You can't always shop Visvim, Rick Owens, and The Row. But that's ok. When you are building a stylish, high-quality wardrobe, you have to start somewhere. There are a handful of "staple" brands that are easy to find and sure to please if you are trying to build a nice contemporary look with minimal fuss.
Looking for quality brands to start your style journey? Start here.
If you are new to the idea of wearing high-quality clothing, these brands are a great place to start. Although (John Elliot excluded) I wouldn't consider these brands to be at the apex of style, I would highly recommend all of them to guys who want to establish a really nice wardrobe at decent prices. All of these brands occupy a really nice sweet spot when it comes to quality, style, and cost, and some offer seasonal sales that make them even more attainable. I own pieces from most of these brands myself, including some go-to pieces that I've had on heavy rotation for years.
❶ JOHN ELLIOT
You can't go wrong with John Elliot. Not only is this one of our favorite staple menswear brands— it's one of our favorite brands overall. John Elliot always seems to be hitting the bullseye where wearability and progressive designs meet. Super wearable and high-quality stuff.
My Favorites: University T-Shirt, The Cast Jeans, Hemi Flannel Shirts
You want European craftsmanship with the minimalist ethos? NN07 is based out of Copenhagen, but the brand's philosophy is based on being a world citizen. So they offer travel-ready staples in that vein. NN07 is a great brand to look at if you work in a creative field and need a casual-but-not-too casual wardrobe to transition seamlessly from office to everyday living.
My Favorites: Button-Up Shirts
Another accessible, high-quality brand originating out of LA, Vince is best known for its do-everything slip-on shoes. Vince's knitwear is also quite nice, and you can often find good sales on the brand if you look around a bit.
My Favorites: Knits
❹ Taylor Stitch
Taylor Stitch is yet another solid staples brand from California. The vibe is outdoorsy-professional-heritage, so give them a shot if that's what you are looking for.
My Favorites: Jackets
❺Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone is a favorite of mine. They just seem to nail it with the fits, materials, and styles. Time and time again, when I am packing for a trip, I end up grabbing an incredible black CPO shirt and navy zip-up sweater that I bought from Rag & Bone, leaning on their versatility for my travel needs.
My favorites: All-around
A newer brand out of California, Rowan is all about comfortable ready-to-wear-and-keep-wearing gear. If you are into simplicity and minimalism, you can't go wrong by tuning into what these guys are doing.
My favorites: T-Shirts
Buck Mason has been wildly successful by focusing on the essentials, and the brand has "done things the right way" from the beginning. Fusing a heritage attitude with contemporary fits, this brand occupies a really nice sweet spot that's made it the favorite of those looking for a no-nonsense approach to quality style.
My Favorites: Leather Jackets
Have fun out there!