We love a well-tailored suit here at Polka Dot Bride and it’s an undeniable fact that one of the best places to go for a beautiful suit is Australian born and bred MJ Bale. We chatted to founder Matt Jensen for all his tips and tricks on suiting up for your wedding day! MJ Bale is known for not only beautiful suiting but also incredible fabrics- Australian Merino wool featuring heavily in their collections.
The origins of the business and name, MJ Bale are….
M.J. Bale started in 2009, with a select range of shirts and ties in David Jones. We opened our first retail store in Queen St Woollahra in the middle of 2010, and have been expanding our ever since.
The name was developed by our early marketing team, it is my initials (which took some convincing) and the word Bale, which is used literally for the connotations of a wool bale, and the Australian wool industry, who we support and work quite closely with through our use of Superfine Australia merino wool.
What are the fabrics you use for your suits made of ?
The majority of our suits are wool, of which all are made from Superfine Australian merino wool. We also produce some suiting in cotton, which can work well for Australians who prefer to dress less formally.
From where do you source your wool, silk and cotton?
The majority of our finished wool and silk is sourced from Italy. Likewise the cotton in our collection line of shirts.
Where is the fabric woven?
The fabric is predominantly woven in Italy.
What are the properties of wool, cotton and silk that make them perfect for men’s tailoring, whatever the season?
Cool Wool is the natural fibre of choice for mens tailoring in spring/summer. Our Merino Wool product has recently been certified by the Woolmark Company as ’Cool Wool’, which means it has odour resistant properties, elasticity, softness, looks appropriately formal and breathes to allow the customer to remain comfortable. It has absorption and inherent temperature regulating properties – providing fabrics with luxurious style, shape, elegance and a perfect tailoring handle.
Cotton is also good for those interested in more relaxed, and at times, comfortable tailoring. It is also a very strong, robust fabric, for those that are active in their suits. We do not produce silk tailoring as there is not really a market for them in this country, and they are not durable.
What does MJ Bale offer the groom?
M.J. Bale offers grooms three options, available at different price points. We have our entry level Classics range, with is high quality suiting at an affordable price. Our Collection range, is premium suiting, made and hand-finished in Japan. Both of these ranges can be altered to fit according to each customer at the point of purchase.
Our highest level of tailoring is our Custom service. This is a made to order service where the customer is taken through an extensive fitting and measuring program, individual fabrics and trims are chosen, and the suit is developed speicially for the customer in Japan.
M.J. Bale also offers a wide range of ties, shirts, cufflinks, pocket squares and socks – essentially with the exception of shoes we can dress the groom from head to toe.
Do you have some advice for grooms when choosing the colours of their suit and accessories?
My main advice would be if in doubt, stay classic. A well-fitted, classic Navy or Charcoal wool suit will work for everyone. For those with a black tie dress-code, a Black wool suit or Tuxedo can work very well. Think not what the photos will look like now, but in 2,5,10 years time.
Would you give us five tips on suit maintenance?
(i) Dry-clean your suits rarely. With standard usage, a suit only needs to be dry-cleaned one-twice per season. 2-4 times per year. This will significantly increase the longevity of the suit. In the interim, spot clean where required and steam the suit when you are showering to keep it fresh.
(ii) Wear your suits only twice a week, ensuring at least one day off between wears
(iii) Buy two pairs of trousers. Trousers always deteriorate quicker than the jacket due to the amount of wear. Buying two, although more expensive at the time, will significantly increase the life of your suit/s
(iv) Always hang your suits on mahogany hangers, with fully formed shoulders. This will keep the shape of the suit and also ward off moths that could ruin your suits
(v) Ensure your suits are stored in a dry area
Images from MJ Bale Spring Summer 2013