Vancouver (Canada) is a brilliant shopping destination for both ladies and gents. If you are ever in this pretty city, be sure to set aside a few hours for efficient and effective retail therapy. There’s something to suit every budget and lifestyle. I tend to flock to my favourite stores whenever I go, but was pleased to discover a few new hot spots on a recent trip.

Hot shopping spots for ladies in Vancouver:

  • ZARA – Spanish-based Zara remains outstanding for sophisticated and affordable European fashion. Get there early if you are shopping over the weekend because fitting rooms and cashier queues are long and tedious. Customer service is not a strong point in this store (shop assistants will neither get you sizes nor keep items on hold for you); but it’s worth persevering if you manage to get there as their doors open. 
  • Le Chateau – Canada’s equivalent to world famous H&M. Styling is young, but well designed and at unbeatable prices.  Sizes run from 0 to 16 and it’s worth a look despite your age. There are 3 branches within a few minutes of each other by foot and each branch seems to offer different merchandise. Sales assistants are extremely helpful.
  • Dynamite – Truly dynamite! The store offers smart casual and denim friendly fashion at cheap prices. Structured jackets at $37 and styled knitted tops at $23 were a pleasant surprise. You might need to go up a size as sizes are small.
  • French Connection – A British based high fashion chain store that seems to have become a lot more affordable. The look is urban and edgy and the quality superb. Their styles always seem to offer something “extra”.  
  • Plenty – A Canadian boutique with lots of sass. Prices are a little higher, but if you are looking for something out of the ordinary– you’ll probably find it here.
  • Accessorize – A British based chain store that can’t be beat when it comes to fun costume jewelry, hats, scarves and evening bags. It’s the perfect place to stock up on inexpensive small gifts.
  • Jacob – A Canadian-based chain store that specializes in modern classic business casual dressing. The clothing is impeccable and its prices can be compared to that of Ann Taylor. It’s an excellent place to invest in good basics.
  • Mexx – A trendy Dutch based chain store that’s especially good for women in their 30’s and upwards. Styles are chic, tailored and fairly smart. Mexx targets the working woman who can’t wear jeans to work. Prices are a little more than mainstream chain stores, but worth it of you find something that you love.
  • Aldo’s and Feet First – Good places for mainstream shoe selections.
  • Holt Renfrew – An ultra swanky Canadian department store full of the best that retail has to offer. Its magnificent interior is adorned with designer labels and lavish fixtures. If clothing is not where you want to spend your money, head straight for the footwear and handbag department – you won’t be disappointed.

All of these stores are either on or within walking distance of Robson Street. Stay tuned for how gents can fare just as well in this wonderful shopping haven.