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Australian Menswear and Style blogger from Melbourne, Jared Acquaro is the face behind A Poor Man's Millions. A blog which aims to demonstrate that men don't need to spend a lot of money to look a million dollars

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  • 04/29/13--04:58: Winter Flashback

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  • 05/05/13--05:44: Autumn Charity
  • Between 1925-75, May 6 was known to most Melbourne citizens as 'Flower Day'. Relaunching in 2013, Flowers Victoria & the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation are selling lapel pins to help support and care for Women and Girls in need of assistance. Money is raised by the retailing of an understated Flower Pin (as you'll find on the lapel of my blazer). You can purchase the pin through participating florists across the city. What better way to brighten up an overcast Autumn Monday.

    Brisk Smart Autumn Day.

    Dormeuil M2M Blazer (Part of Amadeus Suit)
    Suede Tassel loafers by Christian Kimber
    Rhodes & Beckett shirt
    Jack London Chinos
    De Capo Scarf
    Bailey & Nelson Sunglasses
    'Flower Day' Charity lapel pin
    Tombolini pockette
    Custom made soft briefcase

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  • 05/07/13--05:10: Wilde Thompson
  • I don't care for too many rules about fashion, styling or life in general. Wear what suits you and your personality and remember to always look and feel comfortable in what you wear!

    Unfortunately a lot of Australian guys feel overwhelmed by the concept of wearing a suit. Remember, you should feel as comfortable in your suit as you feel in your track pants and an over sized jumper. A well tailored suit is an easy thing to wear; you can be dressed and ready to leave the house without even thinking about it, and you can totally change your look by your choice of accessories. Invest in a suit that is tailored to your silhouette and made of good quality fabric that will follow your body, not constrict you like a body cast. 

    Double Breasted Suit by Oscar Hunt 
    Poplin Shirt by Oscar Hunt 
    Asos Camo Pocket Square
    Grenson Oxford Shoes from Beggar Man Thief
    Cutler & Gross Sunglasses

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    Like most guys, I spent my teens & 20's in canvas street shoes like Vans and Converse until they were worn out enough to fall off my feet. Then one day, SNAP.... Pain shot right up my left ankle and I could hardly walk. Doctors, Chiropractors, orthotics and many dollars later, I finally came to the conclusion that maybe trying good quality shoes might be worth a try.

    In July last year I began working at Beggar Man Thief and I invested in my first pair of English brogues. That same pair are featured in these photos, pimped out with a pair of Mavericks Laces. Now I own quite a few pairs of handmade leather shoes. Most are English, some are Italian, but all are good quality. My ankle pain and those orthotics have since been retired, never to be worn again. Moral of this story is that if a footwear company has been hand-making shoes for over 100 years, they're still around because they are the best in their trade. I know a lot of guys baulk at the price of a pair of handmade lace-ups. A typical $400 price tag may seem like a lot at first, but there's a reason for it - the build, the quality of the leather (among other factors) all assist in make a superior shoe in terms of comfort, breathability, fit, strength and longevity.

    Most shoes nowadays are the opposite - they're "disposable", they weaken your feet, over heat them, they don't last long and worst of all, they mould your feet instead of your feet moulding the shoe to its natural shape. Think about all of this and the higher price you pay upfront won't end up being a bad investment - you'll even save money, until you form a shoe fetish like me!

    Sports Jacket by Scotch and Soda
    Cashmere/Wool Pants by Oscar Hunt
    Tan Brogue Shoes by Grenson from Beggar Man Thief
    'Helter Skelter' Sunglasses by Karen Walker
    Vintage Watch by Omega

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  • 05/12/13--04:50: Toured Skin

  • Don't wash them for at least a year. If they start to smell, freeze them in a bag overnight. If you spill something on them, just spot wash them.

    You don't even have time for that when on tour. Seven unwashed souls, plus instruments and gear stuck in a little bus touring Australia. You sleep when you can sleep, eat when you can eat, drink endlessly and party. 

