Where to buy your first work wardrobe // Style

Three solid chains to make sure you arrive at the office in style

By Emma Williamson

On Wednesday September 3rd, 2014


Well, you’ve done it. You scored a coveted legal job and now you need to impress your new firm. First things first: be impeccably dressed.

Wondering where to start? When buying that first capsule work wardrobe, you can’t go wrong with these three Canada-wide chains — the trifecta of work style.


Men: Harry Rosen

Suit from Harry RosenHead to Harry Rosen, your one-stop shop for polish and sophistication. Harry offers Canada’s largest selection of suits in the $1,000 range, from Z Zegna and Hugo Boss to JP Tilford by Samuelsohn. With a huge selection of top brands, you get exactly what you pay for — whether it’s off-the-rack or bespoke pieces.

Check out the colourful tie collection and elegant casual wear that’s a cut above. “Clothing advisors” (personal shoppers) point out new arrivals and arrange for your purchases to be altered to fit you perfectly. Try to hit the sales strategically — you just might find yourself with a gorgeous designer suit for a small fraction of the original price tag.

The verdict: Unparalleled professionalism, expertise and customer service.


Women: Banana Republic

Suir from Banana RepublicStock up at Banana Republic. It’s an oldie but a goodie — synonymous with classic ladies’ workwear — hitting that sweet spot between professional and fashionable. Buy your first suit here (I did!). Try the classic lightweight wool number featuring three blazer styles and two pant cuts to flatter any body type. Add a non-iron collared shirt or silk blouse and a classic handbag, and you’re off to the races, well-dressed — and all for under $1,000.

Online shopping is easy and returns are free. Sign up for emails and regularly get 40 percent off your shopping bag. A fabulous petites section, helpful salespeople and cheap alterations are the cherries on top of this delicious fashion sundae.

The verdict: Affordable and conservative, yet stylish. There’s something for every woman.


Everyone: Hudson’s Bay

Suits from Hudson's BayLook no further than Hudson’s Bay, which has turned over a new fashion leaf with The Room, Topshop/Topman and a plethora of leading designers. No matter your budget or style, it’s got suits, shirts, dresses and all the sartorial accoutrements.

Guys, you can’t go wrong with Strellson, DKNY or Ted Baker. Ladies, check out Theory, Pink Tartan and Anne Klein and do not miss the fabulous shoe department for great finds from Nine West, Franco Sarto, Coach and Brian Atwood.

The Bay offers pretty decent online shopping and the Queen Street location in Toronto has a free personal shopping service. Check out the January boot sale for up to half off (warning: you will buy three extra pairs).

The verdict: Maximum variety, and you won’t look like you stepped out of a store catalogue.


Also, check out these five boutiques across Canada that know legal fashion. And hear some of Bay Street’s most fashionable lawyers on how to dress for the job.

This story appears in our 2014 national Student Issue