Independent Retailers

McCleod Shoes (CBD)

Azzarro (South Melbourne)

Azzarro - alway has a sale. Its a distributor for many Italian brands. The have one off samples - new year overruns, last year clearances - and simply stuff that didn't sell out in retail land - its a mixed bag - They run a kind of warehouse/ wholesale shop where they also sell some retail to public. You can walk in - sometimes you need to ring to see if they are open. They are friendly and helpful. You look around, try stuff on, have a chat gently ask prices and sometimes you'll come away with a swag of good cheap stuff. Other days - nothings fits and its all too expensive for what it is anyway. Its a Melbourne thing. Luckily they are only about 5 blocks way on the same street as Beggar Man Thief the best place in OZ to try on, and buy, a range of UK shoes - Loakes etc.

Beggar Man Thief (South Melbourne)

Beggar Man Thief Website

the best place in OZ to try on, and buy, a range of UK shoes - Loakes etc. Same street as Azzarro

American Tailors (CBD)

American Tailors Website

Bonaparte Men's Boutique (Carlton)

Location: 253 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Website: none
Contact: (03) 9347 3218
Approximate pricing:

  • Probably the best range of odd trousers and sports coats in Melbourne. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Fit is "traditional" on most items.

Luisa (CBD)

Location: 161 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC 3000. (Inside KPMG building)

Two storefronts: one for new shoes that faces onto Russell St, and another with on sale shoes inside the building. The latter is the best bet for bargains.

Also a warehouse at 14/993 North Rd, Murrumbeena, Vic, 3163, although very little men's shoes at that location.

Contact: (03) 9639 4413
Approximate pricing:
Varies seasonally, but not to hard to find some quality shoes at 60% off


  • Reasonable range of SF-approved brands including a good range of Church's, with some Santonis, A. Testoni and the odd Trickers to be found
  • Bargains are limited to a few sizes in each line, so you need to get lucky. Gents with smaller feet can do well here.
  • Quite a few more fashion-forward shoes from brands such as Gucci, Prada, Moreschi and Costume National
  • Accessories often on sale from Gucci and Gianfranco Ferre
  • There is an Italian clothes outlet shop opposite the Murrumbeena warehouse, which carries some Pal Zileri, Valentino, Ungaro and Basile among other brands

Ken Barrell (CBD)

Location: 385 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000. (Galleria building, Elizabeth St entrance)
Approximate pricing:
Shirts and chinos $45, knitwear $70, jackets $90-$200


  • Like the menswear equivalent of a Persian rug shop, Ken Barrell is having an eternal going-out-of-business sale
  • Standard items at competitive prices, much of it Italian-made.
  • Italian jackets can be quite good value - possible to find half-canvas with surgeon's cuffs for about $200
  • Occasional gems show up, such as E. Marinella pocket squares

List of notable franchises

  • Henry Bucks
  • Herringbone
  • Rhodes and Beckett


Katrina's Designs (CBD)

Location: Shop 8 50 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia. Note that although this is the postal address, the physical location of the shop is down some stairs in Liverpool St:
Website: none
Contact: (03) 9663 4477
Approximate pricing:

  • Shortening sleeves: $25 (May 2012)
  • Darts: $20 (May 2012)
  • Hem pants (with or without cuffs) $20 (May 2012)
  • Lengthen jacket sleeves: $45 (May 2012)


  • No longer owned by Katrina herself, Katrina's designs is now run by a friendly Vietnamese man named Van and his extended family. They provide quality work at a very reasonable price compared to other tailors in the CBD. They are generally happy to make alterations as necessary if you are not completely satisfied with the original job.
  • Turnaround time for most jobs is usually quoted at 1.5-2 weeks, although Van is sometimes able to get smaller jobs done a bit quicker if you ask nicely.

Think Sew (Carnegie)

Location: 46 Koornang Rd Carnegie VIC 3163. Very close to Carnegie station.

Website: none
Contact: (03) 9569 5033
Approximate pricing:

  • Shortening sleeves: $30 for simple shortening. More to move placket as well (July 2012)
  • Shorten pants: $14 (July 2012 - special 50% price available Wed and Fri)


  • Full range of alterations available. Very happy to discuss requirements with customers and understand exactly what you want. Haven't used them often but quality seems pretty good
  • Will do hand sewing at a price reflecting the labour. Made some pocket squares up for me from silk I provided, but it was about $60 each IIRC. Good job, but I should have told them not to press the hem.
  • Turnaround time for most jobs is usually quoted a few days to a week, depending on complexity.


Rekaris Shoes and Repairs (CBD/Coburg)

Location: City Store: 290 Russell Street Melbourne VIC 3000, and Coburg Store: 285 Bell St, West Coburg VIC 3058
Contact: City Store: (03) 9654 0178, Coburg Store: (03) 9350 1542
Approximate pricing:

  • Standard topy: $35 (June 2012)
  • Metal toe taps: $3 (Feb 2012)
  • Replacement leather sole $45 per pair (half sole, welt stitched) (Aug 2013)


  • Expert repair of men's and ladies' footwear.
  • Repair of leather travel goods, including handles, locks and linings.
  • Small range of shoes for purchase, but mostly shoe repairs etc.
  • Family owned shoe repair business in Melbourne CBD. Knowledgeable and efficient service.
  • Stocks Collonil shoe care products

Dry Cleaners

North Blackburn Dry Cleaners (Blackburn)

Location: North Blackburn Shopping Centre, 64-104 Springfield Rd BLACKBURN, VIC, 3130
Website: n/a
Contact: (03) 9877 5696
Approximate pricing:
*`$8 per item


  • On sight dry cleaning
  • Owner-operated
  • Highly knowledgeable of the dry cleaning process, and an appreciation of high end garments (tertiary qualifications in fabric technology).
  • Knows how to press a jacket (won't press the lapels flat)
  • Have had surprising success with stains on silk ties

Upon first glance, North Blackburn Dry Cleaners looks like any other suburban strip-shop dry cleaning operation. However after only a couple of minutes speaking with Paul, the owner and operator, you quickly realise that this is not the case. Paul has a very rare mix of passion, knowledge and pride that I have not found in a local dry cleaning shop before. He has an infectious enthusiasm for his work, and is proud that all work is done on sight. Paul also understands the importance of pressing, and by defaults ensures that every jacket lapels come back with a beautiful roll (unless its a school blazer, which then the lapels "should be pressed flat" as he tells me!). North Blackburn Dry Cleaners seems to have a loyal following of clients reaching all over Melbourne's Eastern suburbs, and with such understated quality and reliability, its easy to see why. Only downside is that they don't have a pick up and drop off service.

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