DC Fit Masthead

HisCanberra: Braddon Tailors

Drew Baker

Getting suited – the bespoke suiting process

I wear a suit to work.  Every day.  Always.

Let’s play that out a bit further … dressed and ready to leave by 8:00am and home around 6:00pm is ten hours … so we’re talking 50+ hours per week in a suit.

So when Ms HerCanberra suggested I try a tailor-made suit, I was receptive to the idea, given I spend so much of my life wearing one.  My current wardrobe is mainly Calibre suits (bzzt, no store in Canberra, sort that out Calibre) or Hugo Boss, paired with a mix of shirts and ties from various labels.  While the suits I buy fit me pretty well with minimal alterations, the idea of one made just for me was pretty appealing.

And so I found myself meeting Pip Morgan from Braddon Tailors to design a suit.  The journey began a few months ago before the move to the new store in Ori building in Braddon.  Details at the end of the story, well worth a look…

The brief was pretty simple – a classic dark (charcoal) suit that could integrate with my current corporate wardrobe and be able to handle ongoing wear and tear.  Happy for a few edgy details, but nothing too flamboyant for this suit!


That’s Pip, armed with his tape.  Also a few of his wares and accessories.


A custom suit typically takes three visits to Pip for a newbie like me.  The first is for initial measurements and fabric selections, the second is for a fitting and subsequent tweaks, and the final is for checking and collection.

The first visit was split into two parts – the measure and the selections.  The measure was pretty unremarkable.  In contrast the selections were AMAZING!

Let’s just be clear here, the range and choice is astounding.  You have to choose:

  • The fabric (hundreds of choices, drives the price depending on choice)
  • The lining (incredible range, if you want out there it is very possible)
  • The buttons (how many, the style, the colour)
  • The stitching (you want different stitching on different button holes? Sure!)
  • The felt (under the lapel and collar, yes you can have it with Marilyn Monroe).

So. Much. Choice.  Fabrics, linings, Hello Marilyn, buttons!  And there was more…

And then you get to pick single or double vented (double please), pointed lapels or not (not), how many pockets (three inside the jacket thanks), where are the pockets (standard for me), do you even want pockets (yes, but no back pockets thanks), do you want flat front trousers (is there any other type?), do you want cuffs on your pants (this is not the 80’s, people!) and so on and on and on.

OK choices made.  Charcoal wool (heavier grade for winter) and lining and felt selection.


I left Pip at this point and returned four weeks later for the first fitting.  Success, it fits!

Sorry Pip, yes I did assume it would fit, but it was good to see it fitted so well….

The jacket was a bit looser than I had expected, so we agreed to tighten it a little.  Did I mention Pip also has a great range of ties and other accessories?  I helped myself to a matching tie and pocket square that would work with the charcoal suit and crisp white shirt.

Pip told me to go away again and come back in a week or so for final collection.


Final fitting and Pip telling me how great I look.  Tie and pocket square choice.


The final fitting is but a formality, as in my case it fits beautifully!

The fit of both the pants and jacket is well ahead of the usual off-the-rack suit and the way the suit sits on my frame is a big step forward.  Some of the small details are great, such as the extra button hole in contrasting stitching.  Pip also got creative with the felt under the collar, with some bespoke stitching to remind me that the suit was a gift for my 40th birthday!


Finished Product.  Aww, look what Pip stitched under the collar… 

Oh no – there is a problem!

There is but one small issue that arises … the length of the sleeves!  Turns out that I have short arms in comparison to my neck and torso size (who knew?!?!) and pretty much my entire wardrobe has sleeves that are longer than they should be.  Cue a minor drama as all of my shirt sleeves are too long in comparison to my new perfectly tailored suit.

What do I do?  Lengthen the sleeves on the suit so they are the incorrect length to match my flawed shirts???  Or shorten my shirts to match my new suit, thus rendering them incompatible with all my other suits???  I am currently working through that with Pip … what can you say other than  #firstworldproblems

The end result

It is a great suit and a better fit than anything off the rack.  But the real advantage is that Pip now has my measurements and I am planning a second suit that’s a bit more adventurous than the corporate uniform I have shared with you in this story.  Watch this space!

Hang on you say, how much did it cost???

HerCanberra bought this for me as a gift for the big four zero (and Christmas combined…I’m a January baby), she paid $1,190.  Thanks A xxx

For those men who wear quality suits on a daily basis, you’ll know this compares favourably with mainstream fashion brands.  If you go for a less expensive fabric, expect to pay around the $900 mark.  It’s a great option for the well-dressed man, worth the time and effort.

This is not a sponsored post.  We paid for it all and I am a picky bugger when it comes to suits.  Just ask Pip about the sleeve length if you are in any doubt!

the essentials

What: Braddon Tailors
Where: ORI Building, 28-30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon.
When: 10am to 5:30pm Tuesday to Friday; 10am to 5pm, Saturday.
Call: 02 6181 6442
Web: www.braddontailors.com


Drew Baker

Drew is a born and bred Canberran, and is still here despite a few attempts to escape over the years! He is an avid runner, loves to eat and drink, and has a quiet passion for supporting menswear retailers across Canberra and beyond. He is the other half of Amanda Whitley, the founder of HerCanberra. More about the Author