Women in Vancouver are fans of high-low dressing and will not be denied that which they seek. Here are 10 stores – from department to cleverly hidden – that will satisfy all aspects of a well-rounded wardrobe. Athletic wear to pre-loved handbags, eco-friendly to fast fashion, edgy to sophisticated, don’t be afraid to mix it up and create a look you love by shopping at SD’s top picks.
First delight in the wonderland of ‘The Room’ where the dreamy Spring/Summer collections are hanging – the Ungaro, Carven and Katrantzou are especially stunning this season. Then explore Canada’s first department store which offers everything a woman needs from hosiery to high heels to hats. Not to be missed (in the basement) is LXR&Co, a delightful shop-within-shop with an ever rotating stock of pre-loved luxury handbags and accessories.
Image via Helen Siwak
Secret Location in Gastown
One of the most unique and intimidating shopping experiences in Vancouver. The playground of Carey Melnichuk, this voyeur’s paradise contains exclusive pieces gleaned from her world travels. Well trained in the various designers’ histories, the white-gloved associates will be pleased to show you garments, just do not touch anything you cannot afford to buy.
Image via @slocation
Nicole Bridger in Gastown
For the woman who wants to look ‘effortlessly chic’ and eco-fashionable at the same time. This home-grown label is only available online or at their rustic Gastown location. Do not mistake the natural uncomplicated look of the pieces as meaning cheaply made or with fast-fashion prices. These are slow-fashion garments made of ethically-sourced fabrics and majority of the pieces can be washed at home, eliminating the need for dry cleaning.
Image via @nicolebridger
Aritzia – Everywhere
This glitzy store is Vancouver born and raised. Aritzia has 9+ locations throughout the Lower Mainland that carry all the popular brands that a wide range of shoppers – from tweens to 30ish woman – love to buy including all the Talula Babaton incarnations, Wilfred, Community, J Brand, Citizens and Herschel.
Image via @aritzia
Zara – Everywhere
Zara will weather the ‘gluten-free’ t-shirt scandal as the seasons change and the fast-fashion shoppers from all generations will be returning to hit the racks hard for everything from cute shorts and sweaters to sophisticated work wear.
Image via Zara Canada
Dior – Downtown
Enter into the newest Dior and immediately you will be stunned into submission by the luxury handbags. This uber-chic brand introduces crinkled metallic finishes this season and the results are spectacular. The staff are impeccably trained and there are numerous art installations scattered throughout that double as seating to rest your weary eyes and wallets.
Image via Helen Siwak
Kate Spade – CF Pacific Centre & Park Royal
Spring is bringing out extra liveliness from the heart of Kate Spade. The signature shift dresses are available in soft pastels, florals and strong contrasting patterns but it is the accessories that will stop you in your track. Adorned with images and shapes of circus carousels, ice cream cones, popsicles, and Minnie Mouse, these affordable little trinkets will charm you into submission.
Image via Helen Siwak
Holt Renfrew – Downtown
Holt’s just announced a major renovation that will continue until 2017 – including more Chanel! Their lines are luxury (Vuitton, Yurman, Gucci, Prada, Dior and more), the perks are great (free bottled water or tissues anyone?) and if shoppers want to balance their luxury load with doing good, they can visit the H Project on the second floor and stock up on ecoluxury homewares and accessories ethically sourced from 3rd world countries.
Image via @holtsvancouver
Coach on Burrard & McArthurGlen at YVR
Hands down the most popular accessory company in the city. Literally every school aged girl and her grandma are tossing fabric Coach bags over their shoulders and wearing them with pride. The pricey leather ones? Now that is a totally different style story. Head to McArthurGlen for the discounted version.
Image via Coach
LOFT – North Van, Burnaby & Surrey
Part of the Ann Taylor family, LOFT offers women ( who are always on the go), looks that are classically stylish and not trendy. Garments are well made and this is evidenced by their lifespan. Not wear once and toss. Shoppers will always find great condition LOFT at consignment and thrift stores also. Affordable slow fashion at its best.
Image via @loft
Honourable mention has to go to Nordstrom. Seriously, the new downtown Nordstrom could/should be on every ‘Best of’ list produced for Vancouver when it comes to fashion and services but that would just be redundant. Additionally, Nordstrom has the best puppy biscuits available at the concierge because the store is pet friendly!