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Empire Receives Honourable Mentions by the Leafs

January 3rd, 2019 by

Publication: The Athletic

Tailored for hockey: Who is the most fashionable member of the Maple Leafs?by Joshua Kloke, Sat, April 15th.

If you’re watching hockey on a Saturday night, there’s a good chance you’ll see groups of grown men walking through the bowels of arenas across North America, being lauded for how well they’re dressed. The tradition of hockey players wearing full suits to games goes back much longer than The Athletic can remember, but one thing is certain: More and more NHL players are taking their fashion choices seriously.

So The Athletic asked the Toronto Maple Leafs about that fashion: Where do they get their suits? Who is the best dressed Maple Leaf? (We also spoke to Dennis Tavares, owner of Toronto’s Empire Customs, who outfits most of the players on the team.)

Frederik Andersen: “Obviously, it’s got to look good. I’m very particular with how soft it is. It has to be comfortable because you literally wear it every other day of the year. Sometimes you feel like you’re wearing a suit every day on the road. A little bit of elastic, some stretch and it feels good even though it looks tight. The European look. I hate a big suit.”
Best dressed: “I’ve got to put myself in there. I like what I wear. It’s nothing too crazy, you have to keep it simple. Some guys try to do a little bit too much. I’m not going to name names but … you probably see them walking in sometimes.”

Tavares: “Our process usually takes between two to six weeks, depending on production speed. For the Leafs, we know they’re very busy and they’re top-tier clients. We do out best to do things faster.”

Brian Boyle: “I had Astor and Black in New York. And then I had Tom James in Tampa. It’s interesting. You get fitted, it takes a while. I think the shirts are the biggest thing. Because we’re all built so differently [in the NHL]. You can’t get stuff off the rack. It either fits your neck and then you’re wearing a tablecloth or it’s too short in the sleeves. You have to have things built for you.”
Best dressed: “I like (Matt Martin’s) style. He played in New York so … I’m all for guys getting a little risky and getting colourful with it. You might have one or two suits like that in your arsenal. But you also have to keep it classic. Especially for bigger guys because we stick out anyway.”

Tyler Bozak: “You know what, I just get all mine at Hugo Boss. I have just always loved their suits. They fit my body type perfectly. I don’t have to tailor the jacket. I just tailor the pants a little bit. They’ve got really cool colours. I usually get all my stuff from there. And for shirts, I get all my shirt from State and Liberty. JVR knows them and Hunwick. They got us into them. They’re just so comfortable.”
Best dressed: “That’s a real tough one. It’s hard for me to say because these young guys have different style than I’m used to. They’ve got a tons of holes in their jeans. They probably think they’re the best dressed, but I like a more conservative, neutral colour style so it’s hard to say.”

Connor Brown: “The majority of mine are from Long Island for Men, in Etobicoke. And then a couple from Empire Customs, a couple guys get them from there. I like a slim cut because I’m a slender guy. I don’t like it when pants get baggy, that’s what bothers me.”
Best dressed: “I don’t want to say because it’ll go right to their head. Martin? He thinks he is. But that’ll go right to his head and I’ll have to deflate him. Martin and Matthews are a little bit out there.”

Connor Carrick: “I have my classics that I might add to next year. But I’m always worried about stuff. I’ve got to move all the time. I’ve got to move from home then I’ve got to move back. And that stuff becomes a hassle at some point.”
Best dressed: “Matt Martin for sure. He’s dialed in.”

Jake Gardiner: “I want something that fits nice but also lets you breathe when you’re talking on the phone or something. You don’t want it too tight on your arms.”
Best dressed: “JVR’s got a bunch of good suits. Everyone’s pretty good this year.”

Tavares: “We did the Centennial Classic suits for Morgan and Jake. That had a whole bunch of things going on in there. We had a historical feel we wanted to create. The fabric is obviously a winter weight because it was an outdoor game. And it had to be fashionable.”

Matt Hunwick: “Well I just got a few, I haven’t even received them yet, from Empire Customs in Toronto. And a couple from Giovanni Clothes in Montreal. They do custom suits. I’m not as trendy as some of these younger guys. I went in and got fitted and thought, ‘these pants are a little snug for me.’ I want to be able to tie my shoes. I want to look good but I’d rather be a little bit more comfortable than fashionable at that point. Especially considering we’re wearing them on the road, on buses. Sometimes it looks like the guys are uncomfortable because their suits are so tight these days. I know I’m one of the older guys but I wouldn’t wear them baggy by any means.”
Best dressed: “We have quite a few guys who take pride in what they wear. Auston looks like he always has some good suits. Roman’s more of a classic guy. Morgan has quite a few suits. And they get taken care of in Toronto. When you go out to dinner after the game, you want to look good. The younger guys, they’re more with the times.”

Zach Hyman: “Sydney’s on Queen Street. My uncle introduced me to Sydney. He’s an unbelievable guy and makes the best suits in town. I’ve got five from him. My blue and grey are standards. I’ve got a grey one with some green stitching. I’ve got a maroon one as well. I started wearing them in Junior A.”
Best dressed: “I’m not going to say Auston or Mitch. I’ll give it to Matt Martin. He’s got some cool suits. He looks good. I’ll make him feel good.”

Nazem Kadri: “I have a guy in Sherway Gardens, Long Island, and he usually sets me up nice. A nice, slim fit. He’ll make them from scratch. I’ve got a whole closet full of them. I like the neutral colours. I don’t like to step out of line and look super flashy. I’ll mix in a bow-tie or a bright colour every once in awhile.”

Kasperi Kapanen: “I like to switch it up a little bit and get some colour in there. A razzle dazzle doesn’t hurt. I might get ripped on by the guys but I think it’s worth it.”

Tavares: “Checks are very in style. What’s really in style is a wide, window-pane. Bold checks are nice as a full suit. Very of the moment and very modern. The other thing that is popular is striking navies. Brighter navies, French navies, things like that have been in style for the last five years and will continue to be so. When you get your first custom suit, nine times out of ten it’s going to be navy.”

Leo Komarov: “I get stuff from Empire Customs. A lot of guys get them from there now. The quickness, how fast they do it, is probably the best thing. You order one and you get it in two weeks. Because we use a lot of suits, I had someone else here in Toronto that I used but it took way too long.”
Best dressed: “I don’t know. Martin? He’s OK. He’s trying to be fancy, that’s the thing. It’s a little bit too fancy. But he’s probably top 3. But the young guys have really bad style this year. Maybe it’s a thing when you’re young, you try to be different.”

Tavares: “The Leafs love to wear full suits, as opposed to what we call a “mix and match,” where you wear a solid navy trouser with a nice sports jacket. That’s a bit of an older look. A little more refined. I still think it’s a good look but they generally prefer the full suit look for the games. Maybe that’s because they’re a little bit younger. And the mix and match is a little bit older.”.

Josh Leivo: “I want something nice and slim, something that looks good. More plain colours. And then you use the shirts and the ties to brighten it up.”
Best dressed: “Matt Martin likes to show off a bit. He’s been in New York too, so he’s a little fancier.”

Alexey Marchenko: “Just regular stores. Whatever I see. I don’t have a lot of suits. Just blue, grey and brown. I don’t need too much.”

Martin Marincin: “I buy suits at Harry Rosen. I just want to feel good and comfortable.”

Mitch Marner: “I just started getting suits from Empire Customs. We’ll see in the summertime, maybe I’ll check out some new stuff.”

Best dressed: “(Matt Martin) is doing pretty well in the suit game. I like a lot of his suits. (Brandon Prust) had a lot of great suits. Those two are the best of the guys I’ve played with.”

Tavares: “(The Leafs) usually want something that’s unique, something that’s distinct. And something that’s classy, too. Even though they’re young, very young, they’re not immature at all. And that comes through in their wardrobe. They usually want to create a suit that has impact, a suit that has pop. They’re well aware that they have to look like a professional. And that’s my job, is to give them as much pop and flair without raising an eyebrow regarding their professionalism.”

