Mark’s relaunches with Brad Goreski

Before last year, I would never have set foot in a Mark’s Work Wearhouse to shop for myself. Sure, I popped in every now and then to help pick something out for my grandfather, but it didn’t seem like the kind of place a girl like me would shop. After last week, I take all of that back. A new Mark’s is on the scene.

This year, the decades-old company began a major rebranding exercise. Known primarily for its blue-collar work attire, the brand now has dreams of being a go-to for casual wear as well as work boots. A big part of the rebrand? Mark’s now carries women’s casual wear and has tapped celebrity stylist Brad Goreski as a spokesperson.

Last week I was invited to an evening hosted by Brad at Marks flagship Toronto store at Yonge and Dundas. Along with unveiling three looks styled by Brad, we also got to experience the new Mark’s. The best part? You can actually test out the clothes. We’re talking different work surfaces to test out boots and a special windchill simulator that lets you experience as cold as -40. I’d go to the flagship locations just for this – there’s nothing worse than buying a new winter coat only to find out it lets the wind in.

The men’s lines have a happy balance of clothes men will love – think jeans that’ll keep you warm in the Canadian chill – with the added bonus of following the season’s trends. I was most impressed with the changes to the women’s lines. Along with the no-press shirts and other work basics we’ve come to expect from Mark’s, they’ve stepped it up a notch with the kinds of pieces you’d find at more traditionally fashion-forward places. Courtesy of Mark’s, I went home with a black cardigan with sparkly buttons that was just my style. In fact, it’s become a staple!

This photo wasn’t on Instagram long before someone asked where they could get the dress.

While the new Mark’s was excitement enough, throw in some Brad Goreski (in his signature bow tie) and I was putty in their hands. I’m a huge Kate Spade fan, which has translated into an undying love for Brad, stylist for the upscale brand. A Port Perry native, Brad is as fashionable as he is kind. He absolutely made my night when he admitted he’d noticed my Kate Spade cardigan as soon as I walked in. We chatted fashion, customer service and fall’s hottest hue: oxblood. I coveted his sparkly shoes, I won’t lie.

I had the most fun ever with Brad, the Mark’s team and the ladies from High Road Communications. I can’t wait to check back in with Mark’s next season – I found myself coveting nearly every piece the ladies from High Road were wearing (all Mark’s, natch). I’m still contemplating heading back as soon as I can for Brad’s denim shirt – how cute would it look with a couple of darts put in?

Hanging out with Brad Goreski and Claire LaRocca from High Road Communications.