Where to shop for summer dresses in Vancouver

Just in time for summer, I’ve scoured the city to come up with a list of the best shops for warm-weather dresses. From floral gowns to jersey jumpers to everything in-between, these Vancouver boutiques stock plenty of gorgeous dresses that’ll inspire you to show off your bare legs all season long. [Photo courtesy of One of a Few]

Front & Company

1
3772 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3N7

Hosting an engagement party on a shoestring budget? Head to Front & Company to shop for the perfect affordable dress. Handpicked consignment items rub shoulders with contemporary, mid-level brands here, so you can match your second-hand dress with designer shoes (or vice versa) for a combination that looks great without bending your credit card – and your guests will be none the wiser.

8th & Main

2
2403 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E1

Consider packing an energy bar because 8th and Main’s abundance of reasonably priced dresses – in all manner of styles, cuts and patterns – is bound to keep you busy for hours upon hours. Bring a friend along with you, too, as you’ll need some backup when it comes time to decide between the jean mini dress or the black maxi, the floral wrap or the white shirtdress, the striped sailor dress or the grey sweater dress…

Anthropologie

3
2912 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3J7

Urban Outfitters’ older sister Anthropologie offers a range of summer dresses that are on the pricier side of the affordable scale, but when you factor in the quality of the fabric and timelessness of the design (i.e. you’ll want to wear it for longer than one week), any linen shift or flowing maxi from this hippy-chic boutique is an investment piece for the savvy shopper. And the best part? Gorgeous fitting rooms, with helpful, unfussy staff and high-quality lighting, provide a confidence boost for styles outside your comfort zone.

Oak & Fort

4
260A-650 41st Ave W, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2M9

A Vancouver-based company, Oak + Fort specializes in contemporary designs that nod to modern architecture in their angular, simplistic shapes and subtle tones. At the Oakridge Mall location, monochrome shifts; flowing dresses in creams, whites, blacks and greys; and jumpers with invisible waistlines are not only stunning, they’re also incredibly forgiving and comfortable, and therefore ideal for busy parties, especially when eating’s involved.

Neighbour / Woman

BC

Sister to the very successful Neighbour / Man, this Gastown boutique is owned by the same style mastermind, Saager X, who sources rare and/or acclaimed brands from his sporadic travels around the world. Included amongst his pared-down selection of Scandinavian-inspired womenswear are striking, one-of-a-kind dresses that are ideal for art gallery openings, job interviews or other occasions where the dress code is less Shopaholic, and more Gertrude Stein.

Hill's Of Kerrisdale

5
2125 41st Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6M 1Z3

Founded by the same family name behind global fashion enterprise Aritzia, Hills of Kerrisdale is a decent-sized, well-stocked boutique that has been around since the mid 1920s, making it one of Vancouver’s oldest businesses – but with some of the freshest merchandise. Here, you’ll find summer frocks from refined American brands like Rachel Comey and Karen Walker among boho-style dresses from Citizens of Humanity, Rag & Bone, and Free People. Plus, Hills has one of the most extensive collections of handmade jewellery among Vancouver boutiques.

Zebra Club

6
3101 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3K1

All white surfaces and modern displays, this understated South Granville shop is ideal for quick pop-ins on your way to a downtown function. A well-curated collection and expert merchandizing ensures you won’t spend hours in the change room (if that’s not your thing) but rather will zero-in on the dress you want as soon as you walk through the door. Brands include Cheap Monday, Front Row Society and Kara Yoo, among other trendsetters.

One of A Few

7
354 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B6

If you want a dress that looks great while impressing the socks off even the snootiest of fashionistas, head to One of a Few, a beloved Gastown shop that specializes in fashion-forward pieces made ethically, where possible. Don’t be fooled by this boutique’s teeny-tiny outside appearance; they’ve got an extensive collection of brands you can’t find nearly anywhere else including Jesse Kamm, Me and Arrow, Wood Wood, Objects Without Meaning, and Won Hundred, among others.

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