Mendocino, 131 Bloor West, 416-927-8618, www.mendocino.ca Rating: NNNNN
Those of us who proudly sport our love of local style don't always realize that some of the city's big-name retailers quietly carry Canadian passports, too. Mendocino is one of those covert Canucks, and with the mid-September arrival of its newest location on Bloor West among the Guccis, Chanels and Louis Vuittons of Toronto's swishiest shopping strip, we're happy to show the store some true patriot lovin'.
Scanning a fall collection that includes the slouchy sweaters, big ol' belts and T-shirt-type wardrobe basics that pile on to create the season's layered look, it's hard not to feel some national pride. Mendocino's autumn staples are silk-scarf paisley and floral print dresses, denim in skinny, straight leg and military jacket cuts, and the retro grunge moment's required wall of cable-knit and opaque tights.
The label roster includes Fidelity, Paper Denim and Cloth, Mackage, Maje, Celyn b and Paris-based Tara Jarmon, who discreetly boasts Canadian citizenship, too.
Mendocino picks: A camel basket-weave topper shows why Montreal-based Mackage is the reigning king of coats, $650; Tara Jarmon's rose-print silver blouse is a sweet and classic find, $235; Mendocino's exclusive Ooyoo basics line includes a black mock-neck, long-sleeve shell, $35.
Look for: Expertly dressed mannequins proving that you actually can layer a black satin cocktail dress over a white oxford shirt.
Hours: Monday to Thursday and Saturday 10 am to 7 pm, Friday 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday noon to 6 pm.