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Finding the balance between quality and value is a never-ending challenge for all clothes-wearing people. Sure, it’s nice to save money, but the bill always comes due in other ways: when the new $5 T-shirt starts to disintegrate after just a few wears or the trend-biting jacket languishes in the back of your closet once its moment has passed. To help navigate this challenge and steer you towards menswear nirvana, we’ve rounded up the best relatively affordable brands that aren’t fast fashion.
Alex Mill is a brand that always seems to hit a bullseye when it comes to the little details. It makes the platonic ideals of chore coats, breezy tees, and crewneck sweatshirts. But really Alex Mill is at its best when it’s pushing customers slightly out of their comfort zone. Go ahead and try AM’s pleated chinos with a generous drop crotch or even one of its zip-up jumpsuits.
We call Stüssy the Chanel of streetwear because the skate brand, like the Parisian couture house, has sat for so long at the peak of its category. The two, of course, differ dramatically in price. A Stüssy T-shirt—“Just the coolest thing you could have,” Our Legacy co-founder Jockum Hallin told GQ*—*retails for less than $50. The brand continues to spit fire with its collaborations, working with Dries Van Noten and Levi’s in just the last few months alone, while putting out the skater-friendly jackets and pants that are the foundation of its streetwear empire.
The Philadelphia-based Paratodo prioritizes fun more than most menswear brands. Its standout items include shorts with a design reminiscent of a lava lamp and tees and shirts with far-out psychedelic graphics. The brand also knows that kicked-up color is one of its greatest assets—who doesn’t need a cardigan in shades like “mango” and “key lime”? And if the clothes are out of your price range, maybe you’ll be enticed by a $5 brick-shaped stress reliever.