Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Drink Connoisseur

Vintage-inspired gifts for the drink connoisseur.

1. Classic Cocktail Recipes:
The Book Wardrobe

Cocktails of the Movies
Take a journey through Hollywood’s lifelong love affair with cocktails, celebrating the greatest characters and their iconic drinks through original illustrations and easy-to-follow recipes.

ABOUT: ” It was February 2017 in Fatima, Portugal when a Book Lover wrote about the dream of having a bookstore. To this day, The Book Wardrobe’s story continues. One summer afternoon in July 2017, something magical happened when the unsuspecting Book Lover stepped inside the 2nd floor of the Robinson-Bray heritage house: the photography studio office suddenly transformed itself into a charming bookshop. It was like entering a familiar wardrobe leading to a secret space with lots of natural light, a focal wall of centuries-old bricks, and shelves stacked with colourful spines. The Book Lover serendipitously imagined a walk-in closet of stories.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: This bookstore is in Mississauga, Ontario, and is AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) owned and operated. To find other Asian run bookstores, check out this handy list.

WHAT WE LIKE: I’ve only browsed through the cocktail books listed so far, but there are SO man. Most are under $20 and they have some really cool concepts. Honourable mention to Booze Over Broadway a cocktail book for theatre lovers.

2. Modern-Vintage Glassware:
Cocktail Emporium

1890 Retro Fizz Glass
The decadent 1890 Retro Fizz Cocktail Glass exudes vintage charm. The floral swag style etched pattern accentuates premium cocktail presentation. This coupe has a flat base bowl and flared sides, perfect for cocktails or champagne and sparkling wines.

ABOUT: This female owned and operated store carries a variety of barware and accessories as well as the essential non-alcoholic necessities of any good cocktail: bitters, olives, syrups – you name it.


SOCIAL IMPACT: They carry products from all over, including a lot of locally made ones – great way to support your local community! Plus, some of their barware is vintage, which helps keep things green!

WHAT WE LIKE: They have a beautiful selection of products and very knowledgeable staff. I’ve often gotten friends gifts from here and it’s my first stop for ingredients if I’m looking to try out a new cocktail recipe.

3. A Tiki Bar Night Out:
The Shameful Tiki

ABOUT: “The Shameful Tiki Room Toronto is an extension of the popular Vancouver location. It is located in the trendy up & coming Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. Like its counterpart there is no fanfare from the street but upon entry you escape into another world.

Similar to the Vancouver location, Shameful Toronto offers an extensive exotic drink menu accompanied by fabulous dishes from the kitchen including Crab Rangoon, a truly vintage Tiki side plate made famous by Trader Vic himself!”


SOCIAL IMPACT: Just a great local bar – tip your servers and bartenders well! It’s been an especially tough year for those in service industries.

WHAT WE LIKE: They make DELICIOUS drinks. Great for if you want a Hawaiian vacation and can’t afford one – just close your eyes and sip away.

4. Vintage Bar Accessories:
Walnut Hill Vintage

Variety Cocktail Shakers Vintage Liquor Bottles image 1

ABOUT: Unique vintage and antique finds via Etsy.


SOCIAL IMPACT: Sourcing secondhand is always encouraged, and this comes from a female-run shop in Cambridge, Ontario.

WHAT WE LIKE: These glass cocktail shakers are super fun. I’ve got a similar one I inherited from my Grandpa that sits front and centre on our old bar. Gift as is, or fill the inside with a mini bottle of booze and some garnish for a (almost) ready-made cocktail!

5. Classic Looking Spirits:

Tanqueray No. Ten Gin + FREE martini glass from LCBO

ABOUT: There are dozens of brands, new and old, that have beautiful vintage packaging, like the deco-inspired Tanqueray No. 10 shown above. Wander the aisles of the LCBO and you’re sure to find something pretty in each section.


SOCIAL IMPACT: Well, the pretty ones are usually in glass bottles! Which is better than plastic. But aside from that, not much for this one.

WHAT WE LIKE: I’m not much of a drinker, but I love the look of a stocked bar, and there are some gin brands especially whose bottles I’m more interested in than what’s inside. When the drink is finished, you can keep the bottle on display! Or, give us a shout – we can always use classic looking ones for props in our shows!

Have something you think should be on our list?
Let us know in the comments.


Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Sports Fan

Vintage-inspired gifts for the sports fan in your life.

1. Vintage Varsity Jackets:
Black Market/Public Butter Vintage

ABOUT: These Toronto staples have a ton of stock that is constantly changing, so it’s worth dropping by – or at least checking their site – a couple times a month. Most of their vintage is newer (think 70s-90s) but they do get older pieces as well. They carry a lot of streetwear looks and often have a wide selection of sports jackets, both from major teams like the Yankees, and smaller, local or college ones, like what’s shown above. Given their cut, varsity jackets make a great unisex gift, and you often find them in a wide range of sizes.


SOCIAL IMPACT: If you’re someone who likes the idea of fast-fashion, but realizes how horrible it is for the environment, check these guys out. You can get a new look whenever you like without adding to the growing amount of textile waste rapidly filling up our landfills. When you’re done with it, donate it back! Local business selling vintage, good things to support.

WHAT WE LIKE: They’ve got tons of very “wearable” stuff. While I tend to favour older vintage, a lot of the time the early 20th century pieces are a bit delicate, and don’t lend themselves to regular wear. These guys carry sturdy things, whether because it’s a bit newer or because it’s vintage sports or workwear, which is great if you want something you can wear on a regular basis.

Toronto Maple Leafs 1927 Heritage Lacer Hoody

ABOUT: “The SPORT Gallery draws its inspiration from the pioneering SPORT magazine, launched in 1946 to celebrate what its editors accurately anticipated would be the coming explosion of interest in the games people play in post-war North America.

Conceived by a trio of erstwhile Canadian sports writers with the acquisition of SPORT archives following the shuttering of the magazine in 2000, the gallery celebrates the rich history and artistry of sport.

Our gallery – in Toronto’s Distillery District – bring the magazine to life with walls lined with our limited and open edition prints, vintage-inspired apparel, accessories, and books. “


SOCIAL IMPACT: In non-COVID times this local business serves as a community hub as well. Their store/gallery features a high-end coffee bar, developed in partnership with Toronto’s Pilot Coffee Roasters, that serves as a comfortable space to watch a game, sport documentary, and enjoy a great cup of coffee or specialty beer from Toronto’s Left Field Brewery. The venue also doubles as an event space, with large fully automatic pull-out bleacher seating. They frequently feature SPORTTalks, SPORT Trivia nights, and games on the big screen. So you can help support a local business, keep team history alive, and meet some like-minded people.

WHAT WE LIKE: I don’t even like sports and I love this store. I’m a sucker for authentic-looking vintage reproduction and I love seeing the history of things and so stuff like the Toronto Maple Leafs Team History Hat are very much my thing. You can gift your friend a reproduction jersey, a cozy toque, a cap, or you can treat them to a coffee and check out their beautiful gallery.

3. A Trip Through Time:
The Hockey Hall of Fame

ABOUT: The Hockey Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the history of the sport and of those who play it. It opened in 1943, and a full breakdown of its history can be found on their website.


SOCIAL IMPACT: The Hockey Hall of Fame is a registered charity and as with any museum, the primary impact is maintaining a record and sharing that history with the public.

WHAT WE LIKE: Trips to a museum are a great gift, and as Canadians, knowing a least something about hockey seems to be a requirement for citizenship. Gifts that are experiences are often more valued than those that are just a “thing”, so showing your sports fan that you want to share in that interest with them can be a great present.

For a free, online museum experience, I highly recommend Myseum, where you can read “micro-histories” on local people and places, like professional distance runner, Tom Longboat.

4. Vintage Sports Memorabilia:
Flip Collect

Original Wrestling Revue Vintage Wrestling Magazine (March 1964)
1964 wrestling magazine

ABOUT: “Located in Toronto, Flip Collectibles Shop comes well equipped with 30 years of closely tied market experience. We are your one stop shop for all types of sports and pop culture trading cards and collectibles.

The Flip suite of products include retail store and various collectible trading shows that happen throughout Canada.

