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Smart Shopping: Gown with the (spring) wind

Ladies, it’s time to switch out of your drab winter clothes and brighten up your days with bright colours. There is no reason to spend full price on clothing when we have friendly discount stores in town and with the heart of the Canadian garment industry in our back yard.

Women who have a preconceived notion of what a discount store is would be surprised by Boutique Avantage. Open since 1983, it offers friendly and helpful service and is fully stocked (sizes 4-18) with labels you love, like Gerry Weber, Rabe, Junge, Conrad C., Lyse Spenard, Laura Lebek, and Eric Alexandre.

Scarves, purses, hats and jewelry make this one-stop shopping and the staff remember who you are, so you always feel connected. 1264 Beaumont at Rockland. 514-733-1185.

Raffinati has been a well-known Montreal fashion house for women’s coats, raincoats, suits and sportswear for many years. Be proud to “shop local”: the clothing is manufactured in Montreal using fabrics imported from Belgium, France and Italy.

The elegant suits for the career women, sportswear, blazers, pants, skirts, blouses, camis and sweaters are available in sizes 2-18. Custom-made clothing can be ordered in Size 0 and plus sizes. Women love the timelessness of their designs.

Three or four times a year they clear out the stock from their Meilleur showroom, including scarves and jewelry. 9200 Meilleur, Suite 400. 514-327-4477.

Gilbert and Daughter is a second-generation ladies’ wear store (sizes 4-24) where prices are always 30-70-per-cent off and service is first and foremost. By maintaining low overhead, they can provide famous name brands in dresses, suits, co-ordinates, sweaters and sportswear at great prices. Ask about their special sales, and don’t forget to see what there is in the lower level for $10. Senior residences can book a visit, and they’ll provide some sweets. 49 Donegani, Dorval. 514-695-3107.

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