Spring Carnival Style : Shh Alex

With Spring Carnival on the horizon we couldn’t think of a better time to talk to some of Australia’s style gurus. Meet Alex, the incredibly talented ‘creative by night’ behind SHHALEX, a blog on all things inspiring.

Earlier this week Alex welcomed us into her home in Melbourne, which she shares with Meeka, her playful Sphynx cat. Alex's home is just as beautifully styled as her blog with cool greens, whites, browns and a wardrobe fit for any fashion enthusiast. It’s a neat fit for Alex’s Joyce, a classic Bailey Nelson style she wears in an understated Green Tortoiseshell colourway.  

Alex has all the beauty tips and know how; we’re just grateful she’s passionate about sharing her knowledge. Thank us later. 

For those who haven’t seen her blog, Alex describes SHHALEX as a ‘creative outlet for my brain overspill’. Her inspiration ‘is anything that takes my fancy but mainly interiors and beauty’. From the polaroids dotted around her room to quartz and hardwood that brings the outdoors in, Alex truly lives her philosophy.

We’re keen to find out more about the new fashions for spring racing, but Alex has some sage advice. Always modest, Alex claims not to be ‘up to date with forward fashion’. For her, style is about ‘dressing how I feel on the day’. We’ve compiled a collection of race day favourites to help you out if, like us, how you feel is indecisive. 

Alex does have a feeling though that embroidery is making a comeback – we can’t tell whether she’s serious or not. ‘I ain’t mad about it’, she says. On the other hand, Alex rocks the Newton in black, one of our newest frames with a style that plays on the traditional brow line, pairing it with intricate metal detailing.

For those wanting to learn her craft, Alex recommends focus and dedication. ‘Set goals’, she says, ‘and know your audience. The best foundation for a blog is cohesion and setting goals for a specific audience will make that a breeze!’ We’ll make sure to take her advice – after all it comes from one of the best.

How could we not ask about Meeka, who seems to something of a muse for Alex. ‘Muse would be an understatement’ Alex laughs. ‘She is the absolute light of my life and the worst part is the lil’ rascal knows it! She is a Sphynx, so small and smoochable but the biggest distraction’. We ask what’s next for Alex, but she demurs that ‘a magician never reveals their secrets’. A magician perhaps, or a sphinx.

Follow Alex at @shhalex or head to her website.
Alex wears the Newton in Black

Photography by Gani Moore http://www.ganiphotography.com/

Spring Carnival Style : A Poor Man's Millions

We’ve spotted Jared Acquaro of cult menswear blog A Poor Man’s Millions (APMMillions to those in the know) pairing Bailey Nelsons with his immaculately tailored wardrobe from Milan to Sydney. On a sunny afternoon in Melbourne we sat down with Jared to discuss his philosophy of value: ‘knowledge is everything’, in light of the upcoming Spring Racing Carnival.

That ethos gave Jared his motivation to start the blog: ‘The inspiration behind A Poor Man’s Millions is educating oneself on personal style and needs... It all comes off personal experience and real scenarios, there is no forceful hard selling nor me selling something I don’t believe in for money’. That’s certainly a spirit that resonates with Bailey Nelson. In 2012, our founders launched Bailey Nelson at the Bondi markets, driven by the knowledge that it didn’t make sense to pay several times the price for quality specs just because of a chintzy logo. As Jared says, ‘It isn’t about doing things on the cheap but more spending your hard earned money more wisely, while looking a million dollars’.

For a day trackside, Jared’s advice is on point. ‘Don’t follow trends, just be yourself. Style is personal and about who you are’. For Jared, who mentions that he’s a qualified motor mechanic on top of his already impressive blogging CV, that means the Ward - a Bailey Nelson style inspired by the streamlined profile of 1970s European racing glasses are his favourite pair. For those with different affinities, we’ve created a collection of timeless Spring Carnival frames. ‘There are many practical aspects to style, so start slow, learn on your own terms and just have fun with it’, says Jared.

You’d be a fool to bet against seeing Jared trackside in the near future, but his agenda goes way beyond the racing season even if, as he modestly says, Jared is ‘just moving slow and steady’. He’ll be back at Pitti Uomo, one of the most important international events for menswear in picturesque Florence, next year. There will be more travel and some upcoming projects still under wraps. ‘Possibilities of a book too’, Jared suggests at the end of our conversation. ‘Nothing generic, like most menswear books, but something more about personal and practical experiences’. We wouldn’t expect anything less.

Follow Jarred on @apmmillions or head to his website.
Jared wears the Ward in Black Yellow Demi

Photography by Gani Moore http://www.ganiphotography.com/

Meet The Team : Volume Eight

Name: Blake Dillon

Role: Store Manager  

Store: Edward Street, Brisbane CBD

How long have you been with Bailey Nelson: Almost two years.

