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Emigrating to Vancouver, need a capsule wardrobe.

(91 Posts)
MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 20:25:50

We are emigrating in July and not taking anything but a suitcase each. I need advice of a capsule wardrobe which will fit in a suitcase for summer to autumn. I will then ship a winter capsule wardrobe over in September.

I don't want to shop much in Vancouver, so would like advice on good easy to wear/washable clothes.

DS will be 10months. I am tall with long legs, broad shoulders, small boobs, chunky thighs, small waist. I have bad knees and back so don't do heels.

I think it's quite hot there in the summer, and often rains.


HerRoyalNotness Tue 07-May-13 21:03:30


Sign up for GAP and Old Navy emails at the same time as BR, plenty of discounts with them too. Occasionally I order stuff from Gymboree in the states, they have some good sales. H&M is here, the kids stuff seems popular. Also Tommy Hilfiger - they often go into sale quickly or you will find there stuff at Winners (equiv of TK Maxx). There is also Mexx and Zara with quite good childrens selection.

Have a search for outlets around Vancouver too, there must be plenty.

Xiaoxiong Tue 07-May-13 21:04:43

MrsKoala check out these street style blogs from Vancouver - it's not so grim as all that:

Not so much the clothes as the weather - there are lots where they're not in gore tex or fleece smile

Xiaoxiong Tue 07-May-13 21:04:52


HerRoyalNotness Tue 07-May-13 21:06:08

The GAP was for kids clothes btw!

I'm tend to more tailored dressing as well. But I find, well where I work, it's not really a suited and booted kind of place.

I've just ordered some full skirts from Karen Millen for DH to bring back for me. mwahahaha. His face will be like this hmm when he sees the parcels at PILs.

pocketandsweet Tue 07-May-13 21:06:31

Just work your Sloaney-vibe. Seriously. People there are relaxed. i mean relaxed to the point of horizontal. Banana Republic is fab but for the love of god (unless you have seriously high style standards for DS) kids clothes are not something to stock-up on here.

BadgersRetreat Tue 07-May-13 21:09:08

nonono step away from the Gap (arf)

Banana republic are the same company but make nice clothes instead of cheap Gap tat that you can only wash once

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 21:10:03

Thank you xiao - there may be light at the end of the tunnel!

I am not that straight laced, i am more retro 40's style and a bit rockabilly (tea dresses made in skull materials), most of my jewellery is Alex Monroe (i realise i sound 100 and desperate to be cool now - oh god!).

I had a baby last year and have now given up work for good, so i am trying to find a more casual look which still flatters me.

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 21:12:33

oh Badgers - you have made me homesick for London already, i have 'mind the gap' on loop in my head now.

Never seen Banana Republic, what's their sizing like?

FrugalFashionista Tue 07-May-13 21:14:32

MrsKoala I've moved around a lot and each city and country has its own vibe. Vancouver is very laid-back and casual (and the moist climate restricts your choices), but you have to be there to figure out how to interpret your style there. Don't shop now - save your money for when you have settled. Take along practical basic clothes (=your old stuff) and some items that mean a lot to you. Most likely you'll want to start from scratch in the new surroundings.

BadgersRetreat Tue 07-May-13 21:15:53

very normal sizing. DH likes their polo shirts.

HerRoyalNotness Tue 07-May-13 21:16:21

Sizing at BRep is all over the place. I am firmly a size 8 (UK 12) on the bottom, but some of their trousers fit me in a 6. Ditto tops, I'm a UK 10, but can wear a small in in BRep in some tops, Xsmall in others. It's a place you really need to try the stuff on.

I got some really nice tailored crop trousers at Anthropologie recently, ($98 PLUS tax), in black, and coral. They still look dressy depending on what top you put with them.

<The tax always gets us, you'd think we'd have learnt by now>

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 21:20:48

HerRoyal - I'm never going to get used to tax... or tipping 20% shock. When we were last there it was so hard to factor that in before we bought stuff. Every time we got the bill/to the till our faces would be confused hmm

MooseBeTimeForSpring Tue 07-May-13 21:21:33

Welcome to Canada! I've been here 2 years now.

If you're on Facebook, search for the Western Canada Mumsnetters. I know a couple of them live in Vancouver. They've just had a mini meet up in Victoria.

