Spring comes to the market: Montréal people

Sunny and warm! Let's go to the market for bedding plants and a bit of people watching, à la Montréal. They've flung off their wrapping, there was not a foulard to be found amid Sunday's swirl of shoppers.

A casual couple with pansies; red dress and red purse, wide-brimmed straw hat:

She works at one of the plant vendors; I admired her hat and she let me shoot it, but didn't want her face in the shot ("no makeup today"). But then, we do get to see her cinnabar bracelet! She wore its mate on the other wrist.

Ah, les jeunes filles in their uniform, shorts and tanks. I like how they're showing their long legs, without insisting that they must be tan first.

 This one's for Déjà Pseu. Girl with oyster and leopard:

A simple skirt, white with a brushstroke graphic at one side, made charming by that sole detail and the unexpected complement of a purple tee:

A sweet spring bag carried at the top of her pack, filled once they decided how many lobsters to buy:

A trompe l'oeil décolléte composed of three layers, black body ilghtened lightened by the skirt's delicate tracery. Don't save the dress for dancing!

Le Duc said, "How does she walk in those?" Not the shoe I'd wear to tote tomato plants!

But even a woman in sensible shoes gets footsore! She found a bench to take a break.


I love people watching...thanks for sharing!! High heels with denim shorts and a tank top, I just don't get...but I respect her for trying!!
Madame Là-bas said…
People watching is great. Today we are in Old Town Square in Prague and it's great to see all the different people.
Anonymous said…
Great pictures - it looks like summer has arrived!
So what do les femmes d'un age certain wear in the hot weather? I'm guessing not shorts and tank tops...
materfamilias said…
These are great! I'm hankering for a Montreal visit. It's been so very long.
I, too, love that those young women are letting their white legs go bare. I've been debating that very approach as we have what may be our only week of decent temps for a while. . . I'm planning to wear a dress to work today, have even shaved my legs after a winter's neglect. But oh, are they white, these legs! (and they lack the youthful charm of your lovely photo-subjects. . . hmm, maybe the cropped leggings of your other photo make a better solution . . . )
We saw some interesting outfits walking the promenade at White Rock on the weekend.
The weather here is glorious

I like your out and about images here. I agree about those heels....how does she do it?
Quite a few of the quirky skirts and dresses shown are made by local ateliers; they are very popular clothing choices here and would also be suitable for women a few decades older. Sometimes the problem is finding them long enough, and some of the local lines are rather too overblown and piebald.

Honestly, I don't like the very high heels with that outfit. I'd prefer something like Spanish espadrilles with a somewhat lower heel.

Oyster-buying young man has a nice striped top...

It is so wonderful seeing the sun and flowers after what has been a long, hard winter this year.
LPC said…
Thank you for sharing. I get a feel for Montreal from your photos, seems kind of Californian, surprisingly. More than like New York, at least.
frugalscholar said…
This brings back wonderful memories of our first trip to Montreal in May 1984--DH's mother was teaching in a sejap for a year and we stayed in a lovely apartment near a big park.
Duchesse said…
Pam: It's a certain look here.

Mme: Always fun to watch in another country!

Murphy: See woman in white skirt and purple top; or they wear cropped pants, or a dress like black one; sometimes floaty calf-length skirt. Women of a certain age here still want to look sexy. I'll look for some to show you.

mater: Cropped leggings under a skirt or dress make a lot of sense, best of both worlds, and so bike-friendly.

hostess: You gotta want it.

lagatta: I've seen them in local boutiques, usually too short for me. Lilikoi, based in BC, make some wonderful cotton knit pieces.

LPC: I'd say Mtl (in this area certainly) is very much like Brooklyn, more than CA.

frugal: CEGEP: an acronym for Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel- similar to US community college.

Viktoria said…
Your pictures make me long for a bit of summer - we are not this far gone from winter yet, alas. And it´s always fun to see a Swedish Kånken backpack, I have one just like it myself - it´s a classic!
Anonymous said…
Lovely to see the sun is shining there! I've decided to go ahead and bare my sturdy white legs -- too warm for tights now, and since I live in a city, I can just think of it as a "city tan," right?
Beth said…
Oh, I just love this! I've been wondering if anyone writes a Montreal "style" blog, and although you're covering more than just that, I'm delighted to discover yours. The first summer day at Jean-Talon is priceless, for the atmosphere and the people-watching; I agree completely, and love your choices here.
Susan said…
Montreal looks like a city where I would feel comfortable. I always enjoy your posts like this one.
Anonymous said…
There are several Montréal style blogs, though few centre on people 50+. (Though many don't exclude them either; there is a boho vibe here that crosses several generations).

My signature links to Montréal Cycle Chic.

alamodemontreal.com is a cute one, but as you can see, it is quite young, though it has "finds" for all ages.

A sound note: behind my house (near chez les Ducs) there are airs from a banjo playing softly in the laneway... Banjos are not a traditional instrument here, but with the heat, it works.

Sorry, I suddenly became "anonymous"!

And no link to Montréal Cycle Chic!
Duchesse said…
Anon/lagatta: Have no idea how that comment feature works but you are welcome to show up any way the technology delivers!

All: you can find lagatta's link here:

I'm looking for others; obviously most of them skew far too young for the Passage, and many of the "fashion" blogs are nothing but thinly disguised advertising, or at least outrageously consumption-oriented.

Here is a cute one by someone in the Passage, and she is writing it in English, but lives in an extremely French part of Montréal:

Very gamine femme d'un certain âge, but she shows other types.
Duchesse said…
lagatta: I do not admire how this woman presents herself but to each her own. A few of the people she shows look OK (to my taste) but then, my stance on "fun" and "arty" clothes is well known.
I don't like her taste either; too much piebald colour and too many accessories. She seems to be a postulant for Advanced Style. I did like some of the others she posts.

And very rarely like pink hair on anyone middle-aged or over... She needs a dose of "elegance is refusal".

I'll try to find someone a bit more representative, but in the Passage. There was more wearable stuff at à la mode montréal, but the contributors are all very young.

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