We buy, sell and trade sports cards, memorabilia, investment collectibles, vintage pop culture items, and more! We are your premium source in Canada for high end graded sports cards and unopened vintage wax boxes, and we are also vintage wrestling specialists.

We offer same day curbside pickup and immediate delivery through all delivery channels.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: You’ll be shopping local and buying vintage!

WHAT WE LIKE: They have a range of items, dates and prices, making it easy to find something to match your person, and your budget.

5. Sport-Themed Wall Decor:
Blueprint FX

Boston Fenway Park Stadium vintage style blueprint art. Sizes image 1

ABOUT: Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, this online Etsy shop sells vintage-style prints of blueprints, sports and patent designs.


SOCIAL IMPACT: It’s a Canadian-owned small business.

WHAT WE LIKE: These are great for a sports fan who wants to reflect that in his decor, without having all the loud, contrasting colours that typically go with sports teams and their memorabilia. A good compromise if you’re living with a non-sports fan.

Got something you think should be on our list?
Let us know in the comments.

How To Find The Perfect Vintage Lingerie

Get some tips and tricks for finding the perfect vintage lingerie for this week’s #sustainablesunday!

If you’re a fan of true vintage clothing, chances are at some point or another you’ve tried something on, and even if it fits, thought “something isn’t right…

Chances are, the thing you’re lacking is the right underclothes.

Vintage women’s clothing was made with the assumption that you were wearing specific garments underneath – chances are this included a corset or girdle. While the styles changed with the decades, the desire to shape the female form into something it was not stayed fairly consistent through the 20th century (and before). You can read about the changing styles in our previous post, here.

A late 1930s girdle advertisement.

The same can be said, though to a far lesser extent, about men’s clothing. If you’ve ever tried to put on a pair of vintage trousers over some baggy boxers, you’ll know what I mean. Similarly, a lot of shirts look strange without an undershirt underneath as their fabric is too transparent, and even then it is clear they assumed you’d wear a jacket or blazer, otherwise the outline of the undershirt is clearly seen.

When we did The Rear Window back in 2019, we visited Gigi’s House of Frills to learn all about vintage underthings, and I can tell you the difference to silhouette is incredible. While the dresses already looked lovely on our actors, the addition of a bullet bra and girdle stepped it up to Hollywood glam levels.

There are many places in the city and online where you can find authentic vintage lingerie, but I highly recommend your first stop be Gigi’s. She is not only lovely and knowledgeable, she carries the widest range of sizes I have ever seen for underwear and lingerie. If she doesn’t have true vintage in your size she will have a modern alternative that is sure to work.

When it comes to buying vintage lingerie, there’s a few quick tips I would share to make the process go smoothly;

  1. Sizes Change: sizing hasn’t always been standardized, and when looking at vintage patterns or clothes sometimes the number can be a bit of a shock to your system because you’re judging it by the sizes we use today. If you can’t try something on, make sure to at least read the measurements and not assume that the number listed will give you an accurate idea of fit. For example, this helpful article explains how someone who was a size 14 in 1937 would be a size 8 in 1967 and a 0 today.
  2. Most People Were Shorter: we tend to think that everyone was smaller “back in the day”, but that’s not really true. Just as slim men and women today get more representation in the media and in stores, the same could be said for the 1920s, 40s, 50s etc. So while data suggests that there are more overweight people now than there were then, that isn’t to say that everyone was super tiny like the actors we picture from golden age Hollywood. Rather, the materials we have left today are more likely to be what was most produced then, and so it’s easier to find pictures of slim people, and clothing in smaller sizes. It’s really a numbers game. What has increased across the board (in Canada at least) is people’s average height. This means when you are shopping for vintage stockings or girdles, if you’re on the taller side (as I am), it can be hard to find something with the right fit. I often find my torso is a bit too long for pieces I would otherwise be able to fit. I don’t have any great advice for this other than to just remind yourself that there’s nothing wrong with you if you’re having trouble finding something that works, it was just made for someone at a very different time.
  3. Fabrics Were Different: those of you old enough to remember the days before lycra in jeans will have an easier time with the unmovable, unforgiving fabrics from days of yore, but today most clothing is made with so much stretch we don’t have to give much thought to the fit provided it is in our size. Compared to Spanx, vintage girdles can feel like a bit of a torture device, but when you get used to getting them on and off many people find the fit not at all uncomfortable, and I think they do a FAR better job at shaping, if that’s what you’re going for. If you’re new to vintage shape wear go for something that is adjustable, whether with lacing or multiple hooks, as even something that “fits” can be a bit extreme for someone new to the game. And if you see something that says it was “cut on the bias”, that’s a good thing. That’s the old-timey way of making something have a bit of give, and is the closest you’ll find to stretchy material in a lot of vintage wear.

So there you have it! A quick rundown on vintage underclothes. They’re fun, they’re glamourous, and they’re sustainable because as we always say, the most sustainable item is the one that already exists. So shop vintage.

Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Film Buff

1. A Vintage Movie Date:
Revue Cinema

The Revue circa 1935. Why the large marquee is no longer there, they’ve worked hard to maintain its original charm.

ABOUT: “Discover what the Revue Cinema is all about. A unique Toronto cultural treasure with a vibrant historic past and an unwavering community commitment. We are dedicated to presenting programs which appeal to wide-ranging audiences of different age groups, diverse backgrounds and varying interests that reflect the ever-changing local community and the Greater Toronto Area.

The Revue creates community by bringing people together as we strongly believe in the power of shared experience. Our presentations engage, entertain and elevate as we strive to bring the best of independent, cultural, Canadian, documentary, current and classic cinema to our big screen.

We believe it’s our role to offer the community something different, whether it is to ensure great films from the past are not forgotten, important but less commercially successful films are properly recognized and special events from a range of cultures and interests have a venue for exhibition.

The Revue provides opportunities for people to discover, explore and learn through film, arts and culture. We program over a thousand screenings per year. Approximately one third are enhanced events which range from specially curated film series, multi-cultural film festivals, Q&A’s, panel discussions and conversations with experts, co-productions with talented exhibitors, artists and musicians, and rentals where the Revue provides the space and the staffing to support outside organizations (often not-for-profit) to run their own event, screening, or fundraiser.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: The concept of a “community theatre” doesn’t really exist today outside of a few places, like the Revue. Here you can see more than just the big blockbusters (though they play those too) – you can see little known or forgotten films, attend discussions, sometimes even performances (like our Christmas pre-show a couple years back), it really is a space for the community to come together.

WHAT WE LIKE: We love that the building maintains a lot of its original charm, and that, even where things have had to be updated, they’ve held on to the old stuff (like the original stage) that we hope one day will be fully restored. The prices are cheaper than a chain movie theatre, the movies are more interesting, popcorn is better and really, the screen size is the same as the smaller ones in the big multiple room theatres. Why ever go to Cineplex when you’ve got this?

2. DVD Classics:
Eyesore Cinema

You know kids, before there was “Netflix and Chill” we’d go pick something out at a rental store and awkwardly inch closer on the couch in our parent’s basement.

ABOUT: “Rare, Import, Out of print, Specialty DVD, Bluray and 4K rentals and Sales – We do special orders!!! Books, Magazines, T-Shirts, Posters, Special Event Space and Cinema, Local Event Tickets, Fine handmade baked goods! This is a real place, an actual, tangible environment where human beings interact in person. A place where knowledge is exchanged, opinions are debated and relationships are born. Sure, you can live in a cultural vacuum of entitlement, virtual hedonism and solipsism… but for some, nothing can replace reality for true joy, edification and a sense of community! Oh, and we also have movies!”


SOCIAL IMPACT: The place for the edgy film lover in your life, Eyesore is a great place to meet and hang out with like-minded individuals, something that gets increasingly difficult to do as we get older. Plus, it’s one of the few places that still rents out movies, something we wish wasn’t going out of style!

WHAT WE LIKE: This is where you go to find some great cult classics, and I don’t mean Reefer Madness, I mean that out-of-print, totally obscure B film you saw once in a college film class and can’t quite remember the name of. They’ve got cool stuff and are very different than most other shops in town.

