I recently sent out our roving reporter, Serena to cover the Mark’s Work Warehouse Spring/Summer Preview Event. Serena shares her valuable perspective of Mark’s new line below, first here’s some info about Serena and her blog, Bewildered Bug.
Hi, I’m Serena (a.k.a. Bewildered Bug), I’m a 30-something, “smug-married”, self-proclaimed people-watcher, just trying to navigate through this obstacle course called life. I’m presently living a gluten-free, dairy-free and at-the-moment-hubby-free in Toronto, Ontario, and looking forward to moving across the pond at the end of 2012 to join my Luv Luv. My blog is my measly attempt to relay my everyday experiences, discuss pertinent issues and promote products and event that are absolutely spectacular.
When I first learned about Mark’s Work Wearhouse, I was not particularly interested in it at all.
This was when I began dating my (now) husband, and he worked in construction as a steamfitter. He got most construction gear at Mark’s – his Carhartt overalls, his warm, plaid jackets to wear in winter, his work gloves, thick socks and sometimes, he even got his work boots there. I had never gone to Mark’s Work Wearhouse before I met him, and because construction gear was the only thing we bought from the store, I never had an interest in going back for myself. I considered it a store of utility, one where you went to get necessities, not a place to pick up fashionable or elegant clothing.
This is why, when I entered the Mark’s Work Wearhouse Spring/Summer 2012 Preview Event, I was pleasantly surprised by what was presented to me by the brand. Mark’s is definitely no longer utilitarian, let me tell you! Instead, the words I will use to describe it are modern, elegant, sophisticated, fun and extremely fashionable.
As I walked into the urban loft space that was chosen for the event, I was impressed. It had warm wooden floors, large historical ceiling beams and spectacular ancient brick walls, punctuated by spectacular loft style windows. The old, loft space had been transformed into an edgy yet modern space which displayed the new line in a spectacularly unique and desirable manner with edgy spot lights highlighting the most exquisite features on the clothing, handbags, shoes and millinery that Mark’s was promoting.
This was no ordinary fashion show. The models were encased in tall glass cabinets, living monuments in a static world while “floating” outfits were framed on artists’ easels around the room to contrast the mannequins that were in open space for people to interact with if they wished. It was just an extremely modern concept, and as someone in Interior Design, this was spectacular to me….anyways, back to the event…
The fluent presentation by two of Mark’s Fashion Marketing Specialists from Montreal was supported by a large, flat screen television that displayed Mark’s willingness to move forward with technology, a feature that many of us social media mavens (can I call myself that?) appreciate greatly in a brand.
The clothes though, the clothes were the highlight of the show (as I’m sure it was meant to be!). Not only were they stylish and (to me) completely surprising, but they had some fantastic features, such as the Curve-Tech technology, the Hyper-Dri Technology and the 100 Wash Guarantee Technology (which I will explain a little later). It was obvious that Mark’s was out to impress with their line capturing the freshness & wholesome spirit of summer fun. Floral prints and saturated colours imbibed our senses alongside utilitarian elements such as spring trenches and neutral necessities. Even the menswear impressed me, and I kept getting more and more excited about the new wardrobe that I could provide my husband with (he does not go shopping on his own). The only problem now was to convince him to wear these clothes!
The first items that impressed me beyond belief were the dresses with Curve-Tech technology. Curve-Tech technology was created to enhance the feminine shape. All these dresses include a built-in bra – and I don’t mean those pathetic shelf bras that can’t support anything – I’m talking about fully padded, under-wired cups to provide spectacular support and to help shape you spectacularly. Your girls will never recover. Okay they might – but I held these in my hands, I promise you that these are definitely something to go check out at your nearest Mark’s. In fact, I am thinking of picking some up before my upcoming trip – these dresses are perfect for traveling – very little fuss, very little mass, yet gorgeous and appropriate for so many different applications!
The next were the trench coats & cardigan sweaters. The trenches are a bit of an addiction for me – one I’ve never allowed to be fulfilled – but this year I think I will. There were a pink and blue little numbers that had me drooling (okay not literally – but close!). The trenches were made to incorporate the Mark’s Hyper-Dri technology that allows your body to respire comfortably, but which is waterproof. If you happen to get caught in the rain, decide to go a little crazy and run through a sprinkler fully dressed or any other silly wet event that may or may not happen to you (becasue you are a Mommy…or not), the Hyper-Dri technology will make the liquid bead and run right off of your trench, without getting you significantly wet. The even better thing is that they come in a variety of colours, sizes and styles. The cardigan sweaters were absolutely adorable and appropriate. A perfect choice to wear with one of Mark’s perfectly pressed work shirts, these sweaters cater to a wide variety of tastes, whether you be a floral lover, bright colour lover or prefer to stick to black and white. They also have beautiful crochet-styled cardigans, one of the newest resurrected fashions in the past few years.
Speaking of fashionable and stylish, I happened to be flipping through this month’s In-Style magazine yesterday and found two items in the magazine that were extremely similar to somew of the clothing I saw at the event. One was the exact cloth in a different style (*cough printed scoop neck curve-tech dress cough*), and one was the exact dress – okay, maybe not from Mark’s, but it looked very similar. I can guarantee you that it’s cheaper at Mark’s than at any other store (advertised in a magazine or not), with the dresses costing around $60 Canadian each.
Okay I’ll wait for you to get back from Mark’s….*whistles*
Are we back? Cool. You didn’t even wait for me to say that only SOME of the items are available in the stores already – the rest will be released soon.
The most interesting thing, to me, about the men’s clothes was their new shirts that absorb sweat. Yes, it sounded bad when I first heard it too. What it means is that Mark’s is now making professional-looking shirts for the office that will absorb sweat on the inside, but that will not show the sweat on the outside. No, you do not end up wet and sweaty – once the sweat is absorbed, the fabric allows the sweat to evaporate into the air surrounding the gentleman, leaving him clean, professional and ready to go. Yes, we made them test this out on site. Yes, that’s exactly what happened. I’m personally very excited because I believe my husband would make excellent use of these shirts. That means he won’t technically have to wear an undershirt, which means that I will have less laundry to do weekly. Ah ha, you didn’t think of that now did you?!
Also, my husband has recently decided to take up jogging and he needs jogging gear. This crazy man goes jogging in the middle of night and when it’s cold, and I worry that he’ll get sick constantly. The men’s athletic wear, therefore, was definitely what I was looking for – again with hyper-dri technology (which would help when my beloved crazy one goes jogging in the rain) and the anti-microbial, anti-moisture dri-wear technology (to keep him comfortable while he jogs), Mark’s has gone above and beyond in designing and perfecting their athletic wear.
The men’s casual wear was also spectacular. Functional, yet fashionable, Mark’s proves that it’s a contender in the Canadian fashion market. In particular, I loved the Denver Hayes Horted Belted Cargo and the oh-so-elegantly-nautical DH3 Short Sleeved Thin Striped Pocket Tee. This event also reminded me of the huge selection of styles and colours of jeans that Mark’s carries. This one though, I sort of knew already because at the end of last summer, we happened to drop into Mark’s to pick up some cheaper jeans for the hubby. We left with three pairs of jeans and two khakis – all extremely stylish, fitting perfectly and a very appealing price.
In the end, I admit that Mark’s has definitely moved beyond selling only “work clothes”. They are a modern, sophisticated, elegant and fashionable brand with a spectacular Spring/Summer line about to hit the stores. I would advise you to keep your eyes out – I know I will be!