Typically, a brand is better known for a single something rather than a little bit of everything. For instance, some brands do pants better. Others specialize in jackets. Or socks. And yet, that’s not exactly how all men shop. “I’ve always been the type of guy that has a go-to brand for the majority of my clothing,” one such man wrote on the Male Fashion Advice (MFA) subreddit over the weekend. “Not all clothing, but about 90 percent of it. I don’t know why, I’ve just found that it makes things easier — especially when it comes to knowing what to expect in terms of fit and quality.”
Until recently, Bonobos was his go-to. But, he explains, their sizing has become too inconsistent for his taste: “I can buy three pairs of chinos in different colors and all three pants will vary in length by 1 to 2 inches, while the leg openings are often just as bad. Shirts suffer from similar issues. When you add in the fact that anything that you mail back for a return is unlikely to get processed for a month if not longer, I’ve concluded that it’s time to look into other possibilities.”
He’s certainly not without options. There are plenty of brands out there that are happy to clothe you head-to-toe. Here are four good ones in particular…
The men of MFA are near universal in their praise for Spier & MacKay, which is a one-stop shop for everything from casual wear to suits. It’s especially heralded for how well the fits match the advertised sizes. The subreddit’s main beef is how limited the stock can be. “The high-rise chinos were out of stock the moment they hit the webpage, and no restock for months,” one MFA’r writes. “And a couple of times, I made an order, but they later told me that they couldn’t find it anywhere in their warehouse(s). They also don’t know if something will be restocked the following year. Really seems like they run a ‘bare-bones’ operation in terms of lining up materials and factories.”
Todd Snyder is a tad pricey, but if money isn’t an issue, a frequent MFA contributor tells me, “If you’re looking for an elevated version of the old J.Crew, start with Todd Snyder,” he adds. Another says that, when it comes to basics like jeans, T-shirts, henleys, sweaters, sweatshirts and some outerwear, Todd Snyder is hands-down the king. “At least for what I look for in clothing, which, above all else, is a sleek, trimmed fit with great quality at a relatively affordable price,” he explains.
I know — insert eyeroll emoji. But as one MFA subscriber writes, “Other brands with better button-up shirts and jackets definitely exist — I own some that I know are better quality, for example — but Banana is easily accessible, relatively affordable with sales and you could do a lot worse for clothes that you wear on the regular.”
I’m only gonna slightly ding Banana Republic, then, for this insane bit of buzzword bingo from their recently hired new chief brand officer, who calls their latest offerings, “Safari meets tuxedo, formal wear meets casual wear, menswear meets womenswear, vintage meets tailoring, functionality meets imagination.”
I have no idea what that means, but I do know that Banana Republic can more than cover every part of your body, replete with everything from shoes and socks to leather jackets and pea coats.
Canadian menswear designer Taylor Stitch is slightly more rugged than the rest of this list, with its long-sleeve western shirts and line of leather boots and shoes. One ardent fan of the brand writes that, if he were rich, he’d own everything they make. “They’re the only clothes maker where every time they come out with something new I fucking love it,” he effuses on the MFA.
As he insinuates, Taylor Stitch’s stuff ain’t cheap. But if you see value in owning a few items rather than many, look no further. The world’s not gonna end if you wanna slip on some Banana Republic underwear beneath it either.