Shop Like a Pro with Rebecca Bree Rawlinson

Vancouver trendsetter Rebecca Bree Rawlinson reveals her favourite places to shop, her key looks for the season and her ultimate style secrets

Credit: Robert Kenney; Hair: Tanya McCool; Makeup: Denise Elliott (Above) Rebecca wears: blazer by Smythe; striped tee by Clu; denim by R13; shoes by Valentino; necklace by Lele Sadoughi

Rebecca Bree Rawlinson of Kitsilano’s pre-eminent clothing store, Rebecca Bree, shares her style secrets, where to shop in Vancouver and her three key looks for the season

When Rebecca Bree Rawlinson opened her eponymous boutique in Kitsilano, it was the realization of a childhood dream – and the minute you step foot into her intimate fashion mecca you’ll feel like you’ve walked right into that fantasy. With high-end labels (A.L.C., Iro, Smythe), one-of-a-kind jewellery, and feminine trinkets aplenty, Rawlinson’s shop – inspired by her “dream apartment in Paris” – could make even the most budget-savvy shopper succumb to temptation (the offer of Prosecco certainly intensifies that just-buy-it impulse).

As dreamy as the store’s atmosphere is, Rawlinson’s retail pedigree is as real as it gets. Her resume is stacked with a list of labels that will impress anyone who knows anything about fashion: Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Tahari, Club Monaco and Rawlinson’s favourite designer, Oscar de la Renta.

In 2012, Rawlinson took those years of experience and put them to work for herself, and her chic shop has become a prime destination for stylists and fashion lovers ever since.

BCLiving caught up with Vancouver’s fashion It Girl just in time for holiday shopping season to discover her favourite local designers and shops – and to get her insider tips on how  to be your most stylish self.

Click through for Rebecca’s tips on how to dress your best


Watch the video: Rebecca Bree’s Style Tips

Credit: Robert Kenney (Above) Rebecca wears: dress by 10 Crosby; shoes by Louis Vuitton; necklace by Musa Tryon; bracelets by Cartier and David Yurman; rings by Poppy Finch

Secrets of a Stylist from Rebecca Bree Rawlinson

1. Spend on Statement Pieces
“A great coat, a killer leather jacket and a fabulous designer bag are worth the splurge.”

2. Save on Basics
“All my basic tees and basic travelling pieces are from the Gap. I could buy comfy striped long-sleeve tees all day long. Thank goodness they can be found at a reasonable price.”

3. Accessorize
“I love experimenting with jewellery. It always changes the look of an outfit. Also, try a bold lip. That will definitely change your mood and the look.”
(right: Yves Saint Laurent turquoise ring)

4. MIx Colour and Pattern
“I love to colour block. Mixing colours is a great way to express yourself. I am also a big fan of mixing bold prints, such as a wide stripe with a bold floral. Make sure the colours complement each other and that you feel confident. That is my most important rule.”

5. Organize Your Closet
“I like to arrange everything by colour and style – so all tops together, then pants, then knits and so on – all organized by colour.”

6. Break the Rules
“I wear red and pink together. Black and navy too. But, as I tell my clients, rules are made to be broken.”

7. Stay in the Know
“Sign up for newsletters. Getting new arrivals and trends right to your email makes everything so easy.”

8. Go Wild!
“An animal-print clutch is a must-have. Leopard is a neutral in the Rebecca Bree world.”
(right: Jerome Dreyfuss leopard clutch)

9. Look for Quality
“I have learned the value of quality garments. If it doesn’t feel amazing and isn’t made well, I don’t buy it.”

10. Must-have Trends for Holiday 2014
“Feathers and black and white.”

11. Boxing Day Shopping Tip
“Remember that Boxing Day sales usually last all week, so no big rush to get in early. Take that day to enjoy yourself and spend time with family.”

12. Be Yourself
“Don’t try too hard. Never wear something you don’t feel comfortable in. Be comfortable, be you.”

13. 5 Must-Have Wardrobe Pieces
“A killer blazer, a great pair of flattering jeans, a little black dress that fits beautifully, a great coat and a leather jacket.”

*Find out how we created Rebecca Bree’s gorgeous cover girl looks with these pro hair and makeup tips

Credit: Robert Kenney (Above) Rebecca wears: leather jacket by IRO; T-shirt by Être Cécile; skirt by Ohne Titel; shoes by Paul Andrew

Shopping in Vancouver and Around the World

Shopping at Home

Favourite places to shop in Vancouver

“Holt Renfrew for shoes – they have an incredible selection of designers. I love the highly curated collection at Bacci’s. They have some unique pieces. I always hit Zara and Club Monaco for easy basics. I also love The Room at The Bay. They have really amazing brands and I have a serious girl crush on the manager, Sarah Creedon.”

Best places to find a deal in the city

“The Gap, Zara and Club Monaco have the best sales.”

Favourite local designer

“Amanda He. She designs Rocaille jewellery and everything is so beautiful. The pieces are all made from original vintage pieces, which I love. We sell a lot of her stuff at the boutique. She also just started a new fine jewellery company called Poppy Finch, which is very exciting.”

Vancouverites with the best style

“Well, since Blake Lively is married to a Vancouverite does she count? Because she has impeccable style. Shannon Heth from Heth PR always looks incredible and stylist Leila Bani is an inspiration.”

Your perfect day of shopping in Vancouver

“I would hit the Holt Renfrew shoe department hard. Then off to Bacci’s for some Dries Van Noten and Lanvin. Then finish at Cartier for, well, anything!”


Shopping Abroad

Must-shop places in New York
“Owen NYC, Curve, Mociun, Kirna Zabete, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman shoe department is my happy place.”

Must-shop places in L.A.
“Gild, Satine, American Rag, Creatures of Comfort, Heist, Maxfield.”

Must-shop places in Paris
“Hermes, Colette, Celine, Chanel, Merci Merci, Bon Marché.”

Credit: Robert Kenney (Above) Rebecca wears: dress by Helmut Lang; shoes by Roger Vivier; bracelets by Cartier and David Yurman; rings by Poppy Finch

Steal Her Style: Rebecca’s 3 Key Looks

For a Cocktail Party: Black, White and Fab All Over

“I love this dress by Helmut Lang from The Room at The Bay. I feel amazing in it as it fits my body type well. The shoes are probably one of my favourite pairs in my collection. They are Roger Vivier and they are showstoppers. They never fail to make me smile when I am wearing them.”

Credit: Robert Kenney (Above) Rebecca wears: denim shirt by Mother denim; belt by Calleen Cordero; jeans by R13; shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti; rings by Poppy Finch; watch by Philip Stein

For the Weekend: The Canadian Tuxedo

“Denim on denim is one of my favourite trends. There is nothing more comfortable than your favourite jeans and a great distressed denim shirt. The shirt is by Mother denim and the jeans are my faves, R13. The shoes are by Giuseppe Zanotti and are another personal fave as they are very in line with the Rebecca Bree aesthetic. I bought them to wear to a wedding but I love throwing them on with ripped jeans and a loose rocker tee.”

Credit: Robert Kenney (Above) Rebecca wears: jacket by Smythe; striped tee by A.L.C.; Jeans by R13; striped pumps by Paul Andrew

For the Office: Modern Military

“This Smythe blazer is great because it cinches at the waist, so it is very flattering. I paired it with a striped tee. We girls at Rebecca Bree have a bit of a stripe obsession, hence the striped Paul Andrew pumps. The jeans again are my favourite skinnies by R13 and I just love the fit.”