Recently I’ve received a number of inquiries about where to buy custom-tailored tuxedos in my hometown of Toronto. As I have never had a tuxedo made here I figured this was a good excuse to visit some local providers to find out what they offer and how much they charge.
Considering the vast number of custom tailors in the city, it should go without saying that this list is only meant to act as a starting point. Potential buyers can use it to get an idea of the range of prices, services and shopping experiences that are available before they hit the pavement and begin their quest in earnest.
If you’re specifically looking for bespoke tailoring then your first step with any given tailor should be to ask how they define the term. Interpretations range from the misleading claim made by some suit makers that all custom-tailored clothing qualifies as bespoke, to the extremist belief of some sartorialists that nothing less than 100% handmade construction qualifies for the designation. For the purposes of this survey, I simply qualified the term by its most fundamental characteristic: the need for at least one intermediate fitting between measurement and delivery. (If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure tailoring, this Forbes article provides a great explanation.)
Should you happen to visit one of the businesses listed here, please let them know you were referred by The Black Tie Blog!
752 St. Clair Ave. W. (West of Bathurst)
This family-owned haberdashery has been in business since 1967 and proudly offers made-to-measure suits exclusively from Canadian manufacturers. I have purchased a custom suit from them in the past and was thrilled with the fit and quality as well as the neighborly and competent staff.
|made-to-measure||• suits range from $795 to $2,300; add an extra $100 for satin or grosgrain facings|
• matching evening waistcoat is additional $300
• fabrics are Italian woolens starting at super 100s and suits are made by Empire Clothing, Coppley and a private label in Montreal
• turnaround time is 10 business days
|other formal wear||• full-dress suits and morning coats with striped trousers are available for $1,000 and up|
• double-breasted waistcoats are $300
|notes||• the fit of a tailcoat has to be much more precise than that of a suit jacket so bespoke would be a much safer route for the former garment|
26 Wellington St. E. (entrance is actually on Scott St.)
Formerly known as Sprezzatura, Garrison is part of the new generation of custom suit makers that offers a young, hip approach to tailoring. Instead of the traditional cluttered workshop operated by a lone tailor, Garrison offers a trendy, bright storefront where you are greeted by eager young staff serving you espresso while you await your appointment with your designated “stylist”. Despite their relatively short history (seven years), I’ve read very good things about them on the menswear fora and blogTO lists them as one of Toronto’s best bespoke tailors.
|made-to-measure||• suit prices range from $995 to $1,600; add an extra $100 to $200 for satin or grosgrain facings|
• matching waistcoat is roughly ¼ of the suit price
• 3-4 week turnaround time
|bespoke||• suits are $1,800 and up|
• matching waistcoat is roughly ¼ of the suit price
• 6-8 week turnaround includes a minimum of three fittings
|other formal wear||• surprisingly for such a young company, Garrison has experience making tailcoats and morning coats including some they tailored for film and television productions shot in TO|
|notes||• consultations are by appointment only|
Harry Rosen (Bloor Street Store)
82 Bloor St. W.
The corporate scale of this powerhouse retailer precludes the intimacy you get from smaller businesses but at the same time allows for an impressive stable of 15 in-house tailors and a vast selection of fabrics. Named by blogTO as one of Toronto’s best bespoke tailors and listed in Sharp magazine’s greatest bespoke and made-to-measure tailors in Canada.
|made-to-measure||• tuxedo prices start at $1,200|
• the wide scope of brands on offer include moderately priced Canadian suitmakers JP Tilford (Samuelsohn) and Coppley as well as luxury brands Armani, Zegna, and Tom Ford
|bespoke||• prices range from $3,950 to as much as $10,000|
• matching waistcoats start at $650
• 4-week turnaround including two fittings
|other formal wear||• tailcoats and morning coats are also available and the store has a fair amount of experience making them|
|notes||• be aware that you can pay more for designer made-to-measure brands than for bespoke but that doesn’t mean they’re going to fit or wear better|
House of Salgado
Toronto-Dominion Centre, 66 Wellington St. W.
