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.
Quirky clutches are definitely having a moment: this past month saw street-style stars around the world grasping bags shaped like all sorts of strange items, including a ham hock, a box of Digestive cookies and even SpongeBob SquarePants. There were also a fair amount of eyeballs (a trend that’s been going strong since Kenzo’s bold eye-themed collection in 2013). This Toronto Fashion Week (which starts on Monday), bag the trend—and support a good cause—by picking up this “Evil Eye” clutch. Hand-embroidered by women living in northern Pakistan, the purses are being sold by Far and Wide Collective, a Toronto-based online boutique dedicated to peddling one-of-a-kind goods crafted by artisans living in struggling countries. The playful pattern and bright blue hue are sure to add style cred to any outfit, and if you happen to get snapped by a photographer outside a show, you’ll be able to prove you’re not a fast-fashion follower. $199
Available at farandwidecollective.com
George Sully and Henry Wong, the duo behind acclaimed footwear brand Sully Wong (which already has a number of interesting collaborations under its belt), have joined forces with Toronto designer Amanda Lew Kee to create the brand’s first women’s shoe. Lew Kee, who also designed a stylish capsule collection for Roots last year, drew on her appreciation of comfortable athletic wear to create the handcrafted high-top, which uses raw leather and denim for a simple yet rugged look. We love that the label’s first “women’s” shoe is kind of androgynous—it’ll go perfectly well with skinny jeans or add some edge to a girly mini. If you’d like to snag a pair, don’t procrastinate—the limited edition shoe hits Gotstyle boutiques on October 9 and is bound to be snapped quickly up by sneaker enthusiasts worldwide. $225
Sully Wong, sullywong.com
Eleven-year-old artist-in-the-making Andrew Lee created this pillow design as part of EQ3’s Generation Art Project. For the homegrown furniture maker’s second annual competition (which is designed to empower youth by celebrating creativity), applicants of all ages were asked to submit art that represents their personal expression of Canadian diversity. Here’s what Andrew had to say about his winning piece:
“Sports bring people together. I think sports are really good. Through basketball I met different kinds of people and learned to accept everyone.”
All proceeds from the collection (which, for now, is only available at the brand’s Liberty Village flagship store) will go to the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which funds a range of arts-based community projects for underprivileged youth. While we’re partial to Andrew’s playful sketches (and especially the guy with “skating rocks” on his t-shirt), there are also other appealing designs in the collection, including a geometric pattern in pretty pastels from 28 year-old artist Selina Wong. $50
EQ3, 51 Hanna Ave., eq3.com
This autumn, coats are brighter and funkier than ever. Instead of settling for muted seasonal tones (remember army green?), shoppers can opt for an oversized blazer in a bold floral pattern or a boyish bomber jacket in a refreshing pastel hue. Cozy quilted jackets are also making a comeback (we love the bright orange at Mackage). Plus, now that summer’s over, homegrown outerwear designers are really getting a chance to shine: Rudsak has just released a limited edition luxe rocker collection, and Smythe has debuted a chic anniversary collection, in honour of 10 years perfecting blazers. Here, twelve fresh new jackets for fall.
In a world dominated by flimsy round umbrellas, the beautifully asymmetrical Senz is your best bet for staying completely dry this fall. Designed specifically to combat the annoying features of traditional brollies (which have a tendency to turn inside out at the slightest breeze and take out the eyes of unsuspecting pedestrians), the streamlined Dutch model can withstand 100 kilometre-per-hour winds and has eye-saving patches at the end of each point. It’s also won a ton of international design awards. If you’re not convinced, check out some of the demo videos online. The red ikat print makes for a chic autumn accessory, but you can also hunt down some other snazzy variations. $85
Raindrops, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-203-7246, raindropsto.com
Opelle is a brand of beautifully handcrafted leather purses and totes by Toronto native Amy Malcolm. After five years of peddling her work online, the designer has opened a sleek white showroom at College and Lansdowne, filled with a great selection of chic carryalls, delicate chained clutches and practical weekend bags. Of all the options for fall, we’re particularly enchanted by this silvery shopper, which is handmade in Toronto from an Italian pebbled cowhide. Featuring an of-the-moment metallic sheen and a cotton-lined interior large enough to haul around a laptop and a few notebooks, the bag will elevate any back-to-school look (it would look especially stylish with a pair of overalls and white kicks). Plus, there are three zippered pockets inside, which should keep the tote from turning into a black hole for keys and lip balms. $324
1234 College St. W., opellecreative.com
When summer draws to a close, it can be tough to transition from comfortable cottage wear to high-powered city attire. Luckily, fall’s sweatpants are much more stylish than the baggy Roots joggers in your closet. They’re also versatile, so choosing comfort doesn’t have to mean staying cooped up at home; instead, wear a tapered grey pant to lunch with tough booties, or pair one of the fancier styles (we’re looking at you, Balmain lounge pants) with pumps and a button-down for a work-appropriate look. Here, 13 of our favourite fashionable sweatpants, including affordable chambray cargos and perfectly patterned Philip Lim bottoms.
