Zegna Suits in TorontoWritten by Patrick Lannigan - Winter 2008/2009
Ah yes. The Zegna suit. I remember when I'd go into the Harry Rosen store in Toronto and just run my hand along the rack of suits and how, with remarkable accuracy, I could pick out the Zegnas by touch alone. Those suits performed beautifully. What do I mean by performance? I mean that you could take a Zegna suit, ball it up, throw it in a corner and then put it on three days later and there would be nary a wrinkle. Try that with today's "bargain suits". No comparison. I have one suit that I bought (recently) for $600 and I can barely look at it without causing a wrinkle or two.
Update: In Toronto you can purchase Zegna suits (or the younger Z Zegna line) from two primary locations:
Harry Rosen: Ask for Carlo Di Giuliantonio at 416-972-0556
82 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON
Holt Renfrew: Ask for Ryan at 416-922-2333 x3201
50 Bloor St West, Toronto, ON
If you have any comments about the service at Harry Rosen or Holt Renfrew let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
When Zegna went SuperNova
When people caught on to Zegna (celebrities and politicians started wearing them) the popularity went supernova. Nowadays the brand has became "fashionized" and the price is astronomical (a few years ago I believe I priced a Zegna suit at Harry Rosens (Bloor St. Toronto) and the it was $CAN $3,500).
Back in "The Day"
When I was in my thirties Zegna suits used to retail (off the rack) between $1,200 and $1,800. I used to wait for them to come on sale and I'd get them for $600. I have to work on making more coin before I can afford them again.
Go for the Presidential Look
If you want to invest in good suits and keep them for a long time I recommend sticking to a classic look. As a matter of fact the best "proxy" for a classic looking suit is to look at what the president of the United States is wearing. You won't see no 3-button-euro-gay (no offence) look on him. If you're going to get a little wild do it with your tie.
And Speaking of Ties
I go by displays of ties these days and am saddened by the lack of imagination. So sad. I've spotted a few uniquely designed Zegna ties—but they are rare (and they'll set you back $150 or so). To me, the ideal "look" in business is a fashion-forward (unique-looking) tie accompanied by a classic looking suit. It shows you've got balls and imagination—but you're not a boy who succumbs to those johnny-come-lately-suits. If you find a store that has great ties please don't hesitate to drop me a line at lannigan at gmail dot com
Fight Club Rule #21: Always Have More Underwear and Socks than Your Spouse
I cheat. I admit it. I do my share of the housework but doing laundry isn't my thing. In my thirties I adopted a policy of always having (at least) twice as many underwear and socks as my spouse. It's served me well.
It used to be that there were three classes of socks for men. There was the "casual sock" (typically cotton and thick). There was the "dress sock" (a thin cotton or nylon) and a sport sock (typically a white cotton). I've reduced my inventory to two types of socks that I've abused thoroughly—and they still come out looking natural and feel comfortable. I use black Gold Toe Cotton-blend Fluffies for wearing with suits and casual dress (I have about 60 pairs) and white Gold Toe socks for athletic wear. As I said—I have abused these socks and they keep on performing over the years. They've been a great investment. Also, by choosing only one color of sock (black) there is never a worry over whether the socks go with what you're wearing. Black goes with everything!
You can't get Gold Toe socks in Canada (I've seen them occasionally— but there is limited selection). Order them in the USA from JC Penny. Order a lot to minimize the shipping costs. See links below.
Performance: Dress Shirts
I've been wearing Land's End Hyde Park brand dress shirts (100% thick cotton) for almost 15 years now and the only reason I've retired some of them is when I've gotten an ink stain on them. Talk about performance. These shirts are also thicker—which makes them well suited for doing business with Americans. Why? In the USA (most Canadians probably don't realize this) it is considered improper for your skin color (or chest hair, or nipples) to show through your dress shirt. This is the reason many high-powered American men wear an undershirt with a dress shirt. Since the Land's End Hyde Park shirt is thicker—you can get away without an undershirt. You can get away with wearing the white colored shirt twice. The blue colored shirt, for some unknown reason, seems to resist wrinkles more than the white (go figure). And you'll have to take them to the dry cleaners. But don't worry. The dry cleaners don't actually "dry clean" these babies—they wash them and press them (washing is cheaper than dry cleaning) (go ahead and try to wash and iron these yourself—I simply don't have the patience—and I can never do as well as the dry cleaner when ironing them with my consumer-grade iron).
You can't buy these shirts in Canada. You'll have to order them from Land's End. My advice is to measure yourself and then order a few (try the white and the light blue) to try them for fit. Once you've lived with the shirts for a while then place your "big order".
Almost forgot to mention that these shirts are button-down. This may not be your normal style but I recommend trying them. The nice thing is that they are classic and you won't see many other Canadian guys wearing them.
Land's End 1-800 number is: 1-800-963-4816. The product number is "000446".
Parting With my Zegna Suits
When I met my wife, got married and had children, I put on a few pounds and grew out of my Zegna suits. I couldn't just give my Zegna suits away to anyone so I gave them to my forever-slim brother-in-law. I'm happy to say that (10 years later) they still look absolutely fabulously on him. Girls and boys—THAT'S what I mean when I say Zegna suits perform.
Maybe someday Zegna will return to their roots in the "classic look" and maybe, by some miracle, I'll be able to afford them again.
Email Patrick Lannigan at lannigan at gmail dot com for more information
This page was created and/or refreshed on April 12, 2017 @ 14:50:56