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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.


CheeseAndMushroomToastie Sat 11-May-13 00:34:38

Just came onto say I am Vair Vair Vair jealous that you're moving to Vancouver. Sorry I have no s&b advice at this time grin

HighJinx Fri 10-May-13 23:55:56

Sweaty Betty stuff is frighteningly expensive but it does last well and keeps its shape. Unlike cheap yoga pants that get that awful sagging knee thing.

I got some Hunters Wellies for about 85quid online here But might be better to buy in BC as they will take up lots of suitcase room and you might feel foolish wearing them on the plane grin

You must be getting excited.

MrsKoala Fri 10-May-13 22:07:53

Holy shit! Just looked at Hunters Wellies. Do people really pay a hundred odd quid for a pair of wellies? I mean some are nice (one pair for £199 shock i do like) but i don't think i could ever spend that much on wellies.

I think i am being converted to outdoor pyjamas yoga clothes and have seen some Swetty Betty stuff i like - but a pair of bottoms and a top i like is £175 shock for what are essentially GYM CLOTHES??!!

MrsKoala Wed 08-May-13 20:03:09

cheers smile

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 08-May-13 19:54:28

PM Jacksmania, she'll sign you up.

MrsKoala Wed 08-May-13 19:24:27

aaah thanks all.

My hair is not ironed straight - my face is too round for that - i have a natural wave which i cultivate.

DH is one of those climber types MrsTP. He looks as tho he is sponsored by North Face.

Will defo check out Spank Kahu.

I will also join the west coast mners if i can work out how. How do i find you on facebook <total internet buffoon emoticon>

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 08-May-13 14:37:19

Cheers pocket. Right back at you. smile

pocketandsweet Wed 08-May-13 11:57:58

mrsterrypratchett I have pm'd you

Kahu Wed 08-May-13 07:25:52

The Kitsilano look is either trendy yoga mum (it's Lululemon central quite literally) or lentil-weaving granola-crunching mum. Vancouver is very casual but that doesn't mean you won't see people that have their own style & there are plenty of people who love fashion whether it's high-street, Holt-Renfrew labels or unusual boutique pieces. There are also a lot of fleeces, yoga pants & Gore-Tex.

Stick with your style, wear what you like - bring your favourites & your essentials & then have some fun shopping either in Van or Seattle. For high street stores, sounds like you will like BR & J Crew. There is a Vancouver-based national brand called Aritzia that may have some pieces you like, also a small chain of boutiques called Spank that carries dresses etc that sound your style. There are some great boutiques in Gastown & South Granville that will be right up your street I think.

About the Goretex.... Resign yourself to the fact that sometime in October you will go into the North Face store & buy a rain jacket. And bring some Hunters or similar with you, you will wear them almost every day from October to March.

The good news is from April to September we have glorious sunshine <hopes she hasn't jinxed it for everyone> .

Come join our quiche - 'twill be lovely to meet you & take you to Kits Beach pearls & all!

Mutley77 Wed 08-May-13 06:29:29

OmG I am so glad I have read this post - has nothing to do with me as I have no intention of going to/living in Vancouver.

However, where I am in Australia all the mums seem to wear posh gym wear and I keep thinking, surely they are not all going to the gym all the time - i.e. after drop off and before pick up every day? Given that I am pregnant and just off the plane I have just ignored it and thought that I won't be exercising for a while. However now I get it - it must be their on trend wear - now wondering whether I embrace it post pregnancy or just stick to my British style!!!! Although I am highly worried that I may get it wrong and be asked about what exercise I'm off to do blush

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 08-May-13 05:29:57

I'm in Victoria and therefore 'close' to Vancouver by Canadian standards. We call the yoga lot Lulu Lemmings in case you need a name for them. grin

I second (well probably 14th) that casual is the norm. I went to a wedding my first year here. Very nice venue, big wedding. I was one of two people out of more than a hundred with a proper hat on. There were people in cut offs, jeans, shorts and t-shirts. I was horrified. I have mellowed since (outwardly, inside I still shudder).

There are smart and/or funky dressers. They tend to be younger people. We say in Victoria there are essentially two type of wardrobe; yoga and mountain climbing. Mountain climbing is further split into; serious climber (Goretex and Teflon) and hippy climber (someone give that Peruvian back his hat).

My DH handles big contracts and rarely wears a tie or jacket to work, he does wear a shell though hmm I also know a lawyer who goes to work with odd shoes (not socks BTW, shoes).

