Fellow Australians!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Razele, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Razele

    Razele Senior member

    Messages:
    5,580
    Likes Received:
    625
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Greetings.

    I've been a long time lurker of SF. I'm currently trying to remove myself of the 'buy everything at the lowest price point' approach. I've been stung to many times, so from now on I'm only looking to make less purchases at a higher quality rate.

    Being in Australia, do you find it difficult to procure quality tailoring services?

    I've been told Charles Nahlke is fantastic. I currently live in Brisbane, and wasn't planning on going down to Sydney till early next year. But I'm going to try him when I do go down.

    The Cloakroom in Brisbane Queen St Mall look really good. Has anyone had any experience with them? 190 AUD for tailored shirts, 1200 and up for suiting. They use a producer in Hong Kong to actually make everything, doing all the measurements and fabric selection in store. They have a strong sense of house style, very minimalist with fabrics well suited to the 9 months of summer you get in Queensland.

    Do fellow Australians use eBay and SF For Sale alot? And then get things customized at local places?

    What about shoes? I'm looking at at buying a few pairs of R.M Williams over the coming months. However, I really like Allen Edmonds. Anyone know of any places that stock Allen Edmonds at decent prices in Australia?

    Lastly, anyone got any general advice for someone starting out? I've been reading alot, and it seems to be, go for classics, value fit, fabric and then price in that order.

    Thanks for your time guys!
     


  2. ZengaGent

    ZengaGent Senior member

    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Greetings.

    I've been a long time lurker of SF. I'm currently trying to remove myself of the 'buy everything at the lowest price point' approach. I've been stung to many times, so from now on I'm only looking to make less purchases at a higher quality rate.

    Being in Australia, do you find it difficult to procure quality tailoring services?

    I've been told Charles Nahlke is fantastic. I currently live in Brisbane, and wasn't planning on going down to Sydney till early next year. But I'm going to try him when I do go down.

    The Cloakroom in Brisbane Queen St Mall look really good. Has anyone had any experience with them? 190 AUD for tailored shirts, 1200 and up for suiting. They use a producer in Hong Kong to actually make everything, doing all the measurements and fabric selection in store. They have a strong sense of house style, very minimalist with fabrics well suited to the 9 months of summer you get in Queensland.

    Do fellow Australians use eBay and SF For Sale alot? And then get things customized at local places?

    What about shoes? I'm looking at at buying a few pairs of R.M Williams over the coming months. However, I really like Allen Edmonds. Anyone know of any places that stock Allen Edmonds at decent prices in Australia?

    Lastly, anyone got any general advice for someone starting out? I've been reading alot, and it seems to be, go for classics, value fit, fabric and then price in that order.

    Thanks for your time guys!


    Welcome aboard, friend!

    Yes. Charles Nakhle is an excellent shirtmaker. I've made 6 shirts with him so far, and they are easily my favorite.

    Unfortunately, I've never heard of the Cloakroom. Hopefully, someone else has. Bought two suits from Herringbone lately (the navy twill Milano and the navy 'bueno stripe' Osaka) and believe they're excellent value at about $1000 or so AUD for the canvassing, Southern-Italian-style soft-shoulders, good fabric, and attention to detail. If you're in Sydny, go visit Ethan Newton at the H'bone Suiting shop, QVB. He's the Head Tailor, a whiz at suit-fittings, and an all-round good guy.

    For shoes, you might want to try P lal (a KL-based on-line store) when the Aussie dollar improves. Great range of English shoes from makers like Cheaney and Crockett and Jones. Or you can pick up the Cheaneys at H'bone (again). $595 ain't cheap, but the quality is excellent. Unfortunately (again), I'm not sure you can find AEs in Australia. Heard that Peter Sheppard once stocked them, but I haven't seen any recently. Maybe American Tailors in Melbourne?

    The state of quality shoes in Australia is absolutely dismal. RM Williams is likely the only decent shoemaker around.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Regards,
    Z
     


  3. Star

    Star Senior member

    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    In Exile Corsica
    Charlse Nakhle - I ll second that. Exceptional shirts and a very nice guy. Ironing his shirts is a pleasure compared to some of my cheaper ones. Once you are measured up he keeps your pattern on file and you can always order over the phone. He also has a nice range of Italian ties.

    Plal - I'll second this one too. Shoes arrived withing 4 days of order and they were extremly helpful. Waiting for the dollar to improve before I get another pair.....could be a long wait : (

    Good luck
     


  4. Sator

    Sator Senior member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Keep in mind that Charles Nakhle's prices are due to go up a bit towards the end of the year. So get your orders in before Christmas time, if you can. His selection of shirtings remains consistently excellent - Acorn/Classics, Monte, Prince Rose, SIC Tess, and Alumo. There remains no minimum order, and given the number of wears you get per shirt, it becomes highly cost-effective.

    69 Phillip St
    Parramatta 2150
    (02) 9633 4696

    Sam Disano around the corner from Charles Nahkle is also excellent value for a more structured bespoke coat. He also has a very good turnaround time, and unlike other tailors, is very happy to accept customer's own cloth. Just remember to insist on much higher armholes.

    Horwood Pl Car Park Station
    Shop3, Parramatta 2150
    (02) 9689 1070

    You can source fabric from J&J Minnis to get maximum value:

    http://www.hfw-huddersfield.co.uk/hardyminnis/index.asp

    They have this special offer going at the moment:

    http://www.hfw-huddersfield.co.uk/ha...asp/offers.asp

    Minnis also have a local agent if you need to see samples:

    Michael Ferns
    02 9449 4377

    Hopefully, we will manage to arrange for him to get Hardy-Minnis books out to Sam.
     


  5. Razele

    Razele Senior member

    Messages:
    5,580
    Likes Received:
    625
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Wow.

    You guys rock. That website is awesome

    Sator, are you in the fashion industry? Your pro at this. You rock man, thanks for your guides and everything as well.

    So, after spending heaps of money on 'chasing a bargin' I've now finally decided to stop being persistently dissapointed in the shirts I order and just buy quality. Get all my shirts tailored, simplistic timeless designs from quality fabrics.

    For shoes, I was going to get two pairs of RM's boots. Both forum specials, or the Macquaries. Either way, I'll go for the sleaker, size up but go F. Thinking Tan for one pair, and Whiskey for the other. Or would it be better to go for Tan in one and Black French Veal Calf in the other?

    Because I wear lighter coloured pants, say Tans, Greys and Browns, should I go for the Tan or something lighter? I was thinking in getting a few pairs of the RLPL linen pants in same different colours, they look impressive in the WAYWT thread.

    Alot of people reccomend herringbone. I'm going to go for them during the sales, try to get a few nice shirts when they have a discount. I find that at the Brisbane store, they don't have alot of timeless patterns on thier sales, and it's only the season stuff.

    I've got some Allen Edmonds loafers I scored off ebay, and a pair of classic RL polo loafers off ebay as well. I'll expand the shoes with a pair of oxfords, in black, brogues in brown and some monks, in suede.

    Slim, basic designs.


    http://bp0.blogger.com/_32wnsJ5XF0o/...600-h/cuff.jpg

    http://bp2.blogger.com/_32wnsJ5XF0o/...-h/collar1.jpg

    I think I'm going to get a few oxfords like this. Two white, a light blue and a black.

    A plain white and a plain black poplin dress shirt.

    And probably a few herrinbone weaves.

    For suiting, something like this, I love.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_32wnsJ5XF0...-+5+Looks+.jpg

    (Not the first jacket. They did that for fashion week.)

    Again, this is what I'm aiming for. From these guys, I deffinitly want to try a suit in a tan linen. Going for conservative, slim. I'll probably ask for an extra pair of pants tailored as well. Light but strong, should be good for the weather here in Brisbane!

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_32wnsJ5XF0...quin+24-10.jpg

    Great advice with the fabrics. So you can save abit by ordering fabric and having them cut it? I'll have to look into that, I'd deffinitly love a basic, trim, timeless dark navy two button from the tailor you said, in a classic medium wool. And I've always wanted a trim grey three piece.

    Thanks for your help guys!
     


  6. Sator

    Sator Senior member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia


    So, after spending heaps of money on 'chasing a bargin' I've now finally decided to stop being persistently dissapointed in the shirts I order and just buy quality. Get all my shirts tailored, simplistic timeless designs from quality fabrics.

    For shoes, I was going to get two pairs of RM's boots. Both forum specials, or the Macquaries. Either way, I'll go for the sleaker, size up but go F. Thinking Tan for one pair, and Whiskey for the other. Or would it be better to go for Tan in one and Black French Veal Calf in the other?


    Alot of people reccomend herringbone. I'm going to go for them during the sales, try to get a few nice shirts when they have a discount. I find that at the Brisbane store, they don't have alot of timeless patterns on thier sales, and it's only the season stuff.

    I've got some Allen Edmonds loafers I scored off ebay...


    No, I am not in the "fashion" (gasp) industry. If I were, I'd be selling you something nasty [​IMG]

    Be warned about buying quality bespoke shirts from Charles. Once you cross the bridge there is no turning back. All the stuff in the department stores will look like something from a $2 store, and you'll be wondering why you couldn't see it before.

    It seems only specific Herrrigbone cuts are getting rave reviews around here. Sorry, I'm a bespoke customer so don't really look into that end of things.

    RMWs: I suggest you get either black or chestnut plus whiskey. If you are going to wear them with a dark lounge suit get the black veal calf. If you wear browns more get the chestnut. The whiskey consistently gets raves in every thread it has been posted in. You don't see that colour anywhere else in the world!
     


  7. Razele

    Razele Senior member

    Messages:
    5,580
    Likes Received:
    625
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hey,

    Yeah that's probably right, about the fashion industry. Sorry if your insulted. Just meant to imply your knowledge is awesome for someone like me who is starting out.

    ZegnaGent and Star - that site rocks. Thanks for that one! I'll be looking at a pair or three of C&J next year for sure.

    I would love to do design, but I can see how its clearly marketing over quality. And its so rare to find something that is actually built upon the principles of timeless quality, fitted, superb construction and well milled fabrics.

    Because my neck to shoulder to waist ratio is impossible for RTW, I'm bespoke now and nothing but. I've had enough of cheap shirting and cheap fabrics that don't fit. I used to wonder why people would pay that much for a shirt - well people pay 50-100 bucks and dont get 1/4 of the wear that you do from bespoke.

    I've read from Alexander Kabbaz about the quality of fabrics being the primary reason that shirts just don't last anymore. As Charles shirts are high quality, people saying very close to the best you can get, I'm assuming they last and last? He prefers to fuse doesn't he?

    I really love non-fused shirts, but I'm not going to argue with someone with his pedigree. I've read that fusing can be fantastic if the quality of the materials used to fuse is good. It's just that its always used to cut corners, instead of being used to improve an aspect of a shirt.

    Going to give Charles and Sam a call both tomorrow. Putting my order for RM's in tomorrow - going with the Whiskey.
     


  8. JTA

    JTA Senior member

    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Apologise for jumping on this thread. Hope everyone do not mind.

    I've been following reviews on Sam Disano here and I understand that he is a highly regarded tailor (especially if Sator recommends him) with excellent value in the town.

    Am considering to "bite the bullet" sometimes next year when I am looking for a new suit nevertheless it is a vintage (1890s - early 1910s) style three piece suit (short frock style with the vest and probably a slight high waisted trousers) that I am thinking of.

    In this regards, would Sam be happy should a customer bring his pictures of the suit? (my understanding is that he does not mind should a customer bring his own fabric).

    Thank you very much in advance.
     


  9. Sator

    Sator Senior member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Alex Kabbaz also fuses his collars. He prefers it that way. I suggest you talk about the issue of fusing with Charles. You will get a lively conversation about it, and there will be some surprises in there too. BTW Charles and Alex are old acquaintances with very similar ideas about shirt making.

    The shirtings that Charles and Alex use are quite similar. For example, both offer Alumo - Alex's personal favourite. My favourite is actually Acorn/Classics in low yarn counts to give the cloth more body and durability. I have a personal dislike of anything higher than 2x130 or so. The English weave a much more solid cloth, and even if their designs are much more conservative, in the long run their solidity shines - wash after wash. I would rather that than be seduced by the eye-catching designs from the Italians. The nasty shirtings from the department stores etc that fall apart are mostly woven in China et. The stuff bespoke shirtmakers offer is just in a different class altogether.

    If you do talk to Sam Disano, you will remember to mention that you want small, high armholes, won't you? It allows greater freedom of movement and prevents the coat from being dragged up when you raise your arms up. However, please do appreciate that Sam is a firm believer in the clean cut, old fashioned structured coat. That, he does very well. He includes amongst his current clients, Paul Keating. Don't be put off by the dodgy location between an African food store and a Chinese $2 shop!!! Sam ran a very successful bespoke tailoring business in the CBD, on Hunter St for many years and retired early. He only works because after retiring he missed tailoring so much he started this store. Low rents means less overheads that have to be passed on to the client.