Matt Martin: “I’ve got some customs and some off the rack. I have all the basics now so now I’m trying to find stuff that’s more eye-catching. Not necessarily flashy. Do you watch Peaky Blinders at all? I’m really into stuff like that. Heavy wools. Old English, three-piece suits. I haven’t done the top hats yet. Maybe one day.”

Tavares: “I said to (Martin), ‘Listen, you can put a cartoon character inside the liner and tell me which character you identify with.’ And he said ‘Hulk!’ I thought, ‘That makes sense.’ We work together to make special suits. It’s a process.”

Auston Matthews: “We go to Empire Customs. I also get most of my suits from a guy back home, in Phoenix. It’s called Brothers Tailors.”
Best dressed: “I’d say Matt Martin. He likes the three-piece suits. He’s been around for awhile, he’s got good taste.”

Tavares: “I think the guys like to flirt between head-turning, eye-catching and sharp suits, but not informally to the point that it looks silly. They like to be in that zone. We’re able to keep it appropriate for a business situation but still make the type of suit where people take a second look. And that’s difficult because usually you lose one to get the other.”

Curtis McElhinney: “I haven’t gone anywhere in Toronto yet. I would probably just go on the cheap end and go Suitsupply. I really don’t care that much. I’ve bought nice suits but I don’t think it makes much of a difference for me. It feels like I beat the hell out of them anyway. I can’t remember the last time I bought a made to measure suit. I’m an off the rack guy. Pretty simple.”

William Nylander: “Tiger of Sweden. I’ve got to look good.”

Roman Polak: “I get my suits from back home. I get custom shirts too from Ostrava. I usually try to get some new ones every year. I’ll do a package, four suits, eight shirts.”
Best dressed: “The most flashy is (Mitch Marner), for sure.”

Morgan Rielly: “I love wearing a suit. It’s good to have options. When you go into warmer climates it’s good to wear something lighter. You just want to be comfortable in it. Comfortable in the way it looks and comfortable the way it feels. I love wearing a suit.”
Best dressed: “Other than myself? (James van Riemsdyk) would’ve been in the conversation until last night. I didn’t like his shoes. Martin is very well dressed. And Matthews is well-dressed for a young guy. There’s a wide spectrum. It goes from like the upper-end, the very well dressed to the Jake Gardiner’s of the world. He doesn’t really care.”

Tavares: “They’re all extraordinarily busy. The measuring is obviously very important. Anyone getting a custom suit wants it to be very adherent. That’s something you have to be mindful of: you have to have the suit be very fitted, everywhere. Style is huge but fit is huge too. Their legs are just monstrous. But the shoulders of the suit and the cut of the suit are very important. Then, of course, you have to look at everything. If someone has a very large seat, big chest and a tiny waist, you can’t crank it too tight or it won’t look right. You have to be mindful of these things. And athletes usually bring these things: zero body fat, huge chest. You have to have that nice v-drop.”.

Ben Smith: “I actually have not gotten a suit yet in Toronto. I just had a place in Chicago: Formally Modern Tuxedo. I want something that fits well and won’t rip in places that it normally rips. It’s hard to get a suit to fit our type of body: athletic build.”
Best dressed: “If you ever see (Maple Leafs director of media relations) Steve Keogh he’s got some good suits. Matt Martin also has some good suits. And (Mitch Marner) and (Auston Matthews), they bring it.”

James van Riemsdyk: “I like Garrison Bespoke. They’ve kind of opened my eyes with that stuff. When I came into the league, I was pretty conservative, pretty cookie-cutter. They’ve got me to add some different stuff into my arsenal. Different colours, patterns, the fit. I’m pretty slim now. I became a little more into it when I started playing here. They invite me to different things like fashion shows, which I’d never thought I’d be into. It’s been fun. They’ve been really good to me in terms of exposing me to different things and helping me out.”
Best dressed: “Matt Martin has some good suits and good style.”

Nikita Zaitsev: “I don’t have a special spot. First of all fit. The suit has to fit well. I’ve just got four suits right now.”
Best dressed: “It’s hard to say. (Matt Martin) is pretty good, but he’s not the best.”

Tavares: “For a lot of them, it’s their first year and they’re already doing it. I think they know the seat they’re sitting in. And they want to look the part. They want to complete the package. Why not look your best? You’re only going to continue to blossom and be in the limelight. It’s important: How you look is how you’re perceived. How you look is how you feel.”


Author, Escape is at Hand, available on Eternal Cavalier Press@joshuakloke

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Michael & Anya x Wedluxe Feature

December 19th, 2018 by

This wedding was planned by the bride, Anya, who is the owner and principal event planner of Toronto event planning boutique La Chic Soirée. The Arlington Estate was transformed to feel like a castle in Italy, with greenery effortlessly cascading onto the centrepieces and candlelight to create a romantic ambience. And how about the #rosegold, chuppah? We love everything about this chic celebration! See more from Anya and Michael’s wedding in the latest issue of WedLuxe Magazine (Toronto & Eastern Canada edition), on newsstands now.

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Alburt & Ashley x Wedluxe Feature

November 21st, 2018 by

Inspired by the elegance of white and gold, Ashley and Alburt’s wedding was a glamorous affair to remember. In addition to the stark white setting and luxe gold accents, their sweets table was to die for; overflowing with cakes, donuts, cookies, madeleines – you name it! See more from Ashley & Alburt’s wedding in the latest issue of WedLuxe Magazine (Toronto & Eastern Canada edition) on newsstands now.

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Michael & Anya x Wedluxe Feature

January 27th, 2018 by

Publication: Wedluxe Blog

Full Blog Post at wedluxe.com/chic-soiree-designed-bride
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This wedding was planned by the bride, Anya, who is the owner and principal event planner of Toronto event planning boutique La Chic Soirée. The Arlington Estate was transformed to feel like a castle in Italy, with greenery effortlessly cascading onto the centrepieces and candlelight to create a romantic ambience. And how about the #rosegold, chuppah? We love everything about this chic celebration! See more from Anya and Michael’s wedding in the latest issue of WedLuxe Magazine (Toronto & Eastern Canada edition), on newsstands now.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: PURPLE TREE PHOTOGRAPHY

SOURCE IT:

GROOM AND BEST MAN’S FORMALWEAR • Empire Customs, PLANNING AND DECOR DESIGN • La Chic Soirée PHOTOGRAPHY • Purple Tree Photography

Full Source List & Blog Post at wedluxe.com/chic-soiree-designed-bride

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CBC News with Empire and the Toronto Maple Leafs

February 22nd, 2017 by

A good suit is all about the fit. But in the case of two Toronto Maple Leafs players, it’s all about the jacket lining too.

Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner helped a custom menswear company in the city design a jacket lining for two men’s suits that the pair plan to wear before and after the NHL’s Centennial Classic on New Year’s Day.

The Leafs face off against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday at BMO Field.

The lining features images of former NHLers — Leafs and Wings — who played in the previous winter classics and their logos. It has an embroidered version of the 100th Centennial Classic patch, which the players in the game will wear on the shoulder of their jerseys.
Toronto Maple Leafs player Morgan Rielly

Morgan Rielly, a player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, knows clothes make the man. Here Byron Abad of Empire Customs, helps him tie a tie. (CBC)

 

toronto-maple-leafs-player-morgan-rielly

 

“We had a idea a few weeks ago about maybe doing a cool suit for the outdoor game we are playing on January 1st against the Wings,” Rielly said.

“It’s something that we could maybe keep for a long time and have some good memories about playing in a pretty cool game. Me and Jake both wanted to do something cool to pay tribute to the guys that played on the teams in the past. It’s a fun idea.”

Rielly said the liner includes “some cool pictures from the past” that celebrate “some great players.”

Jake Gardiner, a player with the Toronto Maple Leafs, knows that it’s important to look good on and off the ice. Here he is tying a tie. (CBC)

jake-gardiner

 

“We worked with Empire Customs to form a jacket that had a lot of history to it. As you can see, the interior is lined with ex-players from both the Wings and the Leafs. And we thought that would be pretty cool. It has a bit of an older look,” Gardiner said.

“It’s one of those things that we will have a very long time and that we can show our kids someday too.”

