In my last post I mentioned that I had taken a part-time retail job while continuing the (somewhat soul-destroying) hunt for a full-time job in line with my background. When it comes to retail environments, I think I kind of lucked out.
The Fitzroy is a dress rental boutique located in Toronto where women all over the city can rent gorgeous gowns, fabulous (faux) furs and beautiful bags for affordable prices. The genius of the concept is twofold. First off, most women buy dresses – often expensive ones, at that – specifically for an event they’ve been invited to, be it a gala, a wedding or a party, and end up wearing it just the one time before hoarding it in their closet for years thereafter, forever justifying its place in the back of said closet but in the end realising there will probably never be a chance to give it another moment in the sun before finally, painfully parting ways. In addition to providing an attractive alternative this sorry situation, the line of dresses Fitzroy carries retail for anywhere between $300 and $1,500, sums we average working women can ill afford. Renting means having the chance to wear a dress that would usually fall outside the budget, adding to that princess feeling that we are all – let’s be honest – chasing when we get to dress up.
Working here, as well as being in a truly gorgeous environment, I essentially played dress up every day, becoming women’s best friend for an hour while they tried on lovely gowns, helped them find something that made them feel beautiful, and got to see how radiant they became when they found ‘the dress’ before leaving the store beaming. It was a pretty uplifting work experience. In quiet moments I even got to try on a few of the to-die-for dresses… here’s a little sneaky sample of dressing room shots!
From frilly feminine frocks that sweep the floor to sassy shorter styles that hug every curve… whether you’re into metallics or tulle or a bit of both… if you have a old Hollywood glamour-themed wedding to attend or an Ice & Fire-themed gala or a traditional christening, Fitzroy has something for every occasion.
I quickly identified my personal favourites, and was heartbroken when I would try some of them on to find they looked bloody awful on me. My boobs have to come in way day, right? Until then, no plunges and draping for me. Sigh. Suffice to say, I learnt a lot about styling, and working to enhance things people love about themselves, or things they may not even realise are their greatest assets. I learned that there truly is a dress to make every woman – regardless of shape, colour, height, hair, style and personality – glow and feel like their absolute best self.
As for me, I fell head over heels with this cornflower blue dress from London designer Needle & Thread. Upon trying it on, channelling my inner Kate Middleton, becoming quickly obsessed with it, then swallowing the fact I would never have an occasion in my personal life to wear this beauty to, I may have rented it for the mere pleasure of it. Naturally, I took some photos while I was at it. You know, “for the blog.” Honestly, the things I do for you guys.
Fitzroy Rentals can be found at 225 Sterling Road, Toronto. They are able to deliver two ways anywhere across Canada, and offer dress rental insurance for just $5. They’re always getting in new stock, their studio is the stuff your pastel-hued, eighties-inspired dreams are made of, and the staff, I can honestly say, are some of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet. Toronto ladies, get thee to the home of dress rental magic, stat!