One of the best things about shopping for men’s clothes in Victoria is that most of the shops are concentrated in the downtown area. The best place to start is to head down to Johnston street where most of the shops in this guide are within a few kilometres of each other.
This is my favourite menswear shop in the city and carries a selection of brands that aren’t typically available in all but the biggest cities. The shop is pretty small, but it is clean and well organized. Every time I’ve visited the staff has been friendly, willing to chat about everything from clothes, to their music selection, to restaurant recommendations; not only are they knowledgable about the clothes they carry, but they are also passionate about fashion.
Their mainstay brands include Victoria’s own Viberg Boots, with whom they’ve done a couple of unique collaborations, Common Projects, Our Legacy, Wings + Horns, Naked and Famous, APC, along with their own Four Horseman designs. They’ve also recently added John Elliot + Co to their inventory, which is a brand worth checking out with their refreshing take on louche street style and is a welcome addition to see in Canadian shops.
My go-to shirt this summer has been Four Horseman’s own Linen Popover. The fabric is incredible and the fit is unique and unusual with the poncho length and split side seams.
Once you’re all done at Four Horseman, walk across the street and down toward Government about a block and check out the sneaker wall at Context. This shop specializes in street wear and sneakers and they get some of the limited hyped up Nike releases like the recent Chicago Jordan’s.
Along with a good selection of sneakers they carry Naked and Famous denim and the new Nike Tech Fleece line. Check them out if you’re in need of some cool kicks or a graphic tee. They’re also expanding the store in the near future to double their floor space, which I’m sure will come with more good inventory.
This shop is where I bought my first ever raw denim, a pair of Naked and Famous Weird Guys almost 3 years ago.
Walk a little further down the street and you’ll find Still Life, they have both a men’s and women’s shop so you and your lady both have something to look at. They’ve got a good selection of raw denim, including Nudie and Tellason. They also carry Filson bags and have a small footwear section in the back of the store. I love the look of the store with all its wood and great displays. If you’re into Americana and workwear then this is a good spot to check out.
If you’re the bearded outdoorsy type then you should definitely head one street over and check out Sitka on Yates. They’re essentially the younger, hipper spiritual successor to Eddie Bauer. They feature plenty of Made in Canada products with earthy colors and wilderness inspired prints.
Just being in the store makes me want to don a flannel, chop some wood, and go canoeing.
For formal wear it is probably worth taking a look at Outlooks, just down the street from Sitka. They carry a limited selection of Wings + Horns along with shoes from Allen Edmonds. The bulk of their inventory is dedicated to suiting if you’re in the market for that.
This is where we finally have to get in our car and drive out of the downtown block over to Estevan Village, though rumour has it that Citizen is moving to Johnson St later this year.
The proprietor of Citizen is one of the nicest shop owners I’ve ever chatted with and I always enjoy stopping by the shop to see what new stuff he has in stock. Citizen carries a good selection of brands including Baldwin denim, Barbour jackets, Wolverine, Billy Reid, along with some new-on-my-radar brands like Denham. They also recently started carrying my personal pick for athletic shoes, Strike Movement – the minimalist runners I wore for my 1 Year Outfit.
For boot fanatics or appreciators of fine footwear, no trip to Victoria would be complete without checking out the Viberg Boot Factory. Viberg has been building boots for nearly a century, but they’ve recently exploded on the fashion scene, making some of the most highly sought after sleek boot designs.
The storefront and factory is located unassumingly in a commercial strip mall and most of the shop is dedicated to their various workboot styles. That said, it’s still worth popping your head in to take a peek inside the shop and check out their latest releases.
These are the boots I wore for the past year during my 1 Year 1 Outfit wardrobe experiment. You can read about my visit to the Viberg factory here.