Spring is a time for rebirth… so, after a long Ottawa winter,if you’re ready for a change, this is the time to go all in with new trends, timeless staples, fresh pops of colour, and bold one-piece ensembles. Our reporter, Danuta Whetton, reached out to six Ottawa women to share how they’re integrating the biggest spring trends into their wardrobes. Read on for their go-to local retailers, style secrets, and sources of fashion inspiration!
Fitted leather jackets
This year’s outerwear essential is a moto-style leather jacket. From classic and feminine to all about edge, these jackets work on just about anyone and can do wonders to rev up your look. For a versatile outfit that works equally well for a business meeting, trade show or dinner date, take inspiration from Su, the owner of the Ottawa-based aesthetics salon Her Beauty and Lash Lounge. Describing her style as easy, sleek and refined, Su likes to combine statement pieces that exude a ‘woman in charge’ look with soft feminine lines. Here she’s paired her signature leather jacket with a fitted black pencil skirt and a scallop edged button up blouse. Rarely sticking to the conventional, Su likes to mix and match basics from big box retailers like Urban Outfitters, Simon’s and Club Monaco with unique finds from Milk, JV Studios and other local Ottawa haunts.
Get the Look: Su’s leather jacket and soft pink blouse are from the Canadian fashion retailers Danier and Simon’s, respectively. Her Yummie Tummie pencil skirt can be found at the Lida Boutique in the Byward Market.
Often referred to as a ‘garment of convenience’, jumpsuits, overalls and other onesie-inspired fashions have been a staple on the catwalks for the last couple of seasons and, this spring, they’re back with a vengeance. Bonita, a knowledge broker in the mental health sector, adores the comfort and versatility of this trendy outfit. Whether she’s going out for brunch with the girls or a night out with her beau, Bonita loves that her eye-catching overalls can be dressed up or down, transitioning equally well between the spring and summer weather. Drawing inspiration from the style blog Cup of Jo as well as travelling and “people-watching” while overseas, Bonita often incorporates distinctive pieces from her travels into her wardrobe. Her favourite shops in Ottawa include Victoire, Viens Avec Moi and other Wellington Village staples.
Get the Look: Bonita’s Samantha Pleet bodysuit is from Victoire, while her Manitobah Mukluks moccasins can be found at Trailhead Paddleshack. She snagged her body hugging Maje overalls while on vacation in France.
Shades of sorbet
Spring is a great time of year to experiment with colour, and this year’s Pantone selection offers a wide array of playful shades of sorbet. From the joyful warmth of Primrose Yellow to the natural earthiness of Hazlenut to the subtlety of Pale Dogwood, there are endless ways to integrate this trend into your wardrobe! Annie, a Communications Specialist in the non-profit sector, pairs a loosely knit top in Island Paradise – this year’s most sought after hue – with a large leather tote, white shorts and cork wedges. As a Brazilian living in Ottawa, Annie loves using accessories and other beach-inspired items to transform her looks into something special – whether it’s a statement necklace, a colourful purse or a cute pair of platforms. For ideas on how to integrate new colours and styles into her wardrobe, Annie follows the Instagram accounts of ceuhandmade and stealthelook.
Get the Look: Annie picked up her Morena Rosa top, M.officer tote and Havaianas wedges while visiting Brazil. Her white shorts are from The Gap.
Reinventing the classic trench
Fashion is all about reinterpretation – and even classics like the trench coat need to be reinvented every once in a while! Paired with a vibrant blouse or tailored print makes this staple timeless, yet totally street wearable. For a touch of sophistication, take a cue from Evelyn, a clerk at the Ontario Court of Justice, who adds an interesting contrast to her classic trench with bold stripes, black slacks and a leather handbag. For fashion inspiration and the latest catwalk trends, Evelyn follows Chriselle Lim, Ascia AKF and shopalfred on Instagram. Updating her wardrobe with a few key pieces each season, Evelyn looks for work appropriate styles that are fashionable, yet not overly conservative. Although she prefers the variety and selection offered by major retailers like The Bay, Banana Republic and J Crew, she also enjoys the creative designs of Roadtrip – especially when on the hunt for a new seasonal outfit.
Get the Look: Evelyn’s coat, top and pants are all from Banana Republic, while her Chelsea boots are from Clarks. She scored her vintage cross-body bag at a garage sale in Toronto.
Statement scarves and neckerchiefs
Whether you wrap it around your neck or throw it over your shoulders, opt for a warm burst of colour or a loud geometric pattern, scarves and neckerchiefs are an easy way to stand out in a crowd and uplift any outfit. As a Policy Analyst with the Federal Government, Stacey likes to mix neutral pieces with colourful heels and bold scarves to transition her looks into the evenings and weekends. Having recently relocated from more ‘laid back’ Vancouver, Stacey appreciates the classic lines, structured fabrics and tailored fashions gracing the streets of Ottawa. Regardless if she’s wearing a fitted sheath dress or an edgy leather top, Stacey always manages to look stylish and, more importantly, comfortable in her own skin. With a keen eye for lively prints and one-of-a-kind jewelry, her go to local retailers include the Canadian-oriented fashion boutiques Canopy and Workshop Studio.
Get the Look: Stacey’s three-tone pullover and bird-print scarf are from Canopy, while her burgundy booties and jeans are from Nordstrom.
Airy, white lace
This trend was all over the place last summer, but evidently it’s still going strong this spring. Intricate floral crochet instantly adds a carefree touch to any outfit, while exuding a modern take on casual dressing. Whether you’re going to the theatre, out with friends, or perhaps an open air garden party, there’s no shortage of ways to wear this trend. Donnub is a young professional fresh out of teacher’s college who enjoys mixing splashes of colour with interesting patterns and textures. Here her elegant lace top is balanced perfectly with a pair of causal stone washed jeans and turquoise pumps for a look that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. With a penchant for the whimsical, Donnub is always on the look-out for unusual yet delicate designs, like those offered by local jewelry shops Magpie and KuluTrading, available at the Jade and Masala locations in the Byward Market.
Get the Look: Donnub’s Banana Republic top and Guess heels are available at the Rideau Centre, while her jeans are from American Apparel.