Downtown dwellers tend to shop in a retail vacuum, but some urban hipsters are secretly bypassing Bloor St and Queen West for the renovated halls of Yorkdale Mall. Those of you who were around in the ’80s will remember that this mall once symbolized banal retail sameness, with The Bay and Simpsons wedged in among typical mall fodder like Randy River. But Yorkdale has undergone a major style resuscitation and is out to kick some fashion ass with its new blue-chip stores.
Fashionable gay men will be happy to find popular chains like Crate & Barrel, 7 For All Mankind and TopMan (opening in October) in the 180,000-square-foot space. With rumours that Saks Fifth Avenue, Structure and an über-secretive Holt Renfrew project are jockeying for space, who can resist heading north? A good way to get acquainted with the new Yorkdale is by doing some back-to-school shopping. Whether you are hunting for clothes, gadgets or hunky suburban men, this mall has something for everyone.
September’s warm weather can turn cold quickly. Danier’s Napa leather jacket (above) is warm enough to block autumn’s chill, but it’s cool enough that it won’t scream that you bought it at the mall. This is an investment that will be stylish all year round. $499. danier.com
One of the hottest menswear events of 2011 will be the opening of TopMan at Yorkdale. Brought over from the UK by The Bay, the label’s summertime pop-up store saw lineups before it even opened. Katy Perry fans will dive into the store for this sweatshirt featuring her face. $36
This German jeweller opened its first Canadian store in Yorkdale. If you can afford only one piece, this silver-clasped bracelet, made of black beads, is a must. Part of Sabo’s Asian-themed fall/winter collection, it is versatile enough to wear anywhere. $129. thomassabo.com
Whether you’re running from the subway to class or hoofing it at a club, you need a pair of sneakers that makes the grade. These great lace-ups are nice enough to mix with jeans or your favourite casual pants. $90. aldoshoes.com
Crate & Barrel
Why awaken for classes to the annoying squawk of a crappy alarm when you can listen to your favourite tunes? This retro double-belled design combines an alarm clock and an iPod charger. Built-in omni-directional speakers provide vivid sound while you get ready for the day. $69. crateandbarrel.com
Public water fountains sometimes are beyond gross. This Bobble water bottle from designer Karim Rashid is BPA-free, and the filters are good for up to 300 servings of regular tap water — for all those trips to the mall. It's available at Crate & Barrel so stop their first and you'll be prepared. $12. karimrashid.com