Shopping is like falling in love. At times, it can be a frustrating process, like when you get seduced by sales on alluring trends while you’re in an exclusive relationship with your rent. But sometimes, magical things happen, like finding that perfect shirt and instantly becoming infatuated. Yeah, that’s love.
However, this fashion passion can also be paired with profound jealousy and one thing is for sure: hell hath no fury like a woman who spots another girl with something that’s “hers”.
If you want your wardrobe to be faithful to you, there’s one simple solution: ditch the mall in favor of shopping at unique stores which will offer you styles that you can call your own. Ottawa has hundreds of awesome boutiques and bazaars to discover, but here’s a list of the best spots in Canada’s Capital.
1. Kania: 145 York St.
Nestled in the heart of the Byward Market, Kania is the boutique for every Carleton fashionista. Featuring collections from some of Canada’s most talented designers, it is filled with innovative, yet stylish items. You’re sure to find something that you cannot leave behind. Corset belts and yoga Jeans?! Yes please!
2. The Milk Shop: 234 Dalhousie St.
Conveniently located in the downtown core, The Milk Shop is one of the most unique boutiques in Ottawa. Specializing in women’s fashion, this is a great place to find clothing and accessories that you can totally call your own.
3. Victoire: 246 Dalhousie St.
A “blend of classic good style with a dash of rebellion,” Victoire is where vintage cool and modern edginess collide and create something seriously awesome. Also, it’s just down the street from The Milk Shop, so you can check out two great places in one trip!
4. Viens avec Moi: 1338 Wellington St.
Viens avec Moi is a brand new store that offers a wide variety of fashion-forward brands at reasonable prices, something for which us broke university shopaholics are forever grateful. The store is also an extension of Models International Management, so we all get to dress like models off-duty!
5. Pom Pom: 732 Bank St.
There’s really only one word to describe Pom Pom: Fun! When you walk in this place, you’ll immediately feel like a kid in a candy store. The fashionable, yet vintage items are so sweet; you might leave the store with a cavity... in your wallet that is! Also, it is just in the Glebe, making it super accessible for us Carleton girls!
6. Frou Frou: 11 William St.
The sister store to Pom Pom, Frou Frou is equally as fun, fresh and fantastic! This place oozes with originality and features items that are definitely more on the quirky side. While you’re there, you can wander into The Sassy Bead Co. to create your very own piece of jewelry. It's right next door!
7. Lilac Lingerie: 307 Richmond Rd.
Lilac Lingerie is the place to go for all of my fellow lingerie lovers. They offer a variety of services such as bra fittings and boudoir photo-shoots, as well as a unique collection of sexy bras and undies to unleash your inner burlesque vixen.
8. The Third World Bazaar: Manotick Station & Mitch Owens Rd.
The Third World Bazaar is unarguably Ottawa’s best kept secret. Unfortunately, it only runs from October to November and it is hidden away in the quaint village of Manotick, but the trip and the wait are definitely worth it. This barn warehouse is filled with interesting home décor, art, furniture, accessories, and clothing from developing countries.
9. Book Bazaar: 417 Bank St.
While you're on that 3 hour break of yours, why not jump on the 7 and take a quick peak at all the literary treasures that the Ottawa’s Book Bazaar holds? It is every bookworm’s dream, since it offers a huge selection of cheap classics, and first editions too! Whether you're looking for books for your English Lit. class or even just novels to read at your own luxury, the Book Bazaar is a great alternative to Chapters and Indigo.
10. Vertigo Records 193 Rideau St.
Calling all retro girls! It's time for you to do the Time Warp and head over to Vertigo Records, downtown Ottawa’s home for new and used records. Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson? Check! Muddy Waters? Got it! What about Kiss and Van Halen? Of course! The wide range of genres will surely cater to all musical tastes. They also have great deals on CDs, and if you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to ask about special orders!
Well there you have it ladies: your very own guide to some of Ottawa's most unique boutiques and bazaars! I promise that checking these places will leave you love-struck, and you won't have to worry about unfaithful undies and disloyal dresses. If that's not a good enough reason to do the big switch from shopping centers to independent run stores, keep in mind that small enterprises are reputable for having closer relationships with their guests, which means you'll get better service and an excellent experience all together!
Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favorite shops in Ottawa? What did you think of these places during your visit? Let us know!