You’re invited to your best friend’s wedding at Notre-Dame Cathedral in June, and your girlfriend just caught you trying on your graduation suit. No. It will not do. Every modern man needs at least one new dapper suit in his wardrobe – per year. Lucky for you, this town has a fantastic crop of modern menswear purveyors…
Michel Brisson: With (gorgeously designed) stores in both Old Montreal and Outremont, Michel Brisson is an easy place to start on your search for sleek. The styles here are narrow and dark (with the occasional exception of aquamarine and camel for spring), and brands run the high-end gamut from Ermenegildo Zegna to Mauro Grifoni to Tiger Of Sweden.
Frank Oak: Put a trendy twist on classic at Mile End’s Frank Oak, where the suits are the epitome of tasteful but have a sense of humour too. Picture a dark blue linen jacket by Laurier with bold white check and elbow patches. There are also simple options, though, like an all-sand linen two-piece that will make you look like George Clooney. The store is much more than a suit shop: it’s a general men outfitter, so expect to be tempted! The selection of shirts will leave you speechless.
Harry Rosen: This mainstay of Canadian menswear chains – founded in 1954! – is the sort of shop where fathers take their sons for their first high-end suit. It’s a classic that keeps up with all the most recent styles in high men’s fashion, including floral shirts (Burberry Brit), check suits (J.P. Tilford by Samuelsohn) and sleek minimalism (Dolce Gabbana).
Rooney: Right in Old Montreal, this is the cool gent’s best option. Basically, if the thought of wearing a suit makes you cringe, this is the place that’s likely to sell a suit you like, alongside its hipster baseball caps by Kitsune Tee, casual shirts by Engineered Garments and crewneck sweatshirts by Levi’s. Consider the Unconstructed Blazer by Our Legacy for a sleek top paired with casual denim bottom; or how about a crinkly casual jacket by Universal Works?
Boutique Duo: This boutique off the Main on Prince-Arthur mixes fly footwear by New Balance and knits by Ralph Lauren with everyday wear and a gorgeous selection of special-day suits by the likes of Hugo Boss (still the boss of sleek-wear) and Oliver Spencer. If your special event is a summertime thing, treat yourself to a pair of specs by Marc by Marc Jacobs for that Men In Black look.
Italmoda: Italian is the name and the game and this Rosemont boutique, serving gentlemen since 1961 in all their suit-able needs. The European brands on offer extend from the exquisitely tailored suits of Tombolini to the fashion-forward designs of Luigi Bianchi Mantova to the classic-meets-daring suit styles of Canali. There’s something for everyone, which is why this is such a popular multi-generational shopping destination.
Dubuc: Montreal designer Philippe Dubuc is renowned for the impeccable cut of his suits, as well as his unique contribution to the streamline menswear look. His suits are mostly black or grey and integrate some technical materials as well as natural fibres, giving some of his designs a subtly futuristic tinge. His beautiful store on St-Denis, on the Plateau, is also a great place to pick up some accessories, like bags and bling.
Uomo Montréal: True suit specialists in the heart of the downtown core, Uomo Montréal is a showroom for Italian tailoring that offers a wide range of brands, including Prada, Bottega Venetta, Loro Piana, Borrelli and Cruciano. Their expertise is felt throughout the two-story store, thanks to on-the-spot alterations and a singularly extensive selection of suits, shirts and accessories. Their rainbow of ties is overwhelming!
Waxman: If it’s YOUR wedding you’re shopping for, and not your best friend’s, then turn to Waxman, the premium tuxedo and formal-wear provider in the city. From their beautiful digs on Parc avenue, they’ve been serving men in need of the Fred Astaire treatment since Wolf Waxman founded it in 1927. They’ve got tails, they’ve got double-breasted jackets – they’ve even got spats, if you need them! Both for rent and for purchase.
Ogilvy Monsieur: Ogilvy Monsieur offers a real smorgasbord of fashion options, so stay sharp! Or you’ll be trying on 25 suits. There’s everything from Citizens of Humanity to Robert Graham on the fourth floor of this elite shopping centre in downtown Montreal, where you can also stop by Louis Vuitton for a briefcase (on the ground floor), Taschen for luggage (on the lower level) or Michael Kors Accessories (on the ground floor) for sunglasses, if need be.
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