For most of us, tailored suits belong to a different world. A fancier world. Sadly, It’s also a world in which trousers cost more than jet skis and you feel like a vagrant for wearing canvas shoes to lunch. In some rare cases, however, this world pulls back its curtain and invites in those of us without top hats and Swiss bank accounts.
Welcome to Oscar Hunt, a tailor as renowned for its charismatic staff as it is the exceptional quality of its suits.
“We’ve always had a strong focus on enhancing the overall experience of tailoring,” says director Chris Edwards. “Creating a comfortable space and building strong relationships leads to a better understanding of how a suit should perform,” he says, steering us towards a private bar occupying one end of the showroom.
After establishing a respected reputation in Melbourne for its made-to-measure suits, Oscar Hunt has now turned its attention towards Sydney. It’s unveiled a stunning space and entirely separate line of curated fabrics for the men and women of Sydney.
“We haven’t repeated the same formula. The new space, like our fabrics, has been styled to work with the distinctive characteristics of Sydney,” says Edwards. The space’s leather trimmings and masculine scent of fresh tobacco have classically defined Oscar Hunt since 2010. But, for Sydney, the space has an effortless design. There is a thoughtful sparseness to every room, coupled with high ceilings, white walls and east-facing windows washed in natural light.
“Being fitted for a suit can feel a bit like a first date,” laughs Edwards as he introduces us to his head fitter Steve Barkla, an impeccably dressed man wearing a dark, double-breasted suit draped in yellow measuring tape. “Creating the perfect garment for a specific person entails more than measurements. It requires an understanding of the unique style and lifestyle of the individual,” he says, flipping through a book of textured fabrics.
Each one these books contains hundreds of hand-sourced fabrics from three main suppliers, chief of which is Dormeuil, a British icon and a world leader in fine cloth which has been operating for more than 170 years. These fabrics constitute the main cost involved in made-to-measure suits, ranging from as low as $895 for less painstakingly curated textiles, to unmentionable sums for elaborate pieces of cloth with precious gems woven into the fabric.
“The quality of these fabrics is a huge part of producing beautiful pieces,” says Barkla, assessing the subtle slope in my left shoulder while I glare at myself in a flawless mirror. “But it’s your tailor’s intuition and your relationship with that tailor that makes all the difference,” he says, measuring the space between my waist and crotch without the slightest hint of awkwardness between us.
Appointments for Oscar Hunt’s new Sydney showroom can be made online at oscarhunt.com.au
Level 2 / 73, York Street, Sydney
(02) 8097 2470