Toronto’s best vintage and resale clothing right now
1260 Yonge St., 416-966-2662
Christina McDowell knows luxury goods: she spent nearly 20 years working as an image consultant and national spokesperson for Holt Renfrew before opening Clementine’s, her plush designer resale boutique. The space is elegantly feminine, with sweet-smelling candles, fluffy feathered lamp shades and racks of exquisite designer gear, all in mint condition. McDowell lures customers by posting her best finds to social media. Recent scores included a sequined Prada LBD, slouchy leather jeans from Rag and Bone and leopard-print Manolo Blahnik flats.
1410 Dundas St. W., 416-588-9821
Britt Rawlinson’s shop is a favourite of a cool-girl clientele keen to snap up labels like Marni, Dries van Noten, Céline and Acne. Clothes and accessories are grouped according to style subset (e.g. ladylike, avant garde), helping customers see the full potential in each embellished top, shift dress or oversized blazer. Prices are around a third of the original value, which works out to about $60 to $150 for designer tops and $600 for a vintage Chanel suit.
The Cat’s Meow
180 Avenue Rd., 647-435-5875
Swingy parlour music lilts as collectors scour racks of impeccable ’50s and ’60s dresses, collected by owner Louise Cooper. Her posh Avenue Road boutique is the place to find a timeless cocktail frock, like a hand-embellished floral shift in a medley of pastels ($595) or a perfectly preserved black Chanel suit ($1,895).
Thrill of the Find
1172 Queen St. E., 416-461-9313
Mireille Watson has legions of high-end-vintage-loving fans, heiress Gloria Vanderbilt among them. The collection at Watson’s store includes a beautifully draped Jacques Heim cocktail dress from the late ’50s ($425) and a wool Pierre Cardin suit from the ’60s ($375). She keeps many of her most prized gems in the back room, like a green-and-white gingham Courrèges frock from the ’60s that was sold, via the website First Dibs, to an unnamed buyer at Buckingham Palace.
1046 Queen St. W., 416-588-2121
Unusually discriminating, Garb’s website lists more than 100 labels that the shop refuses to carry. Items that do make the cut include silk Hermès scarves, Burberry trenches and chic Erdem frocks, most discounted by up to 75 per cent, depending on the condition. The menswear stock consists of dress shirts from brands like Paul Smith and Christian Dior, as well as sophisticated accessories. Those looking to offload their luxe regalia are also in luck: consigners receive an impressive 50 per cent commission on any item sold.