My Top Picks of 2021
This has been another interesting year in the world of style. We slowly moved beyond strictly pandemic loungewear (though admittedly I'm wearing a velour sweatsuit as I write this!), and many of us started to get excited about getting dressed up a little again. Over the past year, I discovered some fabulous brands that will compliment and suit a range of style personality and lifestyle - no matter what phase of normal we are in. I'm excited to share them with you! If you see anything in the image above that speaks to you, you can view my complete shopboard with links here.
Here are some faves, in no particular order.
Canadian Designer: Hilary Macmillan
Hilary Macmillan is a womenswear brand based in Toronto, Canada. On their site they describe the clothing as "versatile contemporary pieces in timeless silhouettes". The brand focuses on using high-quality, cruelty-free fabrics (I love their vegan leather!) pieces in bold colours and textures with the modern-day consumer in mind. Not only is there a focus on cruelty free, they have inclusive sizing ranging from XS-4X. This year I purchased this amazing pink trench, a cream vegan leather pencil skirt and a navy velour turtleneck. All feel like elevated, stylish, unique basics which suit my current wardrobe goals.
ai (pronounced ah-ee: means children/daughters in Korean). is a Toronto based, sustainable fashion brand that carefully curates and produces PETA-Approved vegan handbags and accessories. Run by a mother and her 3 daughters who work with artisans in Seoul.
My first experience with this brand was when I purchased one of their linked mask chains when we finally went back to school in-person in September, 2020. Since then, I've worn it almost every day (cost-per-wear!). And, it is hands-down the piece I own that receives THE MOST compliments. No matter where I go, someone always asks about it. Looks like we'll be wearing masks for a while to come, so I'd highly recommend adding this to your accessory collection. They've got a range worth checking out.
The brand is also known for it's handbags. Last summer I purchased an everyday crossbody bag which I absolutely love. It's in a beautiful robin's egg blue and withstands the Vancouver weather very well. You can see it here. Just this week, a dear friend gifted me the Esse (which feels like an updated fanny-pack style you wear cross-body) . I've also had clients purchase the Walker and Park handbags. Everyone has loved what they've received!
Warren Steven Scott is a contemporary accessory and fashion designer originally from White Rock, BC. currently living in Toronto. Scott is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, whose territory is located in the interior of present-day British Columbia. I first purchased a pair of the mirror earrings and have followed up with an orange feather pair. One of my clients has started to build a small collection! There are so many gorgeous colours and they make a real statement. Such an easy way to amp up an outfit and add some personality.
Another family run business from Toronto which has quickly become a real favourite. Named Thursdays, because they receive new merchandise every Thursday; they carry pieces with all ages in mind. I'd describe it as elevated, cool basics. To me, it often has an Aritzia-vibe, while offering something a little different that you aren't going to see everywhere. They've been a real go-to for me this year as I've been updating my wardrobe (particularly the basics). I've ordered a couple of their waffle knit pj sets, crinkle pants, tanks, sweatshirt dress, a gorgeous pink blouse (I'm wearing below styled with their crinkle pant), wide-leg jeans and an insanely comfortable velour jogger set that I am currently wearing as I write! Highly recommend having this brand on your radar.
This company from Montreal was created as a result of the founder being so frustrated by how quickly tights would snag, rip or tear. So she set out to create more durable tights that would last and serve the wearer well over time. They've created their own knit which is truly amazing - and feels quite indestructible! They even send along a swatch of fabric and encourage you to try and rip, tear, cut it - it really stands up.
As someone who gets frustrated every season with how quickly I go through tights, I decided to give this brand a go. Yes, the sticker-shock is real when you realize you are paying around $100 (or more) for a pair of tights. But, I have to say - mine have been worth every dollar. I have worn them so many times, washed them in the machine and haven't had any issues. I got mine on a Black Friday Sale and went for a black style with some texture. You can purchase on-line, or if you live in North Vancouver; Cuervo Boutique (another local gem and favourite) has been carrying the brand in store.
Ok, this brand isn't new to me. But, what is new, is how they have really increased the style game in their footwear. I LOVE their range of stylish sneakers and boots. And, as someone who frequently visits her podiatrist, comfort is key when it comes to footwear. And, you don't need to sacrifice fashion! They don't have half-sizes, so I often size up and put in a half in-sole.
If you aren't familiar with Trinny, I'd highly recommend following her on Instagram for her "Closet Confession" videos. Trinny was one of the hosts of the UK version of "What Not To Wear". Not only is she full of personality, she is so knowledgeable in the arena of style and fashion. She also has a skincare and makeup line which now ships to Canada. I LOVE the BFF cream (with SPF 30) as well as her easy to use makeup. As someone who doesn't spend a ton of time on her makeup, I really appreciate the ease of application!
This brand has been on my radar for a while, but more recently as they just opened up their first stores in Canada: one in Park Royal and one in Yorkdale. It is owned by the parent company of Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy. Athleisure is no longer a trend, it's here to stay - and works very well with a pandemic lifestyle. Not only does this brand carry stylish, affordable, functional pieces; they are size inclusive (XS-3X) and have a strong focus on sustainability.
I'd love to know if you discovered any favourite brands recently, or if you give any of these a try!
Wishing you all the best for 2022!