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Fashion Stores

Theodore 1922

Posted by Kevin Naulls / Posted on August 9, 2010

Theodore 1922Theodore 1922 has faced some negative criticism on this site in the past. But it seems the reign of David, the former owner who commenters below accused of classless service and exorbitant markups is over.

David may or may not have been tactless, issuing "call my lawyer" threats, but the new team of owner Miranda (his former partner) and sole staff member Katrina seem to have moved the business in a more positive direction.

I met up with these two smiling ladies recently, one of whom was assisting a regular client - the client base for Theodore 1922 is very important. Miranda discusses pieces of interest from former visits, showing me they value a personal touch. Wouldn't we all like to visit clothing stores like we do our local coffee house? Instead of knowing we want soy milk or decaf, Katrina and Miranda remember inseams, favourite colours and patterns. It's a service that comes at no additional charge.

Theodore 1922Whether you like this level of attention or not, it does not come across as insincere. I discussed my fondness for Thom Browne suits and Miranda was able to show me similar pieces at more affordable prices. It's similar to the way people read blogs to find low end options to achieve high end looks. Instead of looking at a faceless website, I got a real in-the-flesh person. It's an old world level of service that has grown less common as American Apparel type models clutter the retail economy.

Enough about service, do they have the goods?

Theodore 1922 is a top to bottom retailer, starting with accessories. David Donahue and Babette Wasserman cufflinks fill a glass showcase at the way back of the long and narrow retail environment. It's a peculiar space to trek to, but Theodore boasts such a variety that even a black-clad G20 protester* stopped to purchase a pair for a loved one (prices for cufflinks vary from $150-$700).

Theodore 1922What impressed me most was their access to ETON's variety of wash and hang button up shirts. Ranging from conservative-in-white, to the most delightful plaids, they are an easy buy for most men. I can see anyone from a Bay Streeter to Parkdale hipster picking up a few options ($250 - $295). My personal favourite is a holiday plaid with a contrasting white cutaway collar. Available only during the holidays, but sure to make a festive comeback for 2010.

Theodore 1922The brand boasts three fits to suit most body types, including slim (a more euro-fit), contemporary (a little more give) and classic (not shapeless, but hardly form-fitting). Not to mention they carry plenty of french cuffed shirts, for those men who continue to wear cufflinks (not I).

Theodore 1922Adding some Canadian content to the fold is Samuelsohn, a suiting manufacturer that offers some of the softest fabrics. I was encouraged to touch the material - I did not appear like I was in the market for a $1,600 suit, but I was treated as though I could be. Thankfully, no Pretty Woman moments to be had. Samuelsohn products range from off the rack pricing ($1,100) to custom tailored pieces ($1,600). Ask to graze the super 140s double-faced jacket with plaid-check lining. It is the way your suit should feel.

What I like about Theodore is that there seems to be a never say never attitude. An on-site tailor can swap the lining, change the buttons and even add colouration detailing with contrast stitching (not to my taste, but it could suit somebody). Even the ETON shirts can be made to measure - just take a look through their on-site look book. Seriously, do it. It's beautiful.

Theodore 1922With inventory rotating and an in-house label in the works, Theodore 1922 continues to push forward, away from its alleged darker past. It's a menswear retailer that carries the essentials you require, with practicality in mind. Not to mention, its emphasis on colour is a rare and enjoyable treat - they keep their black stock suiting in the basement. Enter their colour storied environment now, because they are having a summer sale with savings up to 70% off. It's the perfect time to update that old stuffy suit you wear to every formal function. Please, for everyone. Update.

Theodore 1922Monday: Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday: 12-7
Thursday: 12-9
Friday: 12-7
Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5 (call in advance, Sundays operate on a flexible schedule)

Photos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

34 Comments

Cindy / May 11, 2009 at 09:20 am
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my boyfriend decided to visit Theodore to pick up a shirt for a wedding. Unfortunately the old fashioned charm of generations past has been replaced with questionable business practices.

He tried on a garment, and it was lovely save for the collar being just slightly snug. The owner insisted on having his father move the button for a better try. 2 minutes later it was moved and fit great.

