Finding clothes for photoshoots has become a little bit complicated during these pandemic times with the current lockdown restrictions. But it is still possible to find great pieces if you know your local shops. :) Some of the options I suggest, are obviously not possible right now, due to social distancing and lockdown restrictions, but I will include them for reference.
When I was a teenager, I loved hanging out in a mall with my friends, I would buy a Piña Colada smoothie and go window shopping. Now, my version of that is exploring an area in Toronto. I go treasure hunting with a friend that loves coffee shops and antique/retro shops as much as me. My advice to you is to keeping your mind open and creative even when you are looking for special pieces or props is a great way to express your style.
For my photoshoots, most kids go to places like Zara or H&M to buy their basic looks. But if you are looking for fun, stylish, alternative looks then you need to treasure hunt!
1. Thrift Shopping in Value Village - believe it or not, this place is heaven if you are looking for interesting things. One year for Halloween, I scored 2 dresses (not in the costume section) and those were two of my best Halloween Costumes ever!!! Since then, I visit Value Village every now and then, always looking for pieces or accessories I can incorporate in my photoshoots. My favourite one is the one on 924 Queen St E.
2. Local designers - Don’t be shy to reach out to local designers. Some have a rental policy, others lend you the outfits but you pay the dry clean fee. If you are lucky you might be able to wear their pieces for free in the photoshoot in exchange for the rights to use the professional images.
Suzy Q was part of TKFW 4 and she offers a dress rental option for teen girls. @suzyqjewelsfashion
3. Marketplace - yes, Facebook Marketplace is great when you need a special item for a reasonable price. Don’t forget to bargain!
4. Second Hand & Vintage shops - Toronto has a wide range of shops with previously-loved items. In these shops you will find everything from shoes, accessories, props and clothing from dresses to coats and everything in between.
Many people love @bumbuleberry_kids a second hand store for children’s clothing where pieces a re carefully curated. https://www.bumbleberrykids.com
Adult shops might be a good place for girls 12+ because their smallest sizes fit some girls. My favourite one -because it is in my neighbourhood- is Second Nature located at 514 Mt. Pleasant near Davisville. Their basement has the best deals and you can find cool pieces in these XS sizes. Not all their deals are online.
Second Hand Vintage - Kensington Market has a reputation for having vintage clothing stores, I haven’t gone personally, but I wouldn’t mind going on an expedition there. Either way, be open and go for a walk (or a google search) in your neighbourhood for second-hand shops and start building your look.
4. Retail shops. ZaraKids, H&M and Garp are to-go places for many kids because their clothes are clean and neutral. Teen girls love Aritzia and Zara. But how about going to an outlet mall? Places like Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet or Nordstrom might have pieces at reasonable prices (sometimes even less expensive than Zara!). If you have the opportunity to go, dedicate a day for shopping. Remember, when you buy clothes for a photoshoot, you not always have to keep them. As long as the tags are on, and the pieces are not stained, you can send them back and get a refund or credit.
5. If you don’t like treasure hunting or shopping, would you consider a stylist? There are people that do the job for you! They charge per look, they will get your measurements and then go shopping for you. They will shop and clean and return the pieces for you. The price per look starts at $85. Contact @Balandina_style_fashion if you are interested in her services, she specializes in fashion for kids, teens and adults.