Okay, I’m not sure why but I’ve recently received a barrage of messages and emails from friends looking for suiting advice. I’ve even had a few people referred to me to do some wardrobe overhauls. I don’t really consider myself an expert but I guess I do know a good suit when I see one. I recently helped a friend buy a really expensive Hugo Boss suit from Harry Rosen and though the salesperson was super accommodating and somewhat knowledgeable, I find most people on the floor of menswear stores to be quite mediocre and lacking an understanding of what looks modern. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing to want to look like every other Joe Shmoe banker on Bay Street. Well, if you want to look like the 1%, it’s certainly a good idea not to dress like the 99% (I’m referring to the office people, not the impoverished of course).
I appreciate classic tailoring and timeless options too but the fact is, we’re young guys looking to make a splash with not a lot of cash. There are numerous things you can do to a suit that will jazz it up without having to go the uber-edgy (and pricey) Dolce & Gabbana route. Who wants to pay $4000 for something that will look like it’s from the 80’s by next season. Or lowering yourself to enter an H&M for anything other than discount basics. The loud blaring music alone makes me want to hang myself with a cheap skinny tie.
One of my biggest tips for younger guys looking to purchase a good suit is to go to a menswear store, get someone to measure you to figure out your measurements and then write it down. Then start shopping for a custom tailor once you’re comfortable with the idea of stepping it up a notch. Say goodbye to Maxwell’s twice a year offering of lineups, rushed service and being elbowed by Project Managers with whiskey breath and let me introduce you to Louis Purple.
Louis Purple offers traditional suiting with a contemporary twist. You won’t find big shoulder pads, horribly inappropriate breaks or poorly fitted jackets here. It’s about modern, fresh, colourful, classic and chic. Yes, suits can be all those things, Stuffy McStufferson.
I had an amazing online experience getting myself a custom Louis Purple shirt for a wedding I recently attended. Not only did store owner Charles Brunold make it easy for me to fill out the form, he Skyped me personally to show me fabrics. I wonder what if my grandfather imagined that suiting would ever take place over the internet! Charles at the Lafayette store is not one of those inexperienced on-the-floor vultures waiting for their next lunch break and a quick sale.
And he’s not so bad to look at either. *wink*
Anyway, I asked for a blue gingham cotton button-down. Louis Purple let me choose everything from the seam to the pattern to the placement of buttons to the collar size to the beautiful yellow monogram of my initials on the cuff:
I recently wore it to a lively wedding reception (with a Topman white trim navy blazer and a purple vintage Ralph Lauren linen tie) where it was the perfect fit. I got a lot of compliments on its brightness but it also remained formal enough without being too stuffy:
Wearing a shirt that is perfectly tailored to your body can bring out… A certain kind of confidence:
From now on, fellas, when you ask me where you should get a shirt or suit, I will be sending you to Louis Purple. Get your measurements done and send them over to these guys. Even though it’s not in Toronto, it’s worth the purchase and experience. You will not be disappointed. The French label opened its first North American store in NoLita this year with 300 fabrics, 80 linings, 1000 patterns to choose from including Loro Piana, Dormeuil, Holland & Sherry. A Louis Purple custom shirt is $130-$170 and a custom tailored suit starts at $700.
New York, NY