Brand recommendation

Obviously, there are lots of other great brands out there, but these are items that I have personally owned and have extensive experience with.

* denotes I haven’t owned an item from this brand, but it’s recommended frequently or I’ve looked into it extensively.

Price ranges:

  • $: <$100
  • $$: $100 – $300
  • $$$: $300 – $700
  • $$$$: $700+

Clothes (T – technical)

  • Uniqlo ($ – $$)
    • Basics, basics, basics. Affordable basics for a pretty cheap price.
    • Recs: merino sweaters, OCBD, 13 oz selvedge raw denim for $40, everything else really.
  • Jcrew ($ – $$)
    • My favorite basics shop! Kind of pricey, so you have to time sales correctly. Fits much better than Uniqlo in my opinion.
    • Recs: slim tees, OCBD, classic outerwear, their wool suit is actually awesome on discount, collabs with other brands, chinos
  • Ibex ($ – $$)
    • Performance apparel, mainly merino stuff. Cheaper end of performance wear, and fit can be kind of funny sometimes. Designs can also be tacky, but there are some good stuff in there.
    • Recs: Hoodies!!
  • Smartwool ($ – $$)
    • Same as above, but slightly higher quality with better fit. Good for base and mid layers.
  • Icebreaker ($$ – $$$)
    • Performance apparel, mainly merino stuff. Definitely much more expensive, so try to look out for sales. Designs are pretty basic, but fits great and construction is great. Probably one of my favorite mid-layer store!
    • Recs: base or mid-layer stuff, accessories. I’d skip outerwear
  • Patagonia ($$-$$$)
    • Solid outdoor brands. Amazing warranty and environmentally conscious company. Might not be for people who sweat easily and need more breathable stuff as most of their stuff is designed to be really warm.
    • Recs: vest, fleece, torrentshell rain jacket (2 layer)
  • Taylor Stitch ($$ – $$$)
    • Really high-value technical streetwear and their designs are pretty sweet. The only complaint is that their outerwear is all over the place in terms of warmth and comfort, so it’s hard to know what each piece of intended for. I’d say this brand is slightly more fashion oriented?
    • Recs: OCBD, outerwear
  • Mission Workshop ($$ – $$$)
    • Technical street wears with an emphasis on biking. They make a little too much weatherproof stuff, so not for people who overheat easily. Their stuff comes with lifetime warranty, and designs are simple but clean. I love their base and mid-layer stuff because it actually looks like casual wear, not performance wear. Skip the pants, they’re weirdly cut except the shorts.
    • Recs: merino MC shirt, mid layers, and waterproof jackets
  • Outlier ($$ – $$$)
    • Technical streetwear with really clean and simple designs. Great service and the brand focuses on fabric, which is great. Their outer layer can be all over the place sometimes, and some of the stuff is definitely overpriced, usually the experimental outer layer. I’d focus on buying pants here.
    • Recs: Slim Dungarees, pants, pants, and pants. Merino socks are nice, and button downs are actually decent value. Most mid layers are way too overpriced compared to competitors.
  • Arcteryx ($$ – $$$)
    • Technical wear, with more emphasis on outdoor gear and streetwear. They don’t focus on style, but a lot of it can be worn as street style pieces. Lifetime warranty, and their stuff can always be found for sale on backcountry, moosejaw, or any other stuff. Almost all my outerwear is from this brand because of their high performance.
    • Recs: Gamma LT, Atom LT, Atom AR, Parkas
  • Veilance ($$$$)
    • Expensive technical wear. Part of arcteryx, but this is their casual techwear line.

Shoes

  • Converse ($)
    • american classics!
    • recs: chuck II lows, high tops, converse ones
  • Nike ($-$$)
    • running or casual
    • recs: roshe 1, roshe flyknit 2, lunarepic flyknit low 2s, pegasus (for running with neutral feet)
  • Adidas ($-$$)
    • running or casual
    • recs: NMDs, ultraboosts
  • Clarks ($-$$)
    • staple boots for people in tech. literally everyone has a pair
    • recs: Desert boots
  • Thorogood ($$)
    • relatively inexpensive boots. Good for price range
    • recs: boots
  • Chippewa* ($$)
    • relatively inexpensive boots. Good for price range
    • recs: boots
  • Redwings ($$$)
    • love the construction of these boots. One of my favorite boot brands! You can often find 2nds at sierra trading posts for $200
    • recs: iron rangers, beckman boots
  • Wolverines ($$$)
    • I also have a ton of love for these boots. Definitely more dressier than red wings. Sometimes, I get too many compliments on them.
    • recs: 1k mile boots
  • Allen Edmonds ($$$)
    • My favorite dress-y shoes.
    • recs: park ave

Accessories

  • Socks
    • Kirkland Trail Socks ($)
      • Insanely high-value merino based socks. You can get 4 for like 12 bucks, which is kind of ridiculous. These are heavy fall / winter socks.
    • Darn Tough Socks ($)
      • Amazingly comfortable socks with lifetime warranty. You can get them on sale at gobros for ~$11-15 / pair
  • Briefs
    • Uniqlo Airism* ($)
      • People really like these as a cheaper alternative
    • Ex Officio ($)
      • Slightly pricey, but insanely comfortable and dries quickly for travel. Nylon based, and you can usually get them for $15-16 on sale.
  • Scarves, glove liners, neck gaiters, beanies (all merino)
    • Any outdoor brands really work. Some decent ones include: outdoor research, icebreaker, ibex, smartwool, north face, arcteryx

Bags / Backpack

There are tons of great recs here, so check them out as well!

  • Timbuk2 ($)
    • Summary: Cheap technical bags. Designs feel a bit too childish, but that’s just preference. You’ll get sick of their design before the bag wears out on you.
    • Rec: Messenger bags
  • Everlane ($)
    • Stylish, cheap, and transparent brand
  • Jansport ($)
    • High value, excellent warranty.
  • Herschel* ($)
    • For style over quality. Some people really like their design
  • North Face ($$)
    • Solid construction, great warranty, simple outdoor designs.
  • Mission Workshop ($$)
    • Summary: Cycling focused, urban styles, weatherproof, and practical bags with a lifetime warranty. I love their messenger bags, and they’re pretty solid value.
    • Rec: messenger bag
  • Aer ($$)
    • Summary: Technical, urban, travel bags. Only makes 3 bags. Lifetime warranty!
    • Rec: gym or travel bag.
  • Topo ($$)
    • Summary: Technical bags, but with more playful urban colors. Lifetime warranty.
    • Rec: messenger bag, kettle pack, daypack
  • LLbean* ($$)
    • Great warranty, simple style bags.
  • Travelpro ($$)
    • Summary: Most often recommended travel suitcases by airline workers.
    • Rec: Travel carry on
  • Goruck ($$)
    • Summary: Rugged military style packs.
    • Rec: daypacks
  • Dsptch ($$)
    • Summary: Technical, urban, weatherproof bags. Similar to Mission Workshop but with less cycling focus. Designs can be boring at times.
    • Rec: daypack, camera cases, gym bag
  • Peak Design ($$)
    • Summary: Stylish and technical camera bags. Slightly bulky.
    • Rec: messenger and sling.
  • Filson ($$-$$$)
    • Summary: Traditional American style bags with leather elements. Weatherproof for the most part. Comes with a lifetime warranty. Their design works better for dressing up. Don’t ever pay full price for them.
    • Rec: leather briefcase, duffle bags
  • Saddleback Leather ($$$)
    • Summary: Simple but clean leather bags built to last a lifetime. The owner is kind of an asshole, but products are still good.
    • Rec: briefcase, satchel
  • Tanner Goods ($$$)
    • Summary: See Filson description, but doesn’t really go on sale.
    • Rec: backpack, satchel