Monday, November 26, 2012

"Call Me Jonno Please."

Alright, I will! ;) 

Jonno was actually referred to us by an incredibly tall and stylish friend of mine (I'll leave the name out -- but hopefully I will get to write a blog post on him too, one day soon.)We made him a luxurious Super 150's wool slim-fit suit for the upcoming wedding he'll be attending as well as other subsequent suit-appropriate occasions.

It was Jonno's first custom suit. It's his first--but I believe it will not be his last because he looked pretty darn happy about it:

We're standing by the counter, chatting. I notice Jonno is hugging his suit that I'd already wrapped up for him in a suit bag. It looks like it's slipping away from his grip. 

"Is that heavy? Here, let me hang it up for you while we continue this conversation." 

"Oh, no. It's okay. It's not heavy."

10 mins later.

"You sure you don't want me to hang it up? You look sort of uncomfortable and you're crushing your suit. I'll give it back."

"No. It's fine really." *Steps back*

"You really love your suit, huh?"

"YEAH! I love it!"


I'm glad you do. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Do You Get When You Cut A Dress In Half?

Beaded Floral Skirt. Another one of our creations :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Time to Relearn the Words to "Little Boy Blue"

This is Ryan Gosling in a custom-made Salvatore Ferragamo shiny blue tuxedo (HELLO!). A real eye-opener, right? Who knew adding a new twist (using the colour blue instead of black) to a classic look could be so FUN? And who knew it would make an already very good-looking man into a jaw-dropping, mouth-watering stunner? 

He's no "Little Boy Blue" that's for sure. "6 Foot Hot Man Blue" anyone? 

One of our customers had found these pictures of Ryan's slim and shiny blue tux and requested that we make him something similar for his wedding day. So we quickly got to work and here is our rendition:

While Ryan's suit looks like it's made of silk, our version is made of a wool blend (which is very affordable!) that has a subtle sheen which is stylish and beckons for your attention. With this suit on, who needs a horn? ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Yup, that's exactly what I said upon meeting Narinder for the very first time. I shook his hand and told him straight up his eyes were stunning. They're as bold as the colour of our Moraine Lake in Baff! Isn't that right, Narinder? (I know you're reading this and nodding!)

This sturdy handsome man came in looking for a simple, sleek three-piece custom suit. As a matter of fact, he was convinced to choose us as his tailors after having read the Balsam blog! :)

Nowadays, the trend is to wear something that is simple and tasteful for your big day so that later on, you can where your outfit again for many other occasions. It's a budget-friendly way to go. Who doesn't want to save money? Have a look at what Narinder chose for his big day: A heather gray wool-blend three-piece, custom-made to perfection with lotsa looooove, guaranteed fit--all under $700! Tell me that is not an attractive price?

What I love most about Narinder is his high level of enthusiasm. I asked if he wanted to be showcased on our blog and he responded, not just positively, but he was brimming with excitement! Haha.. It sure got me excited!

Thank you Narinder for being an awesome customer! :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hey! What's That In My Crotch?!

Yah! What is that diamond-shaped insert in the crotch of your pants?

So here's the low-down: Before you get your panties all up in a bunch, just know that that diamond insert is NOT a defect nor is it there just for show (Haha! That's right! Keep those legs close ladies and gents!)

That geometrical piece of fabric is called a diamond gusset. It helps to reinforce the seams at the crotch because the way our bodies move and how we position ourselves create a lot of tension in that area. That's tension in the seams, people. Get your mind out of the gutter please :)

The diamond gusset makes the crotch bigger (Alright, you don't need to go there. Let's keep it professional.) but not deeper so that it impedes movement. The result is a slack crotch in the pant which allows plenty of room of your legs to open up in. For example, you will find that it is common for motorcycle riders with jeans that have diamond gussets in them because of the way they have to sit on their motorcycles. If they didn't have the diamond insert, they may find the jeans intensely uncomfortable since there will be a lot of horizontal pulling right in that area.

Pants that you may find diamond gussets in are: rockclimbing pants, dancing tights, martial art uniform pants, horseback riding pants and basically others that are made specifically for you to move in comfort when you're doing stuff that requires you to stretch out your legs and groins.

Custom tailors also make use of this diamond gusset feature to help make dress pants comfortable for their clients. Men who carry a little more weight and have a wider seat area or thicker thighs will appreciate this feature.

I have had hundreds of customers who come into our store to have dress pants or jeans repaired in the crotch. That is one area where rips and tears are prone to happen.  Unfortunately, most denim jeans or dress pants that you buy at retail stores don't have the diamond gusset feature. Overtime, all that stretching and thigh-rubbing will put holes into your beloved pants. 

That's when you'll want to bring in your pants for us to fix ;) See below:

Both sides of the inner thighs were torn badly due to continuous pulling and rubbing but they're now nicely patched up!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cap-sleeve Silver Brocade Cropped Jacket

Here's another jacket we made for the customer who brought in the several yards of vintage brocade (refer to previous post). I LOOOOVE THIS ONE. This one is Anda's design :)

Sentimental Vintage Brocade

This is the brocade tuxedo jacket that I designed for our customer. 

One of our customers asked us what she could do with several pieces of her late mother-in-law's precious silk brocade. She didn't want it to just sit in a wooden chest where the moths could get at it. There was one particular piece that stood out from the rest--that I personally really liked. This cloth was a lustrous powder-ink silk speckled with old Chinese script.  It definitely was a very feminine style of brocade.

The customer didn't want to have a piece made that she could only wear on very rare occasions because then it would just sit in her closet most of the time--meaning it would be no different than just having the original piece of brocade cloth sitting in the wooden chest. The precious cloth needed to be worn and shown off!

I thought: She needs something versatile and fun so she would be comfortable wearing it and not feel too overdressed since brocade is such a luxurious and ornate kind of material. An idea popped into my head: Tuxedo-style Jacket! That's fun, very chic, and super versatile. She could wear it as a statement piece paired with some nice jeans or with a black skirt forming a girlie skirt-suit or with a pair of dressy shorts and heels. The possibilities are endless really. :)

So here it is: A one-of-a-kind brocade tuxedo jacket! The only one in the world too!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

To Spend Or Not To Spend?

Not trying to look sinister here. The sun is in my eyes. 

This dress was bought from a widely known "fast-food" fashion store for under $30. But the alterations to be performed on this dress cost $38. The girl, who is even smaller than I am (and I'm what you call "petite" already), bought it one size too big because it was the last one left. She loved it and thought it'd be reasonable to drop another $38 to have it tailored to her body shape. The total cost of this dress is now $68--still a very reasonable price when you know you're getting something that actually fits you. 


In the last several years, with so many "fast-food" fashion chain stores and online clothing stores churning out average to subpar quality items at such irresistibly low prices, how can trend-followers not gobble up what these clothing companies are throwing at them?

In all honesty, I'm guilty of being part of the fast-food fashion culture. I'm not entirely immersed in it--maybe with just my feet in and only ankle-deep. If I can get the same style for much less than what mid-range to high-end clothing stores offer, why not?

When it comes to buying clothes, keep your head on straight: Keep in mind, what you pay is what you get--so don't go nuts and start hoarding when something is cheap. Think before you buy! Because market researchers know that most trend followers prefer quantity over quality, clothing companies can shirk and make compromises in the fabric quality as well as workmanship that goes into making fast-food clothes. Why else are you paying $20 for a dress instead of $100? 

The general rule of thumb is, when you're trying to dress nice and save money, invest in KEY pieces of excellent quality that can stand the test of time and occasionally buy cheaper trend items to enhance your overall outfit. 

From time to time, you may get suckered into buying something you don't even need and probably doesn't even fit because it was "on sale". This happens a lot to our customers. It happens to me. You're stuck with a nice $50 jacket but the sleeves are too long and fits a tad too big. You have three options: 

1.Wear it the way it is and hope that nobody notices the bad fit ( If you pick this option, congratulations! You have the courage that I don't have.)


