Friday, February 7, 2020

Colour Story: Montreal

Tweed skirt, old JCrew, Hermes scarf.
 We'll be heading to Union Station in Toronto next week to hop on a train to Montreal.  It's a girls trip with my best girlfriends The Lauras and all of our daughters.  We'll be doing some shopping, hitting restaurants and pubs... and maybe even a night club for the younger set.

It will most certainly be cold.  Do you know that song 'Montreal' by Raine Maida?  The chorus goes something like "the cold winds of Montreal... the cold winds of Montreal", which bears repeating because this is the thing I remember best about Montreal in the middle of winter: damn but the winds are cold.

I'll be bringing out my best cold weather armour, the things I wear if it's -20 and I need to take Scout for a long walk.  Those things are layers, of course, and more specifically layers of tweed and wool and fur.
 It's true that I stopped consuming meat entirely almost three years ago, not for any particular health reason but because I love pigs and logically not eating other animals follows that line of thinking.  I do however wear recycled fur.

My mother-in-law, who I loved dearly and miss very much, left me her dark brown mink coat.  I stared at it for a couple of years trying to figure out what to do with it and finally I decided to have it reworked so I could wear it during our coldest months.  I had it made into a reversible coat, with the fur on the inside and a dark brown water and windproof taffeta fabric on the outside.  Though it is reversible I never, ever wear it with the fur on the outside, it's not as warm for one, but it's also too much of a fur look.  I prefer the taffeta exterior with the fur trim, and of course the warmth.
 I'll be bringing my trusty LV dark brown bag and a recycled brown mink fur hat.

Train travel can be a bit challenging for me with the hauling of luggage up and down the stairs.  I'll be bringing my Dubarry of Ireland brown duffle bag, which isn't particularly large by any means.  My colour story will need to be fairly streamlined.
Travel gear.
 I'll bring my two J.Crew tweed skirt suits from 2006.  Does this qualify as vintage?  I'm not sure but what I do know is that these outfits are my favourite things to wear in the winter.  They fit beautifully, are so warm with just a silk camisole, tights and boots, and because of their neat fit they slide under the slightly oversized fur coat without issue.  The combination of wool and fur is like trapping myself inside a furnace.
These tweed skirt suits are the base of the story, one in green and one in red.
 I always add a scarf to the neck of these suits to warm up and cover the neck.
Dark brown boots will be worn with every outfit.
 To get a more casual look out of these suits I'll bring my Bosie of Scotland fair isle sweaters, a pink one for the green skirt of course:
 My red suit is a real favourite, in part because I pair it with my Hermes Metamorphosis scarf:
 I'll bring a third tweed skirt which doesn't have a jacket pairing, but which does pair well with the yellow Bosie fair isle and my yellow-toned scarf.
Third tweed skirt.
Old JCrew, 2005.
I've worn this yellow fair isle so much this winter, it's lovely warm and surprisingly versatile, really bringing out the warm tones in the red tweed.
 This was a favourite look around Christmas this year:
Other additions to the duffle will be some warm pyjamas and a bathing suit for the hotel pool.  I'll just bring the one pair of boots but lots of tights and some warm socks to layer as well.

  I'm so looking forward to spending this time with my girlfriends and all of our girls- who grew up together and are now amazing and fun young adult women.
I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and hopefully return with some good restaurant recommendations.
Have you been to Montreal?


  1. I have been to Montreal. I enjoyed it so much. It was in May, much nicer weather than the winter cold. Old Town is pretty and historic and as close to European atmosphere as you can get in Canada. Have a wonderful time!

    You have some gorgeous old J. Crew pieces. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite though I think the red suit with the Hermes scarf might be it. All the tweed pieces are wonderful. What an incredibly clever idea to have the fur coat redone with the fur on the inside! I'm sure your mother in law would be so happy to know you are warmed by her coat and think of her when you wear it.

  2. What a super idea to have the mink coat worked into a lining under a weather proof outer coat, and from my limited but very frozen experience of -20 + Canadian temperatures, it will be absolutely perfect. I love your tweed suits, and your pink and yellow fair isle sweaters. Perfection. I have been to Montreal, also in May like SunnyDay - it was in 2013 and we enjoyed it very much. What a charming city.

  3. That IS a great idea to have the mink coat reworked. I've got a fur coat of my granny's, but I'm afraid the skin might be too brittle to have it reworked. But I love the idea. Great outfits, Dani. Old J. Crew is the best. The quality was top notch.

  4. Love this post! I miss old JCrew- still have a few good quality beautiful wool coats that I enjoy wearing every winter. I like how you pair the silk scarves with the wool suits- I may just copy that look. And what a brilliant way to re-work your mother-in-law's coat. I often look at clothing I own and wonder how I can tweak it here and there. I have never been to Montreal but it is on my wish list. I'm looking forward to your upcoming post on your trip so I can get around to planning mine! Thanks for all these fabulous posts- I'm enjoying them

  5. I love the reworked coat and would love to see you wearing it. My great Aunt Tirzah left me a mink jacket. I wear it in the snow. It’s really vintage circa 1940’s with a swing style and plush wide cuffs and a collar that can be turned up for added warmth. Your sweaters tights and skirt combos should keep you cozy. Have fun!

  6. Hi Dani,
    Would you consider doing a post on clothes keeping? I would love to know how you care for your woolens.
    Enjoy your trip!

  7. I love what you are bringing! Montreal is such a fun city and the train is such a civilized way to travel. I love your reworked coat. Have a wonderful time! Xx

  8. Bonjour Dani!

    I live in Montreal and can give suggestions if needed.

    We had a big snow storm this week, but it all gets cleared pretty quick. Your outfits are so classy and versatile. I love anything Hermes and mourn for the old J Crew quality. With the warmer upcoming temps predicted, they will be just perfect.

    Bienvenue et bonne vacance,

  9. I would love to see a photo of your re-styled coat. It sounds both pretty and practical! Bon voyage!

  10. NEVER been to MONTREAL!
    I took MY mothers mink and made it a VEST back in the early 90's.Used the sleeves for small pillows!I lived in ITALY so it was good to go to the MARKET in at THAT TIME.LOVE YOUR IDEA!!BRAVA!


  11. 1. Everything EAST of St Laurent Street becomes French - WEST is more English. I would suggest you explore both./
    2. Great clothes but remember your feet are KEY - Montreal salt and slush have no mercy on anyone so choose footwear wisely.
    3. Walk everywhere.

    4. Absolutely go to Bar George in the old Mt Stephen Club for drinks - you'll love it, I promise.

    5. Make a reservation right now for a table window at L'Express quintessential French dining, has been there forever, there is no sign and is on St Denis. They fill up fast.

    6. Walk through McGill campus, along Prince Arthur in the ghetto and up St Laurent Street. The girls will love Scandale probably not your taste but has been there since the 70's and Quebecois designs and intense stockings. Just check it out. Check out Schwartz's the old smoked meat deli and before hand, the European Deli and Old Europe for cheese. Walk up to Laurier where there are great boutiques and eat at either Lemeac (lunch is great) hip, modern delicious moules, great lunch menu or the traditional Chez Levesque - shops are great there.
    7. After lunch walk back over the mountain - go to the lookout absolutely.

    Walking west you can pop into Bagels on Greene - Greene Avenue has lovely shops, Westmount is beautiful - but this is if you have time.

    8. Go to the Atwater Market - lots and lots of fun. Also for a funkier dinner try Tuckshop for eclectic and funkola.

    9. Old Montreal is an absolute must - not sure if you can get into Notre Dame but it is worth it. The Hotel Nelson is the BEST place to stay and lunch is fun there as well. Lots to see and do in Old Montreal. Stash, Barroco, Garde Manger are all safe bets and EVERYBODY goes to Olive and Gourmando for breakfast - you cannot make reservations. Fly Gin from what I understand is a super popular night club but not sure how old your girls are.
    #26in case the email is an old one - have fun!Also go to St Viateur Bagels for the originals....

  12. Your travel wardrobe looks so cozy. Also I love how it's colorful, to just the right degree. I hope you have a wonderful time.