A love letter to Mark’s

Dear Mark’s (formerly known as Work Wearhouse),

You couldn’t have known when you invited me and a handful of other bloggers and journalists for an amazing makeover day just how badly I needed the break. In fact, my schedule lately has been so insane that I first missed the deadline to reply to your offer, then almost canceled, and then begged at the last minute for you to reschedule me to an earlier time slot so I could run home after my makeover to clean the house for back-to-back showings of the House That Will Not Sell. (Because maybe my bad hair was the reason the house was not selling?) And when I had asked if I could bring a friend, you graciously said yes, and then I had to cancel that when the friend I had in mind was my only available child care for the day. (Editorial aside: Thanks, Mom, I really owe you one for that.)

All that to say, I was rather stressed when I arrived at my appointed time, sandwiching my makeover between a twice-previously-canceled dental hygiene appointment and a date with a vacuum cleaner, and I was breathlessly flustered with no idea what to expect.

I had a chance to chat with one of your managers from Toronto, who took me on a quick tour of the store. Since my background is in corporate communications, I was interested in what she said about the the rebranding exercise that the company has recently undertaken, from Mark’s Work Wearhouse to Mark’s: Clothes That Work. Wow, have you ever updated your look and your product lines! I admit, I’ve always thought of Mark’s Work Wearhouse as a place to get basics like plain Ts, khaki pants and winter gear . But you’ve really reinvented your women’s fashion lines and I’m curious to try some of your innovations like Perfectly Pressed shirts (no ironing!) and the 50-Wash t-shirts.

She convinced me to try on a T-Max winter coat and step into your winter-simulation chamber to see whether it would hold up to a real Ottawa winter with -40C wind-chill, and I was highly impressed with both the simulation and the warmth of the coat. I was also reminded why I don’t wear high-heeled sandals and capri pants in the typical Ottawa winter — the coat I tried on needed a footie compartment for my poor frozen toes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So that was cool (well, actually, that was friggin’ freezing, except for the parts that stayed nice and toasty under the coat!) but the attention from your makeover staff was amazing. I ran into my bloggy friends Lara and Andrea while I had my hair and makeup professionally done, and had a great time admiring their new looks. I love love love what your stylists did for me — they totally understood me when I said I preferred a simple and straightforward look, but would like to add an extra touch of style.

And then I was placed in the competent hands my own personal stylist. Did you read all those blog posts I wrote lamenting my need for my own personal Clinton and Stacy? Yeah. Really? Thank you! He picked out a stunning outfit from me, and I couldn’t help but look at your new Ispiri fashion line and think, “Wow, this is so not what I expected to see here.” Now, I won’t even attempt to pretend that I know one thing about fashion, but as the old saying goes, I know what I like and I liked your Ispiri line. Sharp, colourful and — be still my heart! — comfortable clothes that look as good on me as they do on the hanger.


Lookit me, I'm a fashion model! (2 of 3)

Don’t I look awesome in your most excellent Ispiri leather bomber? OMG, I can’t tell you how long I have coveted something like this — and it’s a perfect match with that adorable Ispiri little black blouse.

But when you add on the Denver Hayes modern-fit black dress pants (seriously, who knew Denver Hayes pants could look so glam?) and these to-die-for kicky little ankle boots, also by Denver Hayes, that are so comfortable and so awesome that I will wear them every single day, even with my shorts if summer ever comes back even though they are fully winterized and even salt resistant? *squeeeee!*


I still can’t believe that’s me in that picture. Me, whose fashion signature runs to unflattering striped turtlenecks, in a FASHION SHOOT! And looking, in my very humble opinion, AWESOME!

So really, thank you, friends at Mark’s. And thanks to Rayanne and Andrea of Highroad Communications, who demonstrated an excellent understanding of how to manage a successful social media campaign, and perhaps more importantly, how to wrangle one distracted but eternally grateful blogger out of her insane life for a couple of perfect hours.

Now, could we please arrange to have your makeup artist, hair stylist and personal shopper show up at my house every morning at around 6:10? Because this is a lifestyle to which I would like to become accustomed, please. ๐Ÿ™‚


Photo credit: David Kawai

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

24 thoughts on “A love letter to Mark’s”

  1. You look wonderful. I despair of every looking similarly grown up. I’m 36 and still wearing jeans/shorts with t-shirts and athletic shoes or birkenstocks 95% of the time. I kid you not. Maybe if I went back to work…

    But the real question is, did you get to see the Survivor premier? That’s the important question.

  2. I love love love that photo of you on the chair. Such a great outfit and you look amazing!
    I’m so glad we got to experience it together ๐Ÿ™‚ I will also be shopping at Mark’s again!

  3. Hottie! Hottie alert! Hottie McHottHott!
    I’m just saying. There’s a fire alarm going off here somewhere and it’s cause of you.

  4. holy hot mama! you look marvelous! (said with my best billy chrystal impression) Mark’s really got around to the ottawa bloggy peeps didn’t they. and well done, because i am totally going to go check them out this weekend.

  5. Wow, you look wonderful.

    I was in Mark’s earlier this summer because I got a coupon from Canadian Tire. I love how things have changed in there. My fav thing of summer was the tank tops with the built in under wire bras. I have several MUCH LOVED tanks from there from this year. Quite possibly on in every colour.

  6. You look absolutely amazing. What on earth did Beloved and your boys say? I have also been pleasantly surprised by Mark’s lately. I purchased a perfect dress there early in the summer to wear to a wedding. Received so may compliments and everybody thought it was some “designer” dress. Way to go Mark’s.

  7. Next time your parent’s dog get’s loose while your watching it, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have on this outfit. You look absolutely wonderful and the stress of the past few weeks is nowhere in evidence.

    p.s. Get these picture in frames for the new house ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Love it!!! So glad you got a little “me” time and a Mark-over to boot. I can’t think of anyone more deserving, especially given all the house-selling stress.

    You look marvelous!

    P.S. The link to Andrea’s blog is missing an “i” in Quietfish, so it’s broken.

  9. Your description of the winter coat testing is enough to get me to go there and try some on. I need a new one this winter and now I intend to start at Mark’s. They win on this campaign… because I wouldn’t have thought to go there otherwise.

  10. Wow! You look stunning!! Glad to hear they took such good care of you at a time when you were truly deserving of some pampering ๐Ÿ™‚

    I recently discovered that Mark’s has a pretty awesome shoe section – who knew??

  11. Yummy mommy! Wow. I picked up a few items at Mark’s last year but forgot to include it in my whirlwind fall shop this year. Will be ducking out this weekend to have a peak for sure. And if I bump into you wearing that exact outfit? Pure coincidence… ๐Ÿ™‚

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