He decided to buy the shirt and off he went. After getting the shirt home he decided it just didn't go with his suit. I went in the next day to return it, in the original package with the receipt. I pulled it from the bag and David the owner said nope, that was altered, final sale. I said, no it wasn't altered at the clients request but rather the button was moved by you at your insisting before he even decided to buy it. what was presented as old fashioned service at the time, turns out is their way of locking in every sale. I asked when the client was told that this "service" pre-sale, would mean it was a final sale? He replied, it's always been our rule, it says so in our return policy. I said, where is this return policy? He said oh, on the receipt. I showed him the receipt which indicates nothing but the store name. It really didn't matter anyway because the point was that as far as the client and his actions were concerned he was not requesting any alterations. If it was an option, he would have taken the shirt as is. He was not given the choice.

The owner's response was if you don't like it, call my lawyer. I left shaken and shocked at the conversation. My boyfriend went back himself to see if he could talk any reason. David the owner told him to call the better business bureau if he's so unhappy.

Old fashioned service apparently does not always get passed down with the store legacy. Buyer beware, the shirt in question was $370.00. I would suggest giving your business to someone else.
John M / May 11, 2009 at 10:07 am
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There is a big difference between Gentleman's Club and Locker Room.
Theodore 1922 is the latter.

When I shop for nice clothes, I have a certain expectation in the experience and not just the garments. To me it should feel like a classy experience from when i enter the store straight through to when i leave. In my experience having shopped (and purchased) at Theodore 1922 there were elements of pressure, aggression, and frat boy conversation - but no elements of actual class.

My reccomendation would be to take your money to a place that understands that understands that they aren't selling you a shirt, they are selling you a sense of sophistication to feel while you wear their shirt.

And lucky for us guys who appreciate the finer things in life, Toronto has much to offer by way of excellent tailors.
nick replying to a comment from Cindy / June 29, 2009 at 10:27 am
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Seriously... why the heck would you pay 370 bucks for a shirt...
Miranda Black replying to a comment from Cindy / July 22, 2009 at 04:46 pm
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I am so sorry to find this happened to Cindy.
David was not the owner of Theodore 1922. Yes, he acted like the owner (and made up stories about being a "third generation clothier". In reality no one in David's family has ever owned a men's store.) In actuality he was just a salesman...and an exclusionary one which is too bad for the store. This is no way to treat a customer and I truly apologize for your experience here. He no longer works at Theodore 1922.
Cindy / July 22, 2009 at 04:57 pm
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It needs to be noted that following the crazy experience with David, Miranda contacted us, apologised for the rogue salesman and was nothing but professional and mortified at what had taken place. I've since tried to delete the post after discovering it was not the store, but rather the man that was the issue.

I highly recommend Theodore 1922 as one of the best sources in Toronto for high end, high fashion men's wear.
Jim / August 3, 2009 at 01:23 am
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370 for a shirt? Insane.. I have been shopping at Harry Rosen for over 20 years and would NEVER.. ever.. (even if super rich) by a shirt for more than 200 bucks.. and with the service given in this store, I will NEVER set foot in Theodore - they should be out of business - period.
matts / August 10, 2009 at 04:22 pm
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Sssssooooo....how come none of the stories about David, his ownership and lineage have not been corrected? Just a cursory Google search comes up with NOW and Toronto Life profiles of the shop, including such statements as "Owners David Petrash and Miranda Black (...)" (NOW) or better yet, TO Life's tribute: "A third-generation clothier, David Petrash is betting his grandfather’s good name (Theodore, born in 1922) that the boho, book-loving Annex crowd is ready for a luxury menswear store. (...) But localistas opt for Petrash’s own custom suits (...).

Wow. A third-generation clothier...his own custom suits...impressive!!!

Was it convenient to let the BS fly at the time only to backpedal now? I live close by and was tempted to stop by a few times (usually b/c of some display item) but I am glad I didn't. I'd rather deal with someone who's straight with me. Something's fishy here, sadly.
oldejack / August 11, 2009 at 11:27 am
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I have shopped at the store a couple of times, always dealt with Miranda and have been very happy.
I also look move svelt than ever, thanks to the fine threads offered there.
I would recommend it to anyone!
Cheaper than a flight to London to do your shopping!
TELLS US EVERYTHING! replying to a comment from Cindy / February 13, 2010 at 07:36 pm
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Soo what Ur saying is.... U GOTS UR MONEY BACK!??

OR

R U still really Up-The-Creek! hahaha
matts / August 9, 2010 at 10:03 am
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This is weird - is this a second, recent review of the store that somehow got the old comments added to it?!

On another note, I noticed a vaguely similar store west of Bathurst on Bloor (close if not in Korean Town) and I could swear I saw this dopey looking guy in too short pants that looked liked that boob David....
ramanan / August 9, 2010 at 11:17 am
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FYI: You can get custom shirts made at Trend Tailors for $180 a shirt -- I think you need a 3-shirt minimum order. My friend has a set, and they are amazing. And Don, who runs Trend, is a true gentlemen.
Ryan / August 9, 2010 at 01:46 pm
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People should really give this place a try now. My experience last week was great. I even returned and exchanges a couple items a few days later--no issues and both women were fantastic!
Ryan / August 9, 2010 at 02:22 pm
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Just a general comment: thanks for reviewing men's wear stores. Like a lot of guys, I hate wasting time shopping and this regular feature has been very helpful.
TL / August 9, 2010 at 02:29 pm
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This palce is overly priced for what you can get and overly rude too.
second chance / August 9, 2010 at 05:48 pm
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I have to chime in here and say that the former employee/co-owner David was a real piece of work and thankfully has nothing to do with the business anymore.
Give theodores a second chance! Or a first! Pet the dog! He's friendly!
Mike / August 9, 2010 at 06:12 pm
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Wow. I feel like I missed out on the whole David experience. Where does this asshole work now? I really feel like I need to see this guy in action.
Karen / August 9, 2010 at 06:22 pm
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Ha! I didn't realize that that David guy had a reputation. Years ago I worked at a restaurant nearby and had him as a customer. Our uniform was of the white shirt, tie, black pants and apron variety. At the end of the meal, he said, "Dinner was wonderful, but I have to tell you: your tie is terrible."

I laughed and said, "I know, I got it at Winners!"

"You should come to my store and get a new one," he said, handing me a business card.

"Oh, I probably shouldn't get a nice tie. I just ruin them here and I don't wear them much outside of work (because I am a lady!?)"

And then he looked at me like I said that I preferred wearing my underwear on my head. I never did go in to the store, obvs.
Liza / August 9, 2010 at 09:21 pm
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It's a fantastic store - wonderful service and amazing quality menswear. Miranda is incredibly nice and helpful...go see for yourself!
Michael / August 10, 2010 at 03:12 pm
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I agree with Kevin's review. The pictures show exactly what you get; a nice high end boutique, with top quality brands, personalized service and a friendly dog. You will feel comfortable either browsing around on your own, or engaging the staff with a few questions. If you don't see anything you like, then just leave. A refreshing alternative to those larger men's stores on Bloor.

Definitely worth a visit.
jennifer / August 10, 2010 at 07:34 pm
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I am happy to say I have owned a hair salon in the Annex for over 7 years and have had the pleasure of knowing Theodore 1922 from their very first day.

Unfortunately there are all different types of people in this world and you don't always find out their true colours before some damage is done.

What we really need to focus on here people is that this is a great place where you of course can spend a lot of money, or get an amazing deal, but either way you will have a pleasant experience with all 3 ladies (we can't forget our 4 legged friend Chloe) and you will leave with quality.

Don't snub what you have never experienced and always give someone a second chance!


Karen / August 10, 2010 at 11:35 pm
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It's unfortunate these old comments from over a year ago remain at the top of the scroll below this recent review (Aug. 2010).

The current owner, Miranda Black, is lovely. She knows her product, which is good quality without being outrageous, and is NEVER pushy. I've seen her greet several customers entering the store by first name.

