We recently got new mannequins at all three stores, and we are pretty darn excited about them! We are now better able to put together some really interesting and eye-catching outfits, and while they may be a little more complicated than our previous ones, it is well worth the struggles because they look fricken good! Our visual merchandiser Meghan always does a really great job with our mannequins (we are so lucky to have her), so we wanted to share the outfits she put together on our new babies in Riverside.
One of the great things about thrifting is you can often find really amazing designer pieces at a significantly reduced price. While we aren’t known for high-end clothing, we definitely get high-end pieces frequently. If you have a love for thrifting designer, then be sure to scour our racks, you are bound to find something that was once pretty darn expensive for, often times, less than 1/4 of the original price. Today we wanted to share some designer pieces we have in store at the moment.
Sometimes walking into a thrift store can be overwhelming; there’s so much stuff and where do you even begin? Even though we have done all the picking and sorting and weeding out the “meh” stuff for you at our stores, it’s still a ton of clothes, each different from the next. Being a good thrifter is definitely a skill, and to be one you have to really like searching. If you are already a pro thrifter, then this post is old news for you, but for those looking to get better at finding the gems, we have put together a list of some tips we think could be helpful.
LOOK THROUGH EVERYTHING; that means searching all sizes, checking both male and female sections, checking the tops of our racks, bag wall and all the mannequins. Maybe the piece you find is better oversized? Or you could find an unlikely piece hidden in the men’s section.
WEAR SOMETHING EASY TO TAKE OFF OR EASY TO LAYER OVER; there is nothing more annoying than being layered in clothes and shopping for new ones. It’s best to wear a simple outfit that you can take off easily, so that trying on clothes doesn’t feel like such a burden.
COME OFTEN; At our store we are constantly getting new clothes and putting them out. To find the very best stuff coming frequently is the best way to find the real gems. You’d be surprised how quickly pieces hit the floor and leave that very same day.
THINK ABOUT WHAT WILL WORK WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN; It’s easy to be attracted too many pieces you find, but knowing what pieces will actually get worn is the key to spending your money conscientiously and avoiding adding pieces to your closet that will never see the light of day. If you can think of at least 3 different ways to wear the pieces you are eyeing, then it will probably be a good addition to your closet.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ONLY BOTTOMS, FIND A TOP SIMILAR TO ONE YOU ALREADY OWN (AND VICE VERSA); Maybe you aren’t wearing something that goes with all the pants/skirts you’re trying on. Grab a top from a rack and use that to be able to gauge whether the bottoms really work for you. It’s surprising how your opinion can change on a piece if you are wearing something that seems familiar to you.
IT WILL LIKELY BE GONE IF YOU WAIT; The good and the bad thing about our stores is that pretty well everything is a one-off. If you really love something, don’t wait too long to think about it. It will likely be gone by the time you come back for it.
CHECK SALE SECTION; Sometimes some really great pieces, especially designer ones, end up in sale section. You may find that Prada top at an amazingly reduced price.
RESEARCH TRENDS; while we keep our eye out for trends and pick based on that, it’s always good to come into the store with an idea of what is in fashion and what you would like to be wearing. You may not find it, but coming with a game plan is always a good idea, it can be overwhelming with all the possibilities if not.
Please let us know in the comments below if you have any thrifting tips as well! Lets share the knowledge.
A lot of love and hard work went into opening up our new store in the Annex. We got the space a lot sooner than expected and it felt a bit like a race against the clock to get it ready and opened. A lot of the staff helped, but a big portion of everything coming together was thanks to Dan who was an all around handy/everythingman, Jess who helped plan and design the space, Meg who put together our beautiful window display, and of course Nicole and her partner Stefan, who worked tirelessly late into the night way too many days in a row to get this store open.
I didn’t have a chance to get to the store when it was just an empty space, but hopefully you can gather from our before and after shots the work and effort that went into making our new, beautiful store!
Save for a few people, the staff here picked their fav pieces last month and shared a few thoughts on why they love them. Each one of us has pretty different styles, so it was fun to guess who picked what, which is usually pretty obvious, tbh. Without further adieu…a few words from the lovely humans that make this place go round.Tea: “Tis my fave because it reminds me of a 1980s Fassbinder film.”
Jessy: “I love this double-sided silk kimono as a layering piece because you can wear it over/or under a denim/leather jacket, and it dresses up a plain t-shirt/high waisted jeans kind of outfit. AND IT’S WARM! But, let’s be real…a vintage silk kimono makes you look expensive.”
Sarah: “Be the queen of the Bellwoods picnic scene with this adorable handbag. It’s just large enough for the essentials, a snack and a tall can.”
Elizabeth: “leather jackets are always a solid staple for any wardrobe. I really love this piece because it is still a classic cut, but a little different than others because of the sick clasps on the front.”
Meghan: “This Topshop Japanese-inspired varsity jacket is what dreams are made of. I mean, c’mon! It’s reversible and embroidered! It’s hard to imagine any outfit that wouldn’t be made better by putting this on.”
