Personal Style: Inez Genereux

Common Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: InezNext up on our personal style series, one of our buyers, perpetually colourful with a smile that could brighten anyone’s bad day, Inez. Common Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: InezTell us a bit about yourself.
An angel who lives for love and laughs.

How long have you worked for Common Sort and what’s your favourite part of the job?
I have worked at Common Sort for a collective time of about 2 and a half years. I took a break for a year to work on my art practise, styling and fashion presentation.
While I was away from Common Sort I found myself thinking about the communities that the stores are apart of more than any other part of the job. There are very few retail businesses where people of many different levels of economic status’ can enter and find clothing that suits all of their needs, aesthetically, functionally and financially. The price of new contemporary clothing that you buy in a mall is outrageous. Those prices are lies, and it isn’t fair that some folks have a more challenging time paying the price of those lies than others. The amount of times I have heard people exclaim while shopping at Common Sort  “this regularly retails for so much more“, is in the hundreds. The cost of living in Canada is so high, I feel that Common Sort offers a tiny bit of reprieve from the oppressiveness of consumerism.
As much as I truly love fashion, the nature of fast fashion is destructive to the planet. Even independent designers struggle with needing to make their clothing affordable enough for themselves to make small runs of garments, so most of all the clothing we see is made from synthetic materials and flown across the earth to be sold in North America. Common Sort buys directly from the general public, and we get so much clothing in every single day. It blows my mind to think that almost all of what we get in would end up in a landfill otherwise. Well! these are some of my politics in a nutshell, but I should say I also LOVE the thrill of finding a piece of clothing with a lot of character, especially vintage. Garments were made with more consideration towards fabric and wearability in the past. Things were made to last.Common Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: Inez

How would you describe your style?
A cartoon of Cameron Diaz playing a pop star who by night, is the secretary of a cult.

What’s your favourite piece you own?
ALL of my clothes are each my favourite pieces. I don’t buy clothing to have a cohesive wardrobe, I buy individual pieces that barely go with anything else lol. They all stand on their own. But honestly.. my favourite piece of clothing I have is a very very plain, boring ass mid calf length black cotton skirt with a thick elastic waist band. Originally from Forever21, I bought it because one summer I was very sick and it was all I could handle wearing on my lower half. It kind of looks perfect with everything and I also feel like I would have gone totally bonkers that summer without it. It’s kind of a horcrux for a part of my soul now.Common Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: Inez
Some tips on how to style an outfit.
Instead of styling tips I’m going to share the best advice I ever got on getting dressed. I used to feel soooooo stressed out about finding the perfect outfit for work, or a party or a date or something. I felt like if it was an important event then I had to have a new combination of clothing pieces so the memory would be preserved in that outfit. But it is so hard to put together a new look under pressure. Someone told me just to wear your favourite go-to outfit, the one you KNOW looks good, even if it isn’t very special anymore. The last thing you want is to be pulling on the hem of a dress or constantly checking your self out in a mirror every second you get because you feel uncomfortable. Put comfort first always, but consider expanding the boundaries of that comfort zone sometimes. Everyone has the capacity to push a little bit here and there. Go for it.Common Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: Inez
Favourite trend at the moment?
Literally I have no idea what is trending. I’m really into clogs and ska inspired outfits right now tho.
Favourite designer(s)?
ReBaie by Rebee,  Atelier Wonder and like Gucci lol.
Favourite season for dressing?
A few years ago I made a promise to myself I would NEVER wear an all black outfit in the winter, so I think it’s fun and challenging to come up with exciting looks throughout the darkest days of our year.Common Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: InezCommon Sort | Personal Style: Inez
Think of your style 10 years ago…are you embarrassed by it now? 
My style when I was 16 was really similar to where I am at now *in theory*. I liked and wore vintage clothes, I have always been really inspired by the Fruits fashion blog, and I liked to make my own clothes sometimes. One thing I should note is that 10 years ago I was really into Happy Hardcore and raving. Just let that simmer in your imagination for a moment. I think I looked sick and I have so much respect for my younger self for absolutely not giving a heck about what other people thought about how I dressed. I still apply the PLUR vibe to my visual and empathetic self now.

WHAT SHE WORE// Shorts, Top and Shoes: CS, Sunglasses: vintage, Bag: Courage My Love

*photos by Alex Spence and mural by Caitlin Taguibao

Get Pride Ready

SHOW YOUR.jpgAside from Pride being about acceptance and love (the best and most important thing), it’s also an opportunity to really go over the top with your look. To celebrate Pride Month and the Toronto Pride Parade that is right around the corner, we pulled some Pride inspired pieces incase you are still milling over what you could wear this weekend to celebrate. Happy Pride everyone!

Common Sort | Get Pride Readybeaded straw bag – $30

Common Sort | Get Pride Readysparkly red top, size M – $16

Common Sort | Get Pride ReadyHayley Elsaesser jacket, size L ($73)

Common Sort | Get Pride Readyasos pompom sandals, size 9 – $36

Common Sort | Get Pride Readystar embroidered denim skirt, size XS – $22

Common Sort | Get Pride Readyvintage dress, size S ($22)

Common Sort | Get Pride ReadyTie dye sheer top, size M – $16

Common Sort | Get Pride Readysequin heart bag – $12

Personal Style: Dan Tonner

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerNext up on our personal style feature is Dan Tonner. Let’s get to know this lil’ gem!

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerTell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Dan. My favourite emojis are: diamond, cigarette, nails & the blue heart. I use they/them pronouns. I’m from the East Coast. I smoke like a chimney, drink too much coffee and comic books are my best friends. My elbows are dangerously pointy and I flail them when I dance, so be careful. It literally took me a week to answer this question.

How long have you worked for Common Sort and what’s your favourite part of the job?

I’ve been at Common Sort for about 8 months. I’ve gotta agree with Meg, the strong femme energy brings a magical touch to the business. It’s also lovely not having to work in soul-sucking corporate retail. Something I really appreciate as well is how accessible we make fashion. Being genderqueer, walking into a store and trying on “women’s” clothing is often a frustrating & discouraging experience. I’ve been able to explore my style and identity through being exposed to clothing from so many varying brands, decades and styles, and it creates a beautiful opportunity for self-expression. I think Common Sort extends those possibilities to everyone.

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerHow would you describe your style?

Equal parts pleather daddy, self-proclaimed pastel princess, rave queen, boy next door, trailer trash, badass boxer & a little bit of Molson Canadian promoter girl, with just a touch of Jackie Kennedy on my classy days. 

Some tips on how to style an outfit.

My general rule is that you’re only well dressed if you’re embodying a minimum of two Spice Girls. My go to is Scary/Posh. Scary was the best… that NASA look she pulls in Spice World is lit.

What’s your favourite piece you own?

I have this crazy monogram denim zip-up Christian Dior hooded vest from some runway show in the 90’s. This adorable, little 82 year old Scottish woman who used to work for Vogue sold it to the store and I nearly wept when I saw it. Dior was my first love. I also have this ancient Roots knit turtleneck that used to belong to my brother. He and I had matching ones when I was 5 or so. Its been so worn that the threads around the neck are coming loose making this cool distressed look. I have to hand wash it because I’m afraid it will literally disintegrate if I put it in a machine at this point.

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerFavourite trend at the moment?

I’m trying to learn how to power pattern clash. People look so bold and colourful and I respect the sense of being able to find two things that shouldn’t go together but work together perfectly. I used to always wear simple strong colour palettes and never any patterns or prints, but now that I’m addicted to dying my hair weird colours my wardrobe is getting a little bolder. I love pulling big looks and I live for making the Judgemental Judy’s of the world uncomfortable and also when little kids think I’m cool.

Favourite designer(s)?

I love Thom Browne; his shows are always really compelling, conceptual, and weird. His most recent show was this crazy deconstruction of the idea of a grey suit which sounds boring now that I’m describing it, but I swear it’s great. I also have a weakness for Daizy Shely’s marabou feather jackets. Yves Saint Laurent goes without saying, he was a visionary & a progressive .

Favourite season for dressing?

