When building a men’s wardrobe, we’d like to have it all, right? I mean, to buy the cheapest clothes, of the highest quality possible and by the best brands.
In reality, getting the right clothes is more of a balancing act. You have to take several trips to the store, wait for discounts, try on different garments, make the right choice, take them to the tailor…
Dang it, that’s a lot of time money and energy, isn’t it? In this case, you might as well get the best bang for your buck, right? That’s where I come in.
Even though the clothing market is very competitive, some brands continue to deliver good quality while others are still overpromising and underdelivering. They think they can get away with low-quality items and, sometimes, they do! That’s because most men are unaware where to do their shopping, so they end up paying a premium for something that is just NOT worth wearing.
So I made you a list. The top 10 brands you should hunt when buying men’s clothing.
While I didn’t care too much about price, I tried to stay away from the most expensive ones.
Here’s the thing: a while back, I would go from store to store, wasting precious hours trying to find the right clothes for myself. But after a while I found myself buying from the same places over and over again. Then I realized some stores always had the same quality clothes I was looking for.
In order, here’s what I’m looking for when buying clothes (and you can rest assured all my top 10 list brands are in alignment with this:
3. How fashionable it is.
You may want to switch #2 and #3 depending on your budget but you always want to buy quality clothes. This doesn’t mean you should spend all your money on expensive clothes, but rather pick the brands that deliver the best quality for the best price.
Without further ado, here’s my top 10.
#1 – Ralph Lauren
Yes, I know: Ralph Lauren is far from cheap. Shirts can cost up to $150 (or more). But here’s the thing, you can hunt for sales periods and get some pretty good deals.
Plus, Ralph Lauren clothing is definitely a long-term investment.Their shirts and sweaters are very good quality and will last for years. This goes for the color as well. You won’t see it fade anytime soon.
So if you know when sale periods occur (and you should!), keep an eye out for Ralph Lauren, you might just get a pretty good deal.
Recommended clothing articles:
– dress shirts
– polo shirts
– rugby shirts
#2 – Brooks brothers
If you’re more the conservative type, that looks to looks sharp, you’ve found your match. Brooks brothers has good quality clothes at good prices, so you won’t be disappointed.
You’ll find everything you want, but be prepared to pay a little extra than you would at any other store.
You’ll find that some of their clothing items, particularly their button down shirts are of the highest quality.
#3 – Zara
Zara needs no introduction because of its really stylish lines of clothing. While some people are dissatisfied with this brand, it has some really good items.
Some people have reported minor quality problems with Zara, particularly in Eastern Europe and U.S. stores. This may be true but don’t assume all of their clothes are like that.
As always before you buy, analyze each item of clothing in detail, particularly the stitches.
One of the advantages Zara has over other brands, is the fact that it controls most of its clothing life cycle. This simply means it does its own clothing design, production and distribution. This end-to-end solution has had a tremendous impact on their brand image.
Truth be told, I always buy stuff from Zara (except the wool tops which are surprisingly fragile), but they I can assemble really cool-looking outfits for when I go out in night clubs.
The nice thing about Zara clothes is that they can make you look very stylish even if you’re not too knowledgeable about it. You don’t have to know about color coordination or layering to look awesome in their clothes.
Bottom line: go for Zara but pay attention to the quality of what you intend to buy.
Clothing items to hunt for:
– sports jackets
#4 – Guess
If you’re looking for some flashy clothes – Guess is the place to get them from. Not that it’s such a bad thing but it’s way better to be able to take 5 clothing items and learn to mix-and-match them than to put on some flashy t-shirt and jeans.
You get the idea, right?
Nevertheless, Guess has some really cool clothes that can make you stand out from the crowd. They can get really creative with colors and patterns so you don’t have to.
What you should buy from Guess:
Guess clothes are more on the casual side, perfect if you’re a creative person who just likes to chill and, possibly, to meet a lot of women. Upgrading your style with the Guess brand is a really good idea, although I’d wait for the discount periods before I made any bulk purchases.
#5 – H&M
I have to say this right from the start: H&M is probably the most popular store from this top 10. This is especially true in Europe where people from most countries are regular buyers.
This Swedish retail clothing company has great clothing and great prices.
– casual shirts
– accessories (they don’t have that many options)
#6 – Calvin Klein
I know what you’re thinking: you can get better quality clothing for less money than Kelvin Klein. But CK is a well established brand with a history behind it.
While they’re a little pricey, you’ll find that the clothing quality is great – you get what you pay for.
Keep an eye out for:
#7 – J. Crew
If you’re looking for a reliable brand with great quality, look no further than J. Crew. In their stores you’ll find the usual array of clothes, from t-shirts and dress shirts to pants and coats.
Don’t expect to find the cheapest prices here but you will get great quality clothes, which is what I’ve always recommended to all my stylish readers.
#8 – Topman
The first thing I should mention about Topman is that they’re really concerned about colors. It doesn’t matter what shade of blue jeans you want, you’ll probably find it in a Topman store. This makes it really enjoyable to mix and match clothes of different colors and hues.
Topman has very good prices but, as some people have put it, they have a habit of turning people into clones. This is only because their popularity and men’s inability to mix and match clothes.
If you know how to match clothes and how to mix colors, you don’t have to worry you’ll look like the next guy.
While their clothes don’t look as good as Guess or Ralph Lauren for instance, Topman is great if you’re going for the cool, casual look. Their wide variety of streetwear clothes makes them the number one choice if you’re looking for the best price per quality ratio.
Another point to remember if you’re relatively small and you have trouble finding clothes: Topman has one of the widest selections of S and XS (small and extra-small) clothes available. I know that it’s hard to find clothes that fit you sometimes, so be sure to give Topman a try.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out their blazers, they are of good quality for the price you have to pay.
#9 – Gucci
Yes, I know some refer to it as the best brand in the world. But this top 10 is mostly about price per quality so Gucci barely makes it here.
Needless to say, their great quality is compensated by a steep price. However, you should buy Gucci only once in a while. Keep your money for less expensive clothes.
One thing that I always say to my stylish students is that the outfit is more important than each individual item of clothing. This means you can buy cheaper clothes and look way better than someone wearing Gucci from top to bottom.
Nevertheless, quality is quality and Gucci is all about that.
#10 – Kenneth Cole
If you’re looking for decent accessories and shoes at a reasonable price, look no further than Kenneth Cole. Of course, if you can afford $300 shoes, by all means, get them. But if you can’t, Kenneth Cole is your friend.
It’s also worth taking a look at their shirts. You may find a certain color or pattern that you’ve been looking for in a long time, that completes a great outfit.
Again, the quality is not the best but if you’re a student or on a budget, it’s well worth buying.
– (dress) shoes
– men’s bags
If you have any other suggestions / reviews for any brands you may or may not like, let us hear about them. Just add a comment below and tell us which brands you like/don’t like and why.