Shopping for Clothing in Montreal

Mar 31st, 2004, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Shopping for Clothing in Montreal

I'll be spending over a month in Montreal during the summer (June-July), and my primary interest for this visit is to do little shopping, and as long as the stores are on the Island of Montreal, I don't care where they are.
I'm a guy looking for very (acually, "extremely" would be more like it!) hip and trendy designer clothes. International designers are great, but I'm also interested in local designers, like Dubuc. Would Holt Renfrew cater anything towards my needs?
To tell you the truth, it doesn't even need to be designer clothing, as long as it's funky and "with it". Pardon me for using that term!
Where do I go and what to I do? I need a little bit of help. Anything would be tremendously appreciated!
Thank You!
P.S. I know that the current "it" department store, Les Ailes de la Mode is now resizing but will it remain closed while it is going through it's change? I would love to visit it because I've heard so much about it.
travellingmaniac is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hi Maniac

While Holt Renfrew has been trying to revamp a little lately (probably because of the pressure exerted by Les Ailes) and you will find some nice stuff, it's not the uber-trendy things that I think you are looking for.

My first stops were always Les Ailes and then Simons (blocks away on Ste.Cath) but even before they went down, the assortment at Les Ailes was getting pretty sad. Simons will be particularly good in July when they go on sale (think 50% - 70%, they don't mess around with overstock). Harry Rosen (probably too conservative for you) is on Peel, accross from the Sixty and Energie boutique, and close to L'Uomo, which is conservative but has the best choice in Prada in the city. Keep going west on Ste.Cath, check out Men's, then head north on Crescent (next block after Men's), stopping in at Hugo Boss (red label).

Next stop is St. Laurent blvd. Start at Sherbrooke and walk up- there are tons of hip little shops. Take special note of Aritmetik and Soho. You have easily 10 blocks to do here so you will need good shoes (more on those later).

Dubuc is located up St Denis street- take a cab to St Denis and Mont-Royal then walk south. Dubuc's on the east side of the street but there are a few other stores to check out.

Some people like Style Exchange (Cours Mont Royal etc) but it's the sort of Diesel/ Energie stuff that's hip for ten minutes and then every second person is wearing it and it's very over.

I shudder to suggest it, but in a pinch when you don't have all day to shop but need an outfit, hop in a car and head to Le Carrefour Laval where you will find les Ailes, Simons, un Autre Monde, Brown's, etc. under one roof.

For shoes, Brown's on Ste Cath near Men's, as well as the little boutiques are fine. I find that there is not a huge choice in Montreal for shoes- you will find great shoes but everyone else will be wearing the same ones. For better shoes you need NY (or Italy, of course!).

Of course, there are TONS of other places to hit but these are decent starting itineraries. If you need more help, email me directly. I would be more than happy (ecstatic, perhaps) to show you around.

jdiduch is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 08:27 AM
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Hi Jeffery,
To tell you the truth, you have shed so much light on shopping in Montreal, I'm almost blinded!
There are lots of things I still need to know, though, so I'll probably take you up on your offer. Thank you for your tremendous kindness.
I'm still a little curious about Holt's due to the fact that they probably sell most of the well known international designers.
I'd love to know a little bit about the DKNY on Peel in Montreal (It's size, collection, "trendiness") and the question that I've been burning to ask is : Is there a Versace in Montreal? Some shopping guides mention it, whereas the official website ignores it.
I love Versace's Jeans Couture line.
And another thought that has been recurring in my brain: I've heard about a store called Boutique U&I through the Denis Gagnon website. Denis Gagnon is an amazing designer, what about the store?
I still have a few questions that I'm itching to ask...thanks for your time and patience!
travellingmaniac is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 10:16 AM
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The DKNY line in general is not really all that trendy- nice, conservative, fairly well-made. They are in the Cours Mont Royal shopping center I mentioned. There's a few shops in there you might like, including Giorgio. If you like Versace, you'll probably like Cavalli and a few of the lines Giorgio carries, so you may as well check them out, and at the sam time you'll find DKNY.

There used to be a Versace store near Holt's but they turned it into something else (not worth looking at) long ago. Rosen has the Versace Classic and sometimes Jeans Couture lines, and you'll find some of it around in the specialty stores, but it's not as popular since that woman took things over.

The U&I store is one of the ones on St Laurent I wanted you to see- small shop but nice stuff. Very European styling- don't know what kind of stuff/fit you're looking for.

We're a little off topic for a travel forum so you can drop me a line at [email protected]
jdiduch is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 10:32 AM
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I'll do just that!
Sorry, everyone else for the "off-topic-ness"!
Thank you
travellingmaniac is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 05:24 PM
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While not looking for much in the way of mens fashions, I found that Holt Renfrew was comparable to Barneys in NYC, having most of the same designers. While they have DKNY, they also carry the much more expensive, Donna Karan and all the big Mens clothing names.
I enjoy finding bargains at the end of summer in their Prada sales as well as finding wonderful leather products that they sell by Canadian designers.
If you are still needing names, I will look up the place that a friend recommended for very trendy clothes, but I think it was around Mont Royal..
Personally, Ailes is fine for bargains and fun things, but I could never compare it to Holt Renfrew.
Also! rue Sherbrook between the Omni/Ritz and the Fine Arts Museum has a few fine boutiques..
Happy shopping~
Scarlett is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 02:45 AM
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Jeffrey, you've summed it all so well, I am astounded !!!
And you are right about shoes, I am a montrealer and travel often, and I am always on the lookout for shoes; we are very limited in Montreal in that department.

travmaniac, with a month on your hands, you'll have a ball walking around montreal and discovering shopping places !
St.Laurent street boutiques have smaller independent designers selling in some of those shops; I'll ask my daughter for the names of a few, she's 24 and more "in the loop" than I; she bought a leather jacket made by a local designer on St. Laurent and it's beautiful....
mitchdesj is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 06:36 AM
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Thanks everyone for summing it all up!
I think I have all the facts:
1. St. Catherine's street for store after store. All the major international brands on one street. Major malls (Place Montreal Trust, Eaton Center) and department stores (Simons) are all here. Would I be correct to say it's Montreal's Oxford Street?
2. Sherbrooke for all the international designer labels at Holt Rentfrew and a few boutiques scattered here and there.
3. Peel for all those great brands. Energie, Sixty, DKNY etc. Home to Les Cours Mont-Royal.
4. St. Denis and St. Laurent is where you need to go to see trendy local designers and boutiques which caters towards the more upscale clothes.
Anything else I need to know? Any specific stores? Thanks to everyone that's helped!
travellingmaniac is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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The only correction I would bring is to your number 4- on those streets, all is not necessarily upscale, and you can find funkier and off the beaten path....

Let us know how you fare after your visit.
I am always interested in finding out how others rate my beloved city.....
mitchdesj is offline  
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