simon crompton book signing LeatherFoot

LeatherFoot emporium Toronto

  
When I fantasise about running my own shop, stocked with the greatest menswear money can buy, it normally involves having the finest tailor and the finest shoemaker on site, beavering away just for me. 

I discovered last week that Ideyi of the shop LeatherFoot in Toronto, Canada, has done just that.

Not only has the shop moved to a beautiful, big old townhouse, but he has persuaded local tailor Francesco Pecoraro, and bespoke shoemaker Koji Endo, to move their workshops in there with him – in Koji’s case all the way from Japan. 
  

LeatherFoot menswear store canada

LeatherFoot toronto

  
I’ll write more on both craftsmen later, but for the moment I’d like to say a big thank you to Ideyi and local writer Pedro Mendes (of The Hogtown Rake) for inviting me over to Canada, and their wonderful hospitality while I was there. 

It’s always lovely meeting readers at these events around the world (the power of internet!) but the guys in Toronto were particularly enthusiastic. 

We had some cocktails and food, standing in front of the huge bay window the shop has, looking out on the main road. 
  

simon crompton and pedro mendes

simon crompton tv interview

  
Then Pedro interviewed me on camera for the audience, before opening up the discussion to their questions. There were some great points here – particularly around value for money. 

There is a natural tendency among menswear enthusiasts to shoot for the very best. Particularly when other enthusiasts like me write books like ‘The Finest Menswear in the World‘. 

But when guys are starting out, they will get much better value for money by just investing a little bit here and there. By buying Crockett & Jones shoes, and not shooting for Saint Crispin’s just yet. By saving up for a good Frank Clegg bag from the shop, or a couple of nice, conservative Cappelli ties. 

Because all these items necessarily experience diminishing returns. You get a lot more value in trading up to Crocketts from those crappy, cemented high-street shoes you were wearing before. You get good leather, Goodyear welting and proper structure (toe puff etc). The next level gives a nicer waist and maybe hand sewing – not quite the same.
  

LeatherFoot book signing

LeatherFoot canada

  
Thank you to everyone, for your interest, your enthusiasm and your questions. 

I’ll do a separate post some time on my old corduroy Anderson & Sheppard suit, worn here. But I would like to give a shout out to my beautiful raccoon-and-beaver hat, which I am wearing with Pedro in the shot below. 

It is from the wonderful Eggert in Iceland, stocked at Anderson & Sheppard on Clifford Street. And it is very rarely cold enough in the UK to justify it.

Only recent trips to New York and Toronto have pushed it into service this year – so thank you, East Coast weather. 
  

simon crompton pedro mendes eggert fur hat

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Adam Jones

Just noticed you are wearing your cashmere overcoat in the last picture. Do you find it warm enough in such conditions? I ask because I am looking at having a coat made for next winter and always dubious if the cashmere is as warm as say a thicker traditional English wool. I tried a cashmere peacoat last year and whilst I liked the lighter weight of it for comfort but didn’t have the warmth.

Kev Fidler

Hello Simon,
Excellent and very happy looking posting – lots of smiling faces in this one. Question about purchasing a leather bag as you mentioned. How does a Frank Clegg messenger bag compare to say Bill Amberg? Seen one of the latter in a sale so don’t know whether to grab or continue saving. Particularly wondered about leather quality, durability of stitching etc. Many thanks, keep up the great stuff you put on here.

Kev Fidler

Got that, thank you.

R.G.

You must have inspired Wes Anderson when he was conceiving Fantastic Mr. Fox. The resemblance is uncanny!

pmarks@travelers.com

Hi Simon,
Another excellent post – very interesting. As a man of a ‘certain age’ most of my clothes are bespoke and I embrace the idea of permanent style rather than the brevity of fleeting men’s fashions. Looking at the shelves in one of your photos above I notice a brown pair of double monks sitting there. I have in recent months come very close to buying a pair myself ( Lobb William 11 model ) but have backed away thinking that these will eventually go out of style and/or they are more suitable for a younger man. Any thoughts ?
Paul

Peter

I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Toronto Simon. And your taste of a Canadian spring (expect anything). We started last week here in Edmonton with wet snow on Monday and plus 23 celsius and sunshine by Friday).

Outerwear can be a real challenge in spring.

LeatherFoot looks great. I’ll have to look it up next time I’m in Toronto.

John

Hi Simon,
I’ve enjoyed reading this briefing post from your trip to Toronto. Most importantly is the implication of your advice related to how to build up a good shoe wardrobe. I think it equally applys to other items.
Being rather a jacket wearer, over the past few months I’ve been thinking about acquiring a new jacket. Anyhow remembering the same kind of advice read in one of your past posts, I’ve come to thinking that the best move I could make might be to find out a nice and hard wearing middle range one instead of a high end one that may not be hardwearing enough (wool blend and the like).
Yes, as to shoes I think it’s indeed wiser to start with Crockett & Jones than making a big leap to St Crispin or G&G.
To me it’s a good reminder!
John

Thomas

Great post Simon, the corduroy suit is fantastic! On the topic of menswear stores that feel like clubs, what are the best stores in London to waste some holiday time in? Are there any places in London that are great for finding cloth, preferably with bolts you can drape over yourself? Thanks

Nick Inkster

Holland and Holland on Bruton Street is an amazing place, probably worth mentioning here too.

Enzo

Simon
Why flannel odd jackets are generally frowned upon because flannel is a suiting fabric but flannel trousers are perfectly acceptable as separate?

Anonymous

Any clothes that work the other way around? Good for jackets not trousers (besides cashmere)

Anonymous

Simon
I’m about to start work at an investment bank.
I would love some help with a bit of a capusule wardrobe. As I will need to be formal (black shoes, dark suit) 4/5 days a week how many suits in a sombre tone should one have (one grey and a couple navy?) and how many pairs of black shoes (oxfords, maybe black loafers and what else?)
Obviously for fridays without meetings one can easily wear cashmere blazer, various trousers etc… its about variation and numbers of the formal stuff that is really stumping me?

twitter_NicoStromback

Is there perhaps a future S. Crompton Clothier boutique in the making?

twitter_NicoStromback

Haha, now that I can relate too. But, do the shop, and hire someone to do the people thing. Should be interesting to see all these craftsmen under one roof. It has yet to happen!

Bac Nguyen

Can you tell me the name of books on the table on pic #7. I can not see it.

Thanks

H

The comment about not starting out with St. Crispin’s really struck me at the time – and I’m coming back to it now because I’m wondering at what stage in one’s wardrobe building you do suggest shooting higher in quality terms. I’ve been building my shoe collection since I graduated 4 years ago, and now have 6 pairs of mid-market English shoes from Cheaney and mainline Crockett & Jones. There was one mistake, a black Chelsea boot that rarely gets worn, but the other 5 are versatile pairs which are worn weekly and form a nice little capsule collection that suits my lifestyle well (2 black, 2 brown, 1 suede).

My financial circumstances have also improved a little over that time – so I’m now in a situation where I can perhaps afford to be spending £1000-£1200 a year on shoes alone. If you were me, would you make a small quality upgrade to a point like C&J’s handgrade line, where I could still be purchasing 2 pairs per year, or would you start investing in serious quality with Edward Green and the like – given that I already have a pair of decent quality English shoes for every day of the working week (I tend to wear trainers at the weekend) and can now afford a pair per year at the higher end of Ready to Wear.

H

Thanks so much, as ever, for the comprehensive response. I’d actually been thinking G&G’s classic line might be a good compromise – but I’ve got some two detailed questions on it that I’ll raise in the Artisan of the year thread (just to try and keep the discussions in the most suitable places so people to find it easier to follow).

Phong Moua

I am trying to find the website but it seems it is no longer open. Their store on Google shows to be close as well. Have they relocated or shut down all together? It would be a shame as they are one of the few places in North America to find beautiful tailoring and footwear.