I wasn’t familiar with this tailor prior to seeing their name on blogTO’s list. The business is a smart mix of traditional and contemporary with Old World tailor Antonio Salgado serving the Bay Street crowd from his tidy, elegant storefront below the TD Centre. Also listed in Sharp magazine’s list of greatest bespoke and made-to-measure tailors in Canada.
|bespoke||• priced from $2,200|
• matching waistcoats start at about $400
• 4-week turnaround including two fittings
|other formal wear||• Antonio also makes tailcoats and morning coats|
|notes||• to find the store within the underground PATH maze, enter the concourse from the TD Centre Wellington Street entrance and look for their listing on the store directory under “Services”|
Postscript: Salgado is closing his doors at the end of the year (2014) but will continue making garments on an appointment basis only.
Spiros Custom Tailor
335 Danforth Ave. (West of Chester)
This is as Old School as it gets, with long-time owner Spiros Hatzantonis personally taking customers’ measurements and tailoring their garments while his wife Roula runs the rest of the show. Roula is enthusiastic and passionate about their product, proudly pointing out to me their celebrity clients and showing me a well-worn copy of Men’s Fashions Illustrations from the Turn of the Century to demonstrate how they can tailor suit styles from any era. They are highly regarded on menswear fora and actually do custom work for a number of menswear stores across North America. Coincidently, a regular customer overheard my interview with Roula and told me that of the three custom tuxedos he owns, his Spiros model is by far his favorite.
|bespoke||• priced from $1,200 – $1,900|
• matching waistcoats start at about $180
• 4-5 week turnaround including one fitting
|other formal wear||• tailcoats and morning coats are also available|
Walter Beauchamp Tailors
145 Wellington St W. (at Simcoe)
Formalwear tailors don’t get much more authentic than this third-generation shop reminiscent of Savile Row. The company began by making military dress uniforms (which they still offer) and now counts many of Toronto’s social elite as its customers and has even fashioned vintage costumes for the Shaw and Stratford festivals. I had a bespoke suit made there by their master tailor a few years back and it’s a work of art. Listed as one of Toronto’s best by blogTO. (FYI, the company name is pronounced BEECH-am.)
• 4-week turnaround
|bespoke||• priced from $1,950-$6,350 for 2-piece, $2,400-$6,800 for 3-piece plus $225 for tuxedo facing|
• 6-week turnaround including one fitting
|other formal wear||• they have plenty of experience with tailcoats of the evening and morning variety (in fact, they were in the process of making a morning coat for a groom-to-be when I dropped by)|
|notes||• don’t hesitate to bring in illustrations of a specific suit or waistcoat style you have in mind whether contemporary or vintage|
• discounts are available for wedding packages
Postscript: In October 2014 the company was sold to Holt Renfrew and now operates out of Holt Renfrew Men on Bloor Street in Yorkville.
Zeglio Custom Tailors
74 Victoria St. (Suite 114)
Zeglio (pronounced zeh-lyo) is another of the trendy new style of tailor shops. It opened four years ago and is actually part of a small chain of three stores in Chicago, two in Korea and one in Nigeria, all of which have their clothes constructed in Korea. I included it in my survey simply because I often pass it on my way to work and was intrigued by the prominent display of a tuxedo in their window.
|made-to-measure||• suits in super 100s through 120s range from $790 to $1,390 while European wools such as Scabal, Zegna and Barberis range from $1,790 to $3,500|
• tuxedo facings are an extra $100-$200 depending on whether you want satin or grosgrain
• three-week turnaround
• traditional evening waistcoats are not part of their standard offering but they have priced out one for me in the past for about $300
|other formal wear||N/A|
|notes||• if you order five or more suits or tuxedos for a wedding party they will provide complementary dress shirts valued at $150 each that include a wing or turndown collar and single or French cuffs; piqué or pleated fronts cost extra|
Postscript: My husband subsequently ordered a suit from Zeglio and the jacket’s fit was fundamentally flawed. The manager felt that such major shortcomings could be fixed by simply altering the garment but after two and a half months of visits to Zeglio’s local alterations tailors (including a dressmaker halfway across town) and finally a half-hearted remake back in Korea, the fit remained unacceptable. When asked if we would visit yet another alterations tailor, we declined and had our money refunded. Also, the suit fabric wrinkled very easily and the shirts we had made shrank significantly after the first wash.