    These Nudie "Tapered Ted" Jeans have been through it - the booze, food, sweat, stink, dirt and other things you wouldn't want to know, but not only have they survived, to this day they've still never seen the inside of a washing machine. Gross? Maybe.... If you knew their true age, definitely.

    Yes, when I did make it home they did have that well earned sleep-over with the frozen steak and ice-cream. Mind you, if I did ever wash them I'd be able to start my own bar with all the liquid gold fermenting in the threads! If you can't tell from all of that the deep love for these jeans, then go watch The Notebook.

    Mao Blazer by Honor Among Thieves
    Twin Tip Polo by Fred Perry
    Tapered Ted by Nudie Jeans
    Vintage Piccadilly Brogue by Trickers

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  • 05/13/13--19:48: Del Monti Reborn

  • Not 100% sure exactly when they started but Del Monti was one of the BIG name brands in tailored suits Melbourne, Australia. I was lucky enough to get given an original Del Monti Suit from my Step-Father. Although the 6' notch lapels and big bell bottom trousers weren't my taste, I'm lucky enough to know tailors who were able to modernise the drape and fit if the suit; "cut the wings, chop the chassis and remove the bells" (Lapel width halved by hand and the legs tapered from the knee down to a 7' hem). The end result seen in these pictures speaks for its self, modern styled old year quality Charcoal Pinstripe Suit that should stand the test of time in years to come.

    It's defiantly one of my favourites for autumn/winter seasons. I should also make a note that my Step-Father didn't even recognise his own suit, asking "That's a great suit, where did you get that from? "

    When something is as beautifully tailored as this made-in-Melbourne two piece, it would be a shame to let it moulder away in the back of your wardrobe as a reminder of the past, especially when companies such as Del Monti aren't around anymore. Melbourne once had a great garment making industry ........

    Fulton "Huntsman" Umbrella, I needed this like Mary Poppins needed hers to cushion the landing. For those who aren't familiar with the Docklands in Melbourne, it's right on the harbour and a mini Tornado Alley. I needed a tough but flexible umbrella to stand its ground and the Huntsman with a double braced skeleton seems almost indestructible. The pity is it took about a dozen cheap umbrellas to imprint a need for a better one in my mind.

    Vintage Pinstripe Suit by Del Monti
    Graduate Shirt by Pugnacious George
    Blue Stripe Tie by Ascot
    Charcoal Waistcoat by Scotch & Soda
    Trilby by Akubra
    Huntsman Umbrella by Fulton
    Knightsbridge Oxford by Loake

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  • 05/17/13--05:52: Footwear Wish List
  • 1. Loake Cannon Double Monk :
    These shoes aren't an Oxford, Derby, Loafer. They're neither defined as Formal nor Smart Casual. These are the ultimate inbetweener shoe. Despite people being often scared to try it on or unsure about the buckles, the monk strap can look very formal with a suit, strapping and smart with chinos or split suit trousers and laid-back casual with jeans or shorts. I love the look and simplicity of the shoe. Carelessly slide your foot in, don't even buckle it up and off you go. These are high priority on my list as the inbetweener I've been missing. Brown for now and maybe Black for later.

    2. Edward Green Brogues:
    In 1890 Edward Green began to make hand-crafted shoes for gentlemen in a small factory in Northampton. He soon gained the reputation for making the finest shoes in England for the discerning few. This reputation was founded on the skill of his craftsmen and his belief in excellence. These shoes have a voice of their own. What I love about this particular shoe are its Earthy tones with the Muddy Browns and the Grassy Greens. Remember just like clothing, shoes should reflect your personality.

    3. Loake Wharfdale Boots:
    Loake are another high quality British shoe that have been around since 1880. It's not the highest of the English hand mades, but the quality and heavy duty craftsmanship is still all there. I sell these boots at Beggar Man Thief and the first thing we do when a new range or product comes in, is we get them on our feet. As winter's just around the corner, I'm super keen on a brogue boot that isn't heavily weighted, so the Wharfdale is perfect for me. It actually fits like a normal derby shoe. I'm hoping to score myself a pair of these ASAP.

    4. Church's Shanghai:
    These unique shoes are a reissue of a 1929 footwear design, originally developed for Englishmen living abroad in colonial countries. The Shanghai proves Church's have always been innovative in footwear design. Today the unique flexi sole (which was originally built to deal with hot weather and sudden downpours) has been remodelled and incorporated into a number of Church's styles. Years of handcrafting have made Church’s an iconic brand and I've wanted these Shanghai's ever since I first read the above story. To own a piece of history is a talking point in itself. Price doesn't matter, wait doesn't matter, I'll own a pair or get buried in them.

    5. Trickers x END Colab Boots:
    Trick and a Treat, It's one of those moments in life when you see something and you just want it! I remember a few years back I needed to get to Germany; I needed a plane ticket so bad but I couldn't afford it. I scanned the net and paper for quick cash ideas that didn't involve nudity, loss of dignity or jail time. I came across a Government incentive for completing accredited short courses. Now this is how desperate someone can be, I spent 2 months doing semi useless short courses but in the end, I was on that plane. 
    To me these boots are the footwear equivalent of Germany. It ticks all the boxes for what I'm after; Black, Boot, Brogue, Contrast Sole (Versatility) and they just look damn good. 

    6. John Lobb Black Oxford:
    To witness the step-by-step process by which a pair of John Lobb shoes comes to life at their Northampton workshop is to see traditional craftsmanship and genuine skill in action. From the first step – the initial selection and quality checking of the calf skin – through to completion of the final product some 190 individual stages later, the quality of the raw materials and the fine attention to detail is always evident. It’s a journey that takes some weeks and many man-hours of painstaking labour, but the result is a pair of the finest men’s shoes – beautifully crafted, quintessentially English, unmistakably John Lobb.
    To have a pair of John Lobb in my wardrobe would be like having that Daytona Rolex or a Bespoke Brioni Suit. No matter how long they sit there, when the Lobb's come out, it's always a special occasion. When I have these shoes, the future will be bright.

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  • 05/19/13--06:07: Hidden Havana

  •  A Coffee with friends, a wine with dinner, a beer with the boys or just a good Gin and Tonic... I love living in Melbourne, Australia and it's culture. I know I haven't been World Wide yet, but i've been around and I'm a man that wants easy access to my daily needs and on the spot decisions. I sold my car back in 2010 about half way through the year and haven't owned another since. Why? Well, for those who don't know Melbourne City is laid out in a grid pattern making it easy to travel in many forms, I really find it hard to get lost and it's also easy to discover "secret" stores, bars and cafes etc. Every main road has a sub (smaller) road to an alley way which leads to another alley way, here's a Link to a map of Melbourne's City (CBD) Alley Life. Now I can save my fuel money for a few drinks instead!

    Todays little adventure was to a little semi-hidden place called Chuckle Park . If your not paying attention you could easily go past it (like most places here) and whilst your in the little alleyway turned bar, you wouldn't even think your in the heart of the Big Smoke and it's pleasantly quite too. An old caravan for the main bar/kitchen, rope lanterns, astro-turf, a little scattered foliage and other fascinations equals a great watering hole.

    Overcoat by Joe Black (Courtesy of Joe Black the Tailor)
    Window Pane Suit by Hugo Boss (Turkish Made)
    Twill Shirt by Oscar Hunt
    Wool Tie by Hackett
    Roobis Chukka Boot by Kimber Footwear

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  • 05/21/13--05:53: Mr.Thrift the Gambler

  • Joseph Cortese is a dying breed - a master tailor that began learning his profession at the age of 12 in the Southern Italian town of Canatanzaro. Now residing in San Diego, Joseph still utilises his old world skills in producing suits and sports jackets in hard to find fabrics. The results are impeccable, perfectly tailored garments.

    Now insert me into the picture -  a man with an eye constantly on the lookout for sartorial gold. I'm no gambler, but thrifting, whether it be in-store or online, can really give me a rush. 

    Scanning at hi-speed through the typical size 36 menswear offerings, my eyes stopped on a sleeve in blue, white and black in an over sized Country Check pattern. I put my chips down & took a punt. When it arrived, jackpot! the gamble had paid off. Apart from the sleeve length, this jacket has an amazing fit with the classic style I'm always looking for. But the biggest win was finding that little inside tag reading Joseph's.

    Country Tweed Blazer by Joseph's
    French Blue Shirt by Oscar Hunt
    Black V-neck Merino Jumper by Country Road
    Teal Knit Tie by Paolo Albizzati
    Windowpane Trouser by Hugo Boss
    Knightsbridge Oxford by Loake
    Sunglasses by Bailey & Nelson

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  • 05/24/13--18:12: Millions for Pocket Money

  • Finally it's happened - there's been a breakthrough in menswear. Quality is being recognised and we're moving back to classic pieces and more tailored garments. We want real menswear for real men - it's been tough for a lot of guys out there that don't see themselves as 'metrosexual' or 'fashion forward', and unfortunately this has led to the term 'no pride' now being thrown around a lot. 

    We all have pride, we just like what we like. And here's the great part, you don't have to spend loads of money to look the millions. We're all wise enough to not just latch onto the latest fashion craze, but there's been a few guys ask me lately about styling and what they can do to start improving their look.

    First step is to suss what's the best fit for you. ie, how a garment should sit on your neck line and shoulders. For the perfect fit jacket or blazer, the shoulders should silhouette your own and stop at the crown (edge of your shoulder/ deltoid muscle). The collar shouldn't be tight, or sit off your neck line and the lapel should sit flat on your chest line. A good measurement technique is sliding your flat hand between the jacket and your chest. If it's hard to do so, its too small. If you can easily make a fist it's too big. 

    Next step is then to think about the waist line and length. Another key factor of a wrong fit is having no defined waist and again, this is an indication the jacket is too big. Too small and you will get the 'X' crease across your mid section. Sleeves should not be tight against the arms nor should you have wings. Sleeve length is a personal preference but I wouldn't recommend they extend past your wrist line nor are shorter than your raised wrist bone, or you might as well wear something knitted by your Grandma. 

    Now, do the equivalent assessment for your bottom half. This is your foundation & if the foundations are solid, it's easy to build on, especially when shopping different labels where sizing becomes somewhat irrelevant. This is key - don't assume every label that says '38R' will fit the same in the shoulder, sleeve, chest or stomach. 

    When buying what will become your everyday core wardrobe essentials (for example, office based workers will probably need a navy suit, grey suit, white shirt, blue shirt, brown shoe and black shoe etc) consider what you'll wear throughout the whole year. These are the pieces  you should spend the most amount of money on. Think about it in terms of cost per wear. There's no point buying a jacket for $1000 if you're only going to wear it for a month or two over winter then never again. Best to buy 3 x $300 blazers and they will take you through the seasons and use the other $100 to take you loved one out for dinner...

    Blazer made whilst on holiday in Thailand (As the saying goes,when in Rome!)
    French Blue shirt by Oscar Hunt
    Green Chino by Jack London
    Sherbrooke Boots by Lacoste
    Cashmere Scarf by Johnstons (Supplied by Henry Bucks)
    Pocket Square by Florence Style

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  • 05/27/13--03:40: Caffeine, Check!

  • Coffee - it's a massive part of Melbourne culture. Some might even say it runs in our veins. 

    In my personal experience, I didn't get into "real" coffee until I moved to the inner suburbs where you'll find great cafes with walking distance in every direction. Being a true Melbournian means that becoming a caffeinatic has become part of everyday life.

    The Andronicus Brothers came from Greece during the 1800's, importing their first satchel of magical beans into Australia & now we are fiercely proud of our coffee culture. Like most of the great things in life, years of experimentation and experience has refined the process of coffee, turning the production of a great cup of java into a true art form.

    Now, I could go on naming great cafes around Melbourne, but there are plenty of blogs already devoted to the coffee cult. What I will mention though, is that apart from when I'm on my own grind, my regular stomping ground for coffee is Clement in South Melbourne. 

    Clement is a tiny hole-in-the-wall, yet it has become an instant favourite with me, with its rotating selection of locally roasted single origin beans. The abundance of flavours blows my mind; Caramel, Purple Fruit, Nutty, Chocolate, Cinnamon ... Within a couple of blocks, we also have some big names -  St Ali, Deadman Espresso, Chez Dre and Padre. Luckily for me, South Melbourne is also where I work, or I'd be spending a lot more time making the trek on the #96 &112 trams.

    Double Breasted is a sample from an Apprentice Tailor
    Shirt by Oscar Hunt
    Italian Wool Jumper by Fred Perry
    Checked Trouser by Jack London
    Maroon Tie by Paolo Albizzati
    Oxfords by Grenson

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  • 05/30/13--04:30: Second Skin
  • It's been said that the overcoat is the fashion item of choice for those with slippery hands. 

    Cloakrooms lose overcoats left, right and centre. Why? Because everyone wants to get their hands on a quality coat. Now, I'm not promoting stealing in any way but what I am promoting is the personalisation of your overcoats so you can claim your second skins!

    Whether it's single or double breasted, I love how you can layer an outfit in multiple ways with a quality coat. I do have my own coming to me very soon and I've splashed out for the made to measure option. When you'll be wearing something so often, you want your second skin to be special.

    1. Velvet collared wool/cashmere English single breasted by Crombie
    2. Chelsea Sports Quilted 100% Polyamide jacket by Barbour
    3. The iconic Trench by Burberry
    4. Digital Block wool blend DB Overcoat by 3.1 Phillip Lim
    5. Small Collar MAC by Paul Smith

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  • 06/02/13--18:20: Men In This Town
  • Thanks to Giusseppe from Men In This Town for today's profile. 
    We appreciate him noticing A Poor Man's Millions & I'm honoured to have been asked to be interviewed by such a renowned 
    men's street style journal. Giuseppe is not only extremely talented, but such a nice guy too!

    Please visit Men In This Town for the full interview.

    Photos courtesy of Giuseppe Santamaria and Men In This Town

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  • 06/04/13--06:00: Split to Gain

  • One of the most appealing aspects of a suit for me is its versatility. Sure, one suit equals one blazer and one pair of matching trousers, but keep in mind you aren't limited to wearing these pieces together. 

    Split them and what you have is a blazer that can be worn as a sports jacket and the pants become a smart pair of chinos. To build your army of ensembles, all you have to do is split and multiply. 2 suits equals 6 different outfits/looks.... Bet you wish you paid more attention in Maths class now.

    Double Breasted Jacket by Oscar Hunt
    Cotton Cardigan by Lands End
    Twill Shirt by Oscar Hunt
    Wool/Silk Tie by Hackett
    Fine Pinstripe Trouser by Ben Sherman 
    Sunglasses by Bailey Nelson
    Pocket Square by Florence Style
    Consul Oxfords by Churchs

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  • 06/07/13--06:47: Layer Cake

  • The concept of dressing for frosty morning tram stops and rain sodden espresso treks can fill the most hardy Melbournian with horror, but wearing that Mr Stay Puft ski parka to see you through winter isn’t the only answer.

    Sometimes the simplest way to wrap your head around a concept is to relate to it in layman's terms, or in this case, let’s turn winter layering into something sweet.

    Shirt: Your foundation; the body, the sponge that holds all the layers together… This is the point where all the ingredients need to be measured out to make sure the whole cake holds together.

    Jumper or Cardigan: Your chocolate filling. Adds a tasty hint of taste and interest. Keep this layer lean – you don’t want to overwhelm and add too much bulk.

    Jacket or Blazer: The hazelnut crumble or fresh raspberries. Perhaps not noticed at first, but adding a layer that might make or break the overall flavour

    Overcoat: It's the frosting on the cake, the part you mainly see and get a taste of first. Get this layer wrong and no-one will even notice what’s underneath

    Accessories: This is where you can really get creative. These are your chocolate swirls, toffee shards or if you’re daring, hundreds & thousands that will grab everyone's attention. 

