Shopping report

I had an entire 3 hours of shopping time in the big city today and yesterday, whoo-hoo!!! 

Except it didn't turn out to be quite the spend-a-thon I might have hoped for. :)  I went to Bloor Street for about an hour on Wednesday evening and the Eaton Centre from 10 until noon today. 

Friends, I am learning why I shop online!

In all seriousness, it was lovely to have the time on my own to wander. It was great to be there in the morning today, when everything was quiet and serene. I got great service and had lots of space around me. It was fun to finger things and see colours in real life. 

But apart from my fun new jacket, I found nothing worth bringing home with me. :( 

I had ordered a few things from J. Crew but nothing worked except for a pair of shorts and a metallic tee. Either the size was off or the cut wasn't right or something. I will probably re-order the popover in a different size. It was not available in store. Nor were the Rayner jeans in my size. In fact, almost nothing was available in my size. 

I went to BR in two locations, in hope of finding those fun linen pants LisaP discovered -- no luck. Did not find anything else I liked, either. 

Went into both Zaras (Bloor and Eaton) and liked a few things in both stores, a least in theory -- but they did not have my size. 

Went into Massimo Dutti and saw gorgeous orchid coloured sweaters, etc., but do not need. 

Went to the new M0851 and enjoyed looking but was not crazy about unlined bags. 

Went into Club Monaco and was not tempted by anything. 

Went into Ann Taylor and did not fall in love with anything; went into Loft and tried the toile blazer but I needed a size down (or was between sizes) and they did not have it. It didn't look as good on me as the tweed jacket I ended up buying. 

Went into about 8 shoe stores and could not find bright shoes apart from a few total flats or sky high heels. Lots of lovely neutral shoes but I want a bright colour. 

So, what think you? Was this a fluke, or what? I'm going to get busy with some serious online shopping this weekend!!   :) 

Meanwhile, you see below the sum total of my spring/ summer refresh so far! 

What I want: 

  • Wide leg crop jeans/ pants (either, or more likely, both -- for pants, linen would be great or light cotton).
  • A few short boxy tops to wear with them. 
  • A bright red or fuchsia shoe or sandal, not a flat, not a loafer, but not a high heel. 
  • A red or fuchsia or yellow bag (should be easier to find)
  • A top with interesting sleeve detail
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.


  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Woohooo. Bringing home a Killer tweed jacket is prize enough. Love the sneaks too.

    Online shopping is simply getting better and better. I've done more of it over the last few years because of my size and fussy feet. I love to shop in stores - but there is soooo much more online.

    And isn't CM looking below par this season. Disappointing. I'm hoping it will improve next month. I liked a lot of J.Crew a few months ago and bought then. AT looks amazing but it's stuff I don't need right now.

    Enjoy shopping online, Sensational Suz.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks, Angie. I do feel lucky that online shopping is so much easier than it used to be, and with your recommendations, it's a lot less risky, too. I can also probably call Nordstrom and get things that way, which I might do after combing over your roundups. Zara is usually a great bet for me for trend items. I'll keep you posted! 

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Suz, I love your jacket. After seeing Angie's ensemble, and several people's outfits (kkards in particular) I *really* wanted a tweed jacket. I looked and looked online. I never saw yours, though. On a whim I went to a consignment store and found one from Ann Taylor. It's a little more colorful than yours, so I'm still trying to figure out how to style it.

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    Suz, did you cross the 2nd floor tunnel into The Bay? The shoe department (best-in Canada) is across from Top Shop, which always has cool stuff. H&M has some intriguing stuff. I speed window shop during lunch once or twice a week, but need an afternoon to really explore (I'm a slow shopper.). You did amazing for 2 hours.

    PS pic of what I bought yesterday!

  • Emily K replied 4 years ago

    The stock (or lack of it) situation is real!  Yet, it is still fun to go to the store to look at (and touch) items IRL.

  • Jennib12 replied 4 years ago

    Sorry to hear you didn't find everything you were looking for. I don't often have success downtown either. Yorkdale is my fave destination, although lately Square One in Mississauga has been good. It used to be my most hated mall, but I find it's improved and not too insane on weeknights, when I can swing it. Have you checked The Bay online for shoes? I find they have a better selection and the shipping is reasonable and fast!

    BTW, love the jacket!!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Oh, the Bay. Alas, I am boycotting them at the moment. They are usually my source for footwear and summer things. I love your new shoes, Carla! Fun!! 

    Jenni, I like Yorkdale, too, but not on the weekends so much...too busy then! And that is mostly when I am able to go there. 

    Emily, you're right -- touching the stuff definitely helps. And seeing the real colours, too. 

    JAileen, can't wait to see your jacket! I had one in pink tones about five or six years ago and I quite liked it but I admit it was harder to style and in the end it felt a bit too "soft" for me, plus it had a scooped neckline that was even harder to style than the round neck, so I passed it on. 

  • Jennib12 replied 4 years ago

    Ugh. Yes. Yorkdale on a weekend is crazy!

  • marija replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for your story!  I really dislike shopping because of my height.  And nowadays I rarely have time. 

    Back in the day I used to live at Bayview and Steeles.  Have you ever tried the Bayview Village Mall?  They have unique boutiques and some are owned and operated by designers who manufacture their own clothing lines!  BV also had some fab shoe stores.

  • replied 4 years ago

    I don't think your experience is unusual , sadly . Winnipeg isn't the biggest city ever , but it is about the 7th or 8th biggest market in Canada - and there are no bright coloured shoes as you describe . Even on-line . I'm after red sandals myself , and they are just not there . I like your new Ecco sneaks , but how did you get them through zappos?
    And as I commented earlier , that tweed jacket is a far better score than the Loft blazer ( as nice as that is ) . I agree with your experience at CM - I have gone from having most of my wardrobe bought from there to not having bought a single thing in the last year or so . Something is critically wrong there . Who is making clothes for discerning Canadian mature women ?

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    MWWH, Lisap. They've got Alfred Sung. And, Canadian Tire for belts, plaid, and cameo.


  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Marija, I have never been to the Bayview Mall. I live about 3 hours from Toronto. I used to live in the city but could always shop downtown or Yorkville in those days (when I could afford to shop at all) so didn't usually go to any of the malls. I will have to try it sometime! Thanks. 

    Lisa, I nabbed the sneaker Find from Zappos but actually bought from Ingledews. Now that Shoeme is gone (gasp!!!!) I will be using it and maybe that other amazing store you just found us yesterday, although I would like to try theirs on first if I could to see about fit. I am lucky to live near Montreal so maybe...

    I want red sandals too. I found a possible pair at Nordstrom on the web site (and on sale, too) but the trouble is, the reviews say they are not actually red in person, more brick orange. 

    I am really not sure what's going on a CM. I used to love them, too. Some of the stuff I saw today was very pretty in a theoretical kind of way, but I couldn't imagine wearing it. 

  • replied 4 years ago

    I think CM is going for the 28 year old fantasy customer. I'm done with them . Don't know Ingledews , or much about shoeme- I get what I love and need between Browns and Hudson Bay . I understand your boycott , but IT and her line are only the tip of the iceberg there and with any brand we buy . Anyways , I can imagine you in Eaton Cr with that little time and trying to get it all done . Been there and done that - usually unsuccesfully . I end up in Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn having WAY more fun :)

  • Firecracker replied 4 years ago

    Your finds so far are gorgeous and will be beautiful on you! It's too bad you didn't find more in person. I far prefer shopping in stores, but I agree that it's often hard to find what I want, except when I'm not looking for it!

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    Even though I have access to some pretty good shopping, I would love to have easy online ordering and returning. But the jacket and sneakers look especially good.

  • kerry replied 4 years ago

    Well that's disappointing even though you bought a beautiful jacket and some great workhorses. I live in Toronto (west end) but don't often get to the Eaton Centre. I do however have three other malls quite close to me (Yorkdale, Sherway and Square One) and I often find myself leaving empty handed. Since September I've stopped shopping online (trying to break a habit) but succumbed to J Crew online last weekend when they had 40% off sale items and free shipping. I really needed to replenish summer tops (something I seem to need to do EVERY summer). Why are summer tops so fickle?

    The other plus about shopping online is the reviews. Sure, when in stores you can feel, see colours, and try on but you don't find out how well something wears or how it launders. Reviews will sometimes share that info. Even when I buy in store, I'll go online and check out reviews to make sure.

  • Summer replied 4 years ago

    That sounds all too familiar, Suz!  I love browsing the stores, but I'm much more likely to find what I want online.

    I love your current purchases, though. 

  • Chris987 replied 4 years ago

    I can totally relate to your love of shopping in person for all the reasons you state yet needing to shop on line to get what you really want. I think the stores are catering to younger women and I'm never sure what "type" they are leaning toward but it sure is not me. As more and more women buy clothing online and don't spend much time in stores the selection in stores will just continue to shrink or get even more limited. It's that way for lots of other products too. I can't imagine buying a sofa or kitchen table online without being able to see it first but people are doing that.

    You got some lovely things! That jacket is perfect and I love your t and shorts. I wish JCREW sizing worked for me but it usually does not.

    Also interesting to hear about Club Monaco. I never paid much attention to them until I visited the store last Jan and do find the clothing lovely but it doesn't seem right for my real life.

  • kkards replied 4 years ago

    sometimes the shopping is good and sometimes its not....and even when its not, IMO its still easier than on line...all that guessing will it fit, should i order size X or size Y or both and know i'm going to return at least 1, what's the "real" color etc.....
    and you did get a lovely blazer....

  • replied 4 years ago

    I think you have a lot of discipline, not buying anything (edit: much) on a shopping excursion in TO!

    Good luck with online shopping. It seems like you're really focussed!

    Maybe "fun" non-neutral footwear is more of a summer thing?

    The last time I was in CM was in January, maybe, and I noticed that they have a lot of trendy cuts: cropped tops, cutouts, etc. that are hard to wear except for the younger crowd. But 20 year olds can't afford CM! What are they thinking?!

  • Karie replied 4 years ago

    Well at least you got a gorgeous tweed jacket! I haven't been wowed by much this spring, maybe summer will be better. I didn't even care for J. Crew's spring offerings, which is a first! 
    Being focused and not buying things "just because" is a positive thing. Good for you!

  • anchie replied 4 years ago

    I can totally relate. I rarely have time to go to the brick and mortar stores. Week days are out of question because I work late, then it is dinner and homework time. Saturdays are crazy busy at the stores and avoid it as plag. I usually run errands, do grocery shopping and household chores. And Sundays shops are closed and it is family time for us. So I do almost all my shopping online. But recently I had some time off during the week and went to a mall after long time. Was really looking forward to it, but it was a big disappointment. I did not like most of the things. Many shops I entered and left without trying on anything. I did not like colors and materials mostly. I did end up buying 3 items, but nothing exciting, just navy linen suit from Zara and white loafers.

  • Sisi replied 4 years ago

    Oh, Suz! How-I-understand-you! "I found nothing worth bringing home with me". Oh, how this sounds familiar! Anyway you made excellent purchases so far.

  • cindysmith replied 4 years ago

    I feel like all the major chain retailers all offer some variation of the same trends in their stores. It's basically a sea of sameness everywhere I turn. I have much better luck online too.

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    I find shopping such a feast or famine experience -- either everything works or nothing does! You still found some great pieces (lovely jacket and I love the sneaks).

    I have barely been in stores this year, but when I have, Anthro has been more successful for me than anywhere else. But more and more, I see why online can be preferable -- so many more options and sizes are available!

  • Murph11 replied 4 years ago

    FWIW, these red sandals are my surprise find! Higher heel than I wanted, but extremely walkable.

  • Staysfit replied 4 years ago

    Suz, your new tweed jacket is beautiful and looks like the sort of item that will be with you for many years. It is a clear shopping victory, and so worth the three hours spent.

    I do almost all of my shopping online now. It is very hard for me to find items that fit, in colors and cuts that I like, in local shops.

  • RobinF replied 4 years ago

    I find a lot of times when I am looking for specific items then I can't find them. But I much prefer shopping in stores where I can feel the fabric and try things on. It is disappointing to go with great intentions and come home with nothing.

  • Eliza replied 4 years ago

    Nice finds, Suz. Love the sneakers and the jacket looks perfect.

    I hear you on starting to find more online. Nordstroms nearby are severely edited compared to the more western locations I have been in, while I like supporting smaller local shops, there selection is narrow by design, and online sites with lots of reviews help prevent many missteps. Keep at it- you'll get there.

  • Christina F. replied 4 years ago

    I agree with smittie that it takes discipline not to bring items home just for the sake of it. I'm the worst at that, especially as I have to get things home to try with other things before deciding. I have gotten better about returning things but I wish I could edit more in store. So brava!

  • Inge replied 4 years ago

    Respect, Suz! You covered a lot of ground in only three hours and came home with that stunning tweed jacket!
    Also, I know it's not fun not being able to find the things on your want/need list, but in a way being able to clearly define what you do not want and need, and then actually putting that into practice while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores can be a very helpful exercise in itself - and one you succeeded at brilliantly.

    Also: I admire your restraint at Massimo Dutti's. Passing up those orchid-coloured sweaters while you love that colour (high five!-) and looks so good on you, couldn't have been easy!-)

    P.S. What style of bag are you looking for, Suz? And which shade of red would you like?

  • celia replied 4 years ago

    Your tweed jacket and sneaks look awesome. 
    I do feel your pain because I had the same experience at Eaton last week. Saw a lot of possibilities but either I didn't need them or the fit was wrong somehow. Online shopping makes me happier these days.

  • bonnie replied 4 years ago

    I agree that it is hard to find the right things in B&M stores. I would like to support them, but they just can't offer the selection that online stores can. I think I'm more discriminating now, and I know I don't have to settle for what's available. 

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    You did score a wonderful tweed jacket that looks fantastic on you!  It can be frustrating to try and shop so much in such a short time.

    I have a feeling more and more we're going to be forced to shop online. I do sometimes like to go in and try stuff on or return items when I've ordered several things from one store and don't want to ship a bunch of separate packages back and lose $$ I worry about shipping multiple items back in one box if they arrived in separate boxes - I'm always afraid they won't credit me for each of the separate items as I had it happen once.

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Suz, my "new" tweed jacket is a muted plaid, primarily navy with red/pink. It's very Chanel-ish, with lots of fringe and two patch pockets. I looked at the tag and it's all synthetics. I guess real Chanel jackets are probably wool, silk or cashmere, or maybe unicorn eyelashes. It was inexpensive so if I don't get much wear out of it, it doesn't matter. It's kind of an experiment.

  • Susie replied 4 years ago

    You are a speedy shopper! It's disappointing when you have things you need and are prepared to buy but just can't find anything. Though it's certainly good to be as discerning as you are now. You know what works for you and it's worth it to be picky.

    I really needed new casual knit tops this year and I did better online than in stores. Anthro was good for me especially since I could order petites in some styles which they never have in the store.  Shoes have been a combination of in store (department and specialty) and online from Anthro and Amazon. I did order several from Zappos but those didn't work. I too wanted a color sandal for work wear and got this Donald Pliner that is a pretty shade of cherry red suede.

  • replied 4 years ago

    It's too bad you didn't have more time - you could have gone down to Queen St W where the really good indies are - as you know.  I find more at smaller independent shops now than in the chain stores.  

  • Lisa replied 4 years ago

    This happens to me all the time.  I'll have time to shop and find nothing, then have no time to shop and find more than I can try on in a shopping session.  I have been doing better and better with online shopping although I still prefer to buy in the stores.  The selection online is considerably better than what I see in stores.

  • Jennib12 replied 4 years ago

    Suz, do you have a Nine West Shoe Studio near you? I haven't been in for ages, but I got an email from them today advertising 30% off everything and they had some great colourful heels in the ad!

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