It’s a common complaint that men’s fashion in Australia, particularly Sydney, is poorly catered for and high-street stores have not yet adopted the success of their European counterparts for being reasonably priced and with an abundance of choice. Surf-style shops are of course hugely popular and there are few independent boutiques selling rare items. However there are some men’s stores that might not be as edgy but cater well in their sector for the man about town. Below are four stores that although not spectacular, are a good starting point.
Owned by their former rival Country Road, in my opinion, Witchery offers more conservative and business like collections but is known more for women’s clothing. The fit and shape of their shirts is more forgiving than its competitors but it has been argued they are overpriced. They do not have a great reputation for their online service so head in store instead.
If you thought Country Road’s style was vaguely similar to Witchery then there’s good reason. CR’s current Head Designer used to be Chief Designer at Witchery. Only ten years ago did it become accessible to the ‘middle market’ and it’s ‘Spend & Save’ promotions are extremely popular (especially with my wife). I am not a huge fan of their pedestrian t-shirts but I do buy my summer casual shirts and winter knits from there and recently their durable chinos. Expect a little more colour than what is on offer at Witchery.
Although quite similar in design, this brand just sneaks above Saba in terms of prestige and sophistication. It’s slightly more expensive than the previous brands listed but particularly the fit of their clothing, especially their shirts and t-shirts is first class. The quality and material of their ranges means they will last a substantial amount of time and their winter offerings with knits and sweatshirts are impressive.
There is no surprise that Country Road, Witchery, Marcs and Saba all began in Melbourne. But in recent years Saba has moved his HQ to Sydney. Saba tends to go for a slicker look with plain colours and shades. It shies away from garish patterns with the occasional check and simple stripe. For my profile Saba has the best off-the-peg suits available that fit like a glove. It is not easy on the pocket however but again they employ similar tactics to CR such as ‘Spend & Save’.