In a city like Montreal, which has existed for centuries now, preserving what's old and making them new again is pretty common. It applies to clothes as it does old churches and buildings. Many people here value quality used clothing and they make for affordable shopping too. You'll find them in some of the chicest vintage stores in Montreal like Annex Vintage, Eva B. boutique, and Empire Exchange. These places prove that there's value in shopping for second-hand clothing. And who knows? You might just score a vintage designer piece that would've cost you an arm and a leg when they were brand new!
Source: Annex Vintage Facebook Page
Ask a few locals about the best vintage stores in Montreal and the name 'Annex Vintage' will likely pop up more than once. Located in the hip Mile End neighborhood in Montreal, it's among the most popular secondhand clothing shops in the city. It offers all the staples that you'd usually find in such a store: bomber jackets, preserved jeans, cool sweaters, and more. What's also great about Annex Vintage is that they also touch up and put artistic spins on clothes that would have been too ripped to use again. Pretty cool, right?
Recycling and upcycling are the names of the game here at Citizen Vintage. Located on the famous St Laurent Boulevard, one of the most popular hotspots to go shopping in Montreal
, this place offers up a sustainable answer to today's ever-growing fast fashion dilemma. Their well-curated collection offers both big-named luxury brands and obscure but still stand-out pieces. The older and more tattered ones are given major makeovers, thanks in part to the community's exceptional crew of creatives. All in all, Citizen Vintage is a collaborative effort to support sustainable style on all fronts.
Source: Citizen Vintage Facebook Page
On the same famous street as Citizen Vintage, St Laurent Boulevard, Covet Vintage also offers the same stylistic message. Their secondhand selection offers a wide range of pieces: from haute couture brands
to label-less fashions. What they all have in common, however, is that they're all so well-preserved, they hardly seem vintage at all. A silk blouse, for instance, is pressed and ironed to look as if it was picked off the rack at a luxurious department store in Paris
. Even leather boots don't have any inkling of fraying to them. Covet Vintage offers history museum-levels of preservation with their items!
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Just as its name says, Empire Exchange operates on a buy-sell-trade system where both customers and donors benefit. And it's this awesome and relatively sustainable practice that has helped the vintage store open two separate locations throughout Montreal. There's one in Mile End and another in Little Italy. Whichever branch you go to, you can rack up some credit that you can use to buy or swap clothes. So let's say you want to turn in a nice pair of leather shoes for new trainers in the store, all you have to do is trade them in and you're good!
Source: Empire Exchange
The Eva B. boutique on St. Laurent Boulevard is definitely one of the quirkiest vintage stores in Montreal. Part of it is that it never started out that way in the first place. Founder Gabriel Croteau opened the boutique back in 1987 to serve as a mecca for the grunge and alternative fashions of the time. Think concert tees, sportswear tracksuits, and the like. Over time, the store has racked up quite the vintage designer collection, with names such as Max Mara, Aquazzura, and Escada thrown into the mix. With a new elevated selection, Eva B. boutique's customer audience broadened from local hipsters to high-class fashionistas.
Source: Eva B. Facebook Page
Les Folles Alliées
You can't ignore the colorful and quirky storefront of Les Folles Alliées on Mont-Royale avenue. Amidst a sea of neutral-toned concrete buildings and facades, this street art-covered exterior stands out from a mile away. And the inside is just as colorful and quirky! Looking more like a costume shop than a standard vintage store in Montreal, Les Folles Alliées clearly imparts the joy of dressing up to anyone who walks inside. They offer clothes from all the way back to the 1870s, some of which are even theater costumes from that era! What's not to love?
Source: Les Folles Alliées Facebook Page
One look at Ruse Boutique's minimalist space on St Laurent Boulevard and you'll clearly understand why this is among the best vintage stores in Montreal. The shop's approach is that of a luxury consignment—pre-owned designer goodies that look as good as new. In fact, if you didn't know that Ruse Boutique is a vintage store, you hardly would've guessed that they sell secondhand clothing. And that's their main clincher. Every single designer piece from the likes of Jacquemus, Issey Miyake, Loewe, Chanel, and more looks like they can still go for thousands, if not millions of bucks. Yet you can get a great price here instead!
Source: Ruse Boutique Facebook Page
Finally, there's Seconde Vintage that's also on St Laurent Boulevard. It's not far-fetched to say that this place is a vintage lover's paradise. Especially one that's into pre-loved designer goodies. Seconde Vintage only takes in the most well-preserved items they can find. The clothes and accessories here look so complete and put-together that they practically outshine what's on retail nowadays. And yes, you'll find a lot of big names here! Think Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and more. From quintessential French designer brands
to even a few local favorites, you can't go wrong with secondhand shopping at Seconde Vintage!
Source: Seconde Vintage Instagram Page
You just never know what you might find in some of the chicest vintage stores in Montreal. From second-hand haute couture to awesome bargains that look oh-so-cool, you'll really get your money's worth in these amazing stores!