According to Dennis Tavares, owner of Empire Customs, in business for the past five years, the players provided “concepts” for the design.

dennis-tavares

Dennis Tavares, owner of Empire Customs, said the liner has an “old school” feel. (CBC)

“Recently, Morgan and Jake wanted to make a special suit to celebrate a hundred years of hockey for the Centennial game. To do that, we really wanted to create an old school feel to tie in the history of everything.”

Tavares said the company used a flannel fabric, a heavier wool that was popular in the 1940s, with what he called a vintage liner, along with the patch, and a vintage filter. Every image was selected individually.

“It all ties together,” he said. “The insider of the liner features some of the best players over the past 100 years.”

The retail value of each suit, which includes the lining, is $1,499. The company made suits for both players out of worsted wool, a flannel type material, that comes from Huddersfield Cloth, a merchant in the U.K.
Toronto Maple Leafstoronto-maple-leafs

Closeup of one image in the jacket lining designed by two Toronto Maple Leafs players. (CBC)

Both are fitted suits and took four weeks to make. Each suit comes with a shirt, tie and pocket square.

Rielly’s suit, which is double-breasted, has a glen check pattern, with a grey base on a blue check. Gardiner’s suit has a houndstooth pattern, with a grey base and black houndstooth.

And to look good off the ice, a suit comes in handy.

Tavares said the company has sold custom suits to a number of Leafs and to members of Team Canada. The business has been built by word of mouth, he said.
NHL’s Centennial Classic special jacket lining

They shoot, they score, they design clothes: NHL players Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner show off their creation. They came up with an idea for a jacket lining that pays tribute to former Centennial Classic players from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. (CBC)nhl-s-centennial-classic-special-jacket-lining for cbc news

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Empire Customs Featured in The Globe and Mail

January 4th, 2017 by

Thai tailors helped entrepreneur dress for success.

When Dennis Tavares ordered a suit custom made in Asia four years ago, he had no idea it would change his life.

As a Toronto-based account executive for an international company, he wanted to dress for success, but that was a stretch for his budget. He found there was little choice between going to a high-end men’s store and paying upward of $2,000 for a custom-fitted suit or shopping at “the kind of store your Mom brought you to get a suit in Grade 8.”

That led him online, ordering made-to-measure suits from companies in Hong Kong, China and Thailand. The first couple of attempts were flops, but a family-run tailor shop in Bangkok sent him just the suit he was looking for.

“People at work asked where I got my suit and I said I can have one made for you. A couple of my colleagues were willing to order one and they fit so well, suddenly other guys were getting referred to me.”

Mr. Tavares got so busy he rented a small office in downtown Toronto to take measurements for customers in the evenings while he kept his day job.

Within two years, he was selling dozens of suits a week. He stopped working at his day job and devoted all his time to his new company Empire Customs Inc., partnering with the tailors in Thailand to invest in new equipment and hire more staff, with specialties such as pants and sleeves, to keep up with the demand.

Offshoring production overseas is a smart move for more than just savings on labour, comments Muhammad Mohiuddin, assistant professor of international business at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

“What Canadian companies should be focusing on are sectors where they can be better than others in the market. We call them high-yielding segments,” he says.

“What we can do best in North America includes designing and developing products, logistics, marketing and quality assurance.” But for actual production there’s a growing advantage in looking to the global supply chain, says Dr. Mohiuddin, a co-editor of the journal Transnational Corporations Review.

“It doesn’t mean we can’t produce here, but it makes more business sense that we procure expertise from places that already have the specialties we need.”

That makes particular sense for high-end products like suits, because there are few young Canadians interested in becoming apprentice tailors, he adds.

The number of Canadians making clothes declined from 94,260 in 2002 to 19,340 in 2010, according to Statistics Canada.

Meanwhile, skilled tailoring is a traditional occupation in Asia. The pay for skilled cutters and tailors in Thailand is still extremely good for that economy, Dr. Mohiuddin says.

There are about 40 hours of hand labour in a custom-made suit and top quality fabric for a suit costs at least $200. Even if he could find the expertise to have suits made in Canada, it would double the cost of the finished product, Mr. Tavares estimates. Empire’s prices start at $750 for suits comparable to off-the rack suits that would cost $1,500 or more in a men’s store.

