There’s something undeniably attractive about a man in a well-tailored suit. It says he cares and he has his act together. Beyond that, it just looks really, really good. The saying, “a well-tailored suit is to women, what lingerie is to men” didn’t just pop out of oblivion. It was born of many men who took the initiative to get fitted for a custom suit.
There’s a very precise science to looking great in a suit. Shoulders, collars and sleeves all have a home. An inch could be the difference between looking like a frumpy car salesman or a suave executive.
That being said, an ensemble measured and cut for you will always fit better than something off the rack. The trend of bespoke and made-to-measure custom tailoring has hit a high point, thanks in large part to the popularity of London’s Savile Row. Men are now realizing they can up their Tinder game by investing in a great fitting suit and for affordable prices at that.
If you’ve never heard the terms, “yoke”, “placket” or “lapel”, we introduce you to some handy custom suiting folk who can educate you and render your dirty little off-the-rack secret a thing of the past.
Founder, Thomas Romita hails from Toronto with his upstart, MADE Clothing Co. Romita already has some high-profile clientele with the promise of exceptional garments catering to your every whim. A style consultant will personally ensure your satisfaction with your custom suit. I highly recommend having a consultant present if you’re a suit newbie, as you may not be aware of all the nuances associated with the proper way a suit should fit, and there are many!
If you don’t quite have the time to sit down with a style consultant and you’re relatively knowledgeable about fits and cuts, Indochino could be for you. The simple three-step process requires men to choose their style, customize their suit and input their measurements online. The icing on the cake is that half the co-founding duo hails from Canada. Vancouver-born, Kyle Vucko recognized a gaping hole in the market for beautifully tailored suits and Indochino was born.
Knot Standard is another quick and dirty online option for men who want a great custom suit without a lot of fanfare. They have an interesting option for measuring, which involves using your webcam to automatically measure your body. Knot Standard also offers a number of custom options, including pick stitching and contrasting buttonholes for a truly bespoke feel.
If you’re a suit wearing man in Toronto, you’ve most likely heard of Garrison Bespoke. There’s a difference between a made-to-measure (M2M) suit and Bespoke. The folks at Garrison Bespoke would tell you their bespoke suits are built from the ground up, while M2M suits are customized from an already existing pattern. Garrison Bespoke actually developed a bulletproof suit for the man who wants to look good in case he gets caught in the crossfire. In any case, we love the concept.
Montreal-based Surmesur recently made its way to the streets of Toronto. The craziest thing about Surmesur is they can actually take your measurements via “optical scanner,", which looks a bit like an airport body scanner. Surmesur gives clients the option of going to one of their three stores in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto for an in-person consult or make purchases online from the comfort of your home.
They don’t do a heck of a lot of advertising, and their website is relatively bare bones, but BMV Bespoke Tailors retains a loyal customer base in Canada. BMV is based in Hong Kong, but they make regular trips to Canada, setting up shop in hotels for their appointments. Half-hour appointments can be booked with their expert consultants to ensure the perfect fit and style.
Arthur doesn’t quite have that flashy modern appeal that newer custom suit shops offer, but this family-owned business has been churning out bespoke suits since 1978. Great customer service combined with attention to detail and precision tailoring has afforded Arthur's storefronts in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and New York.
Black Lapel is based in New York City but promises to ship anywhere in the world for free. They work very similarly to Indochino, with the potential client measuring themselves online and selecting fabrics and cuts to suit their needs. If you happen to be passing through NYC, they do offer in-person consultations.
9. Harry Rosen
Good old Harry Rosen doesn’t offer online purchases of custom suiting. They stand firm in their belief that nothing can beat a made-to-measure suit in the proper care of a suit specialist who knows how to work a measuring tape. A custom suit from Harry Rosen does, however, cost a pretty penny. Expect to pay between $4000-$5000 for your expertly crafted suit.
For the big time suit aficionado who requires all suiting to originate from the famous Savile Row, a flight to London is in order. If that’s not possible, popular Savile Row shop, Norton & Sons does come closer to Canada with frequent visits to New York. If you happen to have a ton of coin to drop, you can request their cutter to make a special visit to your residence. I imagine this might cost more than the suit though.