The reality of winter fashion in Canadian climates is that you really only have to worry about one piece of clothing for the better part of four months.
You probably guessed that the item in question is your coat. As much as we try to make winter fashion exciting, the reality is that it’s really f’ing cold and we spend the majority of our time bundled up – even indoors in some cases.
The good news is, outerwear options are plentiful and it doesn’t stop at Canada Goose parkas. There are a plethora of alternative brands you’ve never heard of and might even impress you more than the household outerwear brands you’ve come to know.
Take a chance on one of these under the radar brands and choose not to blend into the crowd this winter.
SØSKEN Studio" width="52" height="52"/>
This Montreal-based outerwear brand isn’t a household name yet but it should be. Lead designer, Marisa Minicucci has created a line that encompasses gender-bending styles that don’t take away from a women’s femininity.
Sentaler" width="52" height="52"/>
Luxury and quality are cornerstones of the Sentaler brand. They’re quite new, having been established in 2009 by Bojana Sentaler, but there’s no shortage of notable fans clamouring to sport the brand around town. Most recently, Kate Middleton put the brand on the world stage when she wore Sentaler's ribbed sleeve alpaca coat during her Canadian tour. Other notable women who love their Sentaler pieces include Orphan Black actress, Tatiana Maslany and Canada's first lady, Sophie Trudeau .
Ellie Mae" width="52" height="52"/>
If you haven’t heard of Ellie Mae, it’s probably because they’re barely a year old. That doesn’t mean the young Toronto-based label hasn’t managed to do great things already. Stylish and versatile, Ellie Mae has already become a favourite amongst street stylers and was also donned by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau during the Washington state visit.
Ganni" width="52" height="52"/>
Everyone knows the Danish are up there when it comes to style, so we weren’t surprised to discover womenswear label, Ganni, hails from Copenhagen. Outerwear makes up a big portion of Ganni’s seasonal collections and they never fail to disappoint with classic silhouettes that will make anyone appear effortlessly stylish.
FREED" width="52" height="52"/>
Looking for a coat that’s a little extraordinary? Look no further then Canadian heritage brand, Freed. This outerwear label features classic silhouettes with some unexpected details using fur trim, leather elbow patches and interesting patterns. Rest assured that you won’t blend into the crowd wearing a FREED design.
Nicole Benisti" width="52" height="52"/>
Canadians know a thing or two about how to dress for extreme cold weather. That’s why we trust that Montreal-based outerwear brand, Nicole Benisti, has us covered in the warmth department. The vibrant fur parkas are equal parts stylish and practical and can be reversed to reveal a fuzzy alternative when you’re feeling extra playful.
Mr. & Mrs. Italy" width="52" height="52"/>
The likelihood that you’ve heard much about Mr. & Mrs. Italy is slim unless you saw something about Cara Delevingne being a fan. The extremely high-end outerwear brand hails from Italy and encompasses vintage details, vibrant colourful fur and focuses mainly on variations of the traditional army green parka. If you really want to splurge, Mr. & Mrs. Italy does indeed ship to Canada but be prepared to mortgage your home.
The Arrivals NYC" width="52" height="52"/>
Modular clothing is becoming a thing and The Arrivals NYC has capitalized on consumer desire for functional but stylish coats that can be worn multiple ways. The fairly new minimalist outerwear brand features parkas, wool coats and leather jackets that are truly covetable. They were recently featured on Vogue.com so it’s only a matter of time before this little secret is out.