The dog, btw, is a girl: Chloe. :)

Wish these unfortunate OLD comments attributed to the former owner wouldn't appear directly under the article.
jack / August 17, 2010 at 11:20 am
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You know what to the man who returned the shirt-shame on you-when you buy a 300 dollar shirt you do not return it because u feel guilty at having spent the money-the excuse u had thT IT DID NOT GO WITH UR SHIRT was a fraud-I do not blame the man from getting mad-he earns a living doing this -so i turn the tables on you
James / September 24, 2010 at 01:47 am
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I've never seen any shirt over $300 at Theodore 1922!! All the shirts I bought from this store is around the range of $195-$295. I think you just need to come to the store, and see the gorgeous clothing yourself....
Very helpful and beautiful staff by the way....
Mike / October 31, 2010 at 06:51 pm
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Shame that an amazing store like this has to carry around the baggage from a previous sales person who has been gone for over a year. Can't you fix this and remove the earlier comments? It doesn't seem fair to the two women who run this place and provide fantasic products and services.
Ava / January 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm
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Umm... have you BEEN inside Theodore 1922 lately? The quality of the merchandise has truly gone down hill since what's his name left. I guess he was the one with all the contacts because I was extremely unimpressed by what I saw the other day.
Mike replying to a comment from Ava / January 23, 2011 at 05:48 pm
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Hey Ava: In case you haven't noticed, it's the same suppliers - Eton, Hiltl, Samuelsohn, Sand etc. They all stayed with Miranda. Not very observant are you.
jack / February 12, 2011 at 01:44 pm
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the womans boyfriend who bought the altered shirt was in the wrong-u simply do not return a 300 shirt-go to walmart if thats ur shopping style-no wonder the seller got frustrtated dealing with low class poeple coming in a high class store-the seller lost his commission as well-white trash people in expensive stores should go to white trash stores
claud / March 29, 2011 at 08:15 pm
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take it ez jack ol boy, the fellow had buyers remorse and thats it thats all, we all get em. He just went over his head a little and wanted to be a shooter for the night. Dont get you pantys in a wad, capiche?
dmz / May 29, 2011 at 04:29 am
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The fact that someone had the will and money to spend $370 on a shirt is completely immaterial to this review; why are there nine comments about it? Oh you kids.
robert hough replying to a comment from Cindy / May 2, 2012 at 02:29 pm
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I don't know what the store was like with the old owner, but I do know Miranda at Theodor 1922 gives me the best, most personalized service of any clothier in Toronto. Plus her taste is great.
Ian / October 31, 2012 at 06:38 pm
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My experience at Theodore 1922 has always exceeded my expectation - both in quality, selection, and service. And Chloe is the best mascot!
Miranda has been my go-to since moving to Toronto a year ago and I love every item I have purchased from her store. I trust her 100% and she has been the one person who has changed the way I look at and buy clothing.

Thanks Theodore 1922 for all that you do!

Ian
Nancy / August 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm
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All these comments about David are most certainly true, all but one made by Miranda Black. David is rude and his customer service needs tuning. However, he was not just a salesman. He was the original owner and former husband of Miranda. The store itself is indeed named after his Grandfather and David's father is also in the menswear business.

Miranda is lovely and gives great customer service. Unfortunately for David, she is also smart and now carries on the hardwork that is Theodore 1922. She's also an actress. Check out her imdb. Credits include Sex/City and Fever Pitch.

donald smith / November 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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There are FOR LEASE signs on your store. Are you moving or closing???? Please tell me its not true
Phil Kim / December 1, 2013 at 11:32 pm
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All roads lead to Theodore 1922. I have been a customer of Miranda's for a little over 2 years. When it came time to buy a new suit, I did my research and combed the general market to see what was out there. I walked into Theodore 1922 and fell in love with the Samuelsohn suits with the funky liners.
Every time I check out other stores, I always find my back to this store. I love Miranda's selection and personalized service. I have never been able to find this combination anywhere else. As well, I like to support small businesses and Canadian industry. I get to do both when I shop at Theodore 1922.

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