One of my earliest posts on the Toronto Scoop was about my raw denim jeans. I bought a pair of Nudies in January 2013 and was going to see how long I could go without washing them. (You can revisit that post here to learn the mechanics of raw denim and why a person would want to do that.) I bought those jeans at Holt Renfrew Last Call at Vaughan Mills just before it closed permanently, but the first time I saw the brand was at Over The Rainbow. This has been Toronto’s go-to spot for premium denim for over 40 years, and the first store I ever shopped at in Yorkville. Back in high school my friend Steph and I used to excitedly take the subway downtown from the west end of Toronto for fashion adventures, and she was all about this store. I loved it too and being 5’2″, their on-site alterations were a game-changer for me, and where I learned that an original hem was an option. I still have the first pair of jeans I ever bought there, dark washed Mavis that very much fit the 90s low-rise aesthetic.
In 2018, the family-owned Over the Rainbow moved from its Yorkville location to the Manulife Centre on Bloor. On a recent trip to Eataly I decided to pay it a visit and while it doesn’t have quite the same vibe as the 101 Yorkville shop, it definitely has all the denim. There are dozens of styles and brands to choose from, for all shapes, sizes, and inseams.
As for my 2013 Nudies, I made it to just over a year and had to wash them. I had managed to spot clean my frequent coffee spills but a soy sauce splat necessitated a gentle spin through the washer. I wore them for a couple more years but they didn’t hold up like my Mavis or my 7 For All Mankinds, which are still going strong well into 2023. But I will always appreciate Nudies for being one of the first brands that introduced many of us to raw denim and wearing our jeans for months without washing them. Over the Rainbow and all their glorious denim is located downtown in the Manulife Centre at 55 Bloor St West, Toronto.