The Tux and the Tails

The Tux and the Tails

The tuxedo. Or is it a dinner jacket? What is it? Why are there different types? Is there a difference between black tie and white tie events? Are there different types of black tie events?
February 23, 2015 by Bold Apps
It's a New Year - Time for a New Look and a New You

It's a New Year - Time for a New Look and a New You

Well, now that the New Year’s parties are over, it is time to get back to work with a fresh look. If you’ve gotten a new job or a promotion going into the New Year, you need to look professional and stylish.
January 16, 2015 by Bold Apps
Taking a Bowtie - Advice on When and Where to Wear Bowties

Taking a Bowtie - Advice on When and Where to Wear Bowties

Bowties are cool! And more importantly, like pocket squares, they are increasingly being seen as acceptable and classy additions to formal and even smart casual wear.
December 19, 2014 by Bold Apps

Dressing for the Big Day - Wedding Fashion Advice for Men

Congratulations! You're going to get married! Or perhaps a close friend or even just an associate is. You've got your invite (or sent them out), and all of a sudden, it hits you. What should I wear? Should I wear a fancy suit? Men's fashion is pretty unpredictable today, how do I know whether the shirt will be appropriate? Must I dress up fancy? 

Relax gentlemen - for things are not as hectic as some people (perhaps the bride, perhaps even you, the groom) have made out to be. Yes, it is confusing at times, but with some help, you can look great.

First of all, we shall deal with the groom, the most important man at the event. For the love of all that is good and beautiful in this world, spend that extra money and get a suit that actually fits. Having a suit that is too big or small is a faux pas at the best of times. But imagine looking back at your wedding photos and seeing yourself in a suit that goes sailing over hands or that looks ready to burst. Do yourself a favour - that extra money spent on having a crisp, well fitted suit will make life much easier for you and your betrothed.

Second of all, understand the theme. So you and your fiance have decided to hire out the Opera House and are having a white tie event. Then you should really look at a tuxedo with tails (sans top hat perhaps), an overcoat, and a white tie - nothing short of that for a white tie event. Fortunately, most people won't have to worry about that at a wedding, so understanding a black tie or even a semi-formal event is essential: black tie is a tuxedo, and semi-formal have a little bit more leeway (although probably still keep it more traditional - a white suit can look amazing in summer, but that may not be weather or location appropriate, so don't forget that). For a look at some of the fanciest men's suits that would be wedding appropriate, have a look at our Essential or tuxedo ranges.

As the groom, since your choice of shirt is pretty much limited to white or off white/ivory men's dress shirts, your tie and pocket square (should you choose to wear the latter) should be the most independent thing you wear. A bow tie is always a good option - velvet or otherwise (depending on the circumstances naturally), as it brings class and sophistication that a regular neck tie doesn't have. That being said, a classy neck tie can look amazing, provided you know how to match colours (if your wedding has a theme, it would probably be a good idea to stick to it here). And make sure you can tie your own tie - a tacky clip on or pre-tied bow tie looks shockingly bad. So maybe have some practice before hand!

For those of you gentlemen who are guests, then you have a little more flexibility, but not much. Again, if this is to be a white tie event, even a black tie tux is not going to cut it, so find out beforehand what the event will be like (try calling the happy couple or someone close to the preparations if possible, if not then having a quick look at the venue). Remember that overdressing in this case can be just as bad as under-dressing - like women not wearing white, so men's suits should not be of a notably higher level than the groom's. 

The most important thing to remember as a guest is that you are not in the spotlight - the groom (and the bride) are. So don't draw attention to yourself by either overdressing or under-dressing. As the groom, spend that extra money and get a fitted suit - overall, you will look much better than in a rented tux - and understand the theme of the wedding so you can dress appropriately.

Congratulations to the lucky couple, and look classy gentlemen!

December 18, 2014 by Aidan Johnson
We care every step of the way

We care every step of the way

At Bell & Barnett we have the choice of the best quality cotton from the biggest cotton farm in the Southern Hemisphere. The ability to directly source the highest quality cotton sets us apart from our competitors
December 02, 2014 by Bold Apps

All Squared Away - The Art Wearing of Pocket Squares

Well, the pocket square has returned with the vengeance. The problem of course is trying to figure out where and when to wear it. And what you should go for when it comes to matching it – should the tie and pocket square match, or shouldn’t they? Do not be concerned, for here at Bell & Barnett, we will not only be able to give you advice on the pocket square (as well as a brief history), but also point you to our wide variety of stylish pocket squares so you can apply your newfound knowledge immediately!

First, a (brief) history lesson. Pocket squares were originally designed to be practical handkerchiefs (or just kerchiefs in the days of yore), which may have been used as far back as the 14th Century by King Richard II for using a cloth to wipe food away from his mouth after dining. They took off from there really, and became associated with class and sophistication, since only the elite could worry about sanitation. When it comes to being worn in suit jackets, pocket squares were primarily decorative but could be used by a gentleman if the need arose (naturally, a gentleman would try and avoid dirty work or dirty eating habits, so that wouldn’t be too often) although a more practical handkerchief would be used as well. They briefly went out of fashion but have returned, fortunately, to their rightful spot in the blazer or jacket pocket.

