What Our Editors Bought This Grey November
Coats, shirts, salt and beer populate our list of purchases this month.
Kurt Lyle Veronica Coat
I typically steer clear of Black Friday and other blowout-sale occasions, mostly because I have zero self-control when it comes to electric takoyaki pans, glittering party banners that spell out eloquent phrases like “Drinking with My Bitches” and similar objects I may or may not have, at some point in my life, convinced myself I needed because they were 40 percent off the original retail price. But after discovering what may have been the Coat of My Dreams last year—a black double-breasted Kurt Lyle number adorned with splashes of primary colours that gave it an artful, Matisse-collage vibe—and missing out on my size online, I have been cyber-stalking the Brooklyn-based designer for a restock or a similar style to surface. Lyle’s Veronica coat—with its boxy cut and delightful mélange of navy, tangerine and rouge hues—delivers, and I happily scooped it up on Garmentory post–American Thanksgiving. It’s true you never forget the one that got away, but the future is looking bright (and just the right amount of obnoxious) with this piece in my closet.—Lucy Lau, style editor
When you typically ask someone “What should I bring you back from Japan?” the answer is “green tea Kit Kats” but my best friend surprised me with her request: “Salt, please.”
She’d recently been watching Netflix’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and an episode starring moshio salt, a beige-coloured Japanese seasoning produced by boiling seaweed, had piqued her interest. And so, I now had a quest for my two-week trip, one that could be extra challenging given that I don’t, technically speaking, know any Japanese. Luckily, with the power of modern translation apps, I was able to determine quickly and easily as I popped into market stalls and grocery stores that no, moshio salt was not available in any of the seven towns I visited, but would I like to try some dried squid instead?
But back in Tokyo on the last day of our trip and with just hours to go before our flight, I managed to track down a salt specialty shop in a luxury mall near Tokyo’s SkyTree. Not only did they have moshio salt, they had multiple kinds of moshio salt. I decided to get the most expensive one, because my sweet, culinarily curious friend deserves nothing but the best. (Also it was still only ¥400… about $4). I bought a bag for myself, too (I also deserve nothing but the best, thanks) and this morning, I sprinkled a pinch onto a simple hard-boiled egg to finally taste what all the fuss was about. And I’ve gotta say, it was revelatory: a surprising depth of flavor and richness is baked into those strange off-colour grains. Welcome to Umami City, population me.
Now I realize that it’s available to purchase online and easily ships to Canada, but it’s much pricier ($33.50!)…cheaper than a plane ticket, of course, but if you ever need an excuse to head to Tokyo, this is a pretty delicious one.—Stacey McLachlan, executive editor
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech T-shirt
I hit Cyber Monday pretty hard this year. I bought two pairs of Duer jeans—that, no kidding arrived in the mail in two days. On the same day, I bought something from the Bay, who just emailed me saying they were hoping to get it to me by December 4. Seriously, someone needs to take the HBC behind the woodshed and put it out of its misery. But the thing I got that I’m the most jacked about is this shirt from Lululemon. I don’t have a lot of Lululemon stuff, mostly because I’ve always thought of it as too pricey, but tell me what’s crazier—spending $78 on shirt that I’ll wear at least once a week or $2,000 on a cashmere blazer that I’ll wear a maximum four times a year. And let’s add another variable: if I don’t buy this shirt, I use a $45 Nike Dry Fit top for working out that seems engineered to trap sweat odour, whereas my new Lululemon version is made with something called Silverscent technology which claims to mitigate that. (Is it real silver? The shirt is called Metal Vent Tech—is there metal in it?). And I look just like this dude when I wear it.—Neal McLennan, travel editor
The Alpine Adventure Pack
The title sounds a lot more exploratory, but hey, this box of beer will at least lightly test my adventurous side (I know, I’m stretching it). In any case (get it), unlike some of the holiday purchases I end up making each year, this one always comes through. The folks at Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing and Surrey’s Central City are masters of the advent calendar, as each bring 12 seasonal brews to count down to Christmas. All 24 beers are new concoctions and while some won’t be for everyone (imperial stouts remain a hard sell to many of the beer drinkers in my life), there are more than a few that we can all agree on. I’ve already made the purchase (and don’t regret it), but here’s a hint: stores tend to put them on sale about a week into December.—Nathan Caddell, associate editor
I spent the November long weekend with my sister and her family in Calgary, and quickly discovered that my Vancouver outerwear wasn’t going to cut it. (Or rather, my sister looked at my light wool coat and said, “Seriously? That’s what you brought?”). Fortunately, the greatest consignment store in all the land happens to be in Calgary: Vespucci, which has 8,000 square feet of designer clothes, well organized and in gorgeous shape. My sister nabbed a never-worn pair of Frye winter boots for a mere $100, and I picked up this oh-so-puffy Asymmetric Puffer coat from Theory for the same. And I will never be shamed in Calgary again.—Anicka Quin, editorial director