Indie Boutiques

You already know the big menswear chains, and the downstairs at Holt’s, but do you know these boutiques? We like independent places where the owner himself will help you out. Here’s the first of a regular feature on our favourite men’s clothing stores, some expensive, some affordable.

The new kid on the block, and among the chic-est – you have to buzz to be let into the store, which gives it a feeling of exclusivity. Inside, it’s all friendly, though, with underground dance music, some big leather sofas and movies on a plasma screen for the shopping-weary. Gotstyle carries over 30 designer lines, including Ted Baker, Daniele Alessandrini, and Canada’s own Philippe Dubuc. At one end of the store, a men’s spa offers massages, manicures and haircuts. They also host scotch tastings, golf lessons. 489 King St. W., 416-260-9696

More focused on upscale casual – the kind of clothes you need for evenings at 8Below and weekends in London – and not as pricey as its Yorkville equivalent, tiny Boomer sells up-to-the-minute clothing that may not be cool next year, but doesn’t look too flashy either. Lines include Boss, Tiger of Sweden and J. Lindeberg. 309 Queen St. W., 416-598-0013

Have a taste for Italian flash? Want a reward for six months at the gym? Want to chat with a garrulous owner who knows the gossip from every runway show? Nicolas has exclusive lines of Italian slim-cut clothing, shoes and accessories. Look for stuff from Romeo Gigli, Paul Smith and now Kenzo. Fun fact: The store somehow smells like clean mountain air. 153 Cumberland St., 416-966-2064

A relatively new Yorkville addition that stresses casual wear: their deconstructed shirts and brightly-lined suits are for the fashion-forward. So exclusive, they often only buy one size of each style. Lines include John Richmond, Dirk Bikkembergs, Gazzarrini. 113 Yorkville Ave., 416-924-6121

Grreat Stuff
For the fabulous and frugal, Grreat Stuff offers samples and end-of-line business and casual wear – Tiger, Cinque, and Packard – for up to 50% off regular price. 870 Queen St. W., 416-533-7680

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