2. Use the money you saved on the jacket and make it fit you perfectly. (If you pick this option, congratulations! You'll actually get some wear out of it and look good sporting it.)


3. Shove it into the back of your closet and pretend you never even bought it. (If you pick this option, congratulations! You just wasted $50.) 

Which one did you pick? :)


Our customers fall into two categories: 

1. Those who think, "Wow, I saved this much. I can use what I saved and put it towards alterations to get a perfect fit.  Customers who fall into this category usually really like their purchases and that's why they can justify spending more on a sale item.

2. Those who think, "What?! I paid only $50 for this jacket.  Why on earth would I spend more on it?" Customers who fall into this category usually DON'T really like their purchases all that much and that's why they CANNOT justify spending more on a sale item. If you know you belong in this category, let me ask you this question: Why do you buy things that don't even look good on you? :(

So to answer a common question that I get working here, "Should I spend more fixing this thing I got at such a low price or should I just leave it and either not wear it at all or just wear it the way it is?", you need to ask yourself how much you like what you bought and as well, these complimentary questions:

1. Is the workmanship acceptable?
2. Is the fabric quality decent?
3. Would I wear it again and again?
4. Does the style suit me?

If your answers to these Q's are mostly negative, I'd say just toss the darn thing!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One of a Kind Prom Dress

As much as I love working with men's clothing, I still get really excited when Balsam Tailors get asked to make really beautiful girlie things! Many people know us as a custom suit/shirt and fine tailoring store but once in a while, we have people who like to challenge us--AND WE LOVE THAT! 

Jody had an idea of what her prom dress should look like. But because of time constraint and sizing issues, she couldn't get the dress she wanted in the ready-made version. She came to us and presented her idea.

I fell in love with her idea. It's something I would totally's simple, elegant, airy, sparkly and sexy! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Website Images Updated

Over the month of April, Balsam Tailors had been busy working to prepare for a photoshoot with a couple of finely selected young men. It's that time of the year when the pictures need to be updated, in order to reflect our stylish, refined and high-quality custom products. Mosey on over to our website and check out our gorgeous selection of men, errr...I mean gorgeous hand-made garments! I hope these pictures will inspire you to get something unique made and that you will wear proudly--because at Balsam Tailors, we're all about making you look and feel amazing! :)

Happy May!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

For The Boys: Mixing Business Attire with Casual Wear

In today's post, I will be showcasing two of SPRING 2012's hottest trends for guys--mixed together!

Trend 1: Light grey anything!
Trend 2: Bold patterned shirts!


I'm really a big fan of blazers. Whether you're a guy or a girl, you really have no excuse to not have a blazer in your closet.  A clean, simple blazer with a slim-cut is a staple closet item.  It never goes out of style, ever

Gents, if you have a full suit, consider wearing it as separates like Nathan. What he has done here is literally mix a business suit jacket with a casual shirt and jeans to create a hip and urban look. 

You can't possibly go wrong with a suit jacket like this. Keep it lean and simple.

A lean cut means the jacket should hug your curves, including the small of your back. Lean does not mean undersized. Lean does not mean uncomfortable. If you get pulling in the front of the jacket when you have the top button done up, that means it's too tight! 

Black and white shirt with white cuffs and collars! My FAVOURITE COMBO. So glad I convinced him to get one made! No more boring white shirts, Nathan!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Balsam Photoshoot To Come!

Here's a tiny sneak peek of our new and VERY FUN wardrobe for the upcoming Balsam Tailors photoshoot. Nice custom clothes: Check! Good-looking models: Check! Great attitude: Check!

This Spring/Summer, for guys, it's all about pops of colour and LOTS OF PATTERNS paired with neutral tones like beige, navy, and grey. Have a look at some of the pictures I've pulled from

Alexander McQueen:

Umit Benan: