Mercedes Lane Too

Luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.Karl Lagerfeld

No matter how good the piece of clothing looks, it’s got to FEEL good when wearing it — usually for hours on end!
My confident recommendation to find look-good / feel-good pieces are at Mercedes Lane Too on Cook Street.

The storefront is like a siren, beckoning me from down the street!
There are dresses,


tops for leggings,


more dresses,


pants from Up! — made in Canada  — in different colours and patterns and all oh, so flattering!,


and coats.


The owner, Tina Robson, has years of experience sourcing her products and carries varied clothing such as silk and linen items from Italy, for example, but she’s proud to note that about 65% of her wares are made in Canada.

For example, Mode de Vie clothing (left) is made in Canada, as is Gitane (right), below.


Besides the amazing Up! pants, Mercedes Lane Too also offers Canadian-made lines such as Neon Buddha, Mode de Vie and Pretty Woman, among others.

And while it plays only a supporting role, there’s art available too!

Tina doesn’t have an advertising budget — she doesn’t need to!
Every time I’m in her shop, I see women browsing, trying on the clothing, and they range in age from teens to my Grandma! No advertising budget means more economical prices for us! Maybe that’s why I never see anyone leaving the store empty-handed!
(…….or it could be the no-pressure help Tina and her staff offer us………….this is actual customer service!)

I bought these bernie mev shoes two years ago and they’re perfect when it’s wet underfoot, plus they’re the lightest footwear I own! 

There’s also bling and boot toppers,


hats and other accessories.

On this visit, Linda was partial to black-ish choices:


I had to have a shorty sweater and an airy-floaty dress, both in green, on this particular day………..


It’s truly worth a stop at Mercedes Lane Too — a different store with different stuff!
Great, irresistible stuff!


Mercedes Lane Too
325 Cook St, Victoria

Tue – Sat  9:30 – 8, Mon 9:30 – 6, Sun 10 – 6


Marmalade Tart Boutique

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”  — Mark Twain

Wander up the main street from the seaside wharf — that’s up Beacon Avenue — and you can’t miss the Marmalade Tart Boutique.
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HAD to check it out………….oh dear, this is MY kind of shop!

Wonderfully unique accessories, including belts, handbags, scarves …………….. ooohh, the scarves! Sourced in India at fair-trade prices and fair-labour practices, these 100% cashmere beauties are one-of-a-kind luxury wearables!

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Marmalade Tart features clothing from Neon Buddha, Yest with its generously long arm and leg proportions,  Chalet, Rock N Karma, Fidelity jeans and shoes too.

Contemporary, unique jewellery………..okay, it was calling to me!

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Besides the bling and the scarves, the item that I recommend to every woman is the Lissette pant.  Yes, the one made in Canada, the one that’s Oprah’s fave!  Lissette pants make every woman look good!  The cut and fit are truly flattering, yet so comfortable.  Really, I should be the poster girl for Lissette!  Love ’em!  Look at them all!
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The low sun hitting all the blingy items caught my eye.  Did I mention, there are belts……..?!

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Yes!  Had to have it!


Marmalade Tart Boutique
2506 Beacon Avenue
Sidney, BC
Mon – Sat 10 am – 5:30 pm, Sun 10 am – 5 pm




House of Savoy

“If you wear things you adore, you just look better.”  — Margherita Missoni

Walking into the House of Savoy consignment boutique, immediately our eyes were drawn upwards and all around, as there are eye-catching gowns presented everywhere, even high up on the walls.
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The boutique is well organized and offers good quality and name brand clothing, shoes & boots, jewellery, accessories and even vintage pieces.

Lili had to try these “sensible boots”, nearly brand-new.
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Linda found the perfect fit in a blue coat – and it’s reversible!  Completely unique and gorgeous!

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Great finds at amazing prices!  A definite gem!

House of Savoy
1869 Oak Bay Avenue

Mon – Sat 10 am – 5 pm.

frilly lilly Beauty Salon

“Every once in a while, a girl has to indulge herself.”  — Sarah Jessica Parker

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Attracted as I am by pretty objects in the window, I entered frilly lilly on a whim and was surprised to see that it’s in fact a beauty salon.  The friendly manager advised that they specialize in waxing, manicures and pedicures.   I shall return another day with an appointment for their services.

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But, back to the pretty things………………frilly lilly offers a full line of body care products, plus fragrances, candles and gift packs.  What attracted my eye this day was the jewellery and accessories.

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Also offered — the first retailer in Canada to do so — are the Putchipuu bags, each one uniquely hand-woven by women of the Wayuu tribe in Columbia.  By producing items such as these and selling them through fair-trade resellers, the Wayuu community is able to to provide jobs, education, sanitation in water and living areas.

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Since this is the “cold” season in Victoria, I need ear covers at times.  So I simply couldn’t pass up this headband with its blingy embellishment.  Beauty and function in one piece!

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frilly lilly Beauty Salon
811 Fort Street, Victoria

Mon, Wed, Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Tue & Thur 10 am – 8 pm, Sat 10 am – 5 pm.

Calla Design

“If you love something, it will work.  That’s the only real [design] rule.”  — Bunny Williams

Newly opened in fall of 2015, Calla Design is a longtime dream of designer Janice Long.

Janice says, “People walk in and say that this is the kind of shop/studio they’d expect to find in Los Angeles or maybe Vancouver, but Victoria?”   Yes, in Estevan Village in Victoria!

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The shop features original paintings by local artists,
decor and furniture by Martha Sturdy in Vancouver, solid and custom made furniture by Whittingdon  & Co from Mississauga, Lafco lotions and soaps from New York, and
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luxury home fragrances by Antica Farmacistica from Seattle.

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Calla Design also features unique items found by Janice Long, such
as this chair from the Ken Shore estate in Portland.
Throughout the store Janice has created vignettes showcasing pieces of the fine furniture lines, along with a variety of the decor items and accessories she offers.

The Egyptian cotton towels are sumptuous.
The furniture throws are fine pieces well-crafted from natural fibres.

But the jaw-dropping items for me were the Kinzig lamps made as future collectors’ items using solid brass and copper, with shades of fine silk and other elegant fabrics and inset with
coloured blown-glass features.  Kinzig Lamps are made by Susan Kinzig in San Francisco and the shades are made by Susan’s sister-in-law in Philadelphia.  The colours and shapes of the shades and blown glass in the lamps can be custom ordered through Calla Design and are available as table lamps or floor lamps.  These are undeniably unique and as much pieces of art as they are functional.


Calla Design
2541 Estevan Ave, Victoria

Open Tues – Sat 10 am – 5:30 pm, Sun