Mode à Montréal

What an exciting few days it’s been!  This past weekend I got to practice the little French I know as I spent a glorious three days in the city know as the fashion capitol of Canada, Montreal.  I was there for the preview of Katherine Barclay’s fall and holiday collection and while the collection all around was hotter than ever, the temperature outside was not.  I quickly learned that the most important accessory to own in the beautiful city of Montreal is a scarf! Fortunately, in the historic part of old Montreal, where I was staying at the decadent Hotel Nelligan, scarves along with a large assortment of stylish finds are easy to come by.

Hotel Nelligan

Among the quaint bars and tasteful restaurants along the Rue Saint Paul Ouest, you can easily find an array of unique boutiques to wander in and endless treasures to find; however, once you step outside onto the street you will immediately be surrounded with a street style so unique to Montreal alone.

I feel as though every country and especially regions within those countries have their own style.  London has well tailored men and effortlessly stunning women, Paris has its lovely couture, couture, and Montreal offers a sense of raw fashion truly mixed with one’s own individuality.  It’s almost impossible to notice but while millions of others spend thousands of dollars on the best of the best in the fashion world, Montreal citizens have a knack at faking it! They can take an inexpensive consignment shop find and style it to make it appear as though it had just been snagged off the front shelf at Bergdorf’s or Simons.

Montréal-ers don’t seem to necessarily taking part in the latest trend, having to have what everyone else has or dress as others do. In my experience, I find that Montreal citizens look at clothing more as art, mixing patterns, wearing a daring item, and turning the gaudy into gorgeous.

So what’s on trend right now in Montreal, you may ask? Well, as difficult as that can be to pinpoint, some things are simply a given.  It’s time to invest in the perfect parka!  Whether you’re into fur hoods, wide cut body silhouettes, or military galore, there is a parka out there for you, and ones strong enough to manage Montreal temperatures.

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

Don’t forget about your lower half! One of my favorite items to own right now is a pair of warm leggings and it definitely doesn’t hurt if they look cute too! Nordic patterns are bigger than ever and look great with a pair of knee high boots and oversized turtleneck sweater. For en edgier look, try a pair of faux leather leggings (if you don’t like all leather, opt for Ponte knit leggings with leather accents) and pair it with a chunky knit sweater.

To embrace your more artsy side, pull in some color-block into your wardrobe, but don’t simply think of color-block as geometric shapes with 90 degree angles. New color-block offers different size shapes and styles all thrown together with a beautiful palette of complimentary colors. If the mod color-blocking 60’s style isn’t for you, try adding some jacquard to your look with an intricately designed sweater or cardigan.

Zara

Lucca Couture

Even though the weather doesn’t suit well for above the knee skirts and dresses, I say, “Weather be damned!”   We needn’t wait until spring to dust them off from our closets! I urge you to not forget the importance of tights! No matter what country you are in, if the weather permits, tights are a genius fashion addition for any body type. And bonus – with all of the designs out there from glittered to lace, to polka dot, there is one (or five) pairs out there for everyone!

Ashley Olsen

If you are ever able to visit the beautiful city of Montreal, I recommend visiting the historic downtown and Notre Dame Basilica. And if you so happen to visit during Montreal’s cold season, prepare yourself with mittens, gloves, hats, and most importantly a unique sense of style!

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