Toronto’s African Fashion Week returns this weekend with runway shows from over 13 African designers. Though styles differ from country to country, there is a common thread in African fashion: bold, colourful patterns, often splashed across dresses, shoulder bags and headbands. For those hoping to bag the look, we found 12 funky pieces incorporating fabrics and patterns from Ghana, Morocco and Nigeria. There’s a clutch crafted from hand-woven Kente cloth, a designer dress made from Burkina Faso–sourced fabric and an outfit designed by the Brooklyn-based Etsy designer who recently dressed Beyonce.
Sully Wong, the Toronto-based footwear brand comprised of partners George Sully and Henry Wong, makes sleek sneakers for skater kids, urban dwellers and anyone who’s into the athletic trend. Last year, a collaboration with the designer and interior architect Karim Rashid resulted in some funky patterned kicks. Now, the brand has paired with the organization Onexone to create a limited-edition “Hope” sneaker: a simple unisex shoe designed in Onexone’s signature red-and-white, with fifty per cent of proceeds going toward funding a paediatric wing for Haiti’s Hospital Mirebalis. Three hundred and fifty pairs were produced—if they sell out, that means over $25,000 for the Haitian hospital. Plus, an understated white sneaker paired with blue denim is a staple look for fall. $150
Available at shop.sullywong.com
I Love Goldie is a Toronto startup that hand-makes gorgeously unique chain jewellery. Instead of standard rings, necklaces or bracelets, the elaborate pieces include body chains that wrap around the waist and the neck, stacked bracelets that loop up through the fingers, and dramatically drapey belts. Everything is made at I Love Goldie’s Bloor Street studio, and most pieces are made from recycled stainless steal, meaning they’re free from irritating materials like lead and nickel. This bold arm chain would add some serious edge to a casual t-shirt and jeans uniform. $95
Available at ilovegoldie.com
Beloved top model Coco Rocha, who happens to hail from Toronto, has designed a cosmic-themed jewellery line in collaboration with online boutique BaubleBar. Full of eye-catching pieces like oversized chainmail bibs, sharp-quilled necklaces and winged ear cuffs, the entire collection has a bold, high-fashion feel. But—in keeping with Rocha’s down-to-earth reputation—the pieces are delightfully affordable (prices range from $24 to $120). Our favourite bit of decoration? These jewelled galactic drop earrings, which would be perfect for dressing up an outfit on a budget. $40
Available at eluxe.com
This week, the TTC launched a new online shop for transit-themed merchandise. The selection is pretty slim at the moment (just six posters and two maps), but apparently “big ideas” are in the works. In the meantime, we love this print from Toronto artist Jerry Waese, who’s known for his abstract graphic style and has a penchant for making the TTC look a whole lot better than it does in real life. The image, which was actually commissioned for the cover of the new TTC Ride Guide, perfectly captures that melancholy feeling of staring out a streetcar window on a rainy day—a potentially traumatizing commute reminder for regular streetcar riders, but also a nostalgic tribute to the iconic cable cars, which won’t be around for long. $15
TTC Online Shop, shop.ttc.ca
From now until August 10, Toronto cyclists can pick up a chic ride from Martone Cycling Co. at the brand’s new pop-up in The Room at Hudson’s Bay. Previously, local shoppers had to venture online if they wanted to snag one of the New York label’s distinctive bikes, which come in a range of bold, monochromatic hues, including scarlet, silver and gold. Each bike features a subtle handlebar basket, signature red chain and gears that shift automatically based on speed, making them the ideal vehicle for casual urban exploration. Or, forget the cycling—the immaculate, all-white model could double as a piece of modern art. $1,460—$1,560
Until Aug. 10. 176 Yonge St., thebay.com
With the wealth of international shopping options in Toronto, it can be easy to forget about the innovative designers north of the border who are producing stylish, locally made products. In honour of Canada Day, we’ve selected some perfectly summery pieces from nine of our favourite homegrown designers. From chic white blazers to rugged lumberjack jackets, here are nine ways to (subtly) flaunt some patriotic pride.