    At the end of the day, a great slice of cake is a lot more satisfying than a Mr Stay Puft marshmallow.

    Overcoat by ASOS
    Jumper by Hallensteins
    Twill Shirt by Oscar Hunt
    Chinos by Topman
    Tie by Paolo Albizzati
    Knightsbridge Oxfords by Loake

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    Bankers used to don it exclusively, Security still embrace it, you traditionally mourn in it, many love its slimming properties and there are elite dress codes that demand it.  You guessed it, I'm talking about dressing in black. 

    Anyone that knows Melbourne has heard all the jokes about our culture of wearing all black all the time; it's almost cult like, but what I've noticed over time is that for many traditional occupations and on what would have once been black only wearing occasions, people are now slowly turning away from it. Many are still keeping it dark but now we're living in shades of navy or grey. 

    This really hit home recently when I attended a funeral where the dress code was NO black, but for attendees to dress in colourful clothing to make the occasion a celebration of life. It worked.

    In saying that though, there are certain occasions where nothing but black will do. But remember, just because we're donning the black, we don't have to look like clones. You can still show character whilst dressing for such occasions. Hey, it may even make things a lot more comfortable and a little less stressful when you're putting your outfit together.

    Velvet Blazer by Richard James (Courtesy of Henry Bucks)   
    Twill Shirt & Trousers by Oscar Hunt
    Velvet Box Tie by Paolo Albizzati
    Knightsbridge Oxford by Loake 

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  • 06/11/13--05:53: Tone of the Earth

  • Definition of tone

    • a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality, and strength:
    • a modulation of the voice expressing a particular feeling or mood:
    • a musical note or other sound used as a signal on a telephone or answering machine.
    NOT THAT.....
    • the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation;
    • [mass noun] informal an atmosphere of respectability or class:
    • (also whole tone) a basic interval in classical Western music, equal to two semitones and separating, for example, the first and second notes of an ordinary scale (such as C and D, or E and F sharp); a major second:
    UM, NO.
    •  the particular quality of brightness, deepness, or hue of a shade of a colour:

    Colour combos and tones can be a tricky task to learn. The way I started was learning the basics of a colour wheel. This helps you establish what colours blend well & what diametrically opposite colours will really play off each other. 

    When it comes to tone it does get a bit more technical, but the easiest way to begin is to work off your natural tones like your hair, eyes and skin. I have dark brown hair, olive green eyes and a light olive complexion; all quite earthy tones, so I try to go for those relative tones and shades in the colours I wear. Unless you want something to really pop then you can start to mix with solid colours and shades of black and white.

    Harrington Jacket & Madras Shirt by Fred Perry
    Merino Zip Jumper by Hallensteins
    Cotton Chino by Topman
    Oxford Shoes by Grenson
    Sunglasses by Bailey Nelson
    Laces by Mavericks Laces

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  • 06/13/13--05:13: Inspiring Forms

  • Inspiration comes in many forms; books, movies, music, people.... 

    I don't read as much as I'd like, but when I do, I typically read Biographies or books on tailoring & the history of menswear. Both are an inspiration. Seeing people who have great style and confidence can be inspiring, but I wouldn't make the mistake of trying to mimic anyone's look. After all, we're all individuals. 

    I've always been puzzled by people who state their icons are famous people. The person who has inspired me the most in life is actually my Uncle, who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. Despite his health slowing degrading,  he was always trying to do everything on his own and he never stopped making jokes and laughing. That to me was a massive inspiration. 

    Mac by Country Road
    Cable Knit Jumper by Lands End
    Shirt by Oscar Hunt
    Check Trousers by Zara Man
    Double Monks by Church Footwear
    "The Tao of Wu" Book by the RZA

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  • 06/16/13--04:20: The Instagram Takeover
  • For the past week, I've been the Guest Editor of the Instagram account for Melbourne Gentlemen's store Pugnacious George & their #MelbourneMenOfStyle series. Here's a quick taster of my life over the past week. 

    You can find A Poor Man's Millions on Instagram HERE. Please feel free to follow!

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