For the holiday season, Vancouver offers no shortage of small and stylish boutiques. They each present a wide range of products that would look good under any Christmas tree and would make any host happy. It was not easy to take just one pick from each store as we assure you there are many more treasures where these came from.
Nouvelle Nouvelle. With two locations to pick from, in Gastown and on Main Street, this modern store offers simple yet elegant garments, accessories and cosmetics. There are many options for the cool host who has everything or for the hipster friend who hates the word “hipster”. Our pick: the Black Amber Soap will not only hydrate and exfoliate your delicate hands, but it will also match your LBD.
Hey Jude. This Gastown store comes with an environmental message. It styles vintage pieces into little romantic seasonal collections. Even if you do not label your style as vintage, we bet you may find a few pieces that draw your attention because of their contemporary feel. Our pick: Coco Rose Body Polish will leave your skin exfoliated, hydrated and ready to par-tey.
Strathcona. As far as originality goes, it cannot get much better than with this brand. It was created by artist Ryley O’Byrne and it specializes in limited-edition socks with all kinds of whimsical patterns and designs. This is the best way to brighten your day or bring a smile on a friend’s face. Our pick: Magic Mushroom Stockings feature so many types of mushroom that they are fun to look at no matter what you ingested.
The Board of Trade Co. This Chinatown store features unapologetic, innovative designs. It has a strong collection of menswear, but it also sells lovely women’s accessories and housewares. Their collection of one-of-a-kind Shino Takeda ceramics sells out fast, so get your hands on what is left before it disappears. Our pick: these handmade Shino Takeda speckled bowls are simple yet sophisticated.
Bailey Nelson. This is a visionary company with five stores in Canada, but also Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Their mission is to provide stylish eyewear at affordable prices. The level of craftsmanship is only matched by the store experience, that does not recall that clinical, doctor-office space we all know, but it is populated with friendly, accommodating staff. Our pick: the Camille sunglasses feature feminine cat-eye lines that flatter all face shapes.
One of a Few. As the name shows, this store takes pride in a curated collection of clothes and footwear brought together by value and beauty. It features new as well as established designers from around the world. The store itself is cozy and inviting, so it is hard not to be charmed as soon as you step through the door. Our pick: the Rachel Comey Leeds shoes are elegant and comfortable at the same time, with their chunky heels that work well for office or for an evening event.
Leah Alexandra. The idea for this store came when Leah Alexandra discovered how to source gemstones from all around the world as a jewelry buyer. The jewelry is classic and works as well with an evening dress as with a casual outfit. Celebs like Reese Witherspoon wear it and it has been featured in magazines like InStyle and Vogue. Our pick: the Turquoise Bezel Bracelet features an adjustable golden cuff and an arresting stone that is bound to accent any outfit.
Oak + Fort. This Vancouver store is quickly expanding across Canada and the US, but its online store ships worldwide. Its style marries minimalism and creativity, and suits the modern woman who loves architectural lines. You can use one of these simple pieces as a canvas to build on with just one accent accessory or statement shoes. Our pick: Coat E22 will cheer you up with its bright colour, and its volume is well suited for layering over a classic dress or a pair of jeans.
Neighbour. This started as a store catering to the creative man in search of quality unique clothes, accessories and objects. This is still the case, as it can be seen from the extensive number of brands carried in store, but in spring 2015 Neighbour also opened a location for women just steps away from the original one. The second stores carries the same elegant, clean design and abundance of excellent brands. Our pick: Kimono Puzzle Socks — the only thing more interesting than their fun design is their quality.
Wardrobe Apparel. If you a jet-setting career woman you cannot miss this store. It dresses you from head to toe and prepares you to face your busy day in style. Its collection is eclectic, and you cannot really go wrong with any pick. Our pick: Finlay & Co Draycott sunglasses not only feature an edgy design, but their innovative double lenses can scale the level of brightness.
These are just a few of the numerous boutiques waiting for you to admire their merchandise this holiday season. Enjoy the abundance and do not forget about the pop-up stores that grace us with their presence for a limited period of time, such as the Mine & Yours pop-up on 3012 Granville, just until December 23.