Whenever I talk to Winnipeggers, they always tell me they like coming to The States to go shopping. Hotels in my home state of North Dakota fly Canadian flags alongside the stars and stripes and the state flag and Manitoba license plates dot every retail parking lot.
But now that Outlet Collection Winnipeg (Winnipeg’s only fashion outlet) opened earlier this month, I predict that there’ll be a lot more U.S. passport holders making the journey north for precisely the same reason.
This is definitely the time to go, with warm summer weather on the horizon and the exchange rate firmly in Americans’ favor. (At press time, one U.S. dollar was worth $1.35 Canadian, which definitely helps if you’re on a budget.)
Liz and I headed north to see what Outlet Collection Winnipeg had to offer on its opening weekend. I’m not usually a “mall” person per se, but I was pleasantly surprised.
It helps that this isn’t the sprawling, strip mall construction I’m used to seeing. I’m really not a fan of that layout, so it was nice to see that Outlet Collection Winnipeg was a walkable, indoor space that makes much more sense, given the province’s prairie winters. There’s lots of natural light and very wide hallways, as well as thoughtful design touches like real furniture and reclaimed wood that make the space feel inviting.
Liz immediately started singing “Let’s Go To the Mall” from “How I Met Your Mother” like she does pretty much every time I say the word “mall” about three seconds after we entered the building. This time she stopped abruptly to exclaim, “Omigod, we’re in a Canadian mall! We’re totally Robin Sparkles! This is perfect!”
This is Liz, attempting to be super diva-esque while chilling at the mall. (She is not actually very diva-esque in person and burst out laughing the first ten times I took this photo.)
Then we basically gave up on that idea and decided to mess around on Snapchat instead. Most of the time we are reasonable, well-spoken and intelligent adults, but sometimes we revert back to our preteen selves, who clearly did not have Snapchat and are making up for lost time. (I can’t let you think my life is all glamour when it’s really about 35% nerdiness on any given day.)
The locals were pumped about Saks Off 5th, but as an international visitor, I was more excited to shop at Canadian stores. I’m pretty ignorant about Canadian chains and Outlet Collection Winnipeg is home to several stores that are new to the Winnipeg market, so this was a great chance for me to dive in and see what our neighbors to the north are buying.
I liked the pretty lingerie, sleep and swimwear at La Vie En Rose and bought some gifts for my niece and my kiddo at Urban Kids. (Since they’re gifts and my sister reads this blog, I figured I’d better not post photos, just in case.)
I stopped by Ardene, which is literally packed full of on-trend, super-affordable pieces. In an uncharacteristic display of restraint, I decided to purchase something logical and necessary for a change and scored two strappy tank tops with built in sports bras I’ve been rocking at yoga class ever since.
Okay, I may have also purchased something strappy and lacy and not for public consumption at Ardene. Old habits die hard. But I digress…
The next time I’m in town, I’ll definitely pick up some yoga pants from NoMiNoU. They’re investment pieces, but the images are gorgeous. I like the idea of supporting a fellow artist and small business owner while also buying something useful and functional.
Plus, I kind of just want to stare at the patterns all day. I’m such a sucker for a good print. And these are gorgeous.
I swear, we order poutine within hours of crossing the border every single single time. We are united in our obsession with french fries, gravy and cheese curds. This is the stuff that friendship dreams are made of, people.
We stopped to explore the natural, cruelty-free, super nourishing, Canadian-made make-up and skincare products at Portia-Ella, a stop I thought would warrant a quick mention, but that actually deserves its own post. (That’ll be up on this site later this summer.)
After that we went to Nine West, where Liz fell in love with a pair of glittery shoes that I totally can’t pull off, but that she looked adorable in. Then we got completely distracted by the Lindt Factory Outlet.
I’m normally pretty “meh” about chocolate. But Lindt’s dark chocolate truffles are a notable exception. When I discovered they also make dark chocolate coconut truffles and sea salt truffles, I knew I was definitely going to be walking out with something for myself. I usually resist treating myself twice in one day, but this place — actually, both Lindt and the complex in general — made it super easy and enjoyable to do exactly that.
Outlet Collection Winnipeg
555 Sterling Lyon Parkway
What about you?
What do you think of Outlet Collection Winnipeg?
Which stories are you interested in checking out?
Do you ever travel internationally to shop? Where do you go?
What else should my readers check out when they’re in Winnipeg?
Because I’m ridiculously, absurdly lucky to do what I do, I was given gift cards to Ardene, Nine West, Urban Kids and Lindt Chocolate to help jump start my little shopping spree. (Liz had to help me spend the Nine West one — rough gig, I know — since I have super wide feet.) The FCC requires me to tell you that. (The part about the gift certificates, not my feet, obviously. That’d just be weird.)
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