Friday, April 18, 2014

The Vintage Crawl: Vintage Shopping in Toronto


Have you ever wanted to shop vintage, but had no idea how to go about it? 

   I have always had the desire to shop vintage, but I often found myself worrying about the scent of used clothing (not all vintage is worn), wondered if the pieces would be in good condition and questioned whether the pieces would work well in my wardrobe. Due to these concerns vintage clothing shopping stayed off my list for a while, until a friend of mine informed me about an interesting vintage crawl that would be taking place in downtown Toronto from 7pm-12pm.

  Similar to the concept of bar hopping, the vintage crawl allowed customers to hop from one vintage store to the next in search of awesome finds. Most stores also offered discounts ranging from 20-30% and provided customers with beverages and drinks! Sounds like fun to me!

  As a first time vintage shopper, I was amazed by the variety of the items offered in every store: Hats, Jackets, scarves, boots, bags, jeans and lots of ripped jeans shorts. Also, it is important to highlight that some stores were more expensive than others and had newer or better pieces of clothing in their stores. According to one of the employees I was speaking to, there is a hierarchy in vintage stores where some stores get first dibs on clothing or receive better pieces than other stores.

  Although some vintage stores are on the lower end, I would not discourage anyone from shopping at one, as they also carry many great pieces that some of these stores would leave behind because they can't price it as high or feel that it does not fit with the items that they usually keep in their store. Therefore, it is recommended to keep an open mind while shopping vintage, because great pieces can be found anywhere - high or low end. I for sure have experienced this many times I go shopping.

  Below are some pictures of some of the vintage stores I visited in downtown Toronto:

  The first store I visited was called Public Butter. The store contains are wide range of items and the clothing is reasonably priced. The clothing also appeared to be in good condition since most of it is items that have been worn and passed on- hence the name vintage.

  While shopping vintage I didn't realize how much I love vintage bags. There is such a large variety of styles that you can't always find when shopping at retail stores. If you are a bag lady or bag man, vintage stores are a great place to visit.

 * When shopping for a vintage bag, make sure to open it up and make sure that the lining is in good condition. You don't want to leave with a bag that is falling apart on the inside although it appears fine on the outside.

   One thing about vintage stores is the changing rooms they offer. Public Butter has a confessional as their fitting room. Also, I really like this floral embroidered shirt that I found while shopping. It reminds me of a piece I found last summer at Top Shop.

  Another store I went to was House of Vintage. Immediately upon entering this store you can get a sense that it is a bit higher priced. The store has a certain air about it and you don't necessarily feel like you are hunting for treasure as you do with Public Butter. Although it is a bit higher priced, it is still not to pricey. In fact, some of the items I found myself wanting were reasonably priced. 

I loved these Ralph Lauren clogs! Due to the poor weather in Toronto, I decided to leave them behind. But I will be keeping my eyes on them. 

  My conclusions about vintage shopping:

  As a first time vintage shopper I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the whole experience of shopping for unique pieces to add to my wardrobe. Most items are priced reasonably and are in good condition. And if you were wondering, the items I saw did not possess any unique scent. Overall, if you have never been vintage shopping, I highly recommend trying it out at least once. 

I hope you enjoyed my adventures shopping vintage for the first time!

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