It’s around this time of year that most women realize they’ll have to ditch their favourite sneakers for something a bit sturdier. Cue the tedious task of finding that perfect pair of boots—because chances are, if you’re planning to drop a few hundred dollars on footwear (well-made boots never come cheap), you’ll want something that works with every kind of outfit. With that in mind, here are 17 pairs of extremely cute all-purpose boots, from functional Chelsea booties to elegant two-toned knee-highs.
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tomorrow Saturday, November 1, Ted Baker London fans will no longer have to trek to Yorkdale to pick up the British clothier’s line of well-made apparel, accessories and footwear. The brand’s second Toronto shop, dubbed “Baker’s Arcade,” will take over the former Melanie Lynn space on the third level of the Toronto Eaton Centre. The new store will carry lots of menswear, including impeccably tailored suits, leather shoes and cashmere sweaters, plus women’s dresses, totes and work-appropriate ensembles. But British sophistication doesn’t come cheap: you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything for under $100, and bigger-ticket items (coats, etc.) usually clock in at more than $500. This weekend, however, shoppers are invited to stop by for “exclusive gifts” and “edible surprises,” so there could be some deals to be had.
[UPDATE: the store's opening has been postponed until Saturday, November 1.]
Toronto-based beauty bar Mync Lash Lounge has arrived downtown, bringing diva-approved eyelash extensions to Queen West. Before, beauty enthusiasts had to venture to Yorkville or Lawrence Park to get bat-worthy lashes from the local beauty chain. For lids that range from subtly pretty to ultra-dramatic (without that clumpy mascara effect), visitors can choose to add 35 to 75 extra lashes per eye, with prices starting at around $90. (The length can be trimmed, so you don’t have to commit to a Cindy Lou Hoo look.) Other options include semi-permanent mascara, which lasts for two weeks, as well as brow shaping, lash and brow tinting, and bikini waxes. For a modest surcharge ($35), the team will throw in a full makeup application, with looks ranging from The Manhattan (“for glitzy soirees”) to Sex on the Beach (for “that enviable, just got back from vacay glow”).
Mync Lash Lounge and Brow Bar, 282 Queen St. W., myncbeauty.com
Risqué has been peddling cute, casual womenswear in the Annex for the past twenty-five years. (Nothing about the place is actually risqué—it’s the kind of shop where most girls can find at least something to wear.) Now, the boutique has opened a second location farther west, at Bloor and Manning. More spacious and modern-looking than the original space, at Brunswick Avenue, the new storefront will offer the shop’s own brand of womenswear—which includes knit sweaters, maxi dresses and this cozy blanket scarf—mixed in with other affordable labels. Currently in stock are playful items like this teddy bear sweater from Aussie brand Mink Pink and this ombré wrap coat from BB Dakota. Deliciously scented soy candles and trendy accessories from online store Shop for Jayu are also available.
Risqué, 660 Bloor St. W., facebook.com
Between Stephan Caras’s glittery gold pantsuits and HD Homme’s metallic blazers, the final day of Toronto Fashion Week was the flashiest yet. (Especially compared to yesterday’s relaxed separates from designers like Soia and Kyo and Malorie Urbanovich). Show-goers were treated to high-intensity looks, particularly from Mikael D, who presented a collection of elaborate gowns and even sent a model down the runway in a dramatic wedding ensemble. The best outfits came from Brit Wacher and Mikhael Kale, whose asymmetrical silhouettes occasionally landed in that sweet spot between avant-garde and wearable. Here, the best (but mainly, the most ridiculous) looks from the final day of Toronto Fashion Week.
Toronto Fashion Week: Grecian gowns, shiny sweaters and 13 more of the best and worst looks from day four
The fourth day of Fashion Week was chock-full of pretty pieces that you’ll probably actually want to wear come spring. Unlike day three, menswear took a backseat to some stellar outfits for girls, including uniquely layered looks from Sam Kong and casual knit dresses in rich greens and burgundies from Malorie Urbanovich. (Toronto-based designer Matthew Gallagher’s collection of elegant gowns was also a favourite.) Of course, there were some sartorial misses, too, like this tacky metallic sweater from Rudsak. The best surprise? Perhaps when Montreal brand Soia and Kyo sent models down a grassy runway with a few adorable French bulldogs in tow.
Whether it’s a ‘90s nostalgia thing—or just a comfort thing, as Fashion Week draws to a close—show-goers have been ditching fancier outfits in favour of relaxed, distressed denim. Along with pretty midi-skirts and patterned pantsuits, we spotted plenty of worn-in, ripped-up Levis, plus a few Canadian tuxedos. It’s a cool, laid-back look, and best accentuated with a bold red lip, punchy accessories or a chunky heel.
