One look around will tell you that Vancouverites favour a blend of comfort and style that’s distinctly west coast. Think yoga inspired pants and hoodies with cute prints accessorized with perfect make-up and a Coach purse.

Alternative Apparel’s cozy cotton and dressy casuals are a natural fit with this Vancouver aesthetic, so it’s not surprising they recently set up a temporary shop in Gastown. I was lucky enough to gain entry to Alternative Apparel’s launch party at the Times Profile Shop. The shop itself was perfectly Gastown, with that gritty-chic, vintage appeal. Wood warmed a space filled with unique items that grab your attention from each angle.

Wine from Yellow Tail, including one of my favourite red blends, and appies from Cibo Trattoria brought a touch of luxury to the launch of this casual line. A photographer floating around created an air of exclusivity, but the friendly staff made sure everyone was welcome and comfortable.

The clothes themselves were divine. There’s something to be said about a well-made t-shirt. It’s a simple staple that’s super easy to screw up. Alternative Apparel has great t-shirts. They’re soft and comfortable, but pretty enough to wear to work. I’ve already worn mine multiple times in the week since I got it.

The line will be featured in the Times Profile Shop until April. I suggest hitting up the store for a true taste of the brand before it relocates. When it’s gone you’ll have to make do scrounging their other retailers (Aritzia, TNT, Urban Outfitters) for the select pieces on order.

~Meghan Roberts