3. Vintage Movie Posters:
Hollywood Canteen

Lights! Camera! Movie posters! Mike Orlando's memorabilia shop has kept old  Hollywood alive since 1984. | The Star

ABOUT: Hollywood Canteen opened in the 1980s and since then has been one of the top spots in the city for all things movie memorabilia. They’ve got posters of every size, reproduction and original, a huge selection of hard-to-find DVDS, props, merchandise – you name it. Most years you can find their booth at the CNE as well.


SOCIAL IMPACT: This local shop has been going strong for decades, and really proves the value of having specialized stores with owners who know (and love) their stuff. You may find the odd gem at Sunrise, or spot what looks to be a good deal on eBay, but if you want to be sure you’re getting the real thing, or need help finding what that “thing” is, you can’t do better than stopping by to chat with the experts. We need to nurture local speciality shops, they are few and far between.

WHAT WE LIKE: Don’t let the dated website fool you, this place is THE stop for vintage movie posters and merch, and the owner really knows his stuff. I highly suggest you visit in store, just check their COVID procedures first.

4. Film-Inspired Fashion:
TCM Shop

Product Image
I’ve seen lots of film-inspired socks but never one focused on the prop department!

ABOUT: An affiliate of Turner Classic Movies (the company that owns the rights to the vast majority of golden age classics), this is pretty far from the local businesses we’re going to put most of our focus on. BUT, it is with good reason. They have a gigantic selection of films and some unique items like these socks, dog collars and more.


SOCIAL IMPACT: Turner Classic does ensure that audiences have access to a huge selection of classic films, and they organize interesting themed weeks or months, and often have informational programs on as well. So, less of an impact than some on the list, but we do see the value in preservation of our classics.

WHAT WE LIKE: TCM has every movie you can think of. All of them. Yep, even that one. Ok, maybe not new releases, but if you’re looking for something from the silver screen or golden age of Hollywood, chances are you can find it here.

5. Books On Cinema Behind-The-Scenes:
A Different Booklist

Danger on the Silver Screen
A different booklist has a wide range of film books, including ones on Indigenous filmmakers, cocktails from movies, the porn industry – you name it!

ABOUT: “A Different Booklist is an African-Canadian owned bookstore showcasing the literature of the African and Caribbean diaspora, the Global South and all the major publishers and small presses.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: This small local business is Black owned and operated, and features a range of literature including titles you are unlikely to find in big stores like Chapters.

WHAT WE LIKE: While they showcase literature of the African and Caribbean diaspora, don’t let that make you think there’s nothing for you if you aren’t a part of those groups. This little shop carries books on EVERYTHING, and they have a lot of really focused, unique titles, as well as the ability to search for literature written by Black Canadians.

Got something you think should be on our list?
Let us know in the comments.

Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Book Lover

Part 1 of our 12 days of vintage-inspired gifts is for the book lovers on your list.

Part 1 of our 12 days of vintage-inspired gifts is for the book lovers on your list.

1.Lit Inspired Fashion & Accessories:
Out of Print Press

Out of Print Press carries clothing and accessories inspired by classic lit in a wide range of genres.

ABOUT: “Since 2010, Out of Print’s mission has been to spread the joy of reading by transforming literary classics into bookish apparel and accessories. With every purchase, you help us to donate books and support literacy programs around the world.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: “Out of Print has donated over 5 million books to communities in need and supported a variety of literacy initiatives. With every purchase, you help us to make a difference, while also supporting the authors, publishers, and artists who helped bring these iconic works to life.”

WHAT WE LIKE: Out Of Print Press carries for book lovers the equivalent of band tees for music fans, and much more. Their stuff wears well, they’ve got every genre you can think of, and a range of products and prices to match every budget. Plus, their clothes come in a full range of sizes, from a XS to 4XL, and typical tee fits as well as “relaxed fit” for something a little looser.

2. Vintage and Antique Books:
Acadia Books


ABOUT: “We buy and sell antiquarian, out-of-print and used books. We are long standing members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association Canada (ABAC). We guarantee the authenticity of all the material which we offer for sale. All books are as described, have been collated and are guaranteed to be complete unless otherwise stated. Our store is located in downtown Toronto.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: Not only will you be supporting a local small business, you’ll be gifting something pre-loved, and we al know the most sustainable item is the one that already exists.

