Season of Bricks and Mortar: Part 1, Montreal

I'm an online shopper. I live in a small city without many retail options and the few boutiques we have rarely stock my size in the items that interest me. From YLF I've learned to use my occasional big city trips as opportunities to check things out rather than to purchase, because even in the big chains, my size is seldom available in the colour I want, or not available at all in store. So I try things on and (as a rule) go home to order the proper size/ colour.

Well, never say never. This has been my season for bricks-and-mortar and impulse purchases. Aside from a few considered items that I picked up at NAS back in July, I've bought everything in store, in person, during the course of 3 big city trips when I had no intention of shopping at all! And everything I've bought has become an instant workhorse. 

I'll break it up into a few posts. First, in Montreal, at Sandwich (a Dutch chain but a stand-alone boutique here), I bought a HEWI --  a long sleeved casual dress. This is literally a sweatshirt but that is precisely what I need -- something so casual I could wear it to school if I want. I like the drop waist. It has great texture and pockets and in person an ultra subtle print like a starry night. Works with all my longer sweaters and with tall boots or booties.

I also bought this adorable knit military jacket/ sweater. Superb for travel, easy to wear. It has a slight peplum at the back. The only problem is, it's losing its buttons!! I've contacted them to see if I can get replacements; if not, I'll have to find substitutes. 

I also got two gorgeous scarves -- one blue/ grey, and one red/ blue.

Not only that, but I picked up some fantastic new sunglasses, and a pair of La Canadienne boots for everyday casual wear and my walks. I can only get the Find in leather, but mine are black suede and more refined looking than in the stock photo, while still having enough heft for our snowy weather.  (Penultimate photo -- casual Sunday with the boots). 

Oh, and because I can't resist, Mr. Suz with Leonard. They could be cousins, n'est ce pas? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Violettt replied 1 year ago

    Love the military jacket~ Very chic~, I bought a purple corduroy one which looks exactly like this one you show in Paris recently, and I adore it~ So different and unique. All your pics are very nice~One thing I notice about Canada is that it has such a French influence which is fab~

  • La Belle Demimondaine replied 1 year ago

    Suz, I LOVE all of your outfits <3      Whatever your intents or goals are, with regards to shopping, you seem to always land on just the right pieces for your needs and your aesthetic.

    YES, Mr. Suz looks just like Leonard!   Does he sing?

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    LBD -- sing? might call it that...let's just put it this way. If Leonard sings, ironically, "I was born with the gift of a golden voice," then Mr. Suz would have to be ten times more ironic! :)

    Violettt, yes Montreal has a distinctively French flair in fashion, adapted to the weather, of course!

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    Suz - two fantastic pieces from Sandwich! I am a huge fan of this line and have a fair number of pieces. A great little boutique a few blocks down the street carries it , and I have good luck with fit and quality. It's priced really well too.  I'm surprised by your choice of suede for our winters - do they not get salt and water stained?   I"d like to see these in better light (my monitor is pretty bad, it seems) as I'm curious enough to consider them myself. Where did you buy them?

    And what a handsome shot of Mr S against the Leonard Cohen wall art! 

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Thanks, Lisa -- I have had a few Sandwich items from a local boutique (imagine that!) and always liked them so I was thrilled to see an entire store of the stuff. 

    These are La Canadienne waterproof suede. I got them in the Sherbrooke St. store at an exorbitant (but probably worth it) price. So far, so good. I just brush them off when I come in. 

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    I admit to not realizing there was such a thing as waterproof suede . I don’t really look at those brands in stores - and have clearly missed something .

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    I now own two pair of waterproof suede (ish?) boots. One from Aquatalia and these. The Aquatalias were amazing (and remain my most worn bootie because they can be dressed up or down -- they're in the photos, too) and I can wear them in rougher conditions...but they're no longer truly waterproof. Not the boots' fault. I got hit with some truly vicious weather in these. On an early outing I was in puddles up to the ankles -- there was no avoiding it -- one of those freak fall storms. I dried them out afterwards and hoped for the best, and they did seem to recover for the most part, but after a few months I noticed that long outings in wet wet weather might mean a bit of dampness in one foot. Even so, it takes an hour or more in heavy rain for anything to seep in. I try not to wear them in rain that severe but sometimes when travelling have had no choice. (Hello, Vancouver in March last year.) 

    The La Canadiennes are new so it is harder to say what the longevity will be. Because it's a rubbery lug sole I think they will be more durable on the bottom -- the others have a more traditional sole. That's how water gets in, really -- at the seams. 

    You can see in the picture they've had salt/ sand etc. on them -- I didn't really give them a proper go-over. Was tromping around for miles in the snow in them yesterday before taking the picture. 

  • Sal replied 1 year ago

    How nice to see some more WIW.  It sounds like a great little spell of shopping.

    I love the new clothes and boots - especially love the jacket.

    I have done very little online shopping for clothing this year - last year I did a fair amount.  I have two mid range labels where I know my sizing, know the quality level and where online works well.  But for those smaller labels it is so fun to support local boutiques.

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    WOW. All KILLER items and so very you.

    I just love you in Fire Engine Red. It's your best colour of all time. Sublime. 

    I'm thrilled Suz, that despite a stressful and hectic year, these beautiful items fell into your lap and became instant wardrobe workhorses. Meant to be. 

    The military jacket is perfect with the culottes. 

    Mr. Suz is more dashing than Leonard. GREAT pic. 

    Lisa p, YES. Aquatalia, Blondo, PG and La Canadienne make waterproof suede. Miraculous product. 

  • anne replied 1 year ago

    Suz they are great finds!! And wonderful outfits. And mr Suz is very handsome! Is picture 10 both the dress and the jacket together on the mannequin?

    I also want a sweatshirt dress. And now I think I'd like a jacket like that too.

  • Runcarla replied 1 year ago

    Interesting about your good luck with B&M shopping. I'm a die hard B&M shopper, but was wondering if I should make a foray into on-line in 2018.
    The grey scarf is amazing with your hair colouring and the jacket is just plain fun.

    Looking forward to the next instalment of your shopping adventures.

  • lisa p replied 1 year ago

    Yes, thank you Angie ! Out of my price range unfortunately - psychologically as much as literally .

  • FashIntern replied 1 year ago

    You look wonderful in all of these, so light and at home in your clothes. Nice that Mr Suz wears lilac so well.
    About online shopping vs brick & morter: could be that you know your style/ what you’re looking for better than you did when you used to shop in b&m stores.

    About waterproof suede: there are sprays for that. It’s been a while since I had a need for such a thing. I recall applying it periodically over the winter and also wiping/brushing off suede boots, as you mention.

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    You look fantastic in all of these and are really inspiring, because you dress to suit your casual lifestyle, yet look extremely stylish and pulled together. You and Mr Suz make for a very beautiful couple. That picture with Leonard is priceless!

  • Elle replied 1 year ago

    Aren't sweatshirt dresses wonderful.  I bought one at a sample sale and wear it almost every week. Yours looks very elegant.  All your purchases look very stylish.

  • shevia replied 1 year ago

    As gorgeous as you look, and really Suz you are on fire, that picture of Mr. Suz and Mr. Cohen is amazing. I hope you will frame it and hang it up at home. They are certainly cousins in dapper, at the very least.

  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    Suz, each piece looks perfect for you and for your lifestyle. You did well.

  • Katerina replied 1 year ago

    Great pieces, all of them! You look great in every picture. Very stylish!

  • The Cat replied 1 year ago

    Great finds, Suz. And you look fab, as always. Charming photo of Mr. Suz and Leonard Cohen!

  • approprio replied 1 year ago

    Instant workhorses indeed! That jacket is super cute and you can't go wrong with a cozy winter dress. It's been a while since I looked at Sandwich, their knitwear looks very promising.

    Here's a thought: does a spell of online shopping make us better B&M shoppers? Or do we just get better at backing winners as we get older?

  • Mirjana replied 1 year ago

    WOW, Suz, all items are beautiful and each piece looks perfect for you. I especially love dress with red, it is your best color I think, red suits you so wonderful.

  • Style Fan replied 1 year ago

    You did very well Suz.  I have always loved Sandwich and was very excited to see that there was a Sandwich boutique in Montreal.  The military jacket is great and so versatile.  And red is a great colour for you.
    Love the picture of Mr Suz with Leonard.   

  • Chris987 replied 1 year ago

    Wow, big SCORE! I know you have worked hard on your wardrobe for several years and it's great to see how once you are in a good place overall, it can be easy to add a few pieces that become instant workhorses.  

    Love your reviews of wintery gear, I always learn so much from your postings, especially footwear.

    Love your photo of Mr Suz.  I see that you are not the only one in your family with a leaning toward prepster style :-) Does he have a singing voice like Leonard's?

  • unfrumped replied 1 year ago

    Such a fab lineup. I love that dress and all the versions! And the short jacket- just the thing for culottes.
    The Mr. Suz pic is amazing.

  • cindysmith replied 1 year ago

    Love these! You look so chic

  • Isabel replied 1 year ago

    Just AMAZING. Darn, you have so NOT lost your mojo and instinct for style. Fantastic.  

    Coincidentally, though I have not bought much this year, what I did buy was also from stores. I have actually enjoyed going to stores and actually touching the stuff.  For the last seven years or so , I was overwhelmed in stores and malls. 

