Vancouver shops for summer essentials

What’s the best part of summer, you ask? Why, shopping for new warm weather gear, of course! Prepare for Vancouver’s rain-free days filled with beach visits, camping, parties and barbecues by visiting these local boutiques, which offer the latest in summer essentials including sandals, bathing suits, sunglasses, towels and more. [Photo credit: iStock.com/ GOTO_TOKYO]

Granville Island Hat Shop

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4-1666 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S2

Make a statement this summer with a sunhat that’s as fashionable as it is sensible. A Granville Island institution, this chic shop has provided Vancouverites with handmade, quality hats for decades. Venerable staff truly know their stuff here; simply describe your vision – whether it’s a straw hat for berry-picking or cloth cap for getting wet in – and they’ll source a hat that matches your needs as much as your face shape.

Urbanity

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2412 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3G6

Picture this: you’re leaving the beach, dressed in a simple tunic that’s at once covered-up, cool and airy – and perfect for throwing over a bathing suit on your way to dinner. Achieve this easy-breezy look at Urbanity, where all-natural, organic dresses, scarves and tunics hail from Scandinavian design houses. These minimal garments may be pricey, but that’s because they’re built to last many summer seasons.

Tilley

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1750 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6J 1Y1

Almost everyone knows of Tilley’s iconic canvas hats; durable, lightweight and water-resistant, they’re ideal for travelling, hiking, fishing, camping, and pretty much every other summertime activity. Historically, these ubiquitous hats were known more for functionality than fashion appeal; however, modern versions now come in multiple colours, styles and fits to appeal to a wider demographic – even Millenial adventurers.

Mountain Equipment Co-Op

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130 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1P3

For polarized sunglasses that won’t break the bank, look no further than Mountain Equipment Co-op, where display cases near the front doors carry top-of-the-line shades, with most priced at less than $100 (unless it’s Ray Bans you’re after, of course). MEC’s in-house line is especially affordable, with such stylish models as the Asmita Polarized and Ace Aviators costing just $32 each.

Lord's Shoes

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2932 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3J7

Ditch your flip-flops for a day and visit Lord’s summer sandal collection, which is never standard, and always vibrant and quirky. This South Granville shop carries some of the most comfortable sandals in the city, with perks such as arch support and extra heel cushioning for long walks in the sun. From sequined sliders to platform wedges, these sought-after shoes are the work of Fly London, WONDER, FitFlop, David Tyler and many more renowned footwear labels.

West Elm Market

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2915 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3J6

Regulars flock to West Elm Market for eclectic homewares such as soy candles and throw pillows – and these are lovely, of course – but next time you visit the South Granville shop keep your eyes peeled for large, decorated tote bags, which are ideal for summertime strolling downtown or at the beach. Among them, leopard-print and leather versions, with stunning gold details.

Pulpfiction Books

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2754 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6K 2G4

No cabin weekend is complete without an addicting beach read, and the clever bibliophiles at Pulp Fiction are happy to recommend one before you leave town, towel in hand. Among the shop’s many shelves, several are devoted to new and bestselling fiction. But if you’re hankering for a classic, rows upon rows of used books house literature’s greats, who make for equally good beach reading; just ask the shop’s inimitable owner, Chris Brayshaw.

Pottery Barn

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2600 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3H8

You don’t want just any beach towel this summer – you want a gorgeous, striking panel of cloth as bright as your watermelon slice. Luckily, Pottery Barn’s got you covered, with a range of plush, soft towels in paisley, pinstripe, mosaic and geometric designs – and even quick-dry versions of several of these – which look as good poking out of your tote bag as they do on the sand.

Despite the prevalence and ease of online shopping, most people still like to visit a physical shop when searching for the perfect pair of hiking boots. (No one wants to discover their boots don’t fit right 50 kilometers into backcountry!) Vancouver is home to many outdoor shops, and these local favourites carry some of the best hiking boots in the city. [Photo credit: iStock.com/flyingfishtw]
For many of us, what we put on our skin during the summer months is as important as where we’re going on vacation. These local Vancouver shops carry sunscreens that not only protect your skin, but also will help you smell, feel and age well, among other benefits. [Photo credit: iStock.com/Alliance]
As minimalist design takes Vancouver by storm, these local boutiques offer streamlined home-wares, clothing, and more products and goodies, all inspired by the distinct Scandinavian style of great white north.
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