Spring, minus the florals. You still get all the layering from Fall and Winter but with all the light and airiness of Summer. Plus, it’s exciting to slowly break out all the great pieces you’ve been dying to wear since Fall. Did I mention my fondness for pastels?Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerThink of your style 10 years ago…are you embarrassed by it now? 

I would describe my style ten years ago as “I’m Here, I’m Queer and you don’t have to get used to it but PLEASE pay attention to me”. Picture a young awkward Danny, fresh out of the closet, braces, every possible colour paired with every possible pattern. I had these Converse shoes that were made out of the same material as tennis balls. Not cute. I try not to think about high school…

WHAT THEY WORE // vintage Everlast pants via CS, secondhand jacket via CS, Seductions fishnet bodysuit and Underground platform creepers via CS

*photos by Alex Spence


Spring/Summer Style Inspiration

Common Sort | Spring/Summer Style InspirationCommon Sort | Spring/Summer Style InspirationCommon Sort | Spring/Summer Style InspirationWe’ve been little pinning monsters over here, getting tons of inspiration from around the web. Today we thought we’d share some of the Spring/Summer style pins we are loving at the moment.

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Our Annex Location: Before & After

baa (2 of 8)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!

BEFOREbaa (7 of 11)baa (5 of 11)baa (4 of 11)baa (2 of 11)baa (1 of 11)baa (9 of 11)baa (8 of 11)baa (3 of 11)Common Sort | Annex Location: Before & After

AFTERafters (15 of 22)baa (7 of 8)baa (8 of 8)baa (6 of 8)baa (4 of 8)baa (3 of 8)baa (5 of 8)Common Sort | Annex Location: Before & Afterafters (17 of 22)afters (20 of 22)afters (8 of 22)Common Sort | Annex Location: Before & AfterCommon Sort | Annex Location: Before & Afterafters (11 of 22)Common Sort | Annex Location: Before & AfterCommon Sort | Annex Location: Before & AfterCommon Sort | Annex Location: Before & AfterCommon Sort | Annex Location: Before & AfterCommon Sort | Annex Location: Before & Aftervisit this location at 444 Bloor St. W

What Would …

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Iris Apfel choose?

There are so many styles out there to be appreciated. Some people just really know how to put together a great outfit that works for them. Whether it’s over the top eccentric or subtle Parisian chic, there is inspiration all over the place. We thought it would be fun to imagine what some of the most revered style icons would choose from our store.

Incase you aren’t familiar with Iris Apfel – which I’m sure you are, at the very least, you’ve probably seen her picture – she is an interior designer. In 1950, she and her husband launched a textile firm called Old World Weavers until they retired in 1992. During this time they worked on several design projects, among them, design restorations of the White House for 9 different Presidents. Along their many travels Iris started buying non-western, artisanal pieces that she would wear to her meetings. It’s easy to see how she got noticed and quickly became the face of ‘you can wear whatever you damn well please at any age!’

Heres what we think she would pick…

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?vintage jacket size S $24

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?furry shoulder bag $20

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?assorted rings and bangles

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Weekday button up size XS $32

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Danier leather pants size S $26

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?vintage dress size M $26

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Miista pumps size 40 $75

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?H&M Studio furry coat size M $45

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?$10 sunnies

March Staff Picks

Common Sort | March Staff PicksSave 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.Common Sort | March Staff PicksTea: “Tis my fave because it reminds me of a 1980s Fassbinder film.”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksJessy: “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.”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksSarah: “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.”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksElizabeth: “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.”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksMeghan: “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.”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksErin: “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”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksCaroline: “I’d wear this baby with a tank and red lips ;)”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksRoxy: “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.”

AMALIA'S PICK (2)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.”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksAmalia: “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.”

Common Sort | March Staff PicksDan: “I like it bc I’m a fab bitch pastel princess and I can never find dresses that fit my man shoulders lol.”

A Selling Guide

Processed with VSCO with j2 presetWe 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.

Common Sort | A Guide: How To Sell To UsTHE BASICS

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.

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Common Sort | A Guide: How To Sell To Us
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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.