There are seemingly limitless options in menswear today, thanks in no small part to fast fashion and e-commerce. Still, there’s nothing like a garment perfectly fitted to the individual’s body and reflective of their personal style, like a bespoke or tailored suit for special occasions, dinners, and meetings (or just for fun). Thankfully, a handful of tailors in Melbourne still practice their time-honoured craft, while a number of businesses offer high-quality bespoke suits for the maximum in comfort and refinement for men of exacting standards.
Joe Black claims that their suits are suitable for everyone “from brawlers to barristers,” and fittingly, their One of One service allows men of all backgrounds to design their ideal suit in collaboration with one of Black’s experienced tailors. As seems to be customary in tailoring these days, gentlemen can enjoy a single malt scotch or a cold beer during the consultation and measurement taking. Uncommonly, and fortuitously for those short on time before a big event, there’s only a four week turn-around for custom suits. Melbourne CBD
For those men looking for a classic and affordable suit, M.J. Bale is well worth a visit. Founded by the company’s namesake Matt Jensen (M.J.) in 2009, M.J. Bale works with Australian woolgrowers, Italian weavers and Japanese tailors. In fact, Matt is the son of a woolgrower, with incredible experience in the industry, having consulted for Thom Browne and having co-founded menswear brand Herringbone in 1999. The service at M.J. Bale is highly personal, with by-appointment consultations in the stores’ ‘Dressing Rooms’, which provide a relaxed environment to talk all things sartorial whilst enjoying a whisky or wine. Across Melbourne
Godwin Charli is a Melbourne read-to-wear suit boutique that produces beautifully and locally designed collections with small runs, meaning that you’re unlikely to ever run into another man in the same suit. As with any fine suiting store, they offer tailoring services for alterations relating to fit and aesthetics. Godwin Charli also offer a made-to-measure service at the Collins Street store, with the average turn-around being six to eight weeks. Melbourne CBD
As his business’ name suggests, Adriano Carbone of Carbone Master Tailors truly is masterful at his craft. He spends at least 70 hours making a suit, with his most expensive style reportedly costing approximately $15,000. Of course, there are many options that are far more affordable, and each suit is created in collaboration with the customer during consultations, allowing them to pick from innumerable fabrics, cuts, and details to suit their peculiar tastes and needs. He claims to make suits that are practically weightless, but if you ask him to share the secret, he’ll never tell. Melbourne CBD
Oscar Hunt has a clever business strategy — developing and maintaining relationships with the men who employ their services over time. At both their Sydney location on York Street and their Melbourne location on Hardware Lane, gentlemen can enjoy sitting down for a drink with their tailor at the store’s whisky bar, and they can watch the tailors as they piece together garments in the tailoring workshop, offering a rare insight into the process of crafting the perfect suit.
Luxury department store Harrolds boasts the most impressive array of high-end menswear in Australia, with globally renowned brands such as Brioni, Lanvin, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Thom Browne, and more. They also have an in-house suiting label — available as made-to-measure and ready-to-wear — created in Italy from the highest quality Australian silk wool. Gentlemen lucky enough to order a made-to-measure suit can pick from thousands of fabrics and styles, customizing the design to suit the quirks.