Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Where stripes are always in

Hudson's Bay Company's famous logo isn't just for blankets any more

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For centuries, the iconic stripes of Hudson's Bay Company have been synonymous with Canadian fashion. No matter where you are in the world, no matter what decade, or century for that matter, you are in -- one look at the simple multi-striped pattern and you know you are staring at a piece of classic Canadian style.

It's estimated that the Hudson's Bay stripes were first introduced in the late 1700s, however it wasn't until nearly 100 years later that the pattern of green, red, yellow and indigo stripes became a staple style for the retailer -- first incorporated into blankets and then of course cleverly transformed into the fur trader's capote.

While functional, and warm, the capote wasn't necessarily fashionable -- minus a few fringes and embellishments of course. Fast-forward another 100 years and voila -- you have the first manufactured stylishly tailored coat for consumers.

These days, those same simple stripes are making a fashionable comeback of sorts. In 2009, Hudson's Bay reintroduced the iconic pattern with their Hudson's Bay Company Collection -- a line of classic yet chic garments and accessories celebrating the retailer's unique history -- and this season's latest styles do just that.

Among the items available in the 2013 spring/summer collection is the HBC Multi Stripe Bikini -- um, what better way to celebrate Canadiana this summer than sitting dockside at the lake in this fabulous suit -- simple, chic and oh, so cute -- especially when paired with the Multi City Tote.

For those looking for something a little more understated, you can get a simple hint of the historical stripes with a pair of socks worn with a pair of dark denim.

I also love, love, love the HBC iPad Case, cosmetic bags and travel accessories -- ideal for the patriotic gal who plans to spend her summer days jet-setting across the globe. The iPad and makeup bags are particularly fun because not only do they incorporate the iconic stripe pattern, but they are also embroidered with the letters HBC.

I think what make's this style revival even more fun is the fact that Hudson's Bay is encouraging fashionistas to share their stripe stories and photos via their Stripe Spotting blog via stripespotting@hbc.com.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 1, 2013 D13

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