Why do we have a history lesson for pocket squares? Understanding the history shows how the pocket square is associated with class and elegance, having long been associated with the aristocracy and wealth. It also helps to understand the way classy gentlemen wear pocket squares. But don’t make the mistake of assuming pocket squares are anything more than decorative in this modern age – silk should really not be used to blow your nose (unless you are so wealthy it doesn’t matter anymore, in which case you can do whatever you want).

In regards to pocket squares, there are very few set rules – it is an art, not a science. There is one crucial rule that should be observed though, and that is: do NOT match your pocket square to your tie exactly. That is really the only major rule – everything else is often up to your personal discretion.

Some tips though: pocket squares can be used to bring attention to a particular colour in your tie or shirt. For example, if your tie has blue and yellow, you can choose either yellow or blue for your pocket square; likewise if you want to look particularly sharp at the board meeting or at a formal dinner, try making your pocket square white to bring out your white shirt. Patterned pocket squares should compliment a patterned tie or shirt, so it creates a certain pleasantness on the eye when worn as an ensemble. Pocket squares are a way of adding extra details to an outfit, and can really be the difference between being well dressed and elegant.

The most important thing to remember, aside from not matching the pocket square to your tie, is to try and put everything in context of your overall look. A pocket square and tie may compliment (not match) each other perfectly, but if they stand out like a sore thumb from your suit, then there are some issues that need to be addressed. Try and avoid having the pocket square as the same colour of your jacket as well – after all, you want to stand out as an elegant man, not to have your efforts disappear into the vast fabric of the suit.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to your personal choice: patterns or plain, which colours you want to bring out in your appearance. Just remember, don’t match the pocket square with the tie, or have it the same as the jacket, and you will look fantastic.

November 21, 2014 by Aidan Johnson

In the Navy - Navy Suits

Navy is one of the most versatile colours out there. It is professional as professional can be, but it also can make its way into smart casual attire as well. It is a popular colour, but that does not detract at all from the stylishness and unique level of class that comes with wearing a navy suit.

Navy as a colour implies gentlemanly elegance combined with respectfulness. A man who wears a navy suit to a meeting will notice that he will command everyone's attention; likewise at social events, the same man will be seen as elegant and classy, and not standoffish like he would in a black suit. Navy is versatile and unique in that regard.


Bell & Barnett have a wide variety of high quality navy suits, such as the New York Suit or the Florida Suit. Both of these suits are suitable in work environments or those smart casual events. By either wearing the complete suit, or only pairing the jacket with jeans or smart casual pants, these men's navy suits showcase the versatility and timeless class the navy suit has.

So if you find yourself in need of a suit this spring, rest assured that if you go navy, you’ll be on par with the most stylish men in the world. Navy suits are worn as a way of looking classy and sophisticated without being overly formal in the way black suits are. For a maximum effect, match your navy suit with a striking shirt to stand out from the crowd.

October 24, 2014 by Aidan Johnson

Welcome to Bell & Barnett's New Website!

Here at Bell & Barnett, we value the highest quality of products – and now you can see the extent of our commitment to quality in our new website!


Here on this site is our wide range of products, ranging from high quality men’s suit jackets; through to stunning dress shirts; and even a range of pocket squares, scarves and cufflinks. Whether you’re looking at buying a whole new wardrobe, or merely after a few new business shirts to replace some older ones, we have you covered. Because of our values of individuality, character and authenticity, we can guarantee that a visit to Bell & Barnett’s website will never leave you disappointed.


We look forward to sharing our wide variety of products with you all. We know that their quality will speak volumes about Bell & Barnett’s philosophies: how each suit has enough character to have a unique story behind each one; how each dress shirt has enough individuality to make you stand out as the best dressed person no-matter where you go; how all our products are stylish enough to be classy and refined, whilst authentic enough to be “real”, and not simply dull corporate wear. Everything Bell & Barnett does, and all our products, will leave you satisfied and eager to show the world your new suits, shirts or accessories.


Coinciding with the new website, Bell & Barnett are looking forward to the spring fashion in Melbourne, and around Australia more generally. With the races coming up, and everyone wearing their wonderful attire, we anticipate many of you wearing some of our new designs, or even some of our old faithful styles. Time to bring out those stylish tuxedos; those French cuff dress shirts; and those impeccably stylish cufflinks. Whatever your style, make sure you are proud – and you have fun with it all.


Go out there and make your statement – whether you are refined or wild! Have fun at the races and with spring fashion! Enjoy Bell & Barnett’s new website! Enjoy high quality suits, shirts, pants, blazers, and accessories!


Bell & Barnett.

September 29, 2014 by Aidan Johnson