Toronto Fashion Week: the best and most absurd looks from day three (including pieces from Mackage and Klaxon Howl)
The third day of Toronto Fashion Week saw a mix of shows from established labels and up-and-comers. Luxe outerwear brand Mackage went for colour this season, presenting chic spring coats and bomber jackets in bold blues and yellows. Great menswear pieces appeared throughout the day, including timeless looks from Christopher Bates and Klaxon Howl (just not this odd fisherman’s outfit). Our favourite collection was from Australian-based newcomer Hayley Elsaesser, who closed out the evening with a whirlwind of flirty separates in mix-and-match candy-hued patterns.
Attracting attention is serious sport for many Toronto Fashion Week attendees, and the competition can be fierce. So when the rain—and the champagne hangovers—finally cleared on Tuesday afternoon, sartorial scenesters hit David Pecault Square en masse, and they were dressed to kill (or at least to appear on a local fashion blog). Among the most distinctive dressers, one clear trend emerged: from French-fry phones to pop-art prints, ’90s nostalgia is still out in full force—especially among those who were barely alive in the ’80s.
For toting around Fashion Week necessities this season (like lip balm and an iPhone charger), we’ve noticed many stylish women favouring silly bags over practical purses. Last week, we recommended this eyeball-covered clutch as a daring statement piece, but the crowd at David Pecault Square seems to have some bold ideas of its own: yesterday, we spotted a range of unconventional purse choices, including a furry orange number and a Taxi-themed clutch.
The second day of Toronto Fashion Week was crammed full of opposing looks: there were gothic, drapey suits from Thomas Balint, glittery formal gowns from Narces and playful beach attire from Bustle. Target deviated from the springtime theme by sending models down the runway in puffy down jackets, plaid shirts and knee-high boots from its fall/winter collection—the only Fashion Week looks Torontonians won’t have to wait until spring to wear. The best pieces of the day were made from ethereal, barely-there materials, like Melissa Nepton’s gauzy blouse and this shift dress from up-and-coming Toronto label Elan and Castor.
It may have rained on the first night of Toronto Fashion Week, but that didn’t stop the fashionable people from converging on David Pecaut Square for Joe Fresh’s invite-only celebration. (The lucky few who managed to make it past the velvet rope were treated to a set from DJ—and reigning queen of avant garde—Solange Knowles.) So, how do you dress up for a party packed with models and style icons? Party-goers (and party hopefuls) generally erred on the conservative side, although we did spot a few outfits worthy of a Knowles sister—including Stacey McKenzie’s gold lamé gown and George Stroumboulopoulos’s style shout-out to East Coast/West Coast hip hop.
While swapping a fall coat for a sleeveless vest isn’t the most effective way to brave chilly temperatures, it’s a chic way to layer up without hiding too much of a carefully chosen ensemble. During the first two days of Toronto Fashion Week, subtle leather vests were spotted on runway fans eager to display attention-getting garments, like boldly-printed blouses or ruffled frocks. In other cases, show-goers let luxuriously fur-trimmed vests make a statement over casual jeans and t-shirts. Here, the style setters at David Pecault Square demonstrate seven cool ways to sport a vest.
Toronto Fashion Week started off strong yesterday: style heavyweights Pink Tartan and Sid Neigum each had individual shows, and the Mercedes-Benz Start-Up competition presented looks from six finalists, including Fashion Week alumnae Beaufille and Laura Siegel. For a springtime fashion event, day one was surprisingly devoid of colour. At the Pink Tartan show, Kim Newport-Mimran left behind last season’s pastel midi skirts and crop tops, and showed a collection heavy in black and navy layers. But our favourite looks from Fashion Week’s kick-off came from west-coast native Eliza Faulkner, whose chic chambray ensembles were perfectly put-together and a nice departure from all the black and white. Here, the best and worst looks from Day One.
Since its birth as a small pop-up shop in 2010, Zane has been peddling coveted accessories from cool new designers out of its Queen West flagship. (Known for its selection of mid-range handbags, it was one of the first places in Toronto to stock Rebecca Minkoff‘s collection back in 2011.) Now, the boutique has opened a second location on Cumberland Street, bringing its collection of designer bags, hats and jewellery to Yorkville. Residents of the posh ‘hood can stock up on chic totes from Sophie Hulme, patterned clutches from Clare Vivier and large boho bags from Hoi Bo. Other accessories, including sunglasses from Karen Walker and watches from Daniel Wellington, are well-stocked, and delicate jewellery from brands like Grace Lee Designs rounds out the selection. Prices for most items clock in at a few hundred dollars and up, but the shop’s range of on-trend designers gives some cool-kid cred to Cumberland—and another alternative to Holt Renfrew‘s first floor.
Zane, 124 Cumberland St., visitzane.com