Introducing: Ben Sherman, the latest shop just for the fellas on Queen Street West
The place: Near some of Queen Street’s best menswear shops, like Sydney’s and the former location of Klaxon Howl, the brand new Ben Sherman at 734 Queen St. W. is Canada’s first standalone location. Modelled after its Carnaby Street location in London, the 1,780-square-foot shop is decked in subway tile meant to look like a turn-of-the-century London tube station—the space is outfitted with more than 40,000 reclaimed tiles in all, all shipped from England. It’s a refreshing change from the exposed brick and rough hardwood floors found at most other Queen Street stores, and for a bit of fun, the front window features an interactive-display pneumatic rack with an outdoor touch screen that passersby can fiddle with to display their favourite outfit (like Cher Horowitz, but for men with a more heritage bent).
The stuff: The front section features a new Ben Sherman line called Plectrum, with items like a chocolate brown leather jacket ($498), orange and green plaid shirts ($138) and simple grey button-ups ($118). But for Ben Sherman lovers, there are still the traditional plaids (in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a non-plaid shirt in the place), and although we loved most of the button-ups, the Ben Sherman logo plastered on many of the breast pockets is a deal breaker (we know, everyone does it, but still). The suiting section features slim-cut “Camden”-style blazers in windowpane plaid and plain grey, and the back section features a “shirt bar” with a dizzying selection of tops (but we couldn’t find the shirt bartender).
The shoppers: It’s on Queen Street near Trinity Bellwoods and a staggering number of independent coffee places, so there will be a good amount of foot traffic. We see the clothes on Queen Westers, like young dads with design jobs (the kind with beards and rolled-up jeans), record store–going gentlemen and intellectual types opining at Robart’s (or wherever it is intellectual types do their opining these days).
Our favourite things: The slim-fit chinos ($128) in royal blue, aubergine (purple if you don’t want to get technical) and red already make us miss summer, but for the long winter to come, the dark green toggle coat with a plaid hood ($498) looks cozy (save for the cheap plastic horn toggles). We also loved the suede chukka boots ($148) with a colourful stripe up the tongue and the Fair Isle sweater with a shawl collar ($188).