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Any true business man should know that an important aspect of being successful is looking
successful. They should also know, however, that maintaining one’s appearance can take time, and energy, sometimes more than we would care to spend. For years I had lived with the impression that my only option was compromise.
But I found it difficult to accept that in order to look my best I would have to be willing to invest my hard-earned money on expensive cleaning services, or my valuable time on ironing, or other maintenance. This is why I’ve felt so fortunate to have made a discovery during one of my usual walks along Adelaide, and also why I’ve decided that I’m done sacrificing so much of my energy and my earnings for the sake of keeping my look sophisticated.
My lucky find, of course, was Fabio European Men’s Wear on the corner of Adelaide and University, whose unassuming shop plays host to garments so unique, practical and stylish that they have completely changed the way I think about my wardrobe. At first, their small, intimate studio appeared to be much like any other men’s store, with their refreshingly affordable prices being the only exception. But it didn’t take long for the store’s manager, Marco, to show me just what was so special about his wares.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Marco grabbed a nearby dress shirt and proceeded to twist, crumple and fold until the once pristine shirt was a mess of wrinkles and creases. Then, before my eyes, which hadn’t been so wide all morning, he gave the shirt a quick flap in the air, and gave me a look at the finished product – a neat shirt, without a single wrinkle.
Next he produced another unruly shirt, before simply hanging it up, spraying it with some water, and continuing to show me around the store. Before even a minute had passed, I was looking curiously back towards the demonstration. I was impressed to find that the shirt was not only already dry, but completely free of wrinkles. Marco went on to explain that these dress shirts were not only non-iron but also machine washable, and upon hearing this I could have left satisfied with this little-known oasis of style and convenience.
But I hadn’t seen anything yet. I was astounded and delighted to learn that it was more than just the store’s shirts that would be freeing up my busy schedule. To my surprise I was told that the store also offered pants and jackets – even whole suits – that could be machine washed like any other clothes and hung up without fear of wrinkling or damage. The secret to Fabio’s unique appeal is their exclusive partnership with French brand Saint Hilaire, who are celebrated for their distinctive “wash ‘n’ wear” products. And when they say exclusive, they mean it. Don’t bother trying to find the brand anywhere else in Toronto, it’s only at Fabio.
Now, I recognize that not everyone feels the way I do about fashion, and that some people couldn’t be less interested in the thought of spending their days wearing sharp suits or starched shirts. But my appreciation for Fabio and their merchandise goes much farther than well-fitted sleeves or the right kind of collar. That’s because, for the first time in as long as I can remember, designers are doing something to put my comfort and my concerns first. For the first time I don’t feel as if I have to be subservient to my own wardrobe, I don’t have to go out of my way to ensure that my clothes get the treatment they
Instead, I can focus on what makes me happy, what makes me look great, and how I’ll be spending all the extra time and money I would otherwise have wasted ironing, or visiting the dry cleaners. And who knows, maybe I learned about more than how easy and convenient quality men’s wear can be. Maybe I learned something that any true businessman should know – even more important than looking successful is feeling