About Sarah

 

Sarah Francis is a fashion addict with a serious shoe fetish and a penchant for shiny things.  She's the Director of Real Life Runway and Official Stylist of Vaughan Mills. Her work has appeared in some of the country's top magazines, newspapers and TV shows.  Oh, and she loooves to shop. Obviously.

 

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Entries in Canadian Fashion Blog (5)

Tuesday
Jun272017

CANADA D'EH | Wear Your Maple Leaf on Your Sleeve This Canada Day Weekend

via Roots

It's almost Canada Day, eh? While it might not feel like summer quite yet, we're ready to turn up the heat this weekend. From our epic backyard barbecues with our besties to singing around the campfire, Canada Day is all about spending time with our favourites and celebrating our brief but oh-so-beautiful summer season. This weekend, perhaps more than most, it's time to wear your maple leaf on your sleeve. Read on for 15 ways to shop Canada from some of our fave Canadian retailers, whose history just might surprise you. Happy Canada Day lovelies! xx

 

WEAR CANADA | RED FROM REITMANS

DID YOU KNOW | Reitmans was founded in 1926 by Herman and Sarah Reitman. Since its modest beginnings, this publicly owned, family-controlled business has evolved from one women’s clothing store on Boulevard St. Laurent in Montreal to Canada’s largest women’s specialty retailer. 

WE LOVE | Halter Ruffle Dress, $64.90, Reitmans

 

WEAR CANADA | A BEACH BLANKET FROM BOOTLEGGER

DID YOU KNOW | Bootlegger was founded in Vancouver in the late 60s when jeans were taking over the fashion world. It began as the General Pant Company, offering the best assortment of jeans in town - but was often confused with General Paint Company. So, its founders met at a pub (how Canadian, right?), changed the name, and over 40 years later, it continues to be one of our country's fave places to shop for clothes. 

WE LOVE | Canada Day Beach Blanket, $40, Bootlegger

 

WEAR CANADA | A PRETTY LITTLE LAYER FROM DYNAMITE

DID YOU KNOW | Groupe Dynamite, with its two brands, Garage and Dynamite, operates over 400 stores in 10 differents countries and now employs over 6000 people. The Dynamite team creates, designs, and markets in Canada, then distributes the collection to its large network of Dynamite and Garage retail stores worldwide. 

WE LOVE | Long Overpiece Blazer, $44.90, Dynamite

 

WEAR CANADA | FLORALS FROM SUZY SHIER

DID YOU KNOW | The first Suzy Shier opened its doors in 1966, making it one of Canada's longest-operating women's retailers. Since 2010, Suzy Shier has donated over $100,000 to the Weekend to End Women's Cancers and is proud to donate women's clothing in support of women's shelters and causes throughout Canada every year. 

WE LOVE | Curve Appeal Floral Ruffle Peasant Top. $32, Suzy Shier

 

WEAR CANADA | TENTREE APPAREL AT BOATHOUSE

DID YOU KNOW | Boathouse began in 1973 as a small clothing store in St. Catharines, Ontario. Known locally as Arlies, the shop specialized in active lifestyle apparel and equipment, catering to outdoor thrill-seekers and sports enthusiasts. The stores eventually expanded across Canada to more than 80 stores nationwide, and is now known to most as Boathouse. 

WE LOVE | Tentree Apparel Hooded Sweatshirt, $76, Boathouse

 

WEAR CANADA | YOGA JEANS FROM JEAN MACHINE

DID YOU KNOW | Established in 1976, Jean Machine was born out of a passion for denim. Jean Machine employees aren't just salespeople, they're 'Masters of Denim', educated and trained on every brand and style to help its customers find that perfect pair every time. 

WE LOVE | Yoga Jeans Highrise Bootcut Jeans, $119.99, Jean Machine

 

WEAR CANADA | TRAVEL ESSENTIALS FROM MOUNTAIN WAREHOUSE

DID YOU KNOW | Mountain Warehouse has been an outdoor gear go-to for the family since 1997. If you've shopped there, you may have noticed that the store doesn't carry lots of different brands - almost all the products sold through its stores are exclusive to Mountain Warehouse. By designing its own products, Mountain Warehouse cuts out the middleman so its customers score the same quality, but at significantly lower prices than you’ll typically find at other shops.

WE LOVE | Canada Luggage Strap, $6.99, Mountain Warehouse

 

DRINK CANADA | CANADIAN TEA FROM DAVIDsTEA

DID YOU KNOW | DAVIDsTEA opened its first tea shop on Queen St. in Toronto in 2008. In only 9 years, the company has grown to over 200 stores in Canada and the United States, with over 150 types of tea. If that wasn't impressive enough, DAVIDsTEA offers the largest collection of organic teas and infusions in North America. 