Erin: “In this coat i am serving you ‘Jenny From The Block on Payday’ REALNESS! Denim jackets are my #1 classic Canadian spring staple and I’m always on the look for ones that stand out from the crowd”
Caroline: “I’d wear this baby with a tank and red lips ;)”
Roxy: “I’m a big fan of the twee look and this dress reminds me of Little Orphan Annie, which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned. If I was feeling super cutesy I’d style it with saddle shoes or Mary Janes, but I also think it could look good with Doc Martens or creepers for more of a grunge type of look.”
Alex: “I’d pair this linen gem with a pair of high waisted cropped white trousers, white turtleneck and suede olive green slides. It’s the perfect slightly oversized jacket that looks great unbuttoned and tied at the waist to give it a bit of interest.”
Amalia: “I feel like this is the kind of dress I imagine someone wearing while walking through a meadow picking wild flowers or foraging for berries. Best accessorized with bare feet and a wicker basket.”
Dan: “I like it bc I’m a fab bitch pastel princess and I can never find dresses that fit my man shoulders lol.”
From high-end to low-end, we get quite a mix of pieces coming in daily. Our higher end pieces get a lot of the lime-light…I mean ACNE for under $100…hello! but we also understand some people shop with us not for brand names, but because it’s significantly cheaper than buying new (and not unethical). Today we are giving a bit of the lime-light to our inexpensive pieces, 5 pieces under $20, a new series we will be sharing here.H&M trousers size XS – $16
We frequently get questions about how to sell to us, and we usually give a spiel similar to this…“Bring your clothes in a bag, we buy seasonally and right now we are buying for _____. We price what we want for the store and of that price you get 50% in store credit or 25% in cash”…that’s the very basic information we give, but have you ever wondered how we really pick pieces for the store? What are the big no-nos for us that will possibly help you decide what items to bring to us before you lugg over a heavy bag. In this post we are going to give you the low down on how it works here and what we look for.
WHO: Anyone! We buy women and mens clothing, and we are always looking for great mens stuff since we don’t see it as much. If you are looking to downsize your closet and have some pieces that feel too special to donate, or you are looking to trade some old clothes for new ones, we are the place for you!
WHAT: We buy casual clothes you could wear from day to night, as well as accessories like hats, bags, shoes and gloves. We do not buy jewelry. We are all about trendy pieces, well-known brands, some designer and some vintage. We look for pieces in great condition (no holes, stains, wear, etc.) BUT! there are some things that are cool with wear…that grungy band tee…we might like that.
WHERE: We have two locations in Toronto (and maybe one more to come…shhhhhh). One is located in Parkdale (West end) at 1414 Queen St. W and in Riverside (East end) at 800 Queen St. E.
WHEN: We buy everyday on a first come, first serve basis. It is hard to say what day or time of day is best (ie, not busy). Weekends and Mondays are always busy, you can be sure of that. “The earlier you come in the better” is a general rule we tell people. The Summer is always busy for us, like REALLY busy, and we have been known to turn people away if they come too late in the day.
HOW: Bring your clothes in a bag, we generally say a 4 grocery bag maximum so as not to overwhelm our buyers and allow for everyone who comes in to be able to sell to us that day. Our buyers will give you an estimated time of how long it will take to look through your items and price them based on how much you brought in and how many people are ahead of you. During that time you are free to wait, shop around the store or go about your errands and come back by the end of day. We do not hold items over night, so please make sure you bring them on a day when that works for you. Be aware that if you bring in a lot of designer items, it’s going to take longer – we authenticate each designer piece, and that takes significantly more time.
SEASON: We buy seasonally and we are pretty strict about that. Feel free to give us a call (416-463-7678) if you are not sure what season we are buying for, but our website is usually up to date with that information. However, we do have exceptions to the rule. If it’s a great designer piece that is out of season, we may very well take it. On-trend brands like ACNE, any Aritzia brand, Rag & Bone, Alexander Wang, to name a few, we will probably take out of season, as long as it’s in good condition.
CONDITION: Condition really matters to us and can make or break a piece. It’s always a good idea to wash your clothes before you bring them to us; if something has a smell (smoke, B.O, and the like) we won’t take it. Particular things we look for is piling, armpit stains, yellowing collars, moth holes (or any hole), rips (unless it’s trendy rips, like in your jeans!), missing buttons, broken zippers, broken elastic, worn down heels on shoes…those are the types of things that will usually cause us to say no to a piece. If you have the time, it would be in your favour to sew on any missing buttons and do spot removal where possible.
STYLE: Style is really a hard one to explain. Knowing what is on-trend in fashion will definitely help you pick the right things to bring in. If you aren’t really sure it’s always a great idea to browse through our store and check out the type of clothes we have. Brands that are usually popular for us are Aritzia brands, Rag & Bone, ACNE, JCrew, Club Monaco, Alexander Wang, JBrand, Levi’s, Philip Lim, Oak + Fort, Vans, Converse, Frank & Oak, Prada, Versace, Coach, Zara, Frye, Hunter, Rachel Comey, COS, American Apparel, Dr. Martens, Judith & Charles, Topshop, vintage pieces if they are in great condition and currently trendy…the list certainly goes on, but what you can gather from those examples is that they are brands that are usually well made and/or pretty much always on trend.
We hope you find this helpful and feel free to leave any comments below if you have any further questions, or we can be reached at 416-463-7678.