Montreal: Original bargains

Arterie Boutique and Friperie, Montreal

To me, the recession and climate change are the best excuses to convince you all to start shopping for vintage (hence recycled) clothes. Whatever your budget and however you like to shop, these are both good reasons to join in. First of all, don’t be afraid! The secret on how to wear old stuff is pretty simple: don’t wear it from head to toe. Mixing up designer labels, vintage clothes and low-cost goods not only to makes for an original outfit, but also helps you create your own fashion identity.

If you’ve got the courage and creativity, thrift stores are a good place to start–vintage boutiques will often find pieces at Value Village or The Salvation Army to put in their shops (at a higher price, of course). I can spend hours in those stores but, I know that requires a great deal of patience. If that’s not your forte, then vintage stores are a good solution since great looks have been pre-selected. Places like La Gaillarde (4019 Notre-Dame St. W., 514-989-5134, lagaillarde.blogspot.com) and Arterie Boutique & Friperie (176 Bernard W., 514-273-3933, arterieboutique.blogspot.com) always have great pieces in stock, as well as new clothing for some of that mixing and matching.

Even if you can afford not to buy used clothes, I suggest you still think about it since vintage designer looks are so in vogue and original patterns from previous eras make a chic statement. Think about places like Memento (3678 Saint-Denis St., 514-843-8391) a store full of old costumes from the Centre National de Costume or Boutique Encore (2145 Crescent St., 514-849-0092). Finally, don’t forget about jewellery, hats, bags and belts, they’re the little things that make an outfit edgy Have fun saving a buck and Mother Nature!