Boutique shopping in uptown Waterloo

Whether it is labeled as a big city or a small town, Waterloo does have its resources when it comes to doing some retail therapy. With Conestoga Mall being literally just a ten-minute bus ride away, students have a place to get some new clothes. As a  fashion retail fanatic who always just needs “one” more item of clothing, it’s great to have options. However, the local shops in Waterloo can be just as awesome, if not better, than simply buying from American Eagle or H&M. Just a five-to-ten minute walk from campus, you can find several options in Uptown Waterloo.

(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

Here are some of the best boutiques to visit next time you want to go shopping.

Meow Boutique

Noted as “Uptown Waterloo’s Secret Fashion Resource”, this vintage store is a blast from the past. Filled with pre-loved clothes and shoes and accessories at every turn, this place will definitely suck you in for an hour or two.

Location: 78 King Street North

Brands:  If you’re a fan of Betsey Johnson, this is the place for you. Since the designer has gone bankrupt, it seems looks like Meow bought up all its stock. Other brands include, Ramzi’s Rockabilly and Pin-Up Emporium.

Price: Cheap to moderate. Apparel and accessories never seem to jump higher than $50, while the jewelry ranges anywhere from $20 to one gorgeous $145 broach. Bonus: They have small posters of old Vogue covers for only $12.

Shop here if:  You love vintage style, or if you’re looking for a formal dress on a budget. If you’re a huge fan of quirky jewelry, 1920’s inspired caps and gloves, this is the place for you.

(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

As another vintage and consignment store, this basement is filled with clothes for men and women that definitely suits a younger, thrifty customers. Everything is tightly packed, so it takes a little patience to get through everything but it can be worth the hunt.

Location: 2 King Street South. Just on your way to Uptown Waterloo, it’s hidden off to the side off Erb street, right across from Symposium.

Brands:  Items from H&M, Ariztia, J. Crew, Micheal Kors, American Apparel and Urban Outfitters were all found.

Price: Cheap! All their summer apparel is buy one, get one free, but their fall merchandise is just as inexpensive. Items were being sold for as little as $8; I even found a Chanel bag for $24.99.

Shop here if: You don’t mind doing a little digging. Unfortunately sizes vary and duplicates are rare but there is definitely a little something for everyone, even if it’s just bottle-cap earrings.

(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

This boutique is just for the ladies, but if you’re looking for trendy items in an array of beautiful colours, then this store is for you.

Location: 44 King Street South, Uptown Waterloo.

Brands: Lush, Ark & Co., Sugar Lips and Potter’s Pot are some of the brands frequently showcased. You won’t find any “big” labels here, but the quality can be just as good as anything from a big-box retailer.

Price: Moderate to expensive. Be prepared to drop $50 or more. They do have other items like bra clips for $2, sunglasses at two for $20 and some cheap jewelry. Depending on what you’re comfortable spending, join their Facebook page so you can keep up with their great deals. All summer merchandise is 60 per cent off and if you bring in your student card, you can take 10 per cent off your purchase of new arrivals.

Shop here if: You’re a fan of stores like Aritzia, H&M or Costa Blanca. They have great clothes for nights out and trendy fashions that you’re unlikely to find in other stores.

Denim Bar

Location:  48 King Street South, Uptown Waterloo beside Skirt.

Brands: Steve Madden, Free People, Guess and JBrand. Denim Bar seems to be very particular in selling brands that are not readily accessible in the K-W area.

Price: Based on the brands that they carry, this store can be costly. Jeans and shoes are usually $100 or more.  They do have a clearance rack for outdated styles. The labels and retail mark-up keeps prices high, so shop with care.

Shop here if: You’re looking for high-quality denim and name-brand shoes. Denim is their specialty, they do have a huge selection for both men and women. If you’re also a fan of the store Boathouse, consider Denim Bar its upscale version.

Gloss

Not only do they sell men’s and women’s apparel, they also have their own hair salon in the back!

Location: 87 King Street West, Kitchener. Take the 7 or the 200 bus and get off at Charles St Terminal.

Brands: Ben Sherman, MINKPINK, Alternative Apparel, Steve Madden and Chinese Laundry are all carried in this location.

Price: Moderate to expensive. Depending on the label and what you’re buying, some apparel is priced around $30, while others can be anything from $50 to $70.

Shop here if: You want a full shopping experience. Gloss offers the added bonus of being able to get your hair or make-up done, before or after you shop. It’s the perfect place to go if you feel like pampering yourself for a day.