A pre-shop shop

Kelly Gadzala finds new togs in which to go shopping

Depending on your point of view, it’s a sign of dedication or derangement to buy an outfit solely for the purpose of shopping.

But that’s how the scene went down before my most recent retail sojourn to St. Clair Ave. West.

Fact is, the column in which I detail my adventures in three St. Clair shops was bookended by purchases of clothing that made their way onto my body in no time.

Reader, I have my reasons. It was sultry when I tossed on an easy breezy dress that morning, you see. But by the time I stepped off the subway at the St. Clair West station that afternoon the wind had wonked out and the celsius had taken a nosedive.

Preoccupied with visions of my somewhat full skirt ballooning over my head, I wasn’t feeling super comfy in my frock. In order to scout out new shopping leads I must be unfettered by wardrobe malfunction worries, you know.

As any fashionista who rides the rails knows, Joe Fresh Style Studio is conveniently located right outside the St. Clair West subway. Inside, there’s a surprising amount of transitional clothing that’s perfect for the cooler temps we’ve been having this summer.

A cute blond sales guy helps me pick out some jeans and wide-leg denim trousers. Let’s just say he makes my shopping experience infinitely more pleasant.

After trying some bootleg jeans that fit well and look good, save for the teeny pockets on the bum (read: teeny pockets make one’s butt look larger than it actually is), I decide to stick with the wideleg denim pant, $39.99, that has a slightly dressier feel (and yes, the pockets are larger so my butt looks great).

I pair them with a teal blue wool-blend tunic with crossover detail at the neck for $24.99. I can’t resist the boy style cardigan in black for the same price.

Only problem is, the pants are so long I need a higher heel to wear with them. I have shopping turf to explore and the clock is ticking, so I wear my new garb out of the shop with the pant cuff rolled up.

396 St. Clair Ave. West, 416-410-3736 www.joe.ca.

By the time I’ve visited a trio of shops on St. Clair West, my feet are killing me.

I’m a dedicated thrift store shopper, so I pop into Goodwill. It’s a bit of a madhouse but I take a quick troll of the racks. Alas, there’s no cute blond sales guy here, but a surrogate charmer who calls himself Valentino is trailing me and I try to lose him in between the racks.

After dodging Valentino I actually manage to find a pair of shoes that fit, are comfy, look hardly worn and can also be worn with my new pants with the cuffs rolled down – a major thrifting score to have all four, let me tell you.

They’re by Foot Petals and they’re an über comfy lightweight wedge heel with navy blue fabric and patent leather straps. I wear them out of the store after paying.

But not before nabbing a Banana Republic silk boxy tote bag with leather strap and bottom for a mere $3.99.

Anticipating the cool fall weather isn’t that much of a stretch these days, so I wasn’t too surprised to find myself in front of the mirror trying on long-sleeved jackets.

Don’t be miffed: a gal next to me was doing the same thing. She even found some gloves.

A tight-fitting denim jacket by Bongo jeans looks trendy chic and for $7.99 makes it into my shopping bag. If it were slightly cooler I could wear it with my new outfit.

Valentino wants to buy me flowers, but I kindly tell him I’m taken.

585 St. Clair West, 416-656-5550 www.goodwill.on.ca.

About this article:

By: Kelly Gadzala
Posted: Aug 6 2009 12:52 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto