Monday, December 16, 2013

Michael & Ivy's Wedding

A few months ago, we were asked by Michael and Ivy to produce a very unique piece called a frock coat that was popularly worn by men of the Victorian and Edwardian era. We honestly don't get a lot of requests from guys to have long coats made for their weddings anymore because the trend for the groom nowadays is to have a suit made in such a way that he will be able to wear it again for work after the wedding.

We knew it'd be a very special wedding since the couple had revealed that their wedding date will be on Halloween and that guests were going to dress up in accordance to the couple's chosen theme.

Have a look at Michael and Ivy's wedding pictures here

I love that Michael added a pop of jewel tone to his ensemble! So vibrant and elegant-looking!

Thank you Michael and Ivy for inviting us to help make the wedding day theme complete :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our Neighbour, James!

James works one store over. He's one of the trusty bike mechanics who I see test-drive their clients' bikes around the block every so often.

It was a nice surprise to see a familiar face walk in.

"I need a suit for my friend's wedding," said James with a big smile.

"Oooooh," I shot out of my chair wide-eyed and grinning. "This is going to be fun!" I thought. The reason is because I've never seen James in anything other then his very casual work clothes or without grease on his hands. Haha!! I knew it would be a total transformation.

Because of James' naturally thin body frame, I knew immediately he would look perfect in a slim fit suit.

Lo and behold, the black suit we made for him was indeed the perfect style and fit on him! I also really dig his high-shine shoes.

We were all pretty excited... Actually, it was impossible to contain our excitement. We were happy. James was happy. He was soooo happy that he ran over to the bike shop to show his colleagues, haha:

I love my job. I love seeing the smiles on people's faces when I first show them their suits and then watching the smiles grow even bigger once they try on their suits.

Thank you for modeling for us, James! You look so awesome in that black skinny suit. Speaking of awesome, I have this to show you all. James showed it to me on his phone and it made me laugh:

On certain phones, voice messages can be transcribed into texts. The quality of the texts is dependent on the caller, the background noise and the microphone.

James showed me a message that someone at Balsam Tailors left on his phone. What shows is that "awesome Taylor" called. Obviously it was "Balsam Tailors". Imagine how confused James was when he got this message. :P

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Charcoal Suit & Cognac Shoes

There is always a story to every suit we make. I like Dale's.

He came in one day with an off-the-rack suit that had details he really liked and didn't like. He couldn't decided if it was the right suit for him. I asked him to put it on so I could make an assessment.

It was a medium grey suit that was fitted through the waist, hips and tailored through the thighs. He liked the overall look of it. I immediately noted that some adjustments were need in order for the suit to fit perfectly. With the alteration cost plus the purchasing cost, his suit would run him close to a price that would be the equivalent of one of our custom suits.

Having made that calculation, we decided that a custom suit would be a smarter choice: Firstly, a custom suit would be cut to fit his unique body shape and secondly, he could pick the details he wanted on his suit that he liked from the other suit he brought in. You know what the best part about this story is? ... Dale's new custom suit would cost him less than the store-bought suit with the alterations! :)

Take a look at Dale's suit up at the top. He picked a rich dark grey that is very popular with the gents. When he came in to try on the suit, he happened to be wearing this season's most popular shoe colour: cognac. They pair up quite nicely, don't they? :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Give A Gift That Will Fit!

Buying gifts can be quite a painful task. What can you buy that the gift-receiver will truly enjoy (and if it's not to enjoy, you want it to at least fit, right)?

I, personally, love gift certificates. They're so practical. You can give me a $50 Safeway gift card for Christmas and I'd be the happiest girl in the world.

To give you folks out there an extra gifting option, Balsam Tailors is now offering Gift Certificates* for your gift-shopping convenience. These certificates are good for accessories and one of a kind custom-made items like:


*Certain restrictions apply.

Give your beloved or whoever you want to impress a unique experience of getting something custom-made! :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bob & Sheryl's Summer Wedding

Bob and Sheryl are such an amazingly fun and sweet couple. They first came in for a whole bunch of alterations but then, after a browse, Bob decided that it would be nice to have a light grey summer wool suit made up for his ocean-side wedding. Of course, I was delighted! We honestly don't get a lot of opportunities to make light-coloured summer suits. Most guys opt for dark coloured suits like, back, charcoal and navy because they are versatile and "safe"...

