior and continues to curate an exceptional collection every season since the inception of the store... much of what hangs in my closet. Again, it's really unfortunate that this post doesn't better reflect the real, exceptional and indelible impressions that the boutique offers its customers on a daily basis and the fact that so many boutique clients, like myself, in fact covet a piece of Charlie in their personal closet at home.
Mir / January 9, 2014 at 08:34 pm
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I've heard a lot of bad things about Fresh Collective. The owner is big into Landmark Training, which is pretty much a cult, and didn't treat the employees well that refused to take the training.

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