  • chouette22 replied 1 year ago

    Such excellent shopping! All outfits look so fab! The military jacket with the culottes is perfect. I ordered the red one after your last post, let's see how it will work out for me. 

    The pic of monsieur Suz is just great!

  • Janet replied 1 year ago

    Love your new items! Especially that jacket. I'm glad you were able to find perfect items in person rather than online -- somehow the experience is even better when you can walk out of a store with it! And I really enjoyed the photos on location. :-) Mr Suz looks just as stylish as Mr Cohen! 

  • texstyle replied 1 year ago

    Fantastic all around Suz!  Love all the items and outfits on you. Great to see Mr. Suz lol.

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 year ago

    Gosh you really do look fabulous in every photo.I can’t pick a favourite.That s freaky how much Mr. Suz resembles Mr Cohen,has he thought of an alternative career?

  • Christina F. replied 1 year ago

    This is all great, but I agree with Angie that the bright red looks are particularly awesome. Love that red scarf!

  • MsMary replied 1 year ago

    Such a plethora of fabness! I agree with you that sometimes you just have to get out of the house and actually SHOP! I've found pieces in the actual stores that I would never have dreamed of buying online! Well done, Suz!!

  • annagybe replied 1 year ago

    Wow great looks

  • Elizabeth P replied 1 year ago

    What great finds, Suz!  They slip so seamlessly into your wardrobe and style... hey, much like Angie's bog post today.  I'm intrigued by this brand, and must keep an eye out for it around here.  I wish it was easier to find out where lines like this are sold.

    Looking forward to Part 2 :)

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Thanks, everyone!

    Some notes: 

    Sandwich is available in quite a few Canadian boutiques as well as this main stand alone store in Montreal. They cater to over 40 women, which I guess is me but I actually liked some of their stuff when I was younger, too. 

    Mr. Suz (alas!) has an awful singing voice. He sounds more like Neil Young than Leonard. But yes, he is the Prepster Chief in our family. 

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 year ago

    Wonderful all around! Smashing in red, as usual. Hope my own DH ages into wearing colour as well as yours does. That lavender shirt! :)

  • harmonica replied 1 year ago

    Your shopping skills are amazing! I'm in awe. All pieces have a modern classic Suz vibe and you have styled them wonderfully. Red is a gorgeous a colour on you.

  • JAileen replied 1 year ago

    I love love love your military jacket. The dress is cute too. I always love your outfits. (I've copied you several times.) Mr Suz does look like Leonard Cohen.

  • Deborah replied 1 year ago

    Suz that's fantastic shopping.  The outfit in #7 is perfection.  Love what you have bought this season and the jacket and dress are both great items and I can see you wearing them to death :)   It's such a lovely experience to buy in an actual store.  To be able to try on, touch the fabrics, chat with the SA... I think it all adds to the experience of purchasing.  Like you tho, I am now actually purchasing on line 99% of the time.  Our shopping options are SO limited where I am.  Ok if you like fast fashion and chain stores but so little else. I think the last significant purchase I made in store was in September.

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    An update -- Sandwich is sending me buttons to replace the ones that I have lost! They were super quick to respond! 

  • FashIntern replied 1 year ago

    That's great! I hope you get a few extras as well...

  • replied 1 year ago

    You lucked out with the military jacket. I love the details and the fact that it’s BLUE! Yay!
    Super dress and boots.
    I am wearing the heck out of my LaC’s and developing a strong loyalty to this brand.

  • Eliza replied 1 year ago

    Wow! Nothing tenative about your fashion pursuits, Suz. Each look sings for its purpose and is so you. Love the read and the military jacket. The bonus pic of Mr S is terrific.

    About waterproof suede: Aquatalia does an amazing job- my black suede ones look new after 5 snowy winters. I was confident enough to try a pair of light gray suede ones this year; fingers crossed. About the price point, options likely vary in Canada, but the Aquatalia brand is now often on sale at Nordstrom and I have found some pairs at the Rack (including online) at 50% off. Still an investment, though the longevity compensates somewhat. Years ago, I rarely saw a good sale on them. Now, it may be worth an occasional search.

  • Janet replied 1 year ago

    I agree, Eliza. My Aquatalias were a deep discount at Rack maybe 2-3 years ago and they are fantastic. It's definitely worth keeping an eye on the sales for Aquatalia. I've never done a thing to that suede and it's weathered (literally) all kinds of conditions. 

  • Suz replied 1 year ago

    Thanks, Eliza and Janet. The Bay sometimes puts them on sale at end of season for a really good price -- and then there is always NAS, where there are usually at least 2 stellar pairs of Aquatalias on offer -- if they happen to be the style one is after, it's a lucky day!

    Deborah, thank you -- so nice to see you!

    Smittie, many thanks, and YES -- the LaC's really inspire loyalty, also. I love both brands!! 

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