Sticks & Stones Antiques 1854 Queen East, 416-699-9611, www.sticksandstonesantiques.com Rating: NNNNN
Nestled among some excellent European bakeries in the up-and-coming west Beach, Sticks & Stones is a treasure chest brimming with fashionable finds from the not-so-distant past. Yes, there's a nice assortment of quality antique furniture on the floor, but if you're looking for fabulous additions to your dress-up trunk, honey, you've hit pay dirt.
The selection of vintage couture, fine estate jewellery, pristine designer handbags (hello, Gucci) and super-fine costume jewellery is like no other. Owner and professional appraiser Victoria Murray 's expert knowledge of the finer (purchasable) things in life has resulted in a shopping environment where only the cream of the crop is allowed on the shelves, which, I'll admit, makes it hard to choose just one. I guess that's where the return trips come in. Every minute of travel time is well worth it. Murray's picks: 1970s magazine clutch purse, $200; silk chiffon ostrich dress from the 50s, $225; and boxes of $5 costume jewellery.
Look for: Signed vintage couture pieces by designers such as Halston and Pucci; a hardcore collection of art deco costume jewellery; beaded evening bags in perfect condition; and an easy-to-navigate online store (for those times when you need to do your research first).
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm.