Downtown Toronto is rich in street-wear boutiques, but with so many, how do you pick the best ones?
In my small school located miles away from the city, people dressed the exact same way. My fellow school mates would buy clothes for the same brand names, expecting themselves to be unique even though everyone else had the same clothes on. Hollister, Aeropostale, Abercombie and H&M. The four apocalyptic disasters that were sent down to this earth to prevent people from having a unique and personal style. I always thought the people with the most up-to-date styles and the newest clothes were always the coolest people. I wanted to be apart of that group, one of the cool kids who were known for their sense of style and trend-setting abilities. The one trip to downtown Toronto’s fashion district changed my life, every store there was so unique, so fresh and so hip. If I could name all of the stores I would, but out of all of them, five stores stick out:
Over The Rainbow:
Opened in 1975 as a premium denim retailer, Over the Rainbow sold jeans and apparel from many different countries. As time passed, Over The Rainbow increased it’s reputation and by 2007, the store was known as one of the go-to denim stores of the Country.
Due West/Next Door:
Roughed up and edgy are the thoughts that come to my mind when I think of the ambiance of the store. Established in 1973, Due West is a mid-end retailer that has a very relaxed and chilled out vibe. When I first entered this store, I saw brands like Dom Rebel and G-Star, (which I personally don’t wear) and a lot of more street-ish and more urban styles of clothing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is into the more graphic aspect of design.
Next Door is probably my favourite stores out of the five. Located right beside Due West, Next Door sells higher end brands such as D&G, McQ by Alexander McQueen, DSquared and J.Lindeberg. You definitely get a more up-scale feel when entering this retail store, along with the simple and straight forward design of the interior. There is also a great contrast between the exposed plywood walls and the simple yet noticeable clothing showcase.
The first time I went into Show Room was during the 2009 boxing day sale. At first I thought it was going to be impossible to find something that I would actually like but I was surprised to see such a wide variety of clothes to choose from. After 20 minutes in the store, I had over $350 worth of clothes in my arms and I was walking towards the cash register. This two-floor store is filled with higher priced garments on the second floor and plenty of hip and up and coming brands on the first floor. From brands and labels that would get anyone spending every penny they have, including: Diesel, Cheap Monday, Miss Sixty, Naked and Famous, Levis, True Religion and Lucky 7.
Got Style Menswear:
Voted as the top menswear store by in Toronto by Now Magazine, Got Style is the leading menswear store when it comes to casual or business attire. The aesthetics of the store is what every man would want to see while shopping; flat-screen TVs, comfortable furnishings and a sleek interior. Got Style also has it’s very own male only spa which provides haircuts and hot-towel shaves.