BEST OF OTTAWA – Boutiques
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A mutual passion for retail led sisters Angie and Amanda to create their Little Italy shop to bring new brands to the capital and form a contemporary place where fashion and conversation collide. Named after their Uncle Vincent, it pays tribute to his artistic potential and uncompleted works. Giving back to the local community is also an integral part of Vincent’s values. They host a drop off for The Shoebox Project, throw a bi-annual clothing drive benefitting Dress for Success and collect funds each December for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation.
Viens Avec Moi
Viens Avec Moi is polished nonchalant French style at its best, fitting since founders and long-time friends Renée Morra and Sophie Beaudoin came up with the idea for the boutique on a vacation to the South of France. Everything about the shop is a sort of European chic. Located in a repurposed house in Hintonburg, shopping here feels like being in the home of your most fashionable friend. Though the name was chosen to be” youthful and playful”, Viens Avec Moi was designed with mothers and daughters in mind, purposefully catering to both generations.
If you’re searching for something truly different and unique, look no further than Schad. The bright and spacious Sussex boutique sells men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. They celebrate Canadian brands and pair their designs with other labels from around the world, including Aurum Activewear, Des Petits Hauts, Eberjey, Happiness Is…Canada, The Sleep Shirt, John Varvatos, Naked & Famous Denim, No Name Saint and Theory. Staff are a beacon of fashion advice, offering the perfect educated second opinion.
Walking into Victoire is like stepping into your edgy but elegant older sister’s walk-in closet. With a self-described aesthetic of “Rock ’n’ Roll tea party”, they are adept at combining the kitschy with the classic, managing to make both the décor and merchandise quirky yet chic at the same time. The boutique prides themselves on being the little bird that tells their customers about under-the-radar or emerging Canadian designers. Since their opening in 2006, they now have multiple locations in Ottawa and Toronto that showcase brands such as Birds of North America, Oneself, Eleven Thirty and Betina Lou.
Red Velvet founder Martine got her love of fashion from her hometown of Montreal. After training in design at College Lasalle and spending six years refining her taste while designing for Louben, Martine opened her Elgin Street boutique in September of 2002. Showcasing a lovingly curated mix of local and international brands, the goal of Red Velvet has always been to provide high quality clothing and service. They focus on elevating the personal style of “urban career women,” using fashion to highlight your personality and creating classic looks to help you stay stylish for years to come.
Tucked into the Clarendon Courtyard in the Byward Market, Roadtrip is a hidden treasure. Their merchandise rotates quickly, with new styles sourced from all over arriving each day. Labels are an eclectic combination of local and international designers, including includes Cupcakes and Cashmere, Mavi, Paige, BB Dakota, Gentle Fawn, Fidelity and RVLT. Up-and-coming indie brands are hung next to well-known names. The shop is light and airy and the overall vibe is relaxed. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable, always willing to help you find the perfect look for you.
Frou Frou specializes in the wild, bright and colourful. Just off of York Street and Cumberland in the Byward Market, this is the place to be if you’re looking for sundresses in loud patterns, purses in bold shades or the ideal statement jewelry for a night out. Both the décor and the clothes are the definition of fun and feminine. They’re famous for their stellar service and their frequent crazy sales, making your shopping experience as seamless as possible and helping you score the best possible deal.
Three Wild Women
According to the founders of Three Wild Women, located on Richmond Road, life is already stressful enough without adding shopping anxiety to the list. Their mission is to make the shopping experience enjoyable, making the lives of busy women a little bit easier. They offer something for everybody, selling sizes 2-18 and 1X-3X. You can also ask their knowledgeable staff for a one-on-one styling session with their expert staff. Three Wild Women is perfect for those looking to make a statement with something unique and fashion forward.
At women’s fashion boutique Cantas, individuality is paramount. The shop goes to great lengths to make sure that customers are never caught wearing the same thing as anyone else, importing European collections seasonally and only selling one of each style per size and colour. Merchandise at Cantas includes everything from casual everyday clothes to wedding dresses, with a range of going-out outfits and business attire in between. One of the best places for formal wear in the Byward Market, it’s a great place to hit up with your graduating daughter on the elusive search for a prom dress.
Founded in 2006, Ottawa boutique Trustfund specializes in the chic but relaxed, carrying many labels that embody the casual luxury favoured by trust fund babies and Upper East Side dwellers. The prime location on Sussex sells clothes and accessories for women and men from brands like Matt & Nat, Hunter, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Velvet, Yumi Kim, Scotch and Soda, Amanda Uprichard and Fred Perry. The shop aims to inspire shoppers as well as help them discover new brands, helping them express their own personal taste while adding a trendy touch.