Well, Bob is not a "safe" guy. He's a performer at heart. He loves to dance and from what I heard, he also sang for Sheryl at the wedding! 

He sent these photos in yesterday so that I could see how great the suit looked on him:

Don't they look perfect for each other? :)

I think they totally look like celebrities here!

Thank you guys for sharing your happiness with us. Congratulations on tying the knot!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Warning: Balsam Suits May Induce Uncontrollable Happiness... And The Feeling Of Nakedness Apparently.

When Graeme came in to pick up his suit, it became a smiling contest. It was GRAEME VS ANDA & CINDY. I honestly don't think I've seen a more ecstatic customer than this guy. I mean, he was REALLY happy. Not just happy. Like truly insanely HAPPY! Haha! I watched the way his lips stretched across his face from the moment he put on his pants up until the moment he slipped on the jacket to when he looked into the mirror. It went from ear to ear. No exaggeration! And I will quote him: "WOW! It feels so good! It's so fitted and light. It's like I'M NAKED."

HAHA!! Well, I'm glad our suits make you feel so naked, Graeme! ;)

When I asked if he wanted to be featured on our blog, he... Well, you can see for yourself how it unfolded:

Can you show me those pearly whites, Graeme:

Let's have a look at that back side:

I'm going to do a close-up, if you don't mind:

Show me your million dollar pose, please:

 Can you demonstrate to me how you're feeling right now:

So, overall, how would you rate this suit:

So, as you can see, feeling naked makes you THIS happy. 

Thanks so much, Graeme, for letting us take pictures of you and putting smiles on our faces! 

Epilogue: Graeme didn't want to take his suit off. Oh trust me. He really didn't.  He said proudly, "I'm going to wear it right now to show my girlfriend." He slung his backpack over his shoulder and walked out the door...with a smile still plastered on his face. 

So who won the smiling contest? Not sure, really. Because Anda and I were definitely smiling even after he left. :D

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Satin Shorts For Guys

Check out these fancy pants we made! Fancy satin guy shorts, that is. 

They are made of a silky soft premium satin. They come in 20+ colours. Girls, have you thought about wearing an elegant high-shine pair of satin pants instead of your typical evening dress? 

Come have one made or even two! Trust me, these pants can get dangerously addictive! With 20+ colours, you might want one of each. As you can tell, the ones pictured below were all made for ONE person. Haha!

If you don't want satin, we have linen too! And those also come in dozens of colours as well! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Janis and Rachel Ties The Knot!

I am so thrilled to share this post! Thanks to Edward Yong Photography, Balsam Tailors is able to show off this lovely couple who tied the knot this past weekend! We actually got a chance to work with both Rachel and Janis prior to their big day. We had the wonderful opportunity to make Janis' dream tux and alter Rachel's wedding dress :) 

Congratulations you guys! I'm so happy for you! And you look so amazing all dressed up.

Go check out Edward Yong's website for more of Janis' suit and Rachel's dress!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Navy League. Coming Together To Look Extraordinary!

I've posted a handful of navy suits in the recent past and I'm honestly going to say, it doesn't get old for me. Every customer of Balsam Tailors is unique and so are their suits. They've all been absolutely amazing to work with and I'm so glad to have met each and everyone of them! I love seeing the big smiles on people's faces when they come out of the fitting room and see themselves clad in a custom-built suit made perfectly to conform to his/her unique body shape.

Take a look at our line-up of awesome navy suit wearers:


Doesn't he look handsome in our 3-pcs suit and shirt? My jaw pretty much dropped when he put the whole suit on. Good enough for the cover of GQ, you think? He's getting married later this year in this suit! Congratulations, Tristan!


She was so gracious and enthusiastic about having her pictures taken even while she was on an important business phone call (You'll notice that in the second picture, one of her hand is missing. That's because she's holding onto her cell phone! Haha!). We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you! Thank you, Jennifer! Please come back and visit us soon :)

- Michael-

Not only did we have the fortune to make his brother a suit but we also got to build Michael his very own one too! His parents are truly amazing people. They are so sweet and thoughtful. Sometimes they will stop by just to say hi or sometimes they will pop in and give us little treats like egg tarts or Starbucks gift cards! Oh yah, I also was lucky enough to be chosen by them as their Valentine's Day photographer a couple years back. We love this bunch so so much. Balsam Tailors really can't thank you guys enough for your generosity and continued support! Thank you, thank you guys!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How To Look Good In A Double-Breasted Suit

While black suits look sleek and sophisticated, they can be a bit too overbearing for certain occasions.  Shades of blues and shades of greys are the popular alternatives. These colours are great for events with a more relaxed atmosphere.

Meet young Hans. He is the little brother of Ethan whom I wrote a post on about 2 years ago ---> click here to read.

Hans had a scouting event to go to yesterday and he had to look his absolute best. Him and his mom decided that a custom body-hugging double-breasted suit would do the job. He needed to stand out. They brought in a picture of a suit they wanted us to replicate.

We had to make one change to make the suit work on Hans.What needed to go was the width of the lapels. Double-breasted (DB) suits were very popular in the mid-30's to late 50's. Most often, they had the super wide 5 inch lapels, which looks way too offensive the modern eye. The suit in the picture they brought in had exactly those.

Having a DB suit fit snugly is very importantly because of the two rows of button down the front. They create the illusion of a wide jacket. Looking like Spongebob is not the goal here, although, I must say--Spongebob does have this underwater nerdy charm that girls would fall for. :P

Top off your slim DB suit with a regular-width tie, a fun pocket square, bright socks and penny loafers for that Southern French gentleman charm...just like what Hans has put together for himself:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Accessorize Your Suit With A Book

Meet Peter. No, he's not a rabbit. He's a young, bubbly, smart and charismatic UBC student. He's also a very happy man. I don't know why he's so happy but my instincts tell me it's because of the *cough* $499 wool-blend slim-fit navy blue suit we made for him? Could've been the sun too. Who knows...

I never asked him about the ear-to-ear smile because I think some things in life are better left unasked. I did, however, asked him about the book he was reading:

Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, ranked as one of the top 50 most powerful women in business in the Fortune's list. In her book, she offers an in-depth look backed up by hard data of why women struggle to keep up with men when it comes to leadership roles in their industries, as well as her own personal advice and techniques for women on how to push their careers forward. Sounds like an interesting read and something I might pick up. Here's a better description of the book and reviews on it: click here.

Looks like a very impressive book with all the 4/5 star reiviews. But you know what else is impressive? THIS:

Peter in our suit, just signing a piece of paper but looking like a million dollars ;D

100% Customizable Shirts For Guys & Girls

Choose from our selection of 80% Cotton & 20% Dacron blend and our 100% fine brushed Cotton as the base for your shirt and build from there! 

All of the following shirt parts are COMPLETELY customizable to fit your size and your style:

1. Collar - Here's a post that covers collar styles that I blogged a couple years back --> Collar Styles

2. Cuffs - Click here from my post on shirt cuffs ---> Shirt Cuffs

3. Backside Pleats - Ah, I also blogged about that too! --> Shirt Pleats

4. Front Side - No post about this one yet but refer to the photos down below for an example of what a shirt with a placket flap looks like. Stylish right? The colour of it is customizable. 

5. Hem Line - Do you want it to be round or straight? It's entirely up to you!

6. Chest Pockets - To have or not to have? You call the shots. You want pocket flaps too? No problem :)

7. Fit- Comfy or slim? Just tell us and we'll cut the shirt the way you like it to fit.

8. Extra Details - Shoulder tabs, sleeve tabs, vents on the sides, unique collar styles...we'd like to hear about your ideas.

So what's your style? Here are some questions to consider when deciding on a style:

Do you want to look conservative?
Do you want to look hip and stand out?
Are you wearing the shirt under a suit? 
Are you wearing it on its own?
Is it casual wear? 

And what fabric should you choose?

Will you be travelling for work?
How are you going to clean your shirts?
What's your budget?
Is comfort more important or is ease of wearing more important?
What kind of climate would you be wearing it in?

Customizable shirts are a great way to express yourself. It's also affordable ($148 and up) and will look good on you! Ladies, don't forget about the SHIRT DRESS! Light and breathable. Great for spring and summer!