Racing season is well and truly upon us. While the undisputed champs of spring racing season are the thoroughbreds on the track, there’s something to be said about the accompanying fashion frenzy that takes over on the field.
In a city where individuality and creativity are celebrated, it’s no surprise that a growing number of Melburnians are looking to fill their wardrobes with clothing and accessories that are locally sourced, designed and made. Make a splash among the fash pack by ditching the churn of fast fashion in favour of bespoke pieces made right around the corner.
We've put together a guide to assembling the perfect Melbourne outfit that you can tailor to suit your personal style.
From head to toe
Forget snap-backs, baseball caps and beanies; a modern-day gentleman needs a classy-as-hell hat atop his head – especially when the sun’s beating down at Flemington Racecourse. Whether you fancy a trilby or a bowler, a fez or a fedora, vintage hat-dealer Smart Alec Hatters has all your crown requirements sorted. With hat repair services, moustache wax and intricate cuff links lining the shelves, Smart Alec Hatters is the dapper lad’s one-stop-shop.
We can’t have you looking smick without cleaning up that mop on top of your head! Visit Uncle Rocco’s Barber Shop in the industrial area of Port Melbourne for Fabian Sfameni’s personalised grooming for the modern man. Whether it’s a haircut, face shave, mo or beard trim, Uncle Rocco has you covered. Sfameni is a third generation barber who’s been crafting looks from the head to throat for the last 25 years. Rocco’s is his third and current shop that also fuels his expansion into men’s grooming and style products, including beard oils, combs, aftershave and branded apparel.
Easing into an elegant leather armchair on the third floor of historic Hardware Lane, it’s easy to forget that gentlemen’s tailor Oscar Hunt opened just a few years ago. The layout feels like the most dignified of sitting rooms – but with racks of jackets, overcoats and accessories to peruse. Meet with any of the chilled-out Oscar Hunt lads and you'll soon feel right at home; the guys will ensure that your suit reflects your personal style, whether that's loud and colourful or a little bit more traditional (anything goes at the Spring Racing Carnival!) With high-quality materials sourced from Italy and the UK, Oscar Hunt's expert crafters will design and fit every part of your ensemble in-house and deliver millimetre perfect tailoring to boot.
Men’s streetwear label Flux might seem like it flies the casual flag, but this local label also makes signature leather items that’ll fix up any outfit. Take their classic leather belts: they’re made in Melbourne from fine Italian leather, feature solid brass hardware and come in three colours – black, tan and chocolate brown. It’s a staple you need in your repertoire. Plus, everything Flux make is done small scale, so you won’t see every man and their dog wearing the same thing as you.
Inside Wootten's Prahran studio, the first thing you notice is the rich smell of leather; then the sound of intermittent metal banging from the cobblers in the warehouse out back. It’s here that all of Wootten’s fine leather goods are made: overnight bags, belts, wallets, key rings, suspenders, bowties, laptop sleeves, aprons, cushions, and the brand’s bread and butter: hand-crafted leather shoes. Wootten – which opened in 2012 – is run by second-generation footwear designer Jess Cameron-Wootten, a trained shoemaker with roots in industrial design. Jess is enthralled by the world of ‘slow fashion’, a movement focused on sustainable, timeless and high-quality fashion. Jess and his shoemaking team take their time to craft and create distinctive pieces for each customer, all the way from the initial consultation and design to the measuring, making, cobbling, stitching and final fitting.
Unquestionably unique, Lord Coconut is Melbourne's only retailer, gallery and online boutique selling jewellery and eccentric accessories for men. Guided by the interior design ethos of a 19th century natural history museum, Lord Coconut stocks over 600 individual jewellery pieces from over 40 Melbourne and interstate jewellers, artisans and designers. While wedding rings are their bread and butter, you’ll find everything from cuff links to tie pins, which are perfect for race day.