WHAT WE LIKE: It’s vintage books! What more can we say?

3. New Books On Old Things:
Spacing Store

Books about Toronto architecture, history, design and more can be found at Spacing.

ABOUT: “Spacing has been creating unique and award-winning Toronto-centric products since 2004. In 2014 we opened our permanent brick-and-mortar shop at the legendary arts and culture hub 401 Richmond. Our store works directly with local designers, artists, and makers to offer a selection of merchandise like no other shop in Toronto. Whether you’re visiting the city for the first time or have been a long-time resident, the Spacing Store has something for you to help celebrate this city.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: Spacing is a locally run business that works directly with local artists, designers and makers, so not only are you getting something truly unique, you know that it is actually help support the people behind it.

WHAT WE LIKE: Pretty much everything. There’s a ton of books about local history, fun little Toronto-inspired things like mugs with raccoons and cityscape tea towels, and all of it is really slick. Nothing here is cheap or gimmicky, even if it’s a little silly. It’s all good quality, unique, and perfect for any proud Torontonian (or a friend of one).

4. Book Tracking Bookmark:

Library Book Card book mark Tracker Vintage look Thick image 1
“Old-school” library card bookmarks.

ABOUT: From her Etsy page: “Hi there! Welcome to my shop Lewillowbean. My name is Thao and I live in Ontario Canada. Lewillowbean is an online craft shop filled with various items such as bookmarks, button pins, stickers and invitations. Each item is handmade and designed by me. They are stocked in limited quantities and take time to create.I hope you enjoy browsing my shop and if you need any help please feel free to message me.”


SOCIAL IMPACT: The store is run by a young Asian woman from Ontario who makes and designs all the pieces herself.

WHAT WE LIKE: This fun little Etsy shop sells adorable little bookmarks, stickers, keychains and the like. Several of her items have a fun vintage vibe, and most others are kawaii. I love the idea of a bookmark that you can track the books you’ve read on – she’s got a few styles, including the one above and this one. Plus, they are all really low price, so they make either great stocking stuffers or a little something for someone on your list.

5. A Blind Date With A Book:
Secret Little Book Shop

Blind date with a book  GOODIES  bookish gifts  mystery image 1

ABOUT: From her Etsy shop: “Feeling a bit bored and wanting to go on a cute date? Look no further than you’re very own little blind book date! All books are in what I call, BBN condition, or, basically brand new! I choose books that have little to no: smells, wear/tear, and ones that are rated well on Goodreads! Feel free to send me your Goodreads list so that I can cross-reference the dates you’ve already been on and which we do not want to go on again! All ‘dates’ come with some little goodies for you to enjoy! These goodies change depending on stock available! 🙂

You choose the genre, I make the date. Deal?”


SOCIAL IMPACT: You’ll be supporting a small, woman-run local shop that introduces people to pre-loved books they may have never thought to try.

WHAT WE LIKE: The idea is adorable. Perfect not only for book lovers but for a hard-to-shop-for person as well, because the concept is so unique. The wrapping is beautiful and we love to see used book being loved again!

Got something you think should be on our list?
Let us know in the comments.

Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Top 12 Types of People on Your Holiday List

How to find vintage inspired gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Sometimes people think of vintage lovers as a group unto themselves, but really we come in all sorts! This holiday season, check our lists for some vintage-inspired gifts for every sort you can think of, from sports fans to fashionistas, we can help you inject a bit of that retro style into your gift giving.

  1. The Book Lover
  2. The Film Buff
  3. The Foodie
  4. The Sports Fan
  5. The Fashion Lover
  6. The Makeup Lover
  7. The Music Lover
  8. The Homemaker
  9. The Gamer
  10. The Writer
  11. The Drink Connoisseur
  12. The Kid At Heart

These will be posted over the next week or so – follow us on Instagram and watch our stories to see when the next one is released!

Got a type that’s hard to shop for? Want some retro inspiration?
Let us know in the comments.