Holt Renfew & Seven for All Mankind Jeans

On Christmas Adam, May and I headed to Holt Renfrew and committed ourselves to a shopping trip that involved more than a cursory glance at their products. Although a friend of mine works there, I still get intimated – I feel that the clerks can see through me and know that I don’t belong amongst the racks of Marc Jacobs, DVF, and Theory.

My aim that day was to buy a pair of designer jeans. I have only owned one pair up to that point – a casual pair of James Jeans that I picked up on sale at Caban a few years ago. Since then, I have been considering other brands, and as of late have been gravitating towards Seven for All Mankind. The ‘original’ premium denim line, I consider it an entry-level label, particularly when compared with the pricier Citizens of Humanity, Rock & Republic, and True Religion designs. I wanted a classic pair that could breach the line between casual and dressy, and I thought the bootcut, New York Dark wash fit this bill exactly. Not dark enough that fading with subsequent washes would be a big issue, the jeans fit well, and with complementary alterations from Holt, would be ready for a night out on the town in a week.

The purchase was placed in a highly coveted magenta shopping bag. Honestly, I couldn’t say at that point which I was more enamored with – the jeans or the bag. I had read an article about Holt’s brand overhaul a few months ago, but was too far removed to understand and appreciate the allure of this image. After my own brush with the pink, however, I can say that yes, the bag can very well be a status symbol if treated as such (the fashion equivalent of a Starbucks cup, haha).

In January, I brought the jeans back after work one day to get them hemmed. While the clerk assisting me was quite helpful, I will say that I was disappointed with the other saleswoman on the floor, who quite obviously looked me up and down and did not hide the look of disdain on her face. It is moments like this that discourage future shopping trips at Holt Renfrew (Aritizia or City Centre Mall’s Get Set would be friendlier alternatives).

At any rate, I have enjoyed my Sevens so far, and while it may be an empty vow, I will try to contain new purchases of premium denim, at least for a while.

Soia & Kyo’s “Chelsea” coat

In the last month or so, I have been on the hunt for a wool coat. In hindsight, I should not have passed on an exquisite grey number sold at Banana Republic last year, as I’ve been looking for a replica ever since.
I’m not sure why I really only have one cold-appropriate coat, as the length of Alberta winters can easily excuse further diversity in this wardrobe area. Edmonton summers are abbreviated at best, and yet, I have at least five warm-weather jackets.
On Saturday, I wandered into Etzio on Whyte Avenue, and was immediately drawn to the black “Chelsea” by Soia & Kyo – a knee-length coat featuring an asymmetrical, full-length, two-way zipper and belted waist. The major selling point for me though was the collar, which can be worn in two ways: with an open neck (scarf optional) for dressier occasions, or completely zipped and buckled for more warmth. On the downside, the material is only 80% wool, so it isn’t as warm as it could be.
Since buying the non-refundable coat, I’ve been looking into the brand, which was unknown to me before yesterday. It turns out Montreal-based Soia & Kyo seem to be a darling of the Canadian fashion community. Only five years young, they have built a reputation for offering stylish, “affordable” outerwear. Their collection is created by the same person who designs for Mackage, a higher-end line sold by the likes of Holt Renfrew.
I’m also not immune to sales pitches, which I am aware are as genuine as the flattery found in fitting rooms. The sales clerk at Etzio said that the coats were flying off the racks, and had been received barely a week prior. Coupled with the fact that I am “supporting a Canadian company,” I can put together quite a strong argument for this purchase.
Or, I can admit that all of this was merely posturing to justify an incredibly pricey buy.

“Chelsea” coat (in espresso/black; the site did not have an image of the black-only coat)

These boots are made for walking…

I am not sure how often I will post about “fashion,” but the early days of my blog are a good time as any to forgivably experiment with topics.

The city has been hit with what seems like continuous snowfalls since mid-October, so since I do quite a bit of walking outside, I thought a pair of winter boots would be a good investment for me. Now that I’ve had a pair for the better part of three weeks, I can’t imagine how I got along in Edmonton winters without them.

These Kenneth Cole Reaction “Jonely Lonely” boots are actually my first pair of adult winter boots, a far cry from those pink and purple, velcro-fastened monstrosities I was forced to wear in childhood. This pair is not only functional – essentially flat and only calf-high – but they have also quickly become my workday and weekend staple, with the ability to complement both dress pants and jeans with ease. Although the grip could use some improvement, I have been able to walk to and sit at work in comfort. All hail practical purchases!

Kenneth Cole Reaction “Jonely Lonely” boots (image from macys.com)