If you set out to put together your ideal wardrobe by cutting corners from time to time, the results are going to be less than stellar. There’s a better way to build a wardrobe packed with clothes you love to wear: shopping brands that are on-trend and quality-driven.
It sounds simple enough, but as with most menswear essentials—even something as simple as the plain T-shirt, for example–there’s always more than meets the eye.
What qualifies a brand as one of the best clothing brands for men, especially in such a crowded market? It’s simple, really: The best brands fill an essential need by doing one thing–or several things–well, and they always tend to go above and beyond in every category.
And by that, I’m talking about everything from quality fabrics to careful production processes to a focus on stylish, functional designs that stand the test of time.
Sure, functionality is going to mean different things to different brands–it’s the difference between the best tailoring brand and the best workout brand, for instance–but one thing remains constant: A lot of extra effort goes into crafting a stellar clothing brand.
To start your menswear journey off the right way, these are the men’s clothing brands we can’t live without. We also maintain a list of the best online clothing stores for men should you wish to expand your search.
Plenty of brands make tried-and-true classic styles, like the T-shirt, the blue jean and the denim jacket, but the ones that focus on best-in-class fabric, construction and design tend to rise above the rest.
It’s not an easy pursuit, but the cream rises to the top, you might say. Once you’ve tried on a pair of richly crafted Hiroshi Kato jeans, you’ll see that the difference truly is in the details.
Remarkable Japanese denim fabric, rich indigo dyes, expertly cut double-knit T-shirts (and more) are all guided by a respect for old-school heritage from this Los Angeles-crafted brand.
When the call of the wild beckons, when adventures on the coast, out in the field or back in the city are on horizon, what gear do you turn toward? The answer very well could be Relwen.
The Ohio-based brand captures inspiration from old-school military styles and hunting gear, then designs streamlined, rugged pieces in modern fabrics, be it waxed canvas, stretch cotton or nylon.
From puffer shirt jackets to durable military-style chinos and hunting-inspired blazers, the brand is at once timeless and fresh (and proudly sold by Huckberry).
For the guy who wants a true one-stop shop—everything from rugged outerwear to essential, office-ready shirting to well-made basics, denim and classic chinos – San Francisco’s Taylor Stitch is truly a revelation.
Founded on the idea of making the perfect button-down shirt, the brand does so much more than that—they now make everything from cardigans to waxed field jackets to selvedge denim and chinos, for starters.
They do so with a design ethos that’s on-trend and modern but not over the top – these are clothes every guy can look good wearing.
Sure, a guy needs reliable everyday staples for the office and for days around town, but for more active pursuits and daily workouts, there’s a worthwhile upgrade out there.
Ditch the college logo tee and those old gym shorts in favor of durable, moisture-wicking gear from Vuori, be it one of the brand’s super-soft tees or tailored joggers. Its shorts are some of the best on the market for workouts and lounging in equal measure, and it doesn’t hurt that each piece is made with quality and durability in mind – all the better for stocking your closet with Vuori gear to meet every challenge, every workout and every laidback day at home.
The spirit of adventure and the spirit of dressing well and being ready for any situation – from sunrise to sunset – fuels the design work being done by famed San Francisco and Austin retailer Huckberry.
The company stocks and sells gear from an astonishing array of rugged-meets-refined brands, but none is better than one of its own in-house creations, Flint and Tinder.
The all-American brand is best known for its iconic Waxed Trucker Jacket, but creations like the all-day, every day 365 Pants and Shorts, plus super-comfortable T-shirts and henleys, drive home what Huckberry is all about.
If you’re familiar with brands like J.Crew and want to take your menswear game up a notch, consider lauded American designer Todd Snyder.
He’s a favorite of ours at WERD, best known for collaborating with iconic U.S. brands like Timex, P.F. Flyers and Champion.
Under Snyder’s watchful eye, the namesake brand has perfected the crewneck sweatshirt (with Champion), designed retro sweater polos and selvedge denim, and turned the art of dressing “casual yet cool” into one worth studying. These pieces are a bit of a splurge, mind you, but worth it all the same.
It takes guts to put your namesake onto a clothing brand, and it takes even more savvy to back up your personal ethos for classic, premium and rugged-yet-luxurious menswear. Somehow, all of those ideals are true with Billy Reid, the Alabama-born designer who dreams up clothes every guy should want to wear (and it helps that Reid designs gear that only he’d want in his wardrobe, too).
