• 0

Melbourne’s sartorial “little Davids”

Posted: Oct 11 2014

In a landscape growing with the foreign invasion of en masse fast fashion Goliaths, a small eclectic group of Melbourne’s smarts and talented thrives with the promise of keeping the local boutique scene alive.

These one shop wonders, much akin to our own boutique philosophy, are some of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets.

Often unmentioned, as most of their regulars would prefer to keep their find to themselves, these shops have been quietly servicing the more sartorially knowledgeable with stylish aplomb.

Their existence is testimony to the integrity of a niche market that persists in a market place that has been lobotomized of any individuality and real sense of style.

“Real style” is substantiated by the knowledge of type and quality of raw materials, construction and finishes of products, coupled with the talent of outfitting a story without the sheep-like mentality of compromising to be one of the generic “cool kids”.

Walk into one of these places and you will get just that, real style on their own terms and if you listen attentively, a priceless education in sartorial splendor that is absent in today’s mass market.


We tip our hats to these guys for being part of the group that differentiates and inspires.

Smart Alec’s unique vintage imports are a classic aesthetic for the discerning gentleman. The smart collection is an eccentric assortment of boutique fedoras, boaters, bowlers, panamas, felt trilbys, berets, top hats, cufflinks, scarves and gloves.


Located in Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Smart Alec has joined the gallery precinct with hat designs on exhibition for the alternative and creative thinkers.


With over ten years experience in the hat game, Smart Alec’s owner Michael Albert believes hats are the forgotten accessories. ‘A well-dressed gentleman without a hat is incomplete.’ Albert says, ‘I want men to re-discover the men’s hat for both comfort and style. A properly fitted hat complements the aesthetic.’


Smart Alec’s caters for the old world gentleman style, the classic minimal, and the alternative progressive punk.

‘We are predominantly a men’s hatter’, Albert says. ‘We deal with modern classics, so guys are our focus, but the girls also enjoy that masculine elegance.’


Carl Navè encompasses the very best in fine tailoring with a refreshing contemporary detail inspired by working along side some of Australia’s most respected and talented master tailors and shirt makers. 


Combining the art of bespoke tailoring with fashion design and textile expertise, Carl Navè offers a unique made-to-measure fitting experience. With emphasis on STYLE, FIT and COMFORT, Carl Navè understands and caters to your unique individual needs. 


Since 2011, Carl Navè has worked closely with his clients on creating the perfect suits, shirts and overcoats for all seasons and occasions.  From bridal to corporate wear, from pure wool to linen all garments receive a level of attention that is uncompromised and unparalleled.

His handsome self is a men’s accessories company providing unique items for the discerning man. Specializing, presently, on neck ties, bow ties and pocket squares. Finding a unique niche in the market, his handsome self began as a self-tie bow tie company. Our point of difference was our attention to what was not available on the market. We wanted to create something that was inventive, versatile and down right cool. We found brilliantly patterned materials and incorporated them with supreme quality bold coloured materials to create a completely reversible bow tie. Making them THE most versatile bow tie on the market. his handsome self designs are meticulously sourced from the finest quality graded materials and are hand crafted in Sydney, Australia.


Born in Melbourne and borne from fashion; his handsome self believes that the greatest strength of all, as a human, is to just be. We allow you to do just that by doing the hard work for you. Sourcing beautiful materials, creating and hand making our products for you in the greatest of quality; all you have to do is wear his handsome self and just be. We leave you to the beauty of just being you. 

Because everybody deserves to be his handsome self.

Authentic shoes, not for the ordinary...

124 Shoes provide a unique artisanal experience for shoe lovers, with a hand selected collection of meticulously crafted footwear for men and women. Our philosophy is to offer quality original footwear in limited quantities, fitting between luxury brands and mass-market retailers.

The collection has been sourced from Italy's finest footwear manufacturing regions and is produced by respected second and third generation manufactures embracing artisan techniques. The finest materials, sophisticated lasts and traditional techniques used give each shoe a unique signature.

With over 35 years of experience, founders Anthony Barbieri and Neville Colaianni provide personalized service and expertise. The purpose built space in Russell Place reflects the 124 philosophy: a mix of classicism and modernity. The bold space, filled with the scent of real leather, the visual fusion of artwork and vintage furniture, provides a unique experience.

More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing