Just like a hand made suit, the details inside Toronto’s Garrison Bespoke beg you to explore.
A James Bond encyclopedia on a bookshelf, Ryan Gosling’s exact midnight blue Toronto International Film Festival tuxedo on a corner mannequin and a large black and white wall-framed photograph of old school Hollywood icons like Cary Grant and Fred Astaire.
“One thing you’ll notice about that picture,” says owner Michael Nguyen with excitement, “is that all the men are wearing suits, but all completely unique types. That was a time when men had their own suits made to exhibit personality. They cared about their outfits and the details.”
Every man should own at least one custom made suit in their closet at some point or another. But buying a bespoke suit is about so much more than a purchase. It’s a milestone. And with the average price costing around two grand, it’s important to keep these four tips in mind when trying to make that decision.
1. The Communication
This should seem pretty simple. You’re undergoing a process that includes coming back to the store four times for different fitting stages. You’re spending a pretty penny. You should be completely comfortable talking with your tailor without feeling confused or rushed. Actually, the client relationship is the first thing that Nguyen discusses.
“It’s so important to create that real relationship with the customer first,” says Nguyen. “We make sure to develop them with everybody. We know what their favorite drink is, where they work, their family, their background. So for them, it feels comfortable and personable every time they walk in here.”
2. The Fabrics
Not only should you be able to flip through a book of potential fabrics, but your tailor should be able to provide key suggestions based on the information you give in the first fitting. Nguyen mentions that Garrison Bespoke has the largest fabric library in Canada, with some innovative options like water proof material or cashmere/tweed blend. It all depends on your character.
“Most suit stores today, especially off the rack, they start with the idea of the suit and then have it retrofitted to the man. Whereas here, you start with the idea of the man and then create the suit.”
3. The Measurements
The perfect suit requires a tailor to have the ability to recognize all your imperfect quirks. According to Nguyen, that’s what 30 measurements are for; everything from the basic waist line to the angle of your posture. Even adjusting your left sleeve cuff size if you tend to wear watches.
“We’re making sure that everything is catered to your body and daily lifestyle. All these measurements will help us achieve that comfortable ‘second skin’ feel.”
4. The Details
Want to know where you’re getting your money’s worth in a bespoke suit? Everything should be done by hand; even down to the button hole stitching. “Not only is this a one-of-a-kind garment,” says Nguyen, “but these suits are made to last.”
Jeremy Singer is a freelance writer and reporter from Toronto. He has a journalism degree from Ryerson University, and enjoys covering all aspects of men’s lifestyle and pop culture. He hopes to one day try on an $8,000 suit but not buy it, because he’s afraid of commitment. Feel free to contact him on Twitter or at his website.
Image courtesy of Garrison Bespoke.