NATIONAL: BEST STORES
19 locations across Canada, aritzia.com.
One of the country’s original purveyors of luxury denim, Aritzia continues to stock brands ranging from the trusted Citizens of Humanity and 7 for All Mankind to rising stars Habitual and Paige in its Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa stores.
267 locations across Canada, gap.com, 800-GAP-STYLE.
From jackets and skirts to vests and jeans, denim rules at Gap. It’s on-trend and budget-conscious (less than $100!)—everyone from students to celebs buy denim at this mass-merch mecca. Fall faves include the boot-cut curvy, the skinny fit and the boy-cut cropped jeans.
10 locations across Canada, holtrenfrew.com.
Holt Renfrew stocks an impressive selection of upscale, fashion-forward denim. Surprised? Look for an emphasis on the chicest brands (Gold Sign, Joe’s, Superfine, Vancouver’s Fidelity), styles (super-skinny, high-waisted) and trends (black and grey washes). Higher price tags reflect the top quality and precise fit. It’s definitely a hot spot for the serious blue-jean buyer.
MONTREAL: BEST STORES
Diesel Concept Corner
Rockland Centre, 2305 Rockland Rd., Montreal, 514-344-8379; Holt Renfrew, 1300 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 514- 842-5111; diesel.com.
There’s only one brand on the brain when you enter a Diesel Concept Corner, which features over 15 styles, from flared to skinny-cut, in numerous washes. How do you know which one’s for you? Ask for help: The staff is roundly educated about the new fits and cuts, thanks to its in-house Test Patrol events.
Foxy Jeans Montreal Eaton Centre, 705 Ste-Catherine W., 4th floor, Montreal, 514-843-6420. The denim scene just got sexier, thanks to the opening of the first Foxy Jeans boutique. This Montreal-based company works exclusively with stretch denim, creating trendy looks at prices that won’t break the bank. Pair its Stovepipe fit, a slightly wider take on the skinny jean, with heels for a slinky, long-legged look.
4910 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 514-369-0700.
At James, the denim is well edited, with just two or three styles from each label—available in different washes. Raw denim is the rage for fall, with options from J Brand, 7 for All Mankind and Paige. Skinny cuts from Sass & Bide abound, and Tsubi’s stretchy jeans from London are also getting plenty of attention.
4100 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, 514-935-1588.
This sassy store has more than 30 brands of denim, including Citizens of Humanity, Taverniti So and L.A.’s Habitual, plus a higher-rise fit from Cavalli. It stocks AG (Oprah’s favourite), plus the skinny Harlan style from Earnest Sewn. Other hot sellers include Imitation of Christ and Replay.
Rockland Centre, 2305 Rockland Rd., Montreal, 514-389-8585; Les Cours Mont-Royal, 1455 Peel St., Montreal, 514-282-6500; stylexchange.com.
StyleXchange is a veritable denim emporium, with more than 25 labels. Slide into jeans from True Religion, Miss Sixty, Energie, Hudson, Antik Denim, William Rast, 1921 and G-Star. This is also one of the few Canadian locations to stock exclusive new styles from Rock & Republic.
MONTREAL: BEST TAILORING
Jeans, Jeans, Jeans
5525 de Gaspe Ave., Montreal, 514-279-3303.
Not big on decor, this 4,500-square-foot discount store is focused on denim and how it fits. Open for 30 years, it’s packed with nearly 50 labels, including Parasuco, Buffalo, Dish and Fidelity. But here’s the best part: Hemming is free, on the spot!
TORONTO: BEST STORESBody Blue
201 Danforth Ave., Toronto, 416-778-7601; 724 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-703-7601.
With two Toronto locations, and 50 brands of denim available at each, Body Blue is definitely the place to buy your blues. Choose from an international selection of jeans, including Nudie, J Brand, Fidelity, Earnest Sewn and Diesel. Educated on the importance of fit based on body type, staffers foster a fun, stress-free environment. Customers learn how to identify what suits their individual needs and are sure to leave with a favourite new pair in tow.
Over the Rainbow
101 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, 416-967-7448, rainbowjeans.com.
Dishing out denim for over 30 years, Over the Rainbow continues to rock the jean scene. Choose from more than 25 brands, ranging from tried-and-true Sevens and Rock & Republic to new Hollywood must-haves William Rast and People’s Liberation. Need to doctor your denim? On-site alterationists can transform your new blues into a perfect fit.
278B Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-977-3888.
