I had the absolute pleasure to connect with one of Toronto’s secret diamond mines of menswear in Yorkville, Uncle Otis. Tucked away on Bellair Street, the shop houses one of the finest collections I’ve ever had the chance to poke through in one place. The vibe is minimal, natural and structured. From the decor right down to the pieces draped over the hangers. Rough textures, remarkably well engineered gear that to me screams this funky fusion of posh London streets and a foggy forest in British Columbia. It was perfect timing to be introduced to the shop with fall creeping in and my sudden hunger for heavy weight pieces in rich tones.
My good bud Alexander Liang and I took a Friday off and poked around through Yorkville and made our way to Uncle Otis. I met the boys from the shop Vince, Courtney and Martin and we talked for over an hour. I felt like the character from my favourite novel The Shadow of the Wind when the main character Daniel (simple coincidence) gets lost in a secret mystery library picking the brain of the old man librarian about each and every book, author and tale the spooky place was protecting. Except we talked menswear of old, new, military inspiration, secret shops in Kensington Market and everything inbetween. With the tsunami of online shopping taking over the fashion world, the visit was a stark reminder what it’s still like to still shop the old way. To shop at a place because you dig the experience not because you’re searching for the best deal or the easiest checkout software.
OK so the most important part, I left with a trunk full of shopping bags and new pieces to add to my ever-growing fall wardrobe of 2016. You all know I’m a sucker for a grey crewneck sweater so I simply could’t resist the one from Wings + Horns (VIEW) The latlock stitching, diamond shoulder panelling and extended ribbed cuffs engineered into the sweater instantly made it my new #1. I decided to create a whole look from there by picking out a a two-tone Battle jacket from Universal Works (VIEW) that had a classic London countryside look with an urban twist. A classic jacket in a classic colour is always my style.
I padded my outwear rotation with one more piece that has quickly become one of my go-tos for fall as it’s just so easy to layer and pair with all different tones. The 25th Anniversary Quilted Chore Jacket made by Uncle Otis as an exclusive piece celebrating the shop’s quarter century in the menswear community. With Christmas around the corner, take my word, this is a perfect gift for that special dude in your life. It’s versatile, sharp and stylish.
Lastly, I fell for a set of gorgeous leather accessories from Tanner Goods. Every man should have a handsome set of wallet pieces. I always like to find a matching set of a minimal credit card holder for nights out on the town and a full-size piece to carry your passport and extra cards when you’re travelling or out shopping. I also ordered the camera strap for my new Olympus Mark ii and picking it up tomorrow so stay tuned for that. I’m literally giddy in anticipation.
Here’s a peek into my new finds.
THE SHOPPING LIST: