Published in D’MARGE:
Finding the perfect fitting shirt can be likened to a quest for the Holy Grail. It’s near impossible if you don’t know what you’re doing and wondering the streets topless will often render you a public hazard. It doesn’t need to be this way.
There is much to consider in a simple dress shirt, from arm length, width and design, to fit and style. The list can go on but you’ve got better things to do.
Alas, we’ve done the hard yards again by scouring Melbourne’s menswear scene to bring you the best shirt stores on offer. Button up, lads.
5/1-9 Exhibition Street
Cecil is one of Melbourne’s hidden gems of the tailored shirting scene. Their exacting service comes down to three core principles which focuses on cut, construction and cloth. They use only the finest cloth from Thomas Mason for their shirts which are classically cut to ensure the perfect fit which caters to a customer’s preference of colour, weight and details.
Their shirts aren’t exactly cheap starting at $160 but the price of quality is always worth it. Andrew is the guy you need to see who’ll look after you.
120 Collins Street
If you’re the of Britannia type, head over to the Paul Smith boutique on Collins Street. Sir Paul rarely does a bad suit and punters can expect the same in their shirting. The brand offers different ranges to cater for medium to high end buyers. With Paul Smith’s signature linings and other finer offerings, men can rest assure they’ll look even better walking out of the store.
Brands: Paul Smith
194 Little Collins Street
Godwin Charli is your local destination for all things in fine threads. The brand’s attention to fit, sophisticated styling and subtle detailing also makes its way into men’s shirting. Godwin Charli regard the production of garments as a work of art, using only the best materials combined with intrinsic tailoring to capture each client’s unique individuality. And because it’s local, you’ll feel a sense of patriotism and pride every time you look in the mirror.
Brands: Godwin Charli
101 Collins Street
A family-run business since its inception in 1985, Harrolds has rightly earned its place as a style destination for men. Some of the biggest brands in the world are on offer here from Tom Ford to Balmain to Balenciaga to Lanvin and Valentino. Given the prestigious nature of Harrolds clothing, expect to fork out some serious cash for an equally exquisite shirt.
Brands: Acne Studios Man, Alexander Mcqueen Man, Balenciaga Man, Balmain Man, Brioni, Caruso, Comme Des Garcons Homme Plus, Dries Van Noten Man, Givenchy, Gran Sasso, Harrolds, Lanvin Man, Lardini, Maison Margiela Man, Moncler, Moncler Gamme Bleu Man, Pal Zileri, Saint Laurent Paris Man, Stefano Ricci, Strateas.Carlucci, Thom Browne Man, Tom Ford Man, Valentino
574A Chapel Street
M.J Bale is the epitome of a true gentleman’s shop, with their stores exuding exquisite class from top to bottom. Their shirts are second to none when it comes to quality and value, with each product being made from the finest cotton available. They have six shirt collections to choose from – Blue Label, Classic, Collection, Business, Casual and Formal/Tuxedo – all of which have different materials and styles to suit certain occasions.
But if you’re looking for a slim shirt that fits in all of the right places, M.J Bale is the way to go as they even stock exclusive Samurai shirts – a skinny fit style constructed with back darts to show off your waist and torso. Talk about fancy.
Brands: M.J Bale
310 Bourke Street, Bourke Street Mall
Australia’s oldest department store also happens to be a stockist of some of the world’s finest shirting brands. Given its conception in 1838, the company has a wealth of experience in the local retail landscape, forging itself a robust reputation for providing luxury labels which exude premium quality in every seasonal collection.
Brands: Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Trenery, Thomas Pink, Lacoste, Witchery Man
568 Chapel Street
One of Melbourne’s most popular establishments in shirting is Arthur Galan. The menswear line which started life back in 1998 has built a solid reputation over the years for its paisley shirts which exude both modernity and masculine assertiveness. What the brand pitches itself on today is Arthur Galan’s signature style, cut and quality as well as superior fabrics.
Brands: Arthur Galan
Shop ACL12, Albert Coates Lane, Q.V Building
Incu has slowly grown into an Australian establishment for the world’s most sought after labels under one roof. Brothers Vincent and Brian who started Incu in Sydney are a knowledgeable pair, always on the lookout for emerging brands to introduce into the Australian menswear scene.
Because of this, they also happen to stock some of the coolest shirts available around town with brands such as Comme Des Garcons, Kloke, Maison Kitsune, Vanishing Elephant and Saturdays NYC just to name a few.
Brands: Comme Des Garcons, Kloke, Maison Kitsune, Vanishing Elephant, Saturdays NYC, Paul Smith
356 Collins Street
T.M Lewin has one of the largest selections of shirts most will ever see, all of which oozes quality and luxury. You won’t be at a loss for options in this store as they stock everything in shirting from formal shirts, casual shirts, business shirts, non-iron shirts and evening shirts.
What’s even better is that their formal shirts come in four different fits – regular, slim, fitted and super fitted, ensuring that no matter your build they have the right shirt for you. Their online store also has a blog section that provides more advice on their clothing, which is a nice touch too.
Brands: T.M Lewin
218-242 Little Collins Street
If you combine traditional classicism with contemporary Australian tailoring, you’ll get Calibre. Since launching their premium boutique more than twenty years ago, the brand has skyrocketed with popularity thanks to their luxurious shirts and sharp suits.
Calibre shirts are available both in tailored or slim fit, alongside designs like classic pinstripe, check shirt, paisley patterned and crisp white. Their online store also has free shipping within Australia which is always a tick in every man’s books.
Rodd & Gunn
Shop T212, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, 300 Lonsdale Street
Rodd & Gunn takes inspiration from New Zealand’s picturesque landscapes, boasting traditional designs imbued with a contemporary modern feel. The label suits the modern man looking for a simple shirt that is both subtle in colour and style, but versatile enough to use in any occasion. Their entire range is sourced from premium Italian fabrics that are durable enough to stand the test of time.
Brands: Rodd & Gunn
574 Chapel Street
Aquila has evolved over time to become a menswear destination that does more than just shoes. The Aquila clothing concept prides itself on luxurious garments with a strong European feel. What’s intriguing about Aquila is that their online store has an ‘afterpay’ feature, where customers can receive their order now and pay for it with four equal payments over the next 6-8 weeks.
So for those who’ve yet to hit pay day and need a decent shirt pronto, this feature will be your God send. If you don’t get your size right the first time, fret not because Aquila also offers their customers free returns within 30 days of purchase.
420 Bourke Street
Peter Jackson has been revolutionising the menswear space since 1948, a testament to their rich history of producing garments that are equal both in price and quality. Unlike other stores with in-house shirts, Peter Jackson has a different approach by taking a black label and an orange label to differentiate between styles.
The black label is better suited to men seeking a slimmer silhouette with a loosely tailored finish. Meanwhile, the orange label has a bolder approach of interweaving a contemporary cut with brighter fabrics. Their online site has an extensive shirt fitting guide for your perusal should you require more guidance.
Brands: Peter Jackson