Anyone with a site named TorontoShopoholic.com, must know a thing about where to shop in the city! With The Retro Style Lab, just around the corner, Jane Martin, blogger and creator of the comprehensive local shopping site, shares her favourite vintage shops in the Toronto.
I remember the first time I shopped for vintage. It was in the mid 1990s. Everyone had gone grunge like their favourite alt rockers. My friend and I were scouring the racks of Surrender Dorothy in Waterloo and I can still picture the amazing 70’s flares that I found that day. My tastes have definitely matured from vintage concert looks to something more refined. These are my top five vintage shops in Toronto right now.
- I Miss You Vintage (Ossington) – The first time walked into this shop I thought to myself “Wow THIS is Vintage?” It is exactly the opposite of some of the grandma’s attic type vintage stores. I Miss You is glamorous. The selection is too with everything from Pucci to Chanel. Prices are definitely not bargain basement but for the quality and the labels that you can find prices are very attainable. I have often lusted after the gorgeous tall boots and snakeskin bags at this shop.
- Cat’s Meow Couture (Annex) – If you love the lady like silhouettes of Mad Men then you will love the 1950’s to 1970’s selection at Cat’s Meow. Mostly dresses and loads of party looks. Watch their blog to scoop up the latest Chanel purses.
- Tabula Rasa (The Danforth) – This boutique does exactly what I aspire to do with my wardrobe. There is a mix of old and new. Vintage pieces are reworked to work within a modern closet. I have seen so many different age groups shop here which attests to the shops appeal.
- Absolutely (Rosedale) – ok so this isn’t a vintage boutique but this home design shop does carry an amazing selection of vintage jewellery. Broaches, bracelets necklaces. I gave one of my besties a great vintage rhinestone bracelet from this shop for her wedding and have the coolest Lucite necklace for myself.
- Thrill of the Find & Gadabout (Leslieville) – I put both of these on the list because if you are going to shop one you might as well shop the other. Thrill of the Find is a great place if you are looking for designer vintage. I am constantly in awe of what is on display in the window. Gadabout is a totally different experience. It is so packed it is easy to get overwhelmed. But what you can find is like a miracle. Ignoring the knick knacks you can find vintage HBC blankets fantastic accessories and even a funky outfit.
Every time I read about one of these shops I am reminded of one thing. If you like the clothing that one owner curates in their shop then get to know them. Unlike large retailers, vintage shops don’t have the luxury of multiples in a range of sizes. If you build a relationship with the owner of your favourite vintage boutique, they might just have something that will work for you or will keep you in mind when they source things in the future. Happy vintage shopping.
We’ll definitely be checking out some of Jane’s vintage haute spots, but only AFTER we’ve scoured the collections of the amazing vintage retailers we’ve pulled together for The Retro Style Lab on Sunday, November 21st. We know you’ll enjoy this easy to shop vintage pop-up so grab your tickets now before the $15 advance ticket price increases on November 14th.
p.s. If you want to score some FREE tickets, you might want to pay attention to torontoshopoholic.com today (You really should regardless! Her site is chock full of amazing indie stores to check out) and remember, The Socialite Cardholders automatically come for free plus, enjoy socialite perks long after the event has passed.