WE LOVE | Oh Canada Tea, $7.98 for 50g, DAVIDsTEA

 

WEAR CANADA | A RED DRESS FROM LE CHATEAU

DID YOU KNOW | Le Château was started in 1959 as a family-run clothing store in downtown Montreal. Today, it employs over 2500 employees and produces 30% of its garments annually in its very own production facilities here in Canada. 

WE LOVE | Lace Illustion Cocktail Dress, $139.95, Le Château

 

WEAR CANADA | MADE IN CANADA MOCS FROM SOFT MOC

DID YOU KNOW | Soft Moc began as a single 300 sq. ft. store called 'The Canadian Moccasin Company.' Today the store operates 112 stores in every province nationwide, and remains one of the only Canadian owned and operated national footwear retailers. Its Made in Canada moccasin line is still available at each of its Soft Moc stores. 

WE LOVE | Women's Made in Canada Mocs, $109.99, Soft Moc

WEAR CANADA | A SUN HAT FROM RICKI'S

DID YOU KNOW | With more than 130 locations across Canada, Ricki's has become known for its fashionable and versatile workwear. Ricki's offers its clothing in sizes 0-18 and pants in multiple lengths to fit a wide range of women's bodies. Aside from its commitment to fashion, Ricki's has raised over $1,000,000 to help the Canadian Women's Foundation's End Poverty for Women campaign, which helps prevent violence against women, helps build the self-esteem of girls and helps low income women get out of poverty. 

WE LOVE | Here Comes the Sun Floppy Hat, $24.90, Ricki's

WEAR CANADA | SHOES FROM SPRING

DID YOU KNOW | 45 years ago, Aldo Bensadoun - son of a shoe merchant and grandson of a cobbler - pledged to build a company with compassion. Today, ALDO Group has over 20,000 associates worldwide with over 200 million customers visiting its 3 retail banners every year.

WE LOVE | Clear Sunglasses, $11.99, Call It Spring

 

WEAR CANADA | A 'NICE' TEE FROM ROOTS

DID YOU KNOW | Co-Founders Don Green & Michael Budman might have been born in the US, but they each developed a lifelong love for Canada during their summers spent at Camp Tamakwa in Algonquin Park. They moved to Toronto and founded Roots as a natural footwear company in 1973. As for the name? Don happened to be flipping through a friend's biology textbook when the word 'roots' caught his eye and he loved the idea of how a person's feet are connected to the ground like the roots of a tree. Roots remains a leader in the retail industry with its continued support of environmental initiatives.

WE LOVE | Women's Nice Short Sleeve Tee, $34, Roots

Thursday
Feb022017

LOVE ON THE BRAIN | 18 Valentine's Gifts To Make Them Swoon

Pretty in pink Ray-Bans via Sunglass Hut

There's nothing better than love. Sigh...I mean, what's not to love about love? From new relationships to weathered, old ones - er, I mean, deep, lifelong, stuff-that-movies-are-made-of ones - Valentine's is about celebrating that most important 4 letter word. I'm talking about love. Love is patient, love is kind, and love demands presents from time to time. Or is it just me who demands them? Anyway, it's complicated. Let's let these sweet, swoon-worthy gifts do the talking for me today. Clearly, I'm so smitten that it's making my mind foggy. Hmmm...must be love on the brain...

 

WHY IT'S A WIN | Whether you're in a new relationship that calls for something sweet but not too personal, or you're looking for something little to give your fave tea-obsessee, this box of beautiful tea blends is sure to warm her heart. Like a box of chocolates, only way more 2017. 

WE LOVE | Box of Hearts Tea, $35, DAVIDsTEA

WHY IT'S A WIN | You met her on Tinder and your swiping days were officially done. This super cute tee will remind her of how you met while giving her wardrobe a fun little boost. 

WE LOVE | Don't Ask Why Graphic Tee, $20, American Eagle

WHY IT'S A WIN | Namast'ay the best gift-giver ever with these luxe yoga treats for your fave yogi. A beautiful S'well bottle and a cool reversible mat will make her think of you every time she downward dogs. 

WE LOVE | S'well Bikini Pink Water Bottle, $54.99, Jean Machine; Gaiam Reversible Yoga Mat, $34.99, Sears.

WHY IT'S A WIN | No woman can resist a perfect black bag, and we're particularly smitten with the luxurious woven leathers from Roots. To make it personal, clip a little red heart key ring to it to show your love. 

WE LOVE | Mini Woven Zoe Bag, $248, Roots; Red Heart Key Ring, $18, Roots

WHY IT'S A WIN | There's nothing more romantic than poetry but since most of us can't get far beyond 'roses are red', might as well leave it to pro, Pablo Neruda. Want bonus points? Pour a glass of wine, cuddle up by the fire, then read these sweet nothings to your muse. 

WE LOVE | Love Poems by Pablo Neruda, $15.95, Coles

WHY IT'S A WIN | They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but judging by the level of excitement my husband showed when I bought him a lithium ion drill last year, I'd say tools go straight to the heart, too. This Valentines red tool cabinet is a handy-man must and will make the perfect addition to his garage/man-cave this V-Day. 

WE LOVE | International Classic Series 6-Drawer Tool Cabinet, $199.99, Sears

 

WHY IT'S A WIN | The world is a pretty troubled place right now - I mean, it's enough to make the most optimistic among us get a little low. A pair of rose-coloured glasses serve two purposes: they're super on-point and will help her slay her OOTD's, plus they'll quite literally help brighten her view of the world. Win!

WE LOVE | Ray-Ban Flat Lens Pink Sunglasses, $235, Sunglass Hut; Quay Supergirl Sunglasses, $74.99, Jean Machine

WHY THEY'RE A WIN | It can be tough to shop for a trend-setter. After all, what do you get the girl who has everything? Valentine's is the perfect chance to embrace the theme - a pair of girlfriend jeans (these ones are embroidered with the word 'love' - I mean, come on!), or new red shoes will make her style-loving heart swoon. 

WE LOVE | Vintage Hi-Rise Jean, $92, American Eagle; Red Hi-Tops, $90, ALDOPatent Pointy-Toe Pump, $85, ALDO

WHY THEY'RE A WIN | When it comes to romantic gifts, nothing tops sparkly jewels. Whether you're on a budget (um, yup) or have loads of expendable income to spare (um, nope), pretty jewellery comes at every price. If you want to keep it affordable, go for something sweet and thoughtful like this stackable heart ring, and if you're ready to splurge, it's all about the diamonds, baby. 

WE LOVE | My One True Love Stackable Ring, $90, Pandora; Vera Wang Love Collection Rose Ring, $1699, Peoples 

WHY IT'S A WIN | This time is year is the perfect time for a little escape. Whisk your love away - to a local B&B or NYC, it doesn't matter where - and make it a surprise. Tell them what to pack inside their beautiful new luggage, arrange babysitters for the dog or the kids (or both) and then take off for a few nights of adventure. Sigh...is there anything better than that?

WE LOVE | Colorado Tribe Leather Bag, $378, Roots; Samsonite Hardside Luggage, $209.99, Bentley

WHY IT'S A WIN | If you're going to do a dinner date, might as well make the most of it. 11 of Greater Sudbury’s independently owned restaurants have teamed up for Localicious, letting you try out a new resto while giving back to the community. Localicious restaurants are offering a delicious prix fixe lunch and dinner menu, with monies raised donated to our local NEO Kids campaign. Grab your Valentine and head out for an early V-Day dinner since Localicious ends this weekend. Of course, once Localicious is over, a reso at your fave restaurant is always a surefire way to celebrate your love.

WE LOVE | A Localicious dinner for 2

Friday
Oct072016

SWEATER WEATHER | 30 Luxe-Looking Sweaters That Won't Ruin Your Fall Budget

via Rocky Barnes Blog

While I'm already mourning the loss of this fall-that-feels-like-summer, the cooler weather ahead does have a silver lining: sweater weather. There's nothing like tossing on a cozy knit on a brisk day to feel all those fall feels. In my swingy long cardigan, I won't have to wear a coat while picking pumpkins with my kids. In my XL sweater, leggings and Timberlands, I can conquer a fall hike in style.  And in one of this season's off-the-shoulder knits, I can still feel the sun on my skin, just for a little while longer. 

While you'll never go wrong investing in a quality knit, it doesn't mean you can never save on sweaters. With the right construction, good yarns and thoughtful details, some of this season's sweaters are surprisingly affordable. Before you buy, check the knit in the light. Is it already pilling? That's a good sign that your sweater won't last. Next, look for any holes and stretching at the hem and shoulders. A poor construction means the sweater is likely going to stretch out of shape after a few wears.  Finally, check the label and look for either a cotton, merino wool or wool blend. Acrylic is okay but ideally try to find an acrylic that's been blended with better fibers. Sure, you might not find a luxe cashmere for under $100, but the good news? A blend is usually machine-washable. You might not want to part with $200 for a bright red sweater but at $40, it's definitely worth the risk. And if you fall in love with a certain sweater and love how it fits, a lower pricetag lets you buy it in grey AND in black. Yup. Silver linings all around. 

Happy Thanksgiving and happy sweater weather!

xx