Some of the city's best-dressed residents get their nicest gear from secondhand, vintage and thrift stores in Montreal, and no one knows the ins and outs of that market better than the people who work for the city's most beloved thrift shops! From curated vintage stores to Value Village, let your personal style guide you when picking your clothes — not just whatever the fast fashion gods have decided you should wear.
I spoke to the minds behind the beloved vintage stores Club Theos and Théa as well as multi-vendor market Marché Floh to find out where our style icons get their own favourite vintage pieces. It's often as easy as trusting your gut when selecting new items, but knowing where to look is a great first step — even if you're just sifting through a garage sale or pulling pieces off of Facebook Marketplace.
Théa's representatives shouted out two iconic Montreal stores, including Palmo Goods, a vintage clothing and accessories store with the tagline "old things to pair with your new things."
With items dating from the 1940's to the mid-2000's, Palmo Goods has something for everyone.
When: Monday - Friday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: 263 Ave. du Mont-Royal E
Another Théa recommendation, Seconde Vintage offers vintage and locally designed pieces in the heart of the Mile End.
When: Monday - Wednesday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 5274 Boul. St-Laurent
Garage sales & Facebook Marketplace
Some of Marché Floh's team's favourite pieces have come from scouring local yard sales and scrolling through Facebook Marketplace, I was told over Instagram. You can find excellent articles of clothing for a fraction of the cost on similar sites like Depop or Vinted. Try keeping an eye out for garage sale signs in your neighbourhood and track Montreal's Facebook events to find clothing swaps and other vintage sales where you can find unique and often well-priced pieces.
Of course, the teams behind these iconic spots often shop in their own backrooms, finding gems and overlooked standouts among the curated items in the store's stock. Consider catching one of Marché Floh's terrasse sales, where items sold on the terrasse are often discounted, but still on-trend.
When: Monday to Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 4301, rue Saint Denis
Value Village and Renaissance
Two more mainstays of the traditional bargain-hunter, these are favourites of Marché Floh's ever-savvy team. While you may find some Shein and other fast fashion brands in thrift stores these days, there's no reward quite like finding the perfect statement blazer or comfy-cute sweater for far less than a new fit from more expensive stores like Frank & Oak.
Try travelling to stores outside of your normal radius for a whole new selection, and know that you're following in the footsteps of some of Montreal's most respected thrifters.
Club Theos offers vintage and thrifted streetwear to anyone looking for current and timeless pieces.
When: Sunday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 1134-a, ave Mont-Royal E
Club Theos' sister store, Théa serves fashionistas of any gender with a more feminine touch, offering vintage and thrifted apparel with a different curation style to that of Theos.
When: Sunday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 1269-b, ave Mont-Royal E
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.