I admit it. I have a habit of frequenting the larger retail stores in the city – H&M, Forever 21, and ZARA are just a few of the stores I shop at regularly. But on occasion, I crave a different kind of experience.
One that doesn’t have me entering a store filled with rows and rows of the same cardigan. A shopping experience that’s more intimate and inviting, allowing me the opportunity to truly find something special; an item that only a few are privy to.
That’s when I head to some of my favourite boutiques in the city, where I’m bound to find something that isn’t being purchased-on-repeat by the masses.
When I first moved to Vancouver, I lived in the South Granville area and because of that, it came as no surprise that I became very familiar with the local shops. During that time, the pop-up store The Lastest Scoop was the new kid on the block.
The store originally started as a pop-up boutique that only opened for two seasons (summer and holidays) and only for a few weeks. However, it was such a success that the store on South Granville has turned into a permanent fixture (there is also a second location in West Van). This boutique features an ever-changing mix of fashion and lifestyle gems and I have yet to enter and leave here empty handed. One unique feature that you should mentally prepare for – communal changing rooms (if you ask, private changing rooms are also available).
Barefoot Contessa has two locations in Vancouver- Commercial Drive and Main Street. The Main Street location has been around since 1999 and is known for being the place-to-go for beautiful and feminine pieces, especially dresses. From lace to sparkles, prints and tulle, Barefoot Contessa is a girlie-girls dream boutique!
Beyond the lovely items the shop holds, which includes shoes, jewelry and more, the girls on staff have always been friendly and accommodating. Sadly, I don’t make my way over there often enough, so I get my Barefoot Contessa fill on their Instagram feed which they update daily with shots of new items.
I don’t know where I’ve been, but I haven’t been frequenting Yaletown enough because I just discovered Woo to See You this summer.
This boutique is a Yaletown gem, offering clothing and accessories from local, European and Asian designers that are on-trend and reasonably priced. Immediately, I fell in love with the Covet and Keep jewelry that features braille messages as well as, the eclectic sunglasses from Quay. If you are looking for unique pieces, definitely check out Woo to See You.
Oak + Fort makes luxury attainable. Featuring well-priced basics, the clothing line is known for neutral hues and minimalist designs making it a favourite amongst Canadian fashionistas.
8th and Main has gained such success with it’s Main Street store that it launched a second shop downtown late last year.
Both shops are huge and feature a wide-variety of mens and women’s clothing. They have a great selection of reasonably priced clothes that range from classic pieces to on-trend fashion and literally, everything in-between. Whatever you are looking for, there is a good chance you can find it at 8th and Main.
What are your favourite shops in Vancouver? Let me know! I’m always looking for hidden gems.