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M.J. Bale Spring Collection 2015

by | Groom, Groom Fashion, Groom Style


Ms Filigree


“We love doing what we do, creating garments of integrity for men of character.”

– Founder and CEO Matt Jensen

Integrity is a core part of the M.J. Bale brand and you feel it the moment you walk into one of their stores. Whether it is the raw, earthy timber furnishings, the rich textiles that speak to men of all generations, or the genuinely welcoming and down to earth nature of the staff, M.J. Bale is forging a new path in the fashion industry and you men are just extra lucky that they are catering to you!



The Spring 2015 collection, aptly titled as ‘The Mischievous Larks of a Well-Dressed Gentleman’, is a fresh collection built around the idea of ‘carefree larks with mates.’ This sense of mate ship and mischief is carried throughout the collection, which showcases a fresh take on traditional suiting, perfect for the modern groom.


As we head into the warmer months, the new collection showcases sleek black and navy suits as well as a gelato-like palette in plain and windowpane checked fabrics. Perfect for the garden or beachside weddings, shades of red, ash grey and green are suited to a more relaxed, Summery event. If you’re looking for something formal but navy or black just isn’t for you, opt for one of the checked styles like the ‘Chatton’ or ‘Hansen’. These suits transition from a relaxed to a formal yet contemporary occasion depending on your shirt and tie choices.



Highlights of the suiting collection also include traditional black-tie suiting in both black and the more contemporary deep navy. With options including either the shawl or peak lapel, these suits are meticulously crafted to ensure the finest of fit and design details. This season, there is also the introduction of a midnight velvet jacket, which is a great statement for the contemporary groom along with the ‘Infinity’ Collection.


The ‘Infinity’ Collection showcases eight designs in a navy superfine Australian merino wool that includes pieces such as a single breasted jacket, a shawl lapel tuxedo jacket, single-breasted waistcoat, double-breasted waistcoat and a trouser in both slim and regular fits. This capsule collection is perfect for the groom who wants to change up his outfit throughout the wedding (who says brides are the only ones allowed an outfit change?!) or it also works to create a subtle point of difference amongst the groomsmen.


And once you’ve decided upon the formal attire for the wedding,think about something a little more casual for your honeymoon with the new M.J.B line. Focusing on casual wear, the M.J.B line is ‘made for men of character’ and incorporates a selection of casual button down shirts, cotton polos and two designs of jeans constructed from Japanese indigo dye denim. Never veering far from the brand’s statement personality of refined tailoring, each of these casual pieces feature details such as scooped hems and signature stitching. To top it all off, complete your M.J. Bale wardrobe with one of the new Tuscan leather bags ranging from briefcase to weekender styles.



Images via M.J. Bale

Whether you’re the kind of guy that loves style and experimenting with fashion or you’re one that’s never shopped for a suit before, the team at M.J. Bale will work with you and your groomsmen to make sure that you’re comfortable, relaxed and perfectly dressed for the big day.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Definitely a collection for the relaxed, well dressed groom; the velvet jacket and windowpane check suits are stand out pieces!

Ultimate Bucks Weekenders

by | Groom, Pre Wedding Parties


Adam Brunes

For the modern-day groom seeking a sophisticated, relaxing bucks experience, look no further than Airbnb and Stayz for some surprising weekenders to suit ever taste and budget.

Here are five of my favourites, from tropical far north Queensland to winsome Western Australia.

Quamby Home – Hagley, Tasmania

There are few finer places to unwind than Quamby Home – a newly renovated 1870’s built luxury homestead idyllically positioned on 312 acres of prime farm land in the Meander Valley of Northern Tasmania. Experience the region’s hidden gems, from fishing in the Meander River to hiking Cradle Mountain and Bay of Fires; tackle Tasmania’s best 9-hole golf course at Quamby Estate; or spend a day exploring the Tamar Valley vineyards – home of some of the world’s finest drops.