This newly renovated 10,000-square-foot space is a denim lover’s dream. Trend-setters and traditionalists alike can choose from more than 50 brands, stocked on two floors. Favourites among loyal customers are Nudie, True Religion, J Brand, Energie and Diesel. Complimentary alterations and unique private shopping events, like “It’s All About the Butt,” explain the store’s cult following.
87 Avenue Rd., Toronto, 416-972-1593, tntthenewtrend.com.
Spot the hottest runway trends at this denim destination in Hazelton Lanes. Try super-skinny Tsubi or Thomas Wylde (available in Canada exclusively at TNT Blu) in a grey or black wash. Cutting-edge international brands like Cheap Monday (Sweden), Superfine (England) and Nobody (Australia) are sure to keep you looking like a jetsetting jean queen.
TORONTO: BEST TAILORING
Toronto: Stychin Tyme
2502 Yonge St., Toronto, 416-485-6970.
Recommended by staffers at Mendocino, Stychin Tyme has been happily hemming for more than 18 years. Generally, denim alterations take two days, but sometimes same-day service is available. Extended business hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) on weekdays make it a convenient stop en route to or from the office.
VANCOUVER: BEST STORES
1036 Mainland St., Vancouver, 604-688-9989, atomicmodel.com.
Owner Kristen Pellack is constantly sourcing the globe’s hottest denim. Up this season: Deener Denim and Oligo Tissew, both from L.A., and Australia’s Sass & Bide.
Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Vancouver, 604-434-2160, bootlegger.ca.
This fall, don’t miss Bootlegger’s Dish Design Shop (dishdesignshop.com), where you can destruct your jeans, then refinish, refade and reshape them with the help of designers from the Vancouver-based denim line Dish.
2177 W. Fourth Ave., Vancouver, 604-734-0139.
Denim guru Sara Malkin helps her loyal clients (including Goldie Hawn) avoid saggy “man pants” by burrowing through the jam-packed racks for hot brands like True Religion, and Gold Sign by Adriano Goldschmeid.
1092 Robson St., Vancouver, 778-327-5004, hilfigerdenim.com.
This is Canada’s first boutique to specialize in Hilfiger Denim, the namesake designer’s European collection. The line is edgier and more casual, and this season it’s inspired by parties and nightlife. We love it already.
Jonathan + Olivia
2570 Main St., Vancouver, 604-637-6224, jonathanandolivia.com.
At this West Coast test store for Acne Jeans and Earnest Sewn, proprietor Jackie O’Brien’s mission is to find cutting-edge styles that are the right fit for customers’ body types.
Lark 8th Ave
152 E. Eighth Ave., Vancouver, 604-879-5275, lark8thave.com.
Co-owner Veronika Baspaly swears by Nudie jeans, which come raw and are individualized depending on how you wash and wear your pair. Don’t fit? The brand’s little sister, Denimbird, will.
Lucky Brand Jeans
Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Vancouver, 604-630-3340, luckybrandjeans.com.
Miss lines at the border (you won’t really miss them) with Vancouver’s first Lucky Brand Jeans store, including this season’s rock ’n’ roll, Warhol-inspired collection.
One of a Few
354 Water St., Vancouver, 604-605-0685, oneofafew.com.
Owner Michelle Rizzardo stocks one of the city’s largest collections of skinny denim. Ask for the Peg jean by J Brand—at 12 inches around the ankle, they don’t get any skinnier than this.
856 Granville St., Vancouver, 604-677-3202, and two other Vancouver locations.
This brand spankin’ new downtown location boasts two things: First, it’s the fast-growing chain’s biggest store yet; second, is just that: Second Clothing. Available in Vancouver exclusively at Spank, this reasonably priced Montreal line offers form-fitting denim, whose fans include style makers Alicia Keys and Jessica Simpson.
True Value Vintage
710 Robson St., Vancouver, 604-685-5403.
This is Vancouver’s treasure trove for unique vintage offerings from the 1940s to the ’70s. Look for collectible denim from Lee, Wrangler and Levi’s.
VANCOUVER: BEST TAILORING
350 Howe St., Vancouver, 604-685-9327, awear.com.
Three full-time seamstresses expedite and deliver alterations for out-of-town visitors, who flock to Leone’s downstairs boutique, L2, for offerings from Taverniti So, Antik and Diesel.
2803 W. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-736-4484, and three other Vancouver locations, getplenty.com.
Free hemming on all regular-priced denim has helped turn this once-quaint boutique into a Vancouver institution.
609 Granville St., Vancouver, 604-689-2429, and three other Vancouver locations.
Stitch International is renowned for the “hour hem,” and work done here is guaranteed.