There were initial logistical issues that had to be worked out through collaboration with his Thai tailor.

Initially, there were some customer complaints about fit in the shoulders and collars, the most critical parts of the suit. Mr. Tavares collaborated with the Thai team to innovate a fitting process that uses moulds to determine what shoulder fit is best for a customer’s build. They also created a system to measure the neck to shoulder angle to ensure the roll of the collar was appropriate.

All this was done initially without Mr. Tavares having to go to Thailand. He had regular meetings with his Thai partner via e-mail and video calls on smartphones. More recently they have travelled back and forth to meet in person and “it’s really like he’s part of my family,” Mr. Tavares says.

Shipping became a bottleneck that was solved by using priority courier service to get suits delivered in two days rather than the three weeks it could take for ocean freight. That included customs duty processing so all paperwork is prepared in advance and managed by the shipper.

He learned that developing a business in Canada doesn’t have to depend on advertising; 80 per cent of his business comes from referrals and repeats. “If you have a good service or product, people will refer you. I was dealing with really picky guys who used to go to the top men’s stores and they came to me expecting the same standard.” But, he adds, it is important to ensure the delivery of consistent high quality, “otherwise people go nuts and the whole business model will collapse.”

Business has grown steadily for three and a half years. The company sells more than 150 suits a month.

Empire Customs concentrates on the Toronto market but now Mr. Tavares is eyeing London, England, and hopes to open a branch there next year. The spread between the pound and the Thai baht make the expansion a good bet, Mr. Tavares says.

The recent drop in the value of the Canadian dollar affected the bottom line but not significantly, he adds. As the dollar fell, the relationship to the baht cut the profit in each suit by about 10 per cent, but at the same time, sales have improved this year.

“If anyone is looking to start a business internationally I advise just starting small, versus getting a lot of seed money to open a store and develop the initial ability to sell lots of units,” Mr. Tavares says.

“The key is just to start, because working on solving problems brings people together like nothing else. That may sound generic, but it’s the truth.”

The original publication can be viewed here.

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Empire Customs Featured in CPA Mag

November 5th, 2016 by

Suit yourself.

If you’re not sure what to look for in a well-fitting, custom man’s suit, here’s some advice.

Five years ago, Dennis Tavares was his ideal target customer: a young, stylish professional who understood the power of a well-made suit to help drive his career but one who had limited funds. “There was no way I could afford a $2,000 suit,” he says. Tavares began ordering less-expensive suits from Hong Kong and Thailand, which he says were better than off-the-rack suits, but not much. He finally found father-son suit cutters and sartorial satisfaction. Colleagues took note and asked him to do the same for them. Demand was so strong that he quit his job as a sales executive with a Fortune 500 company and launched Empire Customs (empirecustoms.ca) in Toronto in 2012. Today he sells about 150 custom suits a month.

His success is part of the confluence of two trends: technological advancements that are driving down the cost of making made-to-measure suits (Tavares charges $750 for a custom suit, shirt and tie) and more men getting into fashion. According to UK-based market research firm Euromonitor International, global sales of men’s designer apparel rose 5.6% in 2014 to US$32.3 billion.

Here, Tavares offers his best advice on tailoring and what to look for in a custom suit.

Quality fabric

The higher the thread count, the thinner the fabric will be and the better it will drape. Aim for a thread count of super 100 and up. This is particularly important if you have chosen a solid colour, which is less forgiving than bold patterns. The sheen of the fabric should be subtle and will look different depending on the lighting.

The right cut

This is the most important aspect of the suit, dictating how the fabric will drape and how the shoulder will be constructed. The shoulder is the foundation of a well-fitting suit and is the only part that cannot be adjusted, so it’s important to get it right. Your posture determines the shoulder’s construction. For example, if you tend to slouch forward, you need a shoulder that slouches forward with you. A boxy shoulder looks more formal and a little older, while a fitted shoulder is hipper and younger.

