The 10 best menswear shops in Australia
When push comes to shove you gotta pay homage to the #menswear Meccas of the world. Trust me, there’s no shortage of great countries to purchase crisp garments from and when you factor in the hype associated with buying from many of these exotic locales (think North America, Japan and France) your first port of call is unlikely to be Australia.
We’re famously known for our played out wildlife, friendly immigration policy and drinking before midday but the fact of the matter is that we also have some fucking awesome brick and mortar menswear stores, provided you look hard enough.
So for my Straya’ side bros and all you well moneyed wannabe influencers, know that I got your back and have provided the definitive list of the 10 best menswear stores down under.
10. Fallow Brisbane
It ain’t Chi-city, but I gotta put some love down for Brisbane, the capital of Australia’s reddest state Queensland. While Brisbane suffers the unfortunate dilemma of not being quite as tapped in to trends as Melbourne and not quite as big as Sydney, it has its own very distinctive niche when it comes to #menswear. Fallow, is a long time institution, located on the 2nd floor of an unassuming walk-up in the city’s nightlife (a.k.a sneak-handjob) district.
The store itself is a nightmarish fusion of local and international Goth Ninja/high fashion type designers (the standout being Silent by Damir Doma) with an emphasis on very drapey very dramatic apparel. While not strictly menswear (they stock Shaman-Goth robes for your auburn haired lady) the store pulls some Union LA type shit with a range of cool curiosities including candles, skull themed accessories and plates worth more than the greasy student food you can afford to put on them.
9. Apartment Brisbane
Located in a quieter part of the city, Apartment is now in its 3rd generation since it originally opened in 2006. The current store is located in a heritage listed brick and mortar setup and has continued to serve Brisbane with a stable of brands we’re totally unworthy of. It’s the only location in this part of Australia which stocks that coveted White Mountaineering type shit and also is home to the local Carhartt WIP store-in-store. They recently started stocking the Diemme X Carhartt collab, so there’s plenty for heritage nerds and streetwear heads to get excited about.
Apartment lives up to its title with a large and lofty retail space perfect for doing some casual low key money burning. Brothers Nick and Ben Chiu, co-founders of the shop spent a couple years abroad in New York. They honed their taste there so they could come back to Australia and stunt on the bootcut jean and band tee wearing masses with one of the most visually pleasing spaces to buy jawnz in.
8. Dirtbox Brisbane
Located in the rear of an unassuming lame-as-fuck mall in the middle of Brisbane’s very tiny CBD, Dirtbox is a study in the suspension of disbelief. Despite a relatively small layout and its consignment next to mall level mediocrity (think brands like Lee) it has managed to thrive and survive in this locale. While the store staff is definitely onto the next one with their always on-point apparel, their attitude is down to Earth when it comes to serving customers.
With a grip of brands like Norse Projects, Moscot & Our Legacy this is the equivalent of a mom and pop store for the hypebeast/heritage/streetwear junkie. They were also named one of GQ Australia’s stores of 2013: a feat made even rarer considering Dirtbox is not located in either of Australia’s style capitals.
7. Someday Store Melbourne
While Someday is not a purely menswear related operation, its stable of brands and total lifestyle approach to product make it a worthy addition to this list. One of the three known locations in which the Australian hypebeast can cop Supreme, the store also stocks a range of luxury shaman garments (Visvim) and thoughtful accoutrements (Original Fake) perfect for young gunz with zero sense of fiscal responsibility.
Moreover, Someday is home to Perks and Mini (P.A.M), the streetwear brainchild of Misha Hollenbach and Shauna T. The label is renowned for its hybridisation of art, utility and fashion and makes some of the realest cosy boy attire I’ve seen this side of the world. It also helps that the P.A.M brand includes a fully fledged men’s and women’s collection in addition to a side of skrong footwear and accessories. Think rustic prints, burnt colours and all that sort of earthy murder.
6. Double Monk Melbourne
So this list is pretty saturated with streetwear, and a lot of you sprezz monkeys are – no doubt – feeling left out. That’s where Double Monk comes in: as one of the only dedicated artisanal shoe haberdashers in Australia, you can be assured the store is on that CEO/VIP lifestyle trip. In this temple to everything that is Anglo-Italian you’ll find a glut of wealth level footwear including George Cleverley, Crockett & Jones and John Lobb. The store also has its own fully stocked bar: yeah, we’re out here.
The guys at Double Monk offer footwear customisation, a range of that reparative liquid gold called Saphir and bespoke fittings by appointment. They’ll occasionally host a shoe polishing evening or some sort of menswear get together, making Double Monk less of a store and more of a style movement. While they gear up to join us in the 21st century with e-commerce, peep their very steezy Tumblr.
5. Incu (Melbourne/Sydney)
An Australian style institution since 2002, Incu is still going strong a decade on. With stores in both Melbourne and Sydney, and influencer status far beyond the realm of fashunz, Incu is a must visit destination for both local Aussies and discerning overseas shoppers.
I could spend hours getting into the power house of labels that Incu stocks but to do that would be a disservice to the pure joy of exploring their Sydney and Melbourne spaces. Suffice to say, Incu is that rare Australian retailer that nurtures both local and international talent in equal measure, and the result is a stable of brands with something for literally everybody who gives a shit about wearing nice clothes. It’s also worth pointing out that their in-store blog is on the power flex too, with a great mixture of long form articles, cute staff bios and competitions for *gasp* non clothing related prizes (like tickets to concerts at the Sydney motherfucking Opera house).
4. Supply store Sydney
One of the v rare stores in Australia to stock Supreme (amongst some other household streetwear names), Supply is Mt Rushmore for Australian hypebeasters. With both hands firmly on the trigger, Supply has murked its competition by supplying Sydney’s burgeoning streetwear connoisseurs with some of the best brands in the game. With WTAPS and Nanamica as stand outs, local kids now have a chance at that sweet Japanese steelo we’ve all been hearing so much about.
They also stock those wavy incense burners that Jon Moy is freaking the fuck out over so you know that shit is good. With a great e-commerce front and a very low key physical presence, Supply has built a reputation as one of Sydney’s realest dealers when it comes to streetwear.
3. Chiodo Melbourne
People who frequently shit on Melbourne’s retail scene need to take a trip to Chiodo, one of the City of Four Season’s greatest triumphs. Located in Melbourne’s heart in an underground walk-in, Chiodo will immediately remind you why being from anywhere else in Australia basically sucks balls.
The whole space is curated with an out of this world taste level, and individual sections of the store frequently are dedicated to rotated brands. The usual array of fashunz insta-cops is available and if CDG, Deemeulemeester and Raf ‘Please Stop Crying’ Simons aren’t your bag there’s also a giant doggie in store that roams around being friendly with customers. It should also be noted that Chiodo is one of the few physical storefronts that carries Special Edition, and all the very time sensitive fashion parody gear they create.
2. Harrolds (Melbourne/Sydney)
While the majority of Australia’s contemporary menswear scene seems to be riding the streetwear wave (better late than never right) there’s a reason Harrolds clocks it at number 2 on this list. Even getting through the door is an intimidating prospect, as you have to be at least one hundred stacks tall to foot the cost of entry. With wall to wall Kiton, Thom Browne and Saint Laurent on show this is not a store for the faint of heart or the empty of wallet. Designed by Melbourne based Japanese architect Victor Isobe, the Harrolds menswear emporiums are dedicated to providing gentlemen shoppers with the very best that ready to wear clothing has to offer, a myriad of rooms dedicated to clothing for specific lifestyles and occasions (all of them ridiculously wealthy). The customer service is as attentive as you’d expect, and the mixture of classical and directional brands is an indication of the curatorial detail that goes into selecting product.
The crown jewel in the Harrolds dominion however is its association with Tom Ford. Both the Melbourne and Sydney stores house the official Tom Ford menswear boutiques, and are a literal armoury of all things luxe, wealth and baller. Aside from the ready to wear collections and Tom Ford Beauty products available, Harrolds also operates a made to measure service with special guest appearances by Antonio Blazevic, Ford’s master tailor. At upwards of $6000 a piece, you’re encouraged to savour your time in-store.
1. P.Johnson Sydney
Located in Paddington, widely considered the steeziest district in Sydney, the original P. Johnson showroom is the epitome of Australia’s contribution to #menswear. While it has a secondary location in Melbourne, nothing beats the original recipe, and when it comes to the subject of tailoring you’ll be hard pressed to find a man as passionate, informed and inspiring as the OG boss don Patrick Johnson. Don’t believe me? Search the P Johnson tag on Tumblr and weep upon the sheer infinite number of notes the name elicits compared to other feeble pretenders.
Patrick’s store embodies the best qualities of the Australian tailoring model: its beginner friendly, flexible, offers a staggering amount of customisation and is genuinely a neat space to set foot in. From the myriad of detail related minutiae that pepper all of his styling, to the many richly coloured Drakes ties that line the store’s walls this is sprezzy menswear in its purest single malt form. Patrick and co work from a number of base models to build your dream suit and despite the glorious luxury of the whole affair he remains one of Australia’s most affordable tailors. P. Johnson nabs the top spot on our list because it is an experience unique to Australia, available only to those who travel to our sandy shark infested shores. Besides, when your product is the subject of praise by Tumblr heavyweights like Ethan Newton and Alessandro Restivo, the rest of us peasants are all but legally obligated to fall in line. Quit copping those cosy boy/drug dealer type pants, because if you ever want to purchase a made to measure rig it should be from this joint.