In cities stuffed to the gills with suit-wearing gents, it surely can't be that hard to find yourself an expertly made, well fitted bag of fruit. And it's not, provided you know where to look. Whether you've moved beyond the off-the-department-store-rack purchase and are looking for a better class of suit, or are scoping out a budget-constrained option, here are our 15 best suggestions sorted into national, Sydney and Melbourne locations with rough pricing guides.
Harrolds (Sydney, Melbourne); Spending guide - $$$$
If money is no object and you've recently sold a kidney or a younger sibling, then Harrolds is the go-to place for the man who knows what he likes. The Melbourne institutionstocks Harrolds' own brand of suits plus the likes of Brioni, Saint Laurent, Pal Zileri and Tom Ford. Expect to pay more than $2000 per suit, but also expect something amazing for the money. If you're feeling really sassy, get yourself into one of the Tom Ford suits. You'll never look back.
Assin (Sydney, Melbourne); $$$$
For the man who only does French, Assin is the spot. Assin offers a ready-to-wear range from the likes of Christian Dior and Lanvin. Suiting is more on the edgy/slim side of things, which won't work for some. The staff are lovely and welcoming, and with the likes of Usher and other big celebrities shopping there, it's definitely one to check out.
P.Johnson Tailors (Sydney, Melbourne); $$$
Any guy that tells me he's getting married, the first thing I tell him is "get a made-to-measure suit from P. Johnson". Tom and Patrick will ensure you and your groomsmen look a million bucks in only the finest Italian fabrics. Expect to pay about $1800 and above for your made-to-measure suit. P. Johnson also makes shorts, ties and other sartorial finery. Make sure you book an appointment, as they do get busy. If you're on a budget try their cheaper alternative, Suit Shop.
Henry Bucks (Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide); $$$
A men's store chain currently riding a resurgence in tailoring and contemporary menswear is Henry Bucks. It's your go-to place for traditional suiting brands such as Boglioli, Canali and Richard James. It might cost you a few dollars, but you'll look like a prince when Henry Bucks is finished with you.
M.J. Bale (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra); $$-$$$
M.J. Bale's European-inspired suits include super simple, unstructured cotton suits as well as high-quality tailoring for more formal gents. M.J. Bale currently has a "two suits for $1000" deal, which is perfect for guys who want value and variety without compromising on quality. We also recommend trying their samurai selection of suits from Japan. They're to die for.
TM Lewin (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth); $$
If you're a no-fuss businessman with his eye on the dollars, then you can't go past TM Lewin's simple brand of menswear for the white-collar worker. Their shirts will fit most body shapes, which will make many a donut eater happy.
Topman (Sydney, Melbourne); $
A great option for budget-constrained uni students to take their first step into the suit genre, Topman's cheap and cheerful offerings are the best way to get into a basic black slim-fit suit without spending a fortune. Expect to pay about $300 for a very basic suit.
Zara (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide); $
If you're into on-trend suit designs that don't have a huge pricetag (and aren't we all), then Zara is a great option. A few well-dressed friends swear by Zara's suits as the perfect staple for everyday workwear. Sure, they won't last you forever, but for between $300 and $500, they're a solid option. I find my shoulders are a bit too wide (all this keyboard work, natch) for their cut, but others should be fine.
G.A. Zink & Sons; $$$$
If you are a more reserved gentleman who only wants the best, then I recommend G.A. Zink & Sons. One of the earliest established tailors in Sydney, it is a made-to-measure shop producing a high-end suiting product. Located in Darlinghurst, these guys are perfect for the man who's looking for a more 'dignified' or 'muted' suit. Not cheap, but worth a visit.
Crane Brothers; $$$
No visit to Sydney would be complete without dropping in to visit the New Zealand-born Crane Brothers. Founded by former Zambesi menswear designer Murray Crane, Crane Brothers offers a fine selection of handmade menswear with a strong focus on suiting, both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure. In addition to suits, you find their New Zealand-made shirts are to die for and the service is pretty good too. You'll find them on George Street by appointment only.
Zimma Tailors; $$$
If you're in the market for something made-to-measure that will turn heads, check out Zimma Tailors. They offer full traditional service— from off-the-cuff suiting through to made-to-measure, and even complete handmade bespoke services as well. Shoppers can choose from a wide range of Italian and English cloths such as Holland & Sherry, Scabal, Dormeuil, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Loro Piana and Thomas Mason. Made-to-measure suits begin at $1500 and take roughly six weeks to make.
American Tailors; $$$$
If you're over 50 and know the difference between a $1000 suit and a $4000 bespoke suit, then American Tailors is the pick of the litter. American Tailors was established in 1950, at a time when all things American were seen as modern. Today, American Tailors is simply known for quality bespoke tailoring for the older man about town.
Oscar Hunt; $$$
A funny bunch of lads who love a loud suit and peacocking at every available opportunity. At Oscar Hunt you'll find a made-to-measure service that can cater for pretty much any event or occasion. Lead time on an Oscar Hunt suit is roughly six weeks. Make sure you plan ahead and don't roll up expecting a suit the next day.
Paul Smith; $$$
If you're the of-Britannia type, you can't go past the Paul Smith boutique on Collins Street. They rarely do a bad suit and the brand offers different ranges to cater for medium- to high-end buyers. With Paul Smith's signature linings and other finery, you'll look rather dashing upon departure.
Godwin Charli; $$
If you like supporting local, then Godwin Charli is one of the best Melbourne has to offer. Godwin Charli has a boutique nature of collections, meaning shorter runs of certain styles ensures uniqueness and rarity. The trademark attention to fit, styling and subtle detailing reinforces the European influence and quality. Can't go wrong with a GC.
D'Marge is one of Australia's most popular men's style and fashion blogs.