A common native Vancouverite would probably tell you that their style is equal parts trendy and unique; that they have carefully crafted their ensemble in a style that is both effortless and original. Amongst these Vancouverites, I have noticed an unspoken uniform. No, I am not talking about the Lululemon adorned, yoga mat carrying men and women who seem to grace the streets, busses and sky trains. I am talking about the women whose outfits are made up of 1 OF + 1 A + 2 TS. In layman’s terms, this simply means one part Oak and Fort, one part Aritzia and two parts Top Shop. It is the unwritten formula these Vancouver women seem to follow. And it’s easier to achieve than you may realize.
Start with a basic tee or sweater. Not just any will do. To achieve that Vancouver vibe, your pretty plain top should come from a store that carries on trend pieces, as well as over priced basics – think Aritzia. Your tee should be north of $30, at minimum, and should hang off your body in a way that says you’re just too damn cool and relaxed to care. Next, it is vital that you pair this tee with the perfect pair of jeans. A light or dark wash is fine and you can opt for a pair with rips, if you’re so inclined. Top Shop carries a multitude of these and they just happen to be in that Vancouver Uniform price range. Time to top off your outfit with a classic coat. Think $200 – $300, just past the hips but above the knee, in a wool blend. Grey or black will do, but an adventurous individual may opt for maroon. A good rule of thumb is to walk into Oak and Fort and choose any jacket off the rack. The pièce de resistance is, of course, the ankle boot. Like the perfect jeans, you can find the perfect ankle boot at your local Top Shop. Heeled or flat, this little bootie ties the entire ensemble together. And of course, no Vancouver Uniform is complete without it. If you feel the need to accessorize, stick to a simple bag and minimal jewelry. Bonus points for midi rings. Follow these four simple steps, and you too can be Vancouver cool in no time.
Kayla Straub, JCI Fashion Grad