Introducing: Oliver Spencer, Queen West’s new menswear boutique
The place: British tailor turned menswear impresario Oliver Spencer has opened his first Canadian outpost (his third shop; the others are in New York City and London) on Queen Street West, smack dab between fellow men’s retailers Fred Perry and Ruins. Spencer has clearly received the Queen Street decor memo: there is the requisite exposed brick, rough-hewn hardwood flooring and kooky accents (this time in the form of beakers, test tubes, butterfly specimens under glass and a human anatomy poster). Beyond the standard-issue interior, there’s a lot for guys to get excited about here—namely, a collection of wearable clothes not too avant-garde (read: weird-looking) to pull off.
The stuff: Look past the racks of standard plaid shirts ($175) and oxford button-ups ($195) to a thoughtful collection of pieces made for dipping temperatures. Cozy sweaters—a chunky shawl-neck one with leather buttons ($450), another with a button placket ($280)—are made for cuddling up in. Wool hats in an array of greys keep the heat in and give the bed head hair we spend 20 minutes trying to do in the morning. The slate-coloured tweed vests ($275) have almost sold out since the store’s opening a week ago.
The shoppers: Esquire Black Book readers who’ve coveted the brand’s English heritage pieces since their last trip to New York, and older gents drawn to the window display’s wool cardigan ($440) and oxblood brogue boots ($550).
Our favourite things: The jackets, in sturdy waxed cotton, are designed with rainy London days in mind. We’re eyeing one in chocolate brown ($560) with toggle buttons, red plaid lining and detachable hood. The khaki-coloured modified Mac ($480) is another favourite—just the trick for those days when a Canada Goose is too hot and a sweater is too cold.
Oliver Spencer, 962 Queen St. W., 647-348-7673, oliverspencer.co.uk.