When it comes to men’s fashion, of course, having some big-name designer brands in your wardrobe is something we all long to aspire to. A statement piece perhaps, or a high-end custom-made suit are going to be worth the large investment if they’re going to see a lot of wear.
But for everyday wear, popular designer fashion brands don’t always necessarily mean better and fortunately, there are a plethora of cool menswear available today that are all producing incredibly high-quality clothes, usually with a strong focus on sustainability and ethicality and for incredibly affordable prices.
Designer fashion may be great, but you wouldn’t want to expose your high end and equally expensive cashmere sweater to everyday threats such as drink spillages or children’s dirty hands.
We’ve, therefore, rounded up our absolute favourite and must-have brands of the moment into one trendy guide. Some may be names you have heard of before, others may be new brands, but what they all share is a common goal of making men look good for less.
Without doubt one of our absolute favourite brands here at DMARGE, Everlane gets it right with practically everything it touches. Everlane's incredible collection of menswear essentials are made to standards that belie their price, no doubt helped by its direct-to-consumer business model. Materials are sustainably sourced and everything is made to ethical standards, making purchasing clothing a complete no-brainer.
Women may have almost too much choice when it comes to athletic clothing, but men have always had to make do with the global sports brands. Rhone arrived to put an end to that, offering guys genuinely premium gym clothing and athletic wear, that can easily be worn away from the squat rack as everyday pieces. Serious research and development goes into their fabrics, resulting in a brand you can rely upon for genuine quality.
The brainchild of world champion surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown is unquestionably influenced by surfing culture and style, and understanding that without nature, the sport wouldn't exist, has worked to become one of the most sustainable brands on this list. As many recycled materials are used as possible in the production of all Outerknown clothing and the company will happily take back any well-worn or torn pairs of its jeans to repair, recycle or replace, to prevent them going to landfill.
It's certainly a stylish brand, with pieces constantly being on-trend and being made from quality fabrics that are built to last.
American menswear brand Bonobos is one to turn to if you're looking to really stock up on the basics. Founded with the mission to develop the perfect fitting pair of pants, Bonobos has since expanded into a complete clothier for guys looking for well-fitting, simple pieces that won't break the bank. We're particularly fond of their jeans and chino collections, and you should certainly take a look at the dedicated golf range if you're a master clubsman.
One of the most well-known exports from Germany with regards to fashion, Hugo Boss is perhaps best known for its impeccable range of suits and tailoring. The company has invested heavily in suit-fitting technology, resulting in perfect fits that raise your sartorial game tenfold. Add to that an extensive, high-quality range of menswear essentials with Hugo's own unique twist, whether it be in with branding, colouring or fabric, and you have a label that deserves heavy attention.
Founded in 1971 as a menswear only brand before eventually diversifying into womenswear, British fashion brand Reiss is one for the dapper gentleman. Suiting, chinos, shirts and knitted polo shirts make up a fraction of the menswear collection, but if you're someone who appreciates clean lines, neutral colours and subtle yet effective details, Reiss is the clothing brand for you.
Summer and its respective holidays always calls for an update to our beachwear wardrobe, and Vilebrequin is one you need to be stocking it with.
The French brand is the master when it comes to swimming trunks, which might be more expensive than your everyday high-street brand, but the level of detail and quality of materials that goes into their production make their price a whole lot more justifiable.
British clothing brand AllSaints is one for alternative types who wish to inject a little extra attitude and individuality into their looks. Many of AllSaints' pieces are great for layering, while others, such as its shirts, are made to be worn loud and proud, with quirky and outlandish prints and patterns.
AllSaints has made the move to using organic cotton wherever possible for its clothing, taking a greater stance towards sustainability, which provides even greater reason why you shouldn't ignore it.
Another brand that commands connotations of attitude and toughness is Mission Workshop. The San Francisco-based menswear company is in the business of making some of the most durable, rugged and high-quality pieces around, with virtually everything in their collections being able to withstand wind, water, snow and practically anything else Mother Nature would care to throw your way.
Initially founded to put together a range of go-anywhere bags and backpacks, Mission Workshop now makes some of our favourite clothing around, which also, considering the vast majority of it is black or grey, looks damn fine too.
Fashion brand Buck Mason admits it takes a slower approach to fashion than the majority of its start-up peers, but for good reason. Where those companies have come and gone due to not being able to sustain the demand, Buck Mason aims to carefully design and develop pieces and only when they are truly perfect, will they go on sale. All pieces centre around the staple American menswear pieces that remain timeless no matter the season. With a large online presence and three physical stores in America, this an up and coming brand to keep your eyes on.
For outdoor adventure types seeking comfortable performance clothing with a difference, we urge you to check out Smartwool. This American company produces, as its name suggests, all its clothing using wool sourced exclusively from New Zealand. Wool is treated in such a way that it becomes immune to shrinking, exhibits moisture-wicking and anti-odour properties and is highly breathable, keeping you warm when its cold and cool when its warm. What started as sock company is now a fully-fledged men's clothing brand that deserves to be on your list of must-visits.
Another brand making its mark on the premium beachwear scene if Frescobol Carioca. Named after a beach game played with wooden bats (which it also makes), this Brazilian brand is fun, energetic and has a penchant for quality.
With an equally beachy collection of complete apparel to complement its eclectic range of swim shorts, Frescobol Carioca is for those who love to spend their time in the sun.
Also doing New York style proud is Saturdays NYC. Founded as Saturdays Surf, owing to the fact it took inspiration from 'cool' beachy vibes and surfing culture, the brand blossomed into a more mature, yet still undeniably cool label.
Completely unpredictable when it comes to each season's drop, Saturdays NYC consistently keeps things fresh and fashion-focused, incorporating new fabrics, prints and branding so loyal customers remain loyal.
If quality really does matter to you above all else, then check out American Giant. The start-up, founded in 2012, makes all of its clothing in the US. That means a closer eye can be kept on production and quality, which has proven to be effective, with its hoodies being rated as "the best ever".
But just because everything is made in the US doesn't mean you'll have to pay extra, as American Giant employs a direct to consumer model, which allows it to charge less for the clothes. It's a win win situaiton.
The son of a savvy boutique owner in Los Angeles, James Perse has always been involved with fashion from a young age. Starting out by developing his own take on the classic baseball cap, James quickly built his eponymous brand, putting a focus on premium fabrics and designs inspired by his US west coast roots. Bringing together the very separate worlds of casual and luxe fashion, James Perse’s menswear collection is one that will look sublime in your wardrobe.
Founded in 2012 with the mission to create the perfect shirt, Alex Mill has now expanded into a trustworthy clothier for guys everywhere. With a commitment to being as sustainable as possible, such as re-using offcuts of fabrics to make bags, Alex Mill offers men a well put together collection of clothing which is incredibly well-made, especially when you consider how little you have to pay. A great place to turn to for t-shirts, shirts and blazers among other essentials.
Club Monaco is one of those brands that takes the essential wardrobe for all modern men and gives it a bit of a spruce up, using more premium fabrics and paying closer attention to cut and fit, to provide guys with a much more viable option when they're shopping for clothes.
Another genuine favourite of ours, Orlebar Brown makes, in our opinion, some of the best looking and best value swim shorts around. Add to that a fully-fledged clothing collection that encompasses winter pieces too, and one that makes great use of innovative fabrics, and you have yourself a British brand that needs to be on your shopping list.
Flint & Tinder
American clothing brand Flint & Tinder can almost be described as patriotic. It exudes the ruggedness we often associate with American style, being hard-wearing enough to accompany you through all manner of activities. Whether it be rounding up cattle on the ranch, hiking through forests, or heading to a tavern for a pint of light beer, Flint & Tinder has you covered.
Now, unsurprisingly, under the ownership of Huckberry, owing to their shared values of well-made clothing designed for actual use in the great outdoors, Flint & Tinder is for guys who are happiest when getting dirty.
Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone is a brand with an identity all of its own. Founded in 2002 and now a label known around the world, creative director Marcus Wainwright has created a brand that does things its own way, eschewing runway shows, for example, in favour of more simple parties to celebrate new collections.
The denim range is the real highlight of Rag & Bone's arsenal, but tops, suits and accessories are equally urban in their aesthetic direction.
Frank & Oak
Canadian clothing brand Frank & Oak is another that puts sustainability front and centre, with a commitment to use only recycled materials across the board within the next few years. Frank & Oak also designs and produces its clothing so that you really should never need to replace it to help keep everything away from landfill.
The bulk of Frank & Oak's collections comprise the essentials in the colours you'd expect, but made to a higher-than-average quality that also does plenty of good for the planet.
A favourite for University students and guys who appreciate the preppy look, J. Crew consistently produces comfortable classics , with cashmere being a particular favourite fabric of choice.
If you're a regular reader of DMARGE, you'll already be well aware of our love for Todd Snyder. The American menswear designer of former Ralph Lauren fame founded his eponymous label in 2011 to great success. Taking his already profound knowledge of US style, Todd has created an enviable collection of thoughtfully designed pieces that your wardrobe is seriously missing out on.
With frequent collaborations with some of fashion's best designers appearing alongside his own impressive ranges of t-shirts, pants and outerwear, we can't imagine it will be too hard for you to find something you like.
For quality outerwear including leather and waxed jackets – and to invest in a brand loved by David Beckham – turn your attention to Belstaff. You can expect nothing less than the highest quality from this British label, which has a strong association with motorbike culture.
In fact, Belstaff, which was founded in 1924, was the first to use wax cotton to make waterproof motorcycle jackets, a feat that has since been imitated by countless other clothing brands.
Founded in 2011 by Alexandre Mattiussi, Parisian label AMI Paris is one of fun and friendliness. One to lean more towards casual looks than formal, AMI’s founder describes his collections as “real clothes for a real man”. That’s certainly evident, as you won’t find any real signs of pieces trying too hard to be fashionable, instead, much simpler pieces that you’ll genuinely be able to wear each and every day.
French fashion label The Kooples was founded in 2008 by three brothers. Their quirky, rock ‘n’ roll-inspired designs, aimed at couples wishing to dress in similar ways, has proven hugely successful. Whether it be skull-emblazoned t-shirts or skinny-fit suits, The Kooples has carved out a unique aesthetic, and one that you should seriously get behind.
Speaking of unique aesthetics, that brings us on nicely to Acne Studios. This Swedish brand sings to its own tune, producing collections of menswear essentials in typically Scandinavian, minimalist style, but one that is also heavily influenced by art and photography, with Creative Director Jonny Johannson being a keen fan of the creative arts.
Everyman needs at least one good suit, and for an incredible range of affordable, high-quality suits, look no further than Suitsupply. Off-the-rack or custom-made, Suitsupply has suits for all occasions, in a variety of fabrics, colours and styles. You literally don't need to shop anywhere else for all your sartorial needs.