We have several big events coming up and one that’s a destination wedding. Like everyone else, we know that costs of everything has risen over the past couple of years. We all understand the need to be more conservative in spending during these times. Purchasing party dresses aren’t exactly a priority but hey, we still want to get fancy, right? I recently had the opportunity to visit the new location of Fitzroy Dress Rentals in the west end of Toronto.

So, while I can still turn to that reliable LBD (I have at least 5) there are times where I’d like to do something outside of my usual. Not knocking the LBD in anyway. There are definitely times when that’s the mood I’m in. Simple. Understated and under the radar. I admit that when I do wear something bright or more bold, I do feel more sparkle. However, those beautiful outfits become one-offs. They are so recognizable that it’s difficult to pull off the same look twice in one season. I’ll usually wear it and then store away for a few years.

I had heard about The Fitzroy, a dress rental service a few years ago when industry friends seem to be always appearing in some new and spectacular dress event after event. How is it possible that they could afford these dresses that costs hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars? Each one has whispered “Fitzroy” in my ear.

Located in the east end of Toronto, this brilliant dress rental company has been not-so-quietly been dressing some of society’s busiest and those with public presence since they opened their doors in 2016. Founded by two besties, Jules and Ange, they wanted to create a space where fancy dressing was for everyone. Welcoming, non-judgmental, inclusive, and fun. The selection well curated with stylists to help. They recently moved into a bigger space just a block away from their previous location on Sterling Avenue. My opportunity to came to visit when they opened their new space.

The lofty and beautiful space screams “come play dress up”. Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of dresses await. All neatly colour coordinated and sized for easy discovery. Even stunning modern gowns could pass for wedding dresses for today’s most savvy brides. Spacious fitting rooms all uniquely designed with icons serving as inspo.

I fully expected to be overwhelmed but that wasn’t the case. I had the assistance from one of their in-house stylists. A quick chat about what I liked and what parts of my body I didn’t want attention to, and colours I liked, and away she went to pull dresses out of the inventory. It felt like I was on one of those “Say Yes To the Dress” Shows.

Half the fun is the stylist’s vision…

At first glance three of the dresses seemed too matronly on the hangar but I trusted her and she picked right! The dresses fit me perfectly. But when she saw that I was pretty comfortable in my skin she also knew we could have even more fun. And THAT we did! Out came bolder statement dresses in colours and styles that I have rarely seen in the stores here. Hey, if you’ve ever only dreamed of fabulous dresses here is where you can absolutely try them all! The only times I’ve been wow’d with a dress selection like this in the past was in California or New York at places like Neiman Marcus and Barney’s.

Each dress I tried on was fabulous! Her choices were sophisticated and confident. They were very flattering and the fits were amazing. I trusted her choices and was blown away at how I felt even designs that were outside my comfort zone –ummm, pleated white with florals and ruffled around the strapless top? I would have never had chosen that but that turned out to be so fun! BTW, they have a full range of sizes in each style from XS to XL and styles flattering for curvy ladies too.

I would have spent a lot of time on my own finding that right dress, but why? I would have also dropped way more money on dresses for event like I have in the past, but why? I don’t need more “stuff” sitting in my closet and this is a smart idea.

A quick search on the rental prices on the dresses I tried on revealed on average $100-$120 for 4 day rentals. That’s pretty impressive. You can peek the collection here.

Fitroy Toronto Photo by Sonya D

Other services provided…

While I fell head over heels with the dresses I tried on, I took photos so I can reference back easily for future rentals. Jules, one of the founders, mentioned that I could order the rentals online and have the dress delivered right to my door when needed. They will also pick up when the rental is complete or if you’re in the city you can pick up and drop off if that’s more convenient.

The dry clean each dress after each rental so you also won’t have to worry about that. And what about possible damage? Stuff happens. They get it. That’s why there’s a $5 insurance for each rental.

Oh, and if you need a handbag to go with your dress? They rent those out too! And they don’t just do dresses, I spotted suits, jackets, and fancy shawls too. Even sweet little dresses for flower girls and other celebrations. So smart.

I am completely in love with this concept! Now that I’ve tried on several dresses and have see the selection and quality first hand I wouldn’t hesitate to get all my dresses this way. Great for weddings, mother of the bride, proms, NYE parties, etc.

The Fitzroy is located at 213 Sterling Avenue in Toronto. No appointments necessary (unless you want to). Drop in, have fun, and get fancy! I may just plan a ladies afternoon here to play dress up. Who’s in?

Fitroy Toronto Photo by Sonya D