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SARA DUKE FACTORY STORE 1244 Bloor West, 416-605-9695, imadethisforyou.ca
There's barely 100 square feet of selling space in designer Sara Duke's (pictured) Bloordale boutique-cum-studio, and that's just the way she likes it.
"I enjoy interacting with my customers," she says, hanging out behind the cash in one of her signature dresses, a full khaki cotton piece that Duke has cinched with a leather belt. "There are only two racks, but most people seem to be able to find something on one of them."
It's easy to see why. Duke refreshes stock weekly, using easy-to-wear-and-care-for fabrics in classic shapes to create separates that don't break the bank. A piece called Your Favourite Shirt comes in light, invincible polyester, and a blouse Duke says is great for the office bares the perfect amount of work cleavage and is loose enough to let you enjoy a big lunch.
Sara Duke Factory Store picks: Many fabrics are sourced from old tailor shops, including the yellow-flecked navy cotton used to make a dress shirt, $52; Duke's khaki dress is $88; a striped burgundy skirt has been designed to catch the wind without completely flipping up, $54.
Look for: Army surplus bags, Impossible Speed T-shirts and great basics by Thursday.
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday noon to 8 pm, Sunday noon to 6 pm.