Structure

A rigid, lightweight, full canvas layer between the jacket’s fabric and liner will ensure it hangs well. (A felt liner under the collar will help hold its shape.) Jackets should hit about a quarter-inch above where your hamstring connects to your glute muscles. If you have a flat bottom, a little more coverage is fine. Sleeves should come to the wrist and allow for a quarter-inch of shirt cuff to be visible.

Surgeon cuffs

Nothing says custom like four functioning buttonholes on the edge of the sleeves. Using a contrasting colour on one of the buttonholes will personalize the suit further.

Word to the wise

Don’t overstep; vests and matching suspenders are reserved for senior executives.

Original publication can be found here.

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Empire Double Feature in Elegant Wedding Mag

November 11th, 2015 by

Empire Customs was fortunate to be featured in 2 issues of Elegant Wedding Magazine, distributed nationally including Shoppers Drug Mart, Chapters and Indigo.

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True or False? People Notice Your Shoes

May 5th, 2015 by

In this video men’s style, grooming and fitness expert, Aaron Marino of http://www.iamalpham.com goes over the 5 essential shoes that every guys needs in his wardrobe. These 5 men’s shoe must haves are a great foundation in any versatile wardrobe.

Shoes are a great way to elevate a look and set yourself apart from the other guys in the room. Every great outfit starts at the feet and having the perfect pair of shoes for the occasion is a great place to start.

If you’re one of those guys that can never find a pair of dress shoes that “fit” like they’re supposed to, stop by our shop and one of our Style Consultants will show your feet the real meaning of class and comfort.

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The Truth About Bespoke Custom Suits

April 11th, 2014 by

Few things can identify you as an elite business professional quite like a custom tailored suit can. Tailor made suits, while often rather steep in price, can provide you with the ultimate in fit, comfort, and style. And the good news is that these suits may actually be dressing more and more of a budget-conscious clientele these days.

Thanks to great strides in technology, craftsmanship, and skilled labor, custom suit sales are actually on the rise, as more and more individuals find themselves able to afford such attire. Conversely, ready-made suit sales are actually on the decline.

There are three primary tiers of tailor-made suits. The two more basic, entry-level tiers include “custom” and “made to order.” The third tier, and often considered the top tier of tailor-made attire, are “bespoke” suits. Oftentimes, custom suit makers will tell folks that they’re suits are bespoke… when if fact, they’re not at all. This is especially common in the United States.

“Bespoke” is a word whose roots are steeped in 19th century English tradition. When custom suit makers spoke of items which were no longer in stock, they would use this term to convey the message that these things had already been spoken for. In modern culture, the term represents the pinnacle of quality craftsmanship. In certain European countries, it is illegal to claim that your merchandise is “bespoke,” unless it meets a set of very strict criteria.

So what are these criteria?

For starters, the actual master tailor is the individual who will take your measurements and craft your suit… from the ground up. This is a much different approach than other custom suit makers take. Moreover, if the artist does not take your measurements, you can be SURE that it’s NOT a bespoke suit!

Further, it will require more than one fitting. The tailor will craft your perfect suit over time, using a lightly sewn, or “baste” garment that is altered to create the best possible fit. If your suit is crafted without multiple fittings, then a bespoke suit it is not!

Finally, the suit will need to actually be stitched by the master tailor. The other two tiers of custom suits do not share this characteristic. In fact, oftentimes those suits are put together on factory assembly lines! If your tailor does not carefully and painstakingly craft, stitch, and deliver your handsome new suit to you, then you haven’t gone the bespoke route.

Accept no substitutes, and please avoid being taken advantage of. Too many good people are paying for bespoke suits, but not actually receiving bespoke suits. These suits adhere to the highest standards of detailed quality and professional craftsmanship. Use the information above to help you make the most informed purchasing decision you can.

Photo Credit: N. Feans | cc

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Better Than Bespoke.

The proof is in the suiting: let us show you why our made-to-measure custom suits are even better than bespoke.

Book Your Free Consultation Today!


Better Than Bespoke.

The proof is in the suiting: let us show you why our made-to-measure custom suits are even better than bespoke.

Book Your Free Consultation Today!