We live in a world where appearance is important. Like it or not, we as a society judge others on their appearance which is why those who have gained celebrity status are impossibly polished and primped and poured into stunning designer threads – the kind that we civilians can only dream about getting our sticky mitts on. But as sickeningly perfect as these individuals may appear, keep in mind that it takes an army of people to complete an A-Lister look and that’s not exclusive to red carpet gigs.
Hitting the ‘Big Time’ means gaining an entourage that will be on hand every day to feed you, exercise you, blow dry, beautify, and of course dress you. Hollywood stars such as Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence hire stylists to ensure they are always looking flawless even if they just happen to be doing a quick Starbucks run because the paparazzi are never far away and no one wants to be on the front page of US Weekly looking more bag-lady than swag-lady.
While we mere mortals don’t have the concern of long lenses, we appreciate the fun of fashion. But without personal stylists we are left to conduct our own research and development to create a style that keeps us unique and feeling fabulous. Sources of inspiration are becoming easier to find thanks to the wonderment of social media. Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest provide a bottomless vat of stimulants for your inner stylist, and with small, locally owned boutiques getting in on the action we’re dealing less with the great outfit but where they hell can I buy it? dilemma. Stores that we may never have heard about before are embracing the online community and proving that consistency is key in growing and keeping an audience that’s hungry for fashion ideas and trade-secrets. If you’re in need of a wardrobe revamp, check out some of our favourite Toronto boutiques who light up our Instagram feed and have us itching for payday…
The Store on Queen | Instagram
In less than 2 years Vava Valentina and Angela Phung, the two feisty and fabulous women behind TSOQ, have become somewhat of a celebrity couple in Toronto thanks to their constant presence on social media and their unique flair for fashion. They have become experts at connecting with their followers and keeping us fully up-to-date with what is new and exciting in their store and the world of fashion. If you live in or around the city and love reasonably priced goodies, jump into Instabed with these gorgeous girls and their legion of loyal fans.
Global Warming Tees | Instagram
Toronto designers Charmaine Joseph and Lauren Shirreffs set up their online store to sell t-shirts that they describe as “wearable billboards” that display messages of love, peace, and understanding. They use their online presence to spread these messages and to shed light on discrimination issues that are still prevalent in our society. Cool t-shirts making a statement for only 35 bucks a pop? That’s worth a follow.
Bridge and Bardot | Instagram
Owners Gurjeet Bassi, Gagan Bassi, and Rose Broadbent ensure that although their vintage pieces are handpicked and often unique, the price tag doesn’t make you have to choose between the dress or dinner for the next 3 days. Their online presence has helped propel them from a pop-up to a space with four walls and plenty of local love.
Untitled & Co | Tumblr
Owner Cameron Wilson combines vintage pieces and those of new designers (including his own) in an effort to offer an individual look to each customer. He keeps his prices very reasonable and also offers accessories and jewellery all housed in a unique space decorated with knick knacks from Wilson’s own apartment. Check out the Instagram page for updates on what’s in store and gorgeous people just looking damn cool.
Urban Outfitters | Global Instagram, Toronto Instagram
Although not unique to Toronto, this global boutique offers an array of trends to help you individualise your look. You can also find unique knick knacks to create an identity within your home, as well quirky gifts and oodles of accessories. Follow them on Instagram for hipster-approved outfit ideas and updates on what’s new on the floor.