The place: Chosen, the latest shop in what seems like a mass opening of new vintage stores, has opened up above menswear boutique Ruins. Melissa Ball has finally found a home for her wares in this long, loft-like space overlooking Queen Street West—she once hosted a popular group vintage sale called The Chosen Ones at the 107 Shaw Gallery before spending a year sharing space with Silver Falls and Lab Consignment. Now her retro neon sign is alight and she’s ready to clothe Toronto’s ever-growing ranks of discerning vintage shoppers.
The stuff: Quality, budget-friendly pieces abound, with most stock priced under $100. The space feels decadent, with healthy doses of rock ’n’ roll and Oscar Wilde–inspired pieces, but the flamboyance is balanced by a large selection of sophisticated tailored items. All the greatest hits from the ’80s and ’90s are here: a velvet-collared plaid shirt-dress, a cherry-red double-breasted frock, a retro black and white polka-dot skirt, and a pair of plaid tweed trousers (all are suitable for work and play). “And there is a lot of black,” Ball laughs.
The shoppers: Smack in the middle of West Queen West, the shop has brought back the faithful followers of The Chosen Ones—watch musicians pull for their next gig, or art gallery employees find the perfect piece for their next opening. Neighbourhood folks and tourists also come in and end up leaving with an armful of sensible separates, such as one of the many silk blouses available in a dizzying array of patterns.
Our favourite things: Red silk T-shirt ($24); tasseled leather pochette ($18); men’s Beatle boots ($60); ’40s Darby porkpie hat ($85); crochet-trimmed linen sundress ($58); Salvatore Ferragamo snakeskin buckle loafers ($52); and a hunter-green wool cape ($150).
Chosen, 960 Queen St. W. (upstairs), 647-802-7704, chosen-vintage.com