Having probably my most busy travel year ever, and living somewhat nomadically since April, I’ve been traveling pretty light (typically just a carry-on and backpack for 3-6 weeks). I bought a couple Myles Apparel henleys this spring, and they’ve quickly become my most-worn shirts. I’ve worn them on hikes, on boat trips, to awards ceremonies, and on dates, and they’re always great. They’re a bit expensive, but worth every penny. I assume every Myles product is as good.
Combat Gent is billed as quality, well-fitting at a good price point. I’ve tried some of their shirts, and couldn’t find a good fit, but their shorts and shoes deliver in my experience. I’ve worn the Chelsea boots a lot this year, and everyone should have a pair.
I searched for a long time to find a button-down that really fit me. Club Monaco was my go-to for a while, but they’re still not perfect; I had some custom dress shirts made (see Black Lapel) which are great but not good for casual; Frank + Oak makes some good fits, but eventually I found the Uniqlo shirts, and they're awesome (and also super cheap). I go for size M Slim Fit, and they are just about perfect for me (6’2”, 200lbs, athletic build).
The other awesome product they make are their AIRism undershirts – these are shirts cut with extra deep Vs, made of a breathable material, that make an awesome layer under casual shirts. Typically the white t-shirts I used to wear under shirts were too bulky and the seams showed – these are super thin, but just enough to make the casual shirt breath a bit better.
I also go for their t-shirts – pretty much your standard basic tees, but just as good as H&M, Joe Fresh, etc.
I’ve done some work with Frank + Oak, but I was a customer long before. They were founded in Montreal, and I’ve met some of those involved, but in general I love their style and cuts. Not everything is for me, but I currently own everything from jackets to button downs to jeans, and it’s all great.
These are pretty much like Converse but better. I wanted something a little different after wearing Converse for years, and I love the clean look and light weight of these shoes. They’re super comfortable, affordable, and I usually take a black pair whenever I travel because they’re so versatile. Highly recommend (oