When it comes to shopping for local labels, Canucks often feel their only choices lie somewhere between racks of warm woollen layers and down parkas. They couldn’t be more wrong. Canadian menswear designers are dropping collections that embrace the warm weather we get with lightweight fabrics and cool cuts, helping make Canada’s summer its most stylish five to six weeks of the year. Stock up on these young Canadian brands producing warm-weather staples right in our own backyard, from swim trunks to T-shirts, and get your Made In Canada fix.
Bather Trunk Co.
These guys have only been around since 2012, but they’re already making surf-inspired waves in the local menswear scene. Bather Trunk Co. hails from Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, designing and manufacturing streetwear-inspired beachwear for men. Their current collection features quick-dry nylon trunks ($85) in sun-friendly floral prints, polka dots and (for the less adventurous) solid colours. Their styles make use of 6.5-inch inseams, which hit that perfect spot right between the knee and hips.
The Cool Luke chambray shirt ($195) by 18 Waits marks a high point for the Toronto designer’s third-ever warm weather collection. Like many styles in the brand’s summer lookbook, it combines breathable Japanese textiles—in this case, a pin-striped twist on the classic spring chambray—with a Made In Canada ethic. 18 Waits also gives their clothes a touch of retro style, seen here in details including rounded collars and single-button cuffs.
Dream Creation Clothing
Killer surfer-prep style begins with the humble tank top, which has been enjoying its time in the sun for menswear enthusiasts. Toronto’s Dream Creation Clothing pulls one off that won’t break the bank with their From The Start shirt ($19.99). Also on offer are a variety of tees, but the brand will soon be focusing exclusively on tank tops, according to the designers. But Dream Creation is more than just a name—created by a trio of college buddies, DCC makes summer feel even better knowing that part of their sale proceeds go to charities including the United Way, The World Wildlife Fund, and The Red Cross.
Paying homage to Canada’s multicultural tapestry, Metsa Design infuses their designs with an old-world aesthetic and draws inspiration from the designer’s Estonian background, among other things. This Indigo Dyed Woven Henley ($125) made from Japanese cotton stands out from the unstructured blazers and relaxed-fit button-ups of their latest spring/summer collection. Thanks to its hand dyed make, this T-shirt will fade over time for a personalized touch, so wear it all season.
Outclass is a Toronto label that prides itself in producing modern designs with the ruggedness of heritage brands. Case in point: these Polka Dot Denim Shorts ($195), which make use of an on-point print as well as lightweight (but durable) 7-ounce cotton denim from one of Japan’s most storied textile mills, Kuroki. The shorts’ slim cut strikes just above the knees, which is where you should keep all your shorts this summer.