What do you love about Bailey Nelson:  The story, the people and the excitement the customers have from visiting our stores and getting their new glasses. I never knew what to expect as I came from another optical retailer that was very corporate. Bailey Nelson has this boutique kind of style. I rocked up to the interview with sales questions as I’d been interviewing for ten years, but it was completely different. More like, “here’s something about me, what about you?” Once I found out that it was a people culture, I was interested. 

What was it like to stop being corporate and doing things like covering tattoos? It was hard to get out of being robotic. It was so weird not being in a uniform and actually just talking to people rather than covering steps and worrying about mystery shoppers and asking the same questions over and over again.

Who do you work with at Edward Street? Our optometrist, Renee. As well as Jack, Jess, Adam and Georgia. 

What is your favourite frame and why: The Harrison! it's a unique look. 

Most interesting customers:  So many to list! Lots of people have such interesting careers that we hear about each day.

Where are you from originally: Central Queensland

Spare time: Hiking and exploring south east Queensland, beers with friends, collecting tattoos and spending time with my chihuahua, Megatron. I've also discovered a new love for burlesque shows and theatre. 

Best Brisbane Bar/Restaurant:  The Gresham for the best cocktails and Miss Kay's for a burger hit. 

William Street Festival 2016

Sydneysiders, Paddington's William Street Festival is back and as always we'll be there!

It's our favourite day of the year and always brings back memories of our humble beginnings at the Bondi Markets. In fact, as a tip of the hat to our early days, we're bringing a beach theme to the streets of Paddington. 

On display you'll find our new summer sunglasses collection along with a selection of BN classics (brought back exclusively for the William St Festival). Stop by and say hi, we'll have an icy cold drink waiting for you!

See you this Saturday.

In celebration of our event, we've also created a playlist to help you get in the mood.




Our Sun Lenses

Our sunglasses aren’t just designed to look the part – they're a functional tool to protect one of the most vital organs; your eyes. 

You probably know that sunlight has harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but you may not know our eyes are ten times more sensitive to UV rays than our skin. 

UV rays penetrate various layers of the eye including the cornea, the crystalline lens and the back layer of the eye called the retina. With the ozone layer thinning over Australia and New Zealand as we speak, UV rays are reaching the tiny little structures of our eyes faster than we think.

And that’s why we choose top quality sun lenses for our entire range of sunglasses. Our entire collection of sunglasses feature "category 3" lenses (in simple terms, they absorb almost all the UV radiation travelling towards your eye). 

In addition to great UV protection, all our non-scripted sunglasses feature lenses with a polarised filter. Polarisation is achieved by embedding tiny vertically aligned crystals that cut out the type of glare you might experience near the ocean, by the river or when driving on a sunny day. Usually sold at an additional cost, our polarised lenses come standard with all non-scripted sunglasses.

A selection of our sunnies also come with mirror coatings, and whilst this gives them an edgy aesthetic, mirror coatings serve the added benefit of reducing even more light from entering the eye. Bonus!

If you're due for an eye test, our expert optometrists are available at every Bailey Nelson boutique. So pop in, book a test (you can also book online) and pick up a new pair of shades just in time for summer. 


Meet The Team : Volume Seven


Name: Harriet Merrony

Role: Store Manager 

Store: George Street, Sydney CBD

How long have you been with Bailey Nelson: I've been with BN since March 2014.  I started at the Paddington store with Josh and Sharon. 

What do you love about Bailey Nelson: The people, the product and the vibe!  The teams that we have at BN are just the most awesome dynamic bunch of people I have ever worked with.  The product, its incredible, beautiful and versatile.  Last but not least, the vibe of each store is so individual, it makes for a GREAT shopping experience :-)

Favourite Frame and Why: My favourite frame... hmm... that's hard as I have 20 pairs of BN's now!  Currently, my favourite would be the Bronte. 

Most Interesting Customers: I have a regular lady that comes in who is so obsessed with cats that she writes songs about them playing the Ukulele whilst meowing #legend

Where are you from originally: I'm from sunny Tenby which is in Wales, UK.  

Spare time: I volunteer with the State Emergency Services. So we help out when floods/storms. That takes up a lot of my spare time but when I'm not with the SES, I love to go sailing and enjoy long walks with my friends.  

Best Sydney Bar/Restaurant: Hmmm another tough one... There's an awesome bar called the Barber Shop, which is literally a Barbers Shop at the front but when you walk through to a secret door at the back, the bar appears! Its so cool!

Boutique Feature : Paddington

If you didn’t know already, 33 William Street, Paddington is home to Bailey Nelson’s very first (and arguably most iconic) boutique. Opening in 2012 shortly after our early success at the Bondi Markets, it features a unique storefront, taking the form of a traditional Australian terrace house.

The boutique is well-known for its customer service and comes with some of our most passionate and genuine team members - Optometrist Emily, Store Manager Paige, Assistant Manager Aiyana and Stylist Dom. “We are a community at Paddington and we really enjoy making friends with our local customers and neighbouring businesses,” Paige recently let us know. Whilst Emily found the most pleasing part was “Customers and patients of all backgrounds come to see us specifically for the intimate customer experience and professional Optometry service”.

The store is perfect for those that want to experience an original Bailey Nelson store and in particular for those that would prefer to avoid the busier shopping centres of the CBD or Bondi Junction. To get a slice of BN history, our team look forward to seeing you at the store soon (make sure you drop by Alimentari for lunch or an espresso afterwards).

Spring Summer 2016

“You look good you feel good, you feel good you play good, you play good they pay good, they pay good you live good”, or so says the straightforward quote we saved from a professional athletes twitter feed a few months back.

In the oft-serious world of glasses it’s easy to forget how much fun eyewear can be. But that’s the thing, optical frames and sunglasses have the ability to transform a look, outfit and mood — and that’s what our spring summer collection is all about.

Oh yeah, it’s also about waving goodbye to winter and celebrating summer in style. We are pleased to present our newest styles — all of which are hand crafted with a mix of classic and fresh Mazzucchelli acetates (keep an eye out for forest green and our custom made strawberry coral) and features a wide range of lens tints (e.g. rose gold mirrors, blue gradients and solid G15 greens).

Get ‘em while they’re hot.

Our first drop of the Spring Summer collection is available here

Meet The Team : Volume Six


Name: Shell Bissell

Role: Store Manager

Store: Camberwell, Melbourne VIC

How long have you been with Bailey Nelson: About two-and-a-half years, I started out at Chapel Street in South Yarra with Jaz, Lawrie & Siobhan 

What do you love about Bailey Nelson: I love the environment created in each store. Customers walk in and don't want to leave! The individual design of each store coupled with genuine and knowledgeable staff who really care, makes for a unique and fun shopping experience. 

I love the camaraderie between the staff, we really are like a little family. I think that shows through in our work. 

Favourite Frame and Why: Markova. It's simply stylish, neat, lightweight and comes out in a lot of beautiful colours. 

Most Interesting Patients: I could never forget the sweetest elderly lady who was about 85 years young. She came in wanting to look just like Iris Apfel. We popped the lenses out of a sunglass frame, the Twiggy, and she wore them as clear multifocals - adorable! She rocked those frames! 

Where are you from originally: Sunny Sydney  

Spare time: I am completely obsessed with doing custom modifications to my new Ducati Scrambler motorbike. Super excited for spring to come so I can live out all those imaginary road tips. I admit that I'm addicted to instagram and post a pic almost every day. I have a ridiculous fondness for pekking duck. 

Best Melbourne Bar/Restaurant: The best thing about Melbourne is the endless options. I love finding a new place every time we venture out. Toko Japanese restaurant in Greville street has the most brilliant sushi chefs. Grab a seat up the back where you can sit right in front of them and watch them do their magic!  They do a mean cocktail too.  


Optical Lens Quality

If you haven’t taken the time to read an encyclopaedia about eyewear, chances are you might find the whole “choosing the right lenses” thing a bit daunting. With so much information about anti-this and multi-that, it can be hard to know where necessity finishes and extravagance begins. 

Although it’s not industry tradition, we believe essentials should be offered at no extra cost — that’s why all our optical lenses come with a multicoat as standard. Our multicoat includes:

  1. An anti-reflective coating to reduce glare from surfaces like computer screens and car headlights. This is particularly helpful with combatting eyestrain, fatigue and headaches. We also add anti-reflective coatings to the outside of our lenses to minimise visible reflections for other people. Overall, anti-reflective lenses are more comfortable, functional and better looking than standard optical lenses.
  2. An anti-scratch coating which makes our lenses harder, and as you might guess by the name — more resistant to scratches (we feel it’s important to note that nothing will protect your lenses quite like a hard case and cleaning cloth — which we also supply as standard). 

When it comes to more complicated prescriptions, we recommend visiting your nearest Bailey Nelson boutique. We've simplified the process of choosing multifocals by offering only individualised digital freeform multifocals. Freeform uses the latest computer technology and digital surface processing to ensure our multifocals are fully customised to your prescription and lifestyle. In a nutshell, this means they provide the widest field of view with the least amount of sub-focus in side vision (multifocal prescriptions are available in store only). 

In addition to the above, all our boutiques offer transitions (for automatic UV protection) and blue control filters (works like a UV filter but targets the blue light range) along with high index lenses (for high prescriptions), access (also known as office) lenses, bifocal lenses and relax lenses.

To see a full list of our boutiques, click here.


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