Melbourne Open House: Phillips Shirts

Greetings BusiChic! A cheeky post today to tell you about Phillips Shirts, a business that has worked out of the same building in the heart of Melbourne since 1952 and one of the buildings in this year’s Melbourne Open House.

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that I am a little bit in love with my home town of Melbourne. I take lots of photos of people around town, food and buildings, like this:

I first found out about Phillips Shirts thanks to this post from my blogger friend Iolanthe Gabrie of Ruby Red Slippers.

Hidden in the heart of the bustling, efficient CBD is an elegant brick building with a small, weathered sign to identify it as the home of Phillips Shirts. I was welcomed upstairs by Emma Clarke, who is re-invigorating a brand that already enjoys an illustrious (albeit widely forgotten) recent past. Phillips Shirts were founded back in 1952 by migrants Alex and Greta Phillips. Assisted by their flamboyant friend Phillip Phillips, they founded a successful business making men’s dress shirts. They were incredibly popular, riding high on the exotic prints which found favor in a more cosmopolitan Melbourne. Phillips were at one stage the only distributor for Liberty Print fabrics in Australia, and they also did a fine line in frilled tuxedo shirts and luxe men’s knitwear.

I highly recommend a gander of Iolanthe’s post, particularly if you won’t have time to be one of the thousands to visit Phillips Shirts in this year’s Melbourne Open House – a weekend where 100 Melbourne buildings are opened to the public to inspect and enjoy how the city lives and works.

I was fortunate when the aforementioned Emma Clark gave me a private tour of this building that is heaving with history, fabulous style and the skills and passion to make business chic shirts, suits, dresses and collars for Melburnians today – get in on it!

The retail component of Phillips Shirts is full of fabulous details, stylish business wear and homewares made using Liberty prints: highly worth a gander!

A sign in the shop that’s open to customers.

Phillips Shirts have opened up their archive of vintage shirts – some of which I’m told will be featuring in the upcoming mini-series on the life of Kerry Packer soon, keep your eyes peeled!

From the archives: Phillips Shirts made in the 1970s – what flamboyance!

Some of the shirts made for the modern BusiChic to wear to work- classic and crisp styles that won’t date!

I am full of admiration for the tireless and dynamic Emma Clark, responsible for breathing life back into Phillips Shirts so that Melburnians can get their business and formal shirts made right here in Melbourne. I love the collars that she’s had made under the Lady Phillips label using charming Liberty prints – stay tuned to the Little Black Dress project series for more soon!

The delightful Emma Clark sports a Lady Phillips collar to add charm to her Creative work ensemble – love the vintage leather skirt and Leona Edmiston heels too!

A part of Melbourne Open House 2012, Phillips Shirts is full of detail for those who enjoy fashion, architecture and interior design.

Interior design detail: the key to the drinks cabinet in the boss’ office!

Phillips Shirts is at 274 Little Lonsdale St Melbourne.

2 guides will offer tours every 20 minutes this weekend as part of Melbourne Open House.

However the store is also open during the week, offering stylish shirts, dresses, homewares and accessories for the contemporary professional who appreciates the value of keeping skills in the heart of Melbourne. Be sure to see their online store or pop up in your lunchbreak!


  1. I’m so tempted to check this place out after your post, even though I thought I’d decided not to go to Open House this year. The one year I did go, I got to see one building and there were so many people! So frustrating! But then you tell us about fascinating little places like this and tempt me to change my mind…

  2. Dramatic photography of a truly magical space. Big love! X

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