Eva B is not your average thrift shop. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed upon stepping foot through its heavily graffitied doors. However, if you’re willing to dedicate an hour (or an afternoon) to exploring the boutique, you’re sure to be rewarded with vintage finds that’ll inspire envy within even your most sartorial friends.
Whether you’re new to buying used clothes or if you’ve hunted through dozens of Montreal’s vintage boutiques (check out some of our recommendations), Eva B redefines the thrifting experience. From the mini glasses of cider and bags of fresh popcorn offered on the house, loud music of all genres (minus anything found on a Billboard chart), eccentric mannequin decorations, and the commotion of fellow shoppers and the occasional friendly dog, it’s easy to imagine yourself as a modern-day Alice wandering in a vintage Wonderland.
If this description has you feeling a bit uneasy, relax — there’s a calmer section in the back of the store that’s filled with plush seating and accompanying peace of mind, as well as a patio if you’d like a breath of fresh air. Conveniently, Eva B is also a bistro bar, where you can get a cup of Fair Trade coffee and some veggie samosas for mere pocket change. Craving something more substantial? There’s always a variety of hot entrées, sandwiches, and home-made desserts available that’ll satisfy your appetite without making a dent in your wallet.
While the first floor offers a variety of vintage/gently-used clothing and jewellery for men and women, the close-quartered mayhem might not be for everyone. If you prefer a less hectic environment, venture upstairs for a more organized layout. Think racks in categories such as black dresses, animal print, and leather jackets. Among this level original pieces by local designers can be found at a slightly higher price than the rest of Eva B’s wares, most of which ring in at less than 20$. Although Halloween has passed, Eva B has a massive selection of costumes in the basement. The layout is similar to that of a labyrinth but you’d be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive collection of articles such as cowboy getup, Victorian nightgowns, uniforms, wigs, and period-specific wear. These costumes are rental only- perfect for hosting events like a 1920’s Flapper themed cocktail party.
So who is Eva B? The namesake of this unique boutique remains a mystery; however, as a concept Eva B stands out unapologetically against fast fashion culture. Though thrifting isn’t for everyone, it’s more sustainable and can be much more affordable than keeping up with the latest brands and trends. There’s a bit of Eva B in each of us: the side that craves adventure, rejects conformity, and embraces individuality.
Even if the idea of secondhand shopping makes you squeamish, steel yourself and bring a friend. As the owner suggested, it’s best to get a feel for the space yourself. Trust us, and head to Eva B (2015 St. Laurent Blvd) to experience the Plateau’s wildest thrift shop.