Quamby-Home-2Quamby-Home-1Images via Airbnb

Patons Place on the Beach – Kewarra Beach, Queensland

If absolute luxury is your preferred cup of tea, look no further than Patons Place on the Beach – undoubtedly one of Queensland’s best kept secrets! Located only 20 minutes north of Cairns on the golden shores of Kewarra Beach, Patons Place offers an abundance of five-star facilities including an 18-metre pool and spa, state of the art European kitchen, and outdoor alfresco dining area complete with bar area and gas barbecue.

img_117202_dfabe095d8c85646985a59f722400502_max800x600Image via Stayz

Willowood Barn – Rosa Brook, Western Australia

A converted boat shed, Willowood Barn in WA’s Margaret River wine country is utterly charming, comfortably sleeping up to 15 guests on five acres of rolling hills and open grassland. Get back to nature with a range of national and state forest trail walks nearby and the famous Prevelly surf beach just 20 minutes drive away, or indulge at one of Margaret River’s many wineries, breweries and distilleries.   

Willowood-2Willowood-1Images via Airbnb

Warreen Chalet – Crackenback, New South Wales

Located between Jindabyne and Thredbo in Australia’s famous Snowy Mountains, Warreen Chalet offers an epic summer and winter retreat for adventure-seekers, with easy access to the region’s best attractions including bushwalking at Kosciuszko National Park, sailing on Lake Jindabyne, and canoeing or kayaking in the Snowy Mountain Rivers. In the evening, kickback fireside by the outdoor fire pit, enjoy a dinner party in the large open-plan living area, or wind down with a game or two of billiards.

img_75237_5db717b8d1896dcdb785c5edbed8c7b7_max800x600Image via Stayz

Villa Rossa – Gardners Bay, Tasmania

Any pre-wedding nerves will drift away at Villa Rossa in Tasmania’s south – a stunning architecturally designed haven overlooking the still waters of Port Cygnet. Villa Rossa provides a perfect escape for grooms wanting to completely switch off, although the award-winning Panorama Vineyard at Cradoc and Hartzview Vineyard at Gardners Bay make for very worthwhile day trips.

Villa-Rossa-2Villa-Rossa-1Images via Airbnb

To find an ultimate bucks escape in your home state, visit Airbnb or Stayz

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Thanks Adam , so hard to pick a favourite; all the weekenders would make for a great time away with the boys!

Brad and Erin’s Intimate Mornington Peninsula Wedding

by | Groom, Inspired Weddings,



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The lead up to our wedding day had been an incredible thirteen year journey together. As proposal plans were set in motion, and with aviation close to our hearts, what better way to propose than on a hot air balloon trip over the city we love – and in front of our closest friends. Erin’s engagement ring was made by Pure Envy, a boutique jeweller in Adelaide that we had been to visit and fell in love with when they first opened nearly eleven years ago. I had made secret trips back to Adelaide over the previous eighteen months to watch the ring design come to life.

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The morning of the proposal, Melbourne’s weather was on my side, and after the shock of the 2am wake up, it was one surprise after another for Erin. With a secret thumbs up to everyone, the engagement ring safely in my pocket and a gentle (and very nervous!) tap on Erin’s shoulder high above Melbourne, Erin turned around to find all our friends in the balloon watching us. Our balloon pilot had manoeuvred the basket around to have the city as a back drop for our photographer who, disguised in the balloon company’s uniform, was in the perfect position to capture the moment. With tears flowing, Erin said “yes” and made me the happiest person in the air that morning! The cork on the Dom Perignon was popped  to toast our engagement with our friends while we floated gently over Melbourne to a smooth touch down.

After eleven months of planning our wedding day was here. We broke with tradition and spent the morning together on our wedding day. We were able to share a quiet coffee together, as well as our excitement in anticipation of the day ahead before the craziness took hold. Once the bridal party arrived, it was time to go our separate ways to get ready until we met again at the aisle.

I wore a bespoke textured brown suit and check shirt from Tailors of Distinction. Being 6′ 6″ tall it was important that the suit fitted perfectly and I couldn’t have been happier.

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I also kept a photo of my Dad with me in my jacket pocket so that he was right there celebrating with us.

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For myself and the groomsmen, I sourced handmade ties from Speak Louder in different, but complementary textures and colours to wear on the day. I was lucky to have Ben (a previous Polka Dot Groom contributor via Ben and Tahna’s Contemporary Richmond Wedding) to teach the guys the latest in pocket square folds.