All you need to do is join the Western Canadian Mumsnetters Quiche and you will be surrounded with stylish, devil may care fashionistas (not me, the rest of the. I've given up).

nooka Wed 08-May-13 05:00:51

The long 'ironed' hair look is popular here. I have to tell the hairdresser to put down the tong things (I look terrible with ironed straight hair!)

nooka Wed 08-May-13 04:59:45

I live in interior BC, so Vancouver is the big city grin here we are all even more laid back and when I went to try and buy a new interview suit I failed completely!

My work has two offices, with the other one in Vancouver, and in general I'd say people look fairly normal really. Work wear varies, some smart, some in suits, many in jeans. I think you'll be just fine.

If you do have a bit of a defined look I would be inclined to buy the tailored things you really like in London. I have found it a pain to try and figure out which shops, brands etc fit me, when previously I just knew where to shop. But then I hate shopping!

WestCoastWinnie Wed 08-May-13 04:57:10

We're south of Vancouver - agree about the dressing down. When I'm back in the UK I always feel like a scruff! I have wholeheartedly adopted the relaxed dress code (basically due to laziness!) but there are many who don't wear Lulu etc. so you'll be fine! Short hair does seem to be less common here - mine is short and we're a rare breed.
One more prod for the Western Canada Mumsnetters - we're recruiting smile

humblebumble Wed 08-May-13 02:46:56

Have fun in Kits, very jealous!, we lived there pre-kids about 7 years ago. It was fun. We used to pop down to Seattle for clothes shopping as we found the clothes shopping in Vancouver a bit limited.

Nandocushion Wed 08-May-13 02:39:46

MrsK - July/Aug/Sept are almost invariably good weather, not much rain (that's the other nine months of the year). Your wrap dresses will be fine and your twinset will work with city shorts.

I have lived in Vancouver on and off for 30+ years and have NEVER owned a fleece. And don't worry about the Goretex - Lululemon do some nice raincoats I think?

MacaYoniAndCheese Wed 08-May-13 02:29:16

Ooh..have fun, MrsK. I went out there after Uni with DH for finishing school culinary school. Would move back in a heartbeat, especially if I got to live in Kits envy (we're in Toronto now). I think you sound very cool and you should just be you. Invest in some good rain gear and waterproof footwear though, so you can get out and explore the beaches and the forests. A membership to the aquarium and Science World are good ideas for little ones. Enjoy!

RedwingWinter Tue 07-May-13 23:48:26

I hope you have a fabulous time, MrsKoala smile

cafecito Tue 07-May-13 23:38:37

these and these examples. with flip flops, ballet pumps, converse, or sandals

cafecito Tue 07-May-13 23:33:20

these and these are reaaaally flattering (12 would be a medium) - I know they probably seem pretty expensive but really, they're sooo comfy you can wear them in the day with flip flops and if you're exercising/yogaing too. But just as casual trousers they are fine, and great for hot summers.

pocketandsweet Tue 07-May-13 23:00:56

Well it sounds like you will probably have a brilliant time. Im sure your son will love it as well. When you get there you can report back on how your expectations and realities collided. Good luck

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 22:54:26

now = know

Cheers Cafecito, i'll check them out.

cafecito Tue 07-May-13 22:51:44

envy what a fabulous place to live with your DS grin you should take your existing clothes, and rock them smile

alternatively, chinos? cropped twill pants? Banana Republic are okay - their sizing is definitely very much on the large side I think. Also, sweaty betty do some yoga pants that flatter the chunkiest of thigh, I was very lazy last summer and wore them all the time- cost per wear virtually zero. They are loose and sweat wicking <mmm>
but yeah, sounds like you have stuff you feel comfortable in already
how exciting smile

MrsKoala Tue 07-May-13 22:51:08

We love it there. go every year. love to ski, mountain bike, walk etc. DH has a visa and i have given up work - so has he (to start a consultancy which he mainly does from home). We fancied an adventure. Will travel whilst there - might spend a few months in Canmore too. DS is small. We don't have a big family or loads of friends. It just seemed the right time.

I now i'll love it - i might be homesick - but i need to get the London aggression out of me. I am reminded of the Baz Luhrman song 'wear sunscreen' where he says 'live in New York, but leave before you get too hard and live in california, but leave before you get too soft'. When you are giving dirty looks and huffing at old ladies for being in your way, it's time to go!

pocketandsweet Tue 07-May-13 22:42:39

It's a city with at least a million people. Most of them well educated and travelled you will find kindred spirits. You need not engage in any of the stereotypical activities associated but I am kind of wondering why you are moving there? ( and I do not mean that in any remotely bitchy type way) It's not London or New York as an urban experience certainly. Lots of room for your own space though definitely.

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