Need a smart hat? Let Smart Alec help you.

Michael Albert, the owner of Smart Alec, stocks a large assortment of hats, from straw boaters to top hats to the Truffaux panama hats (as seen at the Melbourne Design Market) as well as stylish cufflinks, man-bags, walking sticks and leather gloves – basically all the accoutrements of a fine-looking gentleman. He must do a roaring trade around Spring Racing Carnival time.

When I was there I noticed that Michael was unfailingly polite and attentive with his customers, spending time to consider their needs, measure their heads and suggest suitable styles. Not only is his retro-styled store is a fun place to browse, but it’s refreshing to see really caring customer service in this age of chain stores and fast retailing.

Hats off to you, Smart Alec.

For other fashionable stores on Smith Street, try Lost and Found Market and The Social Studio.