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Where do you shop?

Christmas decoration on defocused lights background

Happy Holidays

Shopping season is in full swing. As you prepare for Christmas or Hanukkah, I’m interested to know where you shop for friends and family.

In most cities, the really interesting boutiques are the small, independent shops in trendy (or not so trendy) areas. Here you will find unique brands and lines that don’t dominate the mall. You’ll also find knowledgeable help to select merchandise that fits your needs – especially if you’re gift shopping.

Online shopping is a game changer. I find there are really good online offerings at some of the US’s major chains, especially specialty shops for plus size and big & tall. Canada’s selection in these categories is very limited. Check out Macy’s for a great selection of reasonably priced clothing. Saks and Nordstrom are strong contenders in designer fashion. All ship to Canada using Border Free – a service that calculates exchange, duty and taxes which you pay at checkout. It’s hassle free!

While I can’t compile a list of independent shops for every city, here are some thoughts for the Edmonton area:

124 Street

  • Shades of Grey
  • Floc Boutique
  • Pear Tree
  • Vespucci Ladies Consignment

Downtown

  • Who Cares Wear?
  • Workhall Studio

Whyte Ave

  • Gravity Pope
  • Bamboo Ballroom
  • Lola’s
  • C’est Sera
  • Galibelle (for interchangeable shoes)
  • Avenue Clothing Co.

St. Albert

  • Bella Maas Boutique (also in Sherwood Park)
  • Cerulean
  • Modern Eyes

Southgate Centre has a great mix of chain and independent stores.

West Edmonton Mall has a luxury row that includes Tiffany, Kate Spade NY, Marc Cain and others.

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My favourite brands

vintage shoppingDo you have favourite brands that you gravitate to when shopping? Is it the fit? The silhouette? The style?

Most often it’s all three, but many women don’t consciously understand why the choose the styles they do. Fit is king. It’s the absolute number one criterion for selecting clothes. Silhouette and style are related to your style personality: how you express yourself through fashion.

When you understand your style personality, you can quickly see the brands who make styles to suit you. For me, I’m a cross between an Elegant and a Romantic.*

Elegants are chic dressers, typically in monochrome, for whom pearls, diamonds and gold are accessory musts. Elegants love high fashion brands with sophisticated styling:

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St. John

CH spring 2013

Carolina Herrara

Chanel, Hermes, Carolina Herrara, Oscar de la Renta, Burberry and St. John. These are my “dream” brands. When that lottery win comes in, I know where I’m headed! In the meantime, I can achieve similar looks with Ann Taylor, Elie Tahari, Anne Klein dresses, or the Ralph Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein mass lines.

 

Romantics love lace, ruffles, florals, and details, details, details. It takes a practised eye to ensure that fashion choices don’t migrate to boho or costume – something that can easily happen. Romantics look to Marchesa for inspiration, and shop at Anthropologie, and Francesca’s whenever I’m in the US.

Ted Baker sheath

Ted Baker

Ted Baker is probably the ultimate Romantic brand, known for its use of florals. I tend to express my romantic style through accessories and layers that might include a lace topper, for example, or a feminine Ted Baker floral handbag or pumps. Kate Spade also carries feminine, and sometimes quirky, looks that can make fun additions to an outfit.

 

*There are seven universally accepted style personalities: Sporty, Traditional, Elegant, Romantic, Dramatic and Alluring. If you want to understand your style personality, book a consultation.