By Amy Greenwood
So you’ve made it to campus in one piece but unfortunately, your luggage hasn’t. Or maybe a flood reduced your dorm to a swamp that’d do a Kia commercial proud.
Whatever the case, if you’re in the midst of a wardrobe crisis, all is not lost.
First off: This is downtown Toronto, notorious for its high fashion and even higher prices. In other words, it’s the last place you want to be when you’re on a budget, as many things can stir your inner spending monster.
Bargain shops are scarce around campus; it becomes not so much a hunt for cheap stores as much as a honing of frugality — a critical survival technique.
That doesn’t mean you can’t venture off campus to find your student-budget duds.
Besides the usual bargain bazaars like the Salvation Army and Value Village, Kensington Market is Toronto’s famous vintage and budget clothes centre.
There are more than a dozen second-hand shops to service your sartorial needs, as well as surplus work/military clothing outlets and Tom’s Place, a premium suit store with attractive pricing.
That being said, if you are a dude or diva on a dime and you want to stick around campus, one worthwhile stop is Winners at 444 Yonge St., in College Park.
The place is huge and if you’re not prepared to pay full price, their clearance racks aren’t too shabby.
Maybe the whole second-hand fashion style isn’t for you.
If that’s the case, keep a lookout for markdowns at places like American Apparel at 338 Yonge St., and the neighbouring Boathouse. They are two stops that can be budget friendly, while still fashion friendly.
Markdowns in general are a good approach to student shopping.
Don’t look at the latest fashions on the racks at the front. Look for anything that says sale and clearance.
It may mean that you don’t have the latest, most cutting edge-style, but considering the short attention span of our generation, most won’t notice you stealing styles from a few months ago.
For the more athletic-types out there, Foot Locker at 340 Yonge St. and the Adidas store in Toronto Life Square are also handy.
One sure place to mark on your map is the Eaton Centre across from Yonge and Dundas Square. It houses many student favourites including H&M, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lululemon Athletica, Gap and Old Navy, making between-class shopping very easy (and distracting).
Those fashionistas who want to sport designer, but don’t want to pay full price can check out Toronto’s many sample sales.
Usually an event used by designers to sell pieces that they have previewed to merchandisers, sample sales now also include overstocked items and returns.
Check out www.ilovesamplesales.com to find event listings for sample sales. But get there early, because the lines get huge.
Also, if you’re looking to don some Ryerson gear, hit the bookstore at 17 Gould St.
The best time to stock up is during exams; they often have two-for-one deals, which is handy after a freak moth-attack in Pitman.