Multi Colour Chevron Dress (1X-3X, $82.50)
Button & Pleat Tank (1X-3X, $66.50)
Spring Flowers Dress (1X-3X, $72.50)
Black & White Block Print Dress (1X-3X, $68.50)
See you soon!
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Sheer Button Down Dress (1X-3X, Coral and Black, $74.50) BUY ONLINE
Blue Pattern Peplum Top (1X-3X, $49.50) BUY ONLINE
More new arrivals coming later this week!
See you soon!
Gussied Up Inc.
1090 Bathurst St.
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By: Rita Zekas Special to the Star, Published on Wed Feb 19 2014
Gussied Up, 1090 Bathurst St.
Intimidation factor: Nil. The store was formerly the living room in a non-commercial residence and is warm and cheery with exposed brick walls painted white and hardwood floors.
Number of salespeople on floor: One, owner Victoria McGroarty, a bodacious blond in rocker-chic black leather.
Response time: Immediate. McGroarty and her Maltese/Shih Tzu pup Betty greet me heartily from the back of the shop.
Vibe: Kate Spade meets a funkier Addition Elle.
Price range: From $4.99 for a face masque to $299 for a cocktail dress.
Rating: Three and a half lip-print sweaters out of four.
“I think there are lots of non-skinny-minnies who would appreciate knowing about Gussied Up,” suggests my pal Susie.
Absolutely — since the average North American woman is purportedly between size 12 and 14. So I dutifully schlep to Gussied Up plus-size women’s clothing, located in a formerly inauspicious strip at Dupont and Bathurst Sts., just down from iconic Vesta Lunch.
Owner Victoria McGroarty has me from the hot lip-print cashmere/cotton sweater in the window.
How much fun is that?
McGroarty opened three years come March 29th. She picked the location because she grew up in the ‘hood. A retail virgin, she had a background in business at Bell Telephone, but found it too much a boy’s club. So she researched brands, did a business plan and took the plunge.
“There aren’t many plus-sized stores that are fashion forward,” McGroarty says. “I get customers who are only a size 12 but frustrated by lack of options: When you get hips or bust, you are done.”
Sizing starts at 12 and escalates to 24; 1XL to 3XL. She carries lines from Canada, U.S. and Paris, with tons from veteran Canadian designer Joseph Ribkoff.
I love the forgiving, three-quarter-sleeved dress in a purple and green python print with soft sequins ($185) that would look fabulous on a body of any size.
The store is demarcated by two sections. On one: racks of “designer” wear (priced non-astronomically from $110 to $299); the other is lesser priced ($39 to $89).
The designer-wear side looks like a garden of earthly delights: racks upon racks of florals including a yummy black sleeveless sheath with oversized red roses.
The opposite side houses basics like the perfect white shirt with two breast pockets ($58.50); a must-have black-and-white striped cotton blazer; and an adorable sleeveless blouse with a darling bird print and crochet back.
There’s everything from cocktail to casual and business wear. Not so much matchy-matchy suits, but she does carry black blazers and trousers.
I spot all the staple spring trends: Caftan shirting in a tribal print; boyfriend dressing including the black sweatshirt with silver studs; and black-and-white colour blocking. A sleeveless black-and-white sheath is very Givenchy/Audrey Hepburn but at the non-Givenchy price of $62.50.
She offers a great selection of fun bathing suits, like one with a bathing-beauties motif that has a ‘40s vibe. There are 15 different retro patterns including polka-dot and gingham.
Accessories include lingerie, hosiery, Spanx, jeggings in acid colours (the camouflage ones are sold out) and a line of jewelry called Very Valero, which features amazing pieces like a necklace of tagua nuts that resemble green plantain chips going for the ridiculously low price of $45.
I ferret out an awesome black-and-white horizontally-striped sweater with a huge heart on it by Lisa Todd, the Miami designer behind the lip-print sweater in the window.
What gives? Aren’t horizontal stripes considered taboo for the plus-sized?
“Plus people can wear fitted and striped,” McGroarty insists. “There are no rules.”