    Here is an example of both Sam and Charles's work:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     


  10. Sator

    Sator Senior member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia

    I've been following reviews on Sam Disano here and I understand that he is a highly regarded tailor (especially if Sator recommends him) with excellent value in the town.

    Am considering to "bite the bullet" sometimes next year when I am looking for a new suit nevertheless it is a vintage (1890s - early 1910s) style three piece suit (short frock style with the vest and probably a slight high waisted trousers) that I am thinking of.

    In this regards, would Sam be happy should a customer bring his pictures of the suit? (my understanding is that he does not mind should a customer bring his own fabric


    Yes, Sam is very happy for you to bring your own cloth, as long as it is quality stuff that he is happy to have his name on.

    I am not sure what you mean by a frock style suit. If you want a body coat (dress coat, morning coat, or frock coat) Sam will not do it. He doesn't have a coatmaker willing to do complex stuff like that, and doesn't have the time to spend cutting and making up body coats all on his own. He could do it himself, but the time and effort involved is not worth it for him. If you were intending to get one of those modern cheesy "frock" coats that are just lounge coats with a weird long skirt and no waist seam or side body: don't do it, even if Sam offers to. They look bloody awful. Otherwise, Sam is quite accommodating as long the work is not too complex. That is, you are limited to lounge coats, waistcoats and trousers. He will do basic overcoats and is great value for that - I have three from Sam, so I know. Also, he is absolutely fantastic value for odd trousers especially if you bring your own cloth.

    Here are some brace trousers Sam made me with a high fish mouth back:

    [​IMG]

    You could always ask John Cutler to make things like body coats. He will charge you about 10 000 or so for the privilege. I asked John about the cost of making up body coats, so I know: 1.5x more than a lounge coat for a morning coat, and 2x as much for a dress coat. John has several coatmakers in his employment so at least one of them will be able to make up body coats.

    Sam's only weakness is that he cuts too large/deep an arm scye (armhole). He is beginning to improve in that department however. The more people demand it from him quite explicitly, the more experienced he and his coatmakers will get at it. That's why I say: make sure you ask for "high armholes".
     


  11. Razele

    Razele Senior member

    Messages:
    5,580
    Likes Received:
    625
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Wow, fantastic suit.

    I'm sold. That's perfect. I'd get a two button in a second.

    Yeah with the fusing, that's were I was heading. I want to talk to him about it, but with the kind of pedigree Charles has, were I've personally seen Alex's posts about his quality, I'll let him lead the way on the fusing / non-fusing issue.

    Yeah I'm the same way. I love the thicker weaves. I love a shirt that can take 'damage' so to say, one were the fabric will hold up to the test of time. I agree with you, I like my casual shirts around the 100's mark and dress shirts 110 - 130. I think it holds up better in our climate as well. For some reason I always feel more comfortable in a shirt that is a thicker weave.

    I'll definitely mention high arm holes :) I'll measure the man on the quality of his good and not his location. Some of the best places look nothing special, and the most overrated look like they have millions sunk down them. Well, I'm looking for classic, slim, two button quality construction. Just conservative, well cut.

    Thanks for all your help.

    I have plenty of phone calls to make tomorrow!

    Thanks very much again!
     


  12. Sator

    Sator Senior member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia


  13. JTA

    JTA Senior member

    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Wow, the odd trousers are brilliant Sator! Probably I was not clear enough. Hope these will give a clearer picture. [​IMG] [​IMG] It is a vintage style suit with very high gorge.
     


  14. Sator

    Sator Senior member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    It isn't a frock or a morning coat at all. That's just a old fashioned lounge suit with high three button closure. The wide spacing between the buttons is unusual. Usually, with a button stance that high, you see about four buttons. The gorge (the angle where the lapels and collar meet) is not that high. The front of the skirt also very strongly cut away in an rounded arc, and you would have to make sure to ask for that to be replicated.

    Yes, Sam will be able to make that for you from the pictures, if that is what you really wish.
     


  15. JTA

    JTA Senior member

    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Thank you and apologise for got it wrong and caused confusion [​IMG] Yes, that's the style that I am looking at the moment. I'm thinking either to make it three button or four button (with a button behind the collar). Glad to know that Sam would be able to replicate those pieces as I am happy with strong shoulders for the suit nevertheless with high armhole and cut close to the body. Probably I will start to search the fabric (am thinking of mid-weight, between 11-13oz) and do more research before visiting Sam sometimes early next year.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by