Home-delivered style for time-poor men

If 2014 was all about bespoke – shoes, suits, shirts and even your bowties – then I predict 2015 is going to be about taking the individual consumer experience one step further.

Your doorstep, to be exact.

My husband would confuse me by wearing a head-to-toe amazing suit with a $20 bad early ‘90s haircut.

Alison Wilson

Most of us want to look our best, yet lack the time to do what it takes. Capitalising on this, a handful of forward thinkers have turned the tables on the traditional retail model. Instead of you going to them, they now come to you.

Everything from a professional beard trim to a private showing of the latest trends can now be experienced in the comfort of your home or office.

It's the perfect solution for time-poor people who still want to wear and own nice things.

A suitable solution

Anyone who enjoys the great pleasure of owning a fully-tailored suit probably knows how frustrating it can be to find the time for fittings.

Melbourne-based tailoring outfit Oscar Hunt has launched the Travelling Tailor – a mobile made-to-measure service that brings the showroom to you.

General manager Chris Edwards explains the service was created to minimise the impact of the fitting process.


"It came about because the crew at Oscar Hunt understand that crafting the perfect suit takes time," Edwards says, "which can include visiting our showroom for multiple fittings over the course of six weeks. We get that not every man has the time to go through this process".

Instead, a member of the Oscar Hunt team visits a location of your choice (currently confined to the Melbourne metro area). After the final fitting, your completed suit is hand-delivered to you, ready to wear at your next performance review. You don't even have to miss lunch.

The kindest cut of all

As far as self-maintenance chores go, organising a haircut is right up there.

Most barbers tend to operate the same hours I need to be at my desk, so rocking up and taking my place in a queue isn't a favourable option. And good luck getting in on the weekend at all, unless you've booked at a joint that takes appointments at least two months ahead.

Which is where Qui e Li come in.

Launched two years ago by Alison Wilson, Qui e Li (which translates as Here and There) is a Sydney-based mobile barber that offers all the services of a traditional cutter at your location of choice.

Wilson, a health and beauty veteran with 20 years' experience, started Qui e Li after noticing many men, her husband included, wanted a traditional barbering experience but didn't have the ability to leave work early to get one.

"My husband works in corporate banking and would confuse me by wearing a head-to-toe amazing suit with a $20 bad early '90s haircut," Wilson says.

"This is when I realised men can sometimes get desperate to get their hair cut purely out of convenience and being time poor. Now they can get [a great] haircut still sitting at their desk."

Style comes to you

While ordering online initially seemed to be the answer to mens' innate retail-phobia, we soon discovered that it came with its own problems.

Items either turned up late or not at all, not to mention the hassle (and hidden costs) of returning something that didn't fit or look like the picture. Not that this made the alternative – actually going to a store – any more appealing.

Thankfully, someone else is willing to do all the dirty work for you.

Based in Sydney and Melbourne, stylists and image consultants A Good Man offer a unique porter service for clients who lack the time or wherewithal to find great clothes.

"Men are interested in fashion and men want to look good, but some don't have the time," says founder, Julian Burak. "We just make the process easier for them."

After an initial consultation (where size, preferred colour palette plus any other style idiosyncrasies are discussed) a range of clothes and accessories are collated from a range of leading menswear stores such as Harrolds, Incu, and P. Johnson. These are brought to you – either home or office – where you can try them on while getting professional styling advice.

You keep the clothes you want, they return the rest, and you're ready for the weekend.

All this might sound incredibly indulgent, and in some ways maybe it is. I mean, is it really that hard to run down the street and forgo your lunch break to sit in a room with three other blokes waiting for your barber to stop making plans for Friday night so he can give you a beard trim?

Sometimes, yes. It is that hard.

Would you pay a little extra to use a style or hair service that comes to you? What's the price of convenience?

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