Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: Get the jump on winter at Mark’s

The walk-in freezer at Mark's in South Keys. Photo by David Kawai.

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

When Mark’s Work Wearhouse lightened its moniker and updated it’s lookbook last year, it also added a very cool feature to select stores: the walk-in freezer. This ‘winter simulator’ (left) allows customers to test how its insulated gear will perform in sub-zero temperatures.

I know, you don’t want to hear it. You’re enjoying the double-digit weather this week, and you’ll deal with winter when it arrives. You don’t want to experience sub-zero temperatures until absolutely necessary.

The thing is, when winter hits, it hits hard. The snow tires aren’t on, and it seems like everyone else in the city is at South Keys preparing for the annual hibernation and shopping for Christmas.

And despite what we may wish for, the havoc of winter is on its way — and the walk-in freezer at Mark’s (South Keys location) helps shoppers remember just how cold it gets in Ottawa. First, slip into a cozy parka or a slimming car coat. Then set the temperature (minimum -15C, maximum -40C) and step inside; fans mimic wind chill.

Wind River Belted Down Jacket. $169.99 at Mark's.

The Look: Sporty and comfortable. Reliable and rugged.

Perfect for: The commuter who embraces winter. Anyone who wants to look cute and cool in family toboggan shots.

USP: In addition to the walk-in freezer, this Canadian company embraced high-tech long before it was an industry sector. From waterproof down to reliable long underwear, this is a great place to pick up wardrobe essentials for the winter months.

Ottawa Magazine’s Shopping Guide 2011/2012 offers insider information on over 435 stores. Access the Shopping Guide online or get your copy at Britton’s and other newsstand locations.