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Our buttonholes (as well as the girls’ bouquets and all of the venue decorations) were from Hello Blossoms who were great to work with and made sure all of our buttonholes were perfectly in place.

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I also had each of the guy’s favourite beers on ice as a pre-drink as we got ready. Our photographer Jerome Cole and Videographers Michael and Angela from Allure Productions arrived (more about all of their amazing work later…) and after lots of laughs we were off to the ceremony.

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Before I knew it (and my favourite memory of the day) I could see Erin’s smiling face as she walked down the aisle. Erin wore a Gwendolynne gown and hair piece by Richard Nylon which absolutely took my breath away. Her beautiful hair and makeup was by Vivian Ashworth.

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Erin walked down the aisle to “Watch Over Me” by Bernard Fanning, which we thought was a fitting tribute to how we have supported each other through the years.

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Another favourite memory was reading our own secret vows to each other during our ceremony with celebrant Rita Cohann. This moment marked our celebration, love and commitment to each other, all of the things we have achieved together and all of the challenges we have overcome. We always knew this day would come when the time was right for us and to see it all come together was incredible.

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Our ceremony and reception were held at Ten Minutes by Tractor, a boutique vineyard with a true passion for exceptional food and wine. By the time our wedding day arrived we honestly felt like part of their family. We wanted to spend as much time as possible celebrating with our guests so it was important to us to find a venue where we could hold the ceremony, reception and photos all in one place.

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We also kept our guest list small, 50 guests allowed us to spend time (and have fun!) with everyone. We felt so grateful to have all of the people who meant the most to us there to celebrate our wedding day. We had friends that had travelled from as far as Qatar just to spend the weekend with us, so we wanted to show how much we appreciated everyone.

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Our day had a relaxed party feel with hints of aviation throughout the day. We sourced a 1942 vintage pilot logbook for our guest book, had our first dance to Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” and I spent hours folding more than one hundred and fifty coloured paper planes!

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We secretly collected old photographs of us with our guests, printed them as Polaroids and used these as our place cards. They were such a great talking point providing the perfect opportunity to relive memories and share funny stories with other guests.

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The evening was full of incredible food and wine with impeccable service and lots of laughter. My brother in law Mark kindly offered to be our Master of Ceremonies and between him and the imaginative speeches from the bridal party, we were all in hysterics! Heartfelt speeches from my Best Man Matt, Erin’s sister (and Matron of Honour) Felicity and family friend Richard (on behalf of my Dad) had us all in tears.

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During the evening we snuck out twice for sunset and night photos. It was so much fun to have some time out together. Our photographer was incredible and his energy was contagious throughout the day. We had so much fun with him that we also organised a second photo shoot after we returned from our honeymoon.

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We were all having way too much fun and the venue kindly let us linger on the dance floor until late in the evening. Our photographer and videographer also kindly stayed late to capture our guests in all of their glory. We were so happy that we chose to have a videographer and even happier that we were able to have Allure Productions; there is a reason their dates book out so quickly! We concluded the night with a sparkler exit as we headed off on our honeymoon. Our day was everything we had hoped for – and more!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Brad and Erin; the special  touches of “aviation” that you included, including the hot air balloon proposal and all those paper planes, were very sentimental and sincere!

About Brad: I am an airline pilot from Melbourne. Being 6′ 6″ tall, I’ve always had my head in the clouds. I am passionate about aviation and travel. It was ten years of very hard work to become an airline pilot, but with sheer determination and the unwavering support of Erin (my now wife!) by my side, I achieved my goal. My next goal is to travel the world, there is a whole world out there to explore and it is Erin’s and my dream to see as much as we can in a lifetime!

Photographer: Jerome Cole / Videographer: Allure Productions / Bride’s Dress: Gwendolynne / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Richard Nylon / Bride’s Shoes: Zomp / Hair and Make-Up: Vivian Ashworth / Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN / : Alannah Hill / : ASOS / Groom’s Attire: Tailors of Distinction / Groomsmen Attire: Prinzi Collections / : David Jones / Groom's and Groomsmen's Ties: Speak Louder / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Ten Minutes By Tractor / Cake Baker: Chocolat of Mornington / Ceremony Officiant: Rita Cohann / Flowers & Decor: Hello Blossoms / Rings: Pure Envy / Transport: Carwood
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