Xiaoxiong Tue 07-May-13 21:21:54

Looking at those pictures, I'd probably take:
2 pairs jeans (one dark and tailored, one casual for weekend)
1 pair trousers (I'd take coloured chinos)
2 skirts (I'd take one denim mini, one fuller cotton or linen)
2 jumpers/cardigans (black/cream)
5 tops (two casual/under jumpers/wear to bed, three that can be worn on their own with jeans/trousers eg. a white collared shirt, a linen tunic)
2 dresses (tea dress, black dress)
1 light jacket that can be layered over jumpers if necessary
2 scarves
two pairs flats (one dressier than the other)
one pair sandals (walkable)
one pair trainers
underwear (black and nude)

HighJinx Tue 07-May-13 21:23:55

I have a lovely friend who is from Vancouver and she once told me that Vancouver's dress code is basically 'If you're dressed you meet the code' grin

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 21:26:12

oh thanks Moose. I'm on facebook but have no idea how to work it - i'm not really part of contemporary culture as you may have now gathered blush - but i'll try to work it out smile

I don't really have practical clothes Frugal, that's my point really i suppose. I worked in an office. Then was in Mat clothes and now have just lost my baby weight I have about 4 items in my wardrobe. I'm about to get my summer stuff out but i don't think there will be much inspiring in there from what i recall.

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 21:33:48

Thanks xiao.

I don't really do jeans or chinos, i'm curvy big bummed and thighed so i either wear boot cut (i know! S&B enemy number 3) or wide legged, high waisted flannel or tweed trousers. i wear converse trainers or brogues. i also do wear blazers/jackets and scarves, but i never wear black. i mainly wear lot of long sleeved stretchy t-shirts under v-necks, with grey flannel boot cut trousers and brogues/converse, with a navy Reiss blazer and a scarf/alex monroe jewellery.

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 21:36:20

oh and should i stock up on cosmetics/beauty products?

pocketandsweet Tue 07-May-13 21:44:43

Check online if products that are important to you are available there otherwise I think half the fun is finding new things/seeing what is different. I personally can spend a long time in somewhere like Shoppers Drug Mart ( nearest equivalent to Boots) just looking around. Also they have Sephora and smaller trendy beauty shops that sell niche stuff from North America and Europe. You will also undoubtedly have visitors from the UK periodically who will bring you things. I think other than the obvious products you are wedded to you probably don't need to worry.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Tue 07-May-13 21:53:01

I agree with pocket, SDM and Sephora will probably stock what you need. Our local SDM even sells Boots No.7. Stores like The Bay and Holt Renfrew have all the usual make up counters.

RedwingWinter Tue 07-May-13 21:54:06

Seriously, you just need yoga pants, skimpy vests, and some big sunglasses, and you'll look like a local. Oh and trainers or flip-flops, as you prefer.

Come October, wear a fleece and rainproof anorak on top of the skimpy vest, swap the flip flops for wellies, and you're done.

If you wear anything that is actual proper clothes, you will look like you've really made an effort.

pocketandsweet Tue 07-May-13 21:58:29

smile at redwing. My husband who is generally completely unconscious when it comes to labels and fashion etc. Remarked last time why the f* is everyone walking around with LULULEMON written all over them.

At least everyone generally looks pretty healthy so it is somewhat less irritating.

RedwingWinter Tue 07-May-13 21:58:38

Also, if you take the clothes you own now, they will think you very dressy; in two years time you will be fashion-forward; and in another year or two all of a sudden you will be trendy.

More helpfully, if you like Banana Republic, J Crew, Gap, Zara, you might as well buy it in Vancouver. Don't buy anything new to take unless you need new woolies/cashmere for the autumn - proper knitwear is expensive in Vancouver. Also, if you really want to dress up by Vancouver standards, you could try 'walking shorts' (i.e. Bermuda-style shorts) with a polo-necked shirt or short-sleeved blouse, and wear that with your pearls.

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 21:59:03

my arms are far too fleshy for skimpy vests and my arse is too big for yoga pants. I am still bfing and can only do this from one side so have completely lopsided boobs so vests of any description are defo out.

Just the thought of flip flops makes me feel nauseous!

I've been to Van a few times and never noticed people so casual. I'll be living in Kitsilano, which i can imagine is a bit more yoga mom tho.

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 22:01:50

oh Redwing, you surely jest about the shorts! ???

Not really a fan of GAP or Zara tbh. Never looked at the other 2.

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