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FF was delighted to come across a new line of in-house designs for women at Zellers this week — it’s called Jules & James, and this budget collection has far more in common with Stella McCartney’s luxe-for-less designs for H&M than with the usual soccer-mom goods typically on offer at this budget retailer. Stylistas are wise to scamper quickly and quietly to their closest location on the double, as the impressively fashion-forward stock from the holiday collection has just been deeply discounted by up to 70 per cent to make way for spring merchandise. Top marks go to the numerous vintage-inspired tops in mesh, lace and jersey tops (many now priced under $10!!), plus wrap-dresses, tapered jackets with tie-fronts and a ruffled derriere (now $25) as well as flattering stretch cord gauchos in teal and chocolate (now $15). There’s also an especially stellar drop-waist dress in black jersey with a simple boatneck and a softly pleated skirt that’s very of the moment and just $25.
This is definitely a label to watch, as the fresh pieces are extremely affordable, even at full price (few more than $50, many under $25) and very much on trend. Zellers is cleverly targeting a new generation of young women (and well-preserved moms) who want the latest runway looks at wallet-friendly prices. A fresh stash of separates are delivered to stores every six to eight weeks, and many of the items arriving now can be worn during the transition into spring (and certainly while the seasons are currently somewhat blurred). Watch for a fashion-whammy of goodies arriving Feb. 1. www.hbc.com/zellers
Style for a song
Emerging fashion designer Laura Poretsky, who consistently earns kudos for her collection at New York Fashion Week, has designed a fantastic capsule collection of fetching heels for Payless Shoes.
The sophisticated designs, including a vampy pump, a retro-wedge with open-toe and a cocktail ankle boot, boast the swish silhouette of footwear that would typically take a much bigger bite out of your wallet.
The Michael pump in teal faux-suede with Art Deco-inspired appliques accented in gold is a stunner with a subtle nod to ’80s glam and a treat at just $50.
WHERE: At select Payless Shoes stores across Canada. www.payless.com
If you missed the last one and lived to regret it, don’t skip the Lululemon Warehouse Sale next week (Jan. 25 to 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily). Take note: More than 14,000 square feet of much coveted yoga and lounge-wear from this Canadian athletic label will be in swoon-worthy piles. Frugalistas can score some deals, but be prepared to wait in line and to be flexible regarding colour availability. Marked-down merch is typically not black, but there are many dreamy finds in various sizes including whisper tanks, groove pants, and warm-up jackets from past seasons. If you’ve made promises to yourself about getting fit this year, a new workout ensemble might be just the ticket to kickstart your goals.
Where: 473 Adelaide St. W. (2nd floor) www.lululemon.com
Don’t skip The Bay if you’re on the hunt for winter accessories. Some phenomenal deals are to be had on hats, gloves, scarves and knitted shawls. Most already reduced items have been slashed another 50 to 70 per cent off the last ticket price. FF scored a cute knitted shawl-shrug with a belt by Echo for $15 that was originally more than $100. Quirky mitts and hat sets have also been reduced and many winter-weight snuggly socks, slippers and tights have also been deeply discounted. And, for those who want to avoid squinting during the chillier months, select designer shades, plus oodles of drool-inducing boots are also reduced up to 70 per cent. Worth a gander, at least. www.hbc.com
Deals with a French twist
At French Connection (a.k.a. FCUK), numerous subtly cool sweaters and zip-front jackets for stylish men keen to give a fashion nod to Paul Weller have been discounted by 50 per cent or more (several under $60). Smart button-down shirts with just a little edge are now starting at $39. Ladies can also scoop deals on hipster gear, with wrap tops, scoop and deep v-necks; some pieces are tagged as low as $19, which is unusual at this popular British chain. Sensible and chic outer-wear is priced to move as well. www.fcukcanada.com