Your guide to summer dress shopping in Toronto

The sun is shining and the flowers are in full bloom, which means it’s time to strip the layers and throw on an effortless, stylish frock. Whether you’re looking for a maxi dress you can rock from the beach to the streets, or a peplum dress for work and nights out, these are the local shops to hit for summer dresses. [Image credit: iStock.com/Justin Horrocks]

Sylvie and Shimmy

1
1640 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R 1B2

With an interior that resembles a dollhouse tea party complete with floral and mint walls, Sylvie and Shimmy is a darling place to shop. Their frocks are just as sweet with floral and pastel prints – which FYI is totally trending right now (I’m looking at you, pink pastel). At this Parkdale boutique, you’ll find clothes, shoes and accessories by Korean and local designers. Pair one of their dresses with ankle boots and a long cardigan during chilly spring evenings, and switch up to sandals for intense summer heat.

Jessica Rose

2
17 Trinity St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

Jessica Rose is the place for minimalists who are on the hunt for an investment dress that can be styled in multiple ways. This Distillery District boutique is all about designing timeless dresses that are both comfortable and travel-friendly. The Chloé dress is perfect for layering. Throw on a loose crop-top over this fitted black dress or wear a tight tee under for cooler temperature, or just rock it solo with a choker or statement necklace. Other options include pleated, peplum, and A-line dresses.

Frock

3
97 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2K9

If it weren’t obvious enough from the name, Frock’s got some lovely dress options for both casual and work settings. This corner shop on Roncesvalles carries brands like the free-spirited Free People, the effortless Ursa Minor, and the Cali-comfort meets NYC’s downtown edge Sam & Lavi. I’m currently crushing the sleeveless dress by designer Eve Gravel (it’s got the look of a watercolour v-neck dress on top of a white tank). Frock also carries some of the best accessories – think bar earrings dangling with hanging hoops by Toronto’s Jenny Bird, and stylish vegan leather backpacks by Montreal’s Matt & Nat.

Coal Miner's Daughter

4
587 Markham St, Toronto, ON M6G 2L7

When a clothing and jewellery designer come together, you get Coal Miner’s Daughter. While this boutique carries the owners’ own pieces, they stock other local and international designers, too, with the majority being Canadian. Here you’ll find a variety of frocks including the pleated collection from vintage-inspired Act Three Apparel (the cute selections pair easily with a light jacket or a sunhat for a more summery look). Also up for grabs at CMD are shoes and sandals by Montreal brand Cartel – the perfect dress companion if I do say so.

Riant Boutique

5
35 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5V 2P2

High-end contemporary brands are neatly organized inside this spacious King West boutique. Shop trendy options like the floral off-shoulder dress by beachy-meets-metropolitan TRYB 212, flowing maxi dress by the sophisticated A.L.C. and sundresses by resort-wear meets luxury lifestyle Calypso St. Barth. To make the dresses weather appropriate on inclement or cooler days, throw on a Mackage trench jacket and a pair of ankle boots or thick gladiator sandals.

Fraiche

6
348 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2A2

If you’re looking for affordable floral and printed dresses, Fraiche Boutique is your haven. Although their space is rather small, there’s a ton of frocks crammed up in long rows of racks with other items like jackets and blouses that are all worth the browse. Their collections are a mix of pieces from brands across the world like UK’s quirky Yumi and sophisticated Uttam, LA’s fun, free and modern Everly, and other indies from Barcelona, France, and Canada. Shop styles like midi, shirt, wrap, maxi, skater, shift, tunic and party dresses.

Going back to school can be tough, especially when you still haven’t found the right books-worthy backpack or tote. For those looking for functionality without sacrificing style, here are some boutiques in Toronto that carry sleek bags – from designer handbags to leather backpacks to bags with the fur – that can take you from school to work to play all in one day. [Photo courtesy of Eleven Thirty]
Being pregnant doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal style. While there are a few stylish maternity stores in Toronto, you can still shop from trendy non-maternity stores, too. Show off that baby bump and look hella chic. Here’s where to shop for styles you can wear before, during and after pregnancy. [Image credit: iStock.com/Chet_W]
All-natural sunscreen options have reached Toronto, using minerals like titanium and zinc, which act as barriers against UVA and UVB rays. From Coola to Boo Bamboo to 100% Pure, here’s where you can find safe, all-natural sunscreen brands in the 6. [Feature image: Consonant Skincare]
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