Within the Billy Reid arsenal, you’ll find the essentials (Oxford shirting), the classics (handsome selvedge denim) and a sense of accessible luxury – who knew a denim shirt could feel so soft, or that a grey crewneck sweater could be turned into a covetable splurge?
As you scour the market for the best men’s clothing brands, keep a watchful eye on companies that do things just a bit differently – companies that prioritize old-school designs paired with soft, modern fabrics, for one, just as Buck Mason does.
Its T-shirts, often featuring a curved hem and available in a massive range of super-soft fabrics, are the best on the market, and the rest of its stylish, timeless staples – from washed denim to rugged cardigans and waxed outerwear – are about as well-made as any you’ll find.
Look carefully around your gym or at your next road race – there’s a good chance your fellow training enthusiasts are rocking a pair of ultra-springy, futuristic and seriously cool running shoes from Swiss brand On. They’ve taken the ideals of performance and intricate design normally found in Swiss watchmaking and translated them into training shoes that can only be called precise and tech-savvy.
It’s On Running’s Cloud-Tec design that adapts to your feet on the fly, with vertical and horizontal compression to deliver a confident, comfortable stride. The technology works in tandem with an engineered footbed designed to offer an explosive take-off. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that its shoes come in an array of sharp colors to suit every style.
It’s always something of a joy to go along for the ride with one of your favorite menswear brands. Take Bonobos.
The New York City company started humbly enough, with original founder Andy Dunn creating a simple prototype for a better pair of chinos and building the brand from there.
Guys quickly caught on to these excellent-fitting pants, the company expanded rapidly, and they now make everything from a 2.0 edition of its Washed Chinos to Italian tailoring, everyday chambray shirts and ultra-soft T-shirts.
There’s a good chance Bonobos designs a fresh, modern version of just about anything your wardrobe needs.
There’s no shortage of rugged, outdoor-minded brands on the market, but few can lay claim to, well, the entire market quite like famed Pacific Northwest heritage outfitter Filson.
The brand’s roots dig down deep, dating back more than a century to a time when they produced hard-wearing gear for loggers and explorers. Today, its insanely durable waxed jackets, tough-as-nails waxed bags and super-warm flannel shirts are perfect for the most extreme conditions – and equally perfect to wear during a casual weekend coffee outing.
You’ll have any Filson piece you buy for years and years.
What is it about boots that’s so appealing? Is it the hard-working, no-fuss nature of the right pair of lace-up boots? Is it the wear-with-nearly-anything style that works well with so many business casual or laidback looks? Or is it a combination of craftsmanship and long-lasting quality compared to most other footwear styles?
With HELM Boots, it’s a bit of all three and then some. The brand crafts its shoes with care and sells them out of Austin, Texas, with styles that reflect a well-balanced lifestyle: There are low-profile, dressy chukka boots, hard-working lace-up ankle boots and even handsome sneaker boots to pair with jeans and an Oxford shirt at the office.
Look closely at the most stylish guys you know, and there’s a good chance that they very well might be wearing a piece or two from J.Crew – or at least, they’re emulating the brand’s everyman, modern-meets-classic style.
Under the guidance of new creative director Brendon Babenzien, J.Crew is freshening things up in a big way while paying attention to its illustrious history through the years.
While some of those pieces are overly trendy, the rest of the brand’s classics – especially its chambray shirts and its famed Ludlow Suit – are A-plus, modern menswear winners.
While we think plenty of our picks for the best men’s clothing brands would do well when venturing off the beaten path, it’s tough to top the work that Patagonia has done over the decades to establish itself the clear leader in the outdoor category.
The brand makes durable gear fit for on and off the trail, be it hiking pants, well-made rain jackets or moisture-wicking T-shirts, and they do so with a focus on sustainability and eco-conscious designs.
Every wardrobe needs well-performing basics, but there’s a fine line between run-of-the-mill T-shirts and truly luxurious ensemble upgrades. Sunspel walks that fine line in refined fashion: The heritage British clothier has decades of history and brings a sense of premium appeal to everything from white T-shirts to boxer shorts, not to mention its famed Riviera Polo.
These are classically fashioned pieces with a modern edge, the sort of style splurge that’s truly worth it whether you’re seeking business casual styling or weekend chill. And for good measure, the aforementioned Riviera Polo shirt has been worn by James Bond himself. Call it 007-approved, tasteful style.