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Best of Toronto

The Best New Clothing Stores in Toronto, 2008

Posted by Briony / January 16, 2009

Clothing Stores TorontoWe all need a little cheering up, don't we? The economy's in the toilet, the weather's awful, and you can take your pick of global meltdowns (finance, the Middle East, Jennifer Aniston...).

But we can always count on style to keep us sane. Whether it's throwing together the perfect outfit or finding the all-time best vintage frock, staying stylish is one small way to feel more together in uncertain times, and bring a little beauty to everyday life.

Shopping won't save the world, but, by buying vintage and buying local, we can all feel a little better for it.

Penny Arcade photo from Toronto Textsyles. 69 By The Pound photo from their web site. Franny Vintage photo from Etsy. Green Shag photo from the Green Shag blog.

Jonathan + Olivia

Jonathan + Olivia

Despite some grumbles about the store's prices, the new TO outpost of one of Vancouver's chicest stores has already found many fans who are happy to part with their hard-earned dollars for a prize from the impeccably edited selection of lovely labels. Think Whyred, Surface to Air, Zero + Maria Cornejo, and Preen for the ladies, and Oliver Spencer, Engineered Garments, and Robert Geller for the menfolk. We pant after the navy wool A.P.C. coat with the white fur placket ($1050) and Opening Ceremony's black shirred silk shorts ($250). More »

The Public Butter

The Public Butter

In addition to long walks on the beach and puppies, my turn-ons include pretension-free vintage stores, and The Public Butter fits the bill. Tucked away in Parkdale, this laidback store uses a standard pricing scheme that makes browsing a breeze. You're looking at $40 for dresses, $100 for leather jackets, $40 for purses, $20 for tees, $100 for men's blazers, and $40 sweaters. Guys should peep the shirts - I liked the red gingham cowboy shirt and the short-sleeved pale yellow top printed with various bottles of booze. More »

ShopGirls Gallery Boutique

ShopGirls Gallery Boutique

This store boasts an all-Canadian roster, with most of the designers hailing from Toronto. There's a boho vibe to the goods, like Sans Soucie's clothing crafted from screenprinted pantyhose ($15-$500), Babu et Moi's colourful wool coats ($450-$599), and upcycled knit shrugs by Precocious ($80). Check out the great accessories, like Julie Moon's poppy pins ($20-$40), Klutch's rainbow of envelope clutches ($100-$200), and feather headpieces and hairbands from LaKrause Headwear ($35-$100). More »

69 Buy The Pound

69 Buy The Pound

69 Vintage owner Kealan Sullivan has expanded her vintage empire with a new wallet-friendly by-the-pound place where the cash-strapped can stock up on vintage at $15 a pound. The dingy basement setting is depressing and the pieces here are often flawed or a little wacky, but digging around can yield a treasure or two, like a pair of red leather high-heeled sandals with snakeskin accents ($8 a pair), a jaunty yellow mens' sweater, or a straw purse with blue gingham lining. More »

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade

If you're hanging around the trendy Ossington strip, be sure to pop into Penny Arcade on Dundas, a must-see vintage destination-to-be. There are plenty of fantastic finds that range from the cheap-and-cheerful (a gray bird-print-blouse for $33 or vintage men's tee for $14) to the fancy-schmancy (Yves St. Laurent pumps for $74 and a black swing-coat with a puffy collar for $140). Hint - mosey on over to the top-notch boot section ($55-$125).

Charlie Boutique

Charlie Boutique

This airy boite wins the customer service nod for its ever-cheerful and totally helpful staff who are more than happy to help find that perfect piece. The store stocks a lot of Canadian lines at good prices (read - nothing over $250, and super sale deals) like Allison Wonderland, Lily + Jae, Anastasia Lomonova, and Frug. Stand-outs include Majolie sweaters and Adrienne Butikofer skirts, and the $89 Blank jeans on sale for $49. More »

Franny Vintage

Franny Vintage

Another place to get your cheap denim on is in Parkdale at Franny Vintage. Cheap Mondays for girls and boys go for $70 a pop, and Naked & Famous for $95-$125. Accessorize your new jeans with some vintage goodness, courtesy of men's plaid shirts and jackets ($20-$30), pointy-toed pumps ($20-$35), or an eighties-tastic patchwork leather purse ($20-$40). More »

Green Shag

Green Shag

During a recession, more people tend to wise up to the whole quality-over-quantity thing when it comes to shopping. Enter the bespoke men's clothiers Green Shag. The folks here will work with you to craft the shirt ($260-$400) or two-piece suit ($1750 and up) of your dreams. The commitment-shy can choose an already-made sample, or one of the shop's colourful handmade bowties ($50) or ties ($75). Top everything off with some bright ceramic cufflinks, such as the Phallic Series, featuring wang-like structures from around the world ($80). More »

Discussion

10 Comments

Cynthia / January 16, 2009 at 01:45 pm
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Not the 416, but still the GTA: There's a store in Richmond Hill called <a href="http://www.naturallypetite.ca";>Naturally Petite</a> catering to women 5'4" or shorter (Gawdknows we need more of these places in Toronto. So many fashion people don't realize the needs of shorter women!! We can't all just go to the tailor!) and carries a lot of Canadian designers.

Not everything there is truly petite, so average-heighted women may find things there which fit them too.

<a href="http://prospere-magazine.com/2009/01/06/naturallypetite/";>Prospere Magazine</a> recently spoke with the founders of the store.
Johanne / January 16, 2009 at 02:12 pm
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Awesome post! Will totally check out and report on my blog with findings! Thank you!
- Johanne at www.fashioninmotion.wordpress.com
linx / February 13, 2009 at 11:50 am
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Franny Vintage is the new spot! the store itself small but their stock is more about the quality than the quantity. and i find that the sizes are smaller and more reasonable. you'll need fewer alterations to the fit.
Gunner / February 18, 2009 at 02:08 pm
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Heard there is a new Guns N'Roses official online merch store launching in Canada this Friday!!! Rocking it on at killthe8.com!!
johnthomas / March 4, 2009 at 09:07 pm
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Nomad!
Duchesse / March 8, 2009 at 07:15 pm
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Too many me-too shops for under 35s. Add, please, some not new but edifying shops that are strictly local: Alexia von Beck, Dessa, and Thrill of the Find.
Kris / July 29, 2009 at 09:53 pm
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visiting next month. not really looking for vintage -- looking for contemporary resale. Any suggestions?
AB replying to a comment from Cynthia / December 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm
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I can say the same for tall women as Cyntia is saying for short. Very hard to find nice, fashionable pants for someone 175cm tall. In Europe there is no problem, in Canada it seem everything is made for petite or oversized. It seems the population here is getting shorter by the year :-D
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm
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Heard there is a new Guns N'Roses official online merch store launching in Canada this Friday!!! Rocking it on at killthe8.com!!
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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Franny Vintage is the new spot! the store itself small but their stock is more about the quality than the quantity. and i find that the sizes are smaller and more reasonable. you'll need fewer alterations to the fit.

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