Thursday, February 05, 2015

A Gentleman's Experience

There is a modern day Renaissance happening- a sartorial one. The menswear renaissance is driving toward a new type of retail atmosphere- a fully immersive encounter. Influencers like Alessandro Manfredini and Scott Schuman are bringing classic style and tailoring back to a lost generation of normcore and streetwear. Menswear design is becoming more complex, and lower value items are giving way to the preference of high quality pieces. The shopping experience should be reflective of these desires. 
To be well rounded, a gentleman must be a few things: well groomed, well read, and well dressed. Budget providing- well travelled. Where does one find such a one-stop-shop in Toronto? Frank and Oak, the Monocle Shop, Lost and Found, and Working Title have got you covered for work and play.

Frank and Oak is a barbershop, café, a bookstore, and clothing retailer. The Montreal-based retailer offers menswear basics, both clothing and accessories, with a focus on quality materials and an inventive approach to design and technology. To go above and beyond the company’s legendry online experience, customers can set appointments with in-store style advisors. Jourdan Deveroe is the resident barber, and a master of grooming, cuts, and old-fashioned shaves. With beans provided by Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the internal St. Viatuer Café has you covered while you browse. Located at 735 Queen Street West in Toronto, with locations in five other major Canadian cities.

The Monocle Shop stocks clothing, publications, accessories, grooming products, and travel curiosities. The goal of the shop is to engage readers of the magazine with coinciding content. Innovative tech gadgets, cedar wood scent diffusers, and fine stationary balance out the curated array of books and purposeful apparel. Brand assortment includes: Delfonics, Reigning Champ, Revo, and more. The Monocle Shop is at 776 College Street.
Lost and Found is a lifestyle boutique. The bar serves Sam James coffee, and Town Barber, offering cuts and shaves, occupies the space in the back. But as a gentleman, quality craftsmanship and sustainable products are just as important as looking fresh. The majority of labels carried by the shop boast made in North America credits. Think handmade leather goods, Shinola shoe care, pocketknives, and exclusive outerwear. Lost and Found has you covered with world-renowned brands like Woolrich, New Balance, Levi’s, Filson, and lesser-known local gems. Find yourself at 44 Ossington Avenue.
Working Title is co-owed by Lost and Found’s Jonathan Elias and Justin Veiga. Fashion and culture collide in one space. On the main level, the stark white environment allows the pieces to speak for themselves: Engineered Garments, APC, and Gosha Rubchinskiy, among others. The apothecary section boasts a variety of Australia’s beloved Aesop grooming products. The basement alternates between contemporary art gallery and bookshop stocking photography, architecture, and fashion periodicals. Explore the space at 126A Davenport Road.
Will the fashion influx inspire gentlemanly etiquette in the city? After years of a relaxed dress code, the polished aesthetic is a welcome change that Toronto is embracing.  Do clothes make the man, or is it in fact the man who makes the clothes? Indeed it appears that chivalry may be on its last leg- but that is a whole other article in itself.

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