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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tailors Of Sydney - Notes From Our ABC 702 Radio Talk Last Night On Tailors Of Sydney

In case you missed that quote, here it is again:
“Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light so dim he would not have chosen a suit by it.”
Maurice Chevalier

Sydney tailors usually can’t afford high street stores, so they are often stuck in nooks and crannies across the city. There is also the need for discretion, as often a good tailor’s clients do not want everyone to know where they are getting their suits made. So where do you find a good tailor in Sydney? I thought I would open up my book and tell you of the ones I know of and what they specialise in.

JH Cutler – The Old Flame Of O’Connell Street Still Burns

John Cutler is the doyen of Old World bespoke and made to measure suiting in Australia. In fact, John seldom uses the word bespoke out of respect for the old world Savile Row tradition that is applied to the term. Apart from shirts and suits, John is an overcoat specialist. He is located at 12 O’Connell Street Sydney on level 6. John caters for the elder gentleman and offers a traditional British cut suit. He is also famed for his swiss cotton shirts which are made in Sydney.

Patrick Johnson – The Young Turk Of Paddington

Located at 46 Liverpool Street, Paddington, Patrick Johnson is the most sought after tailors of the younger generation. Patrick’s work is made mostly offshore in the Netherlands but some of his work is also done here in Sydney. Patrick’s slim cut style, his penchant for the peaked lapel in both single and double breasted has earned him a great deal of praise with the ‘in’ crowd of Sydney. Patrick also manages to veer clients away from traditional wools and often uses muted colours in cotton and denim in his suiting. His suits are also, generally, a lot cheaper than some of the more established city tailors.

Zimma Tailors

Located inside the Ivy complex on George Street, Zimma tailors is the brainchild of Roger Shamoun who is growing his business by a mixture of altered off the rack, made to measure and full bespoke suiting. He is a younger generation tailor, one of the bright sparks that we hope to see on the rise as some of the older generation begin to retire.

Salvatore Finocchiaro

Located at 140 Bathurst Street on Level 5, Salvatore works alone. He must be 70 odd now. He works very hard on some very prestigious clientele but he is shy and very old world stubborn Italian. His clients are more senior gentlemen and any younger buck would appreciate Salvatore’s skills but not his cut.

Bijan Bespoke

Bijan is of Persian descent. He is one of the few tailors in Sydney who is capable of doing light weight construction suiting. This is a style of suiting where the inner workings of the jacket are exposed and no lining, or a semi lining is present. Bijan  is not cheap, with suits starting from $4000 dollars, but he is thorough and you pay for his experience.

Matthew Lawrence

Located on William Street in Paddington, Matthew is one of the most manic tailors in the business. Making a suit with Matthew is being taken on a roller coaster journey – but the most enjoyable part is that you will, almost always, be grateful for the end product. Matthew is one of the younger set of tailors working in Sydney at the moment.

Zink and Sons

Located on Oxford Street, this art deco facade building is still going strong despite a closure of their O’Connell Street store. I am told that whilst they make very good suits, they make a boxy, hard shoulder rather than the softer Neapolitan style which is more popular at the moment.


Located in the St James Trust building, Rochefort is a tailor and also a specialist in hand-made ties. Rochefort don’t always work to your time frame but they do get the work done and the suits are made in Sydney by a workroom not far from the city.

And as a final note, that quote was in reference to making sure you try to use natural light when choosing the wool/cotton/silk in your next suit. Often we are stuck under halogens or some other wall lighting trying to make sense of a fabric. It's best to take a fabric book out onto the street or next to the window to scrutinise the colour and texture.

Signing off,


The cream flannel Fox Bros cloth sourced from A Suitable Wardrobe in a wide shawl double breasted jacket with a Charvet pocket square and a Le Noeud Papillon red satin silk bow tie. The buttons, although you can hardly see them, are corozo from Corozo Buttons. The trousers are navy - so it was my RED WHITE BLUE combination as a tribute to Anzac Day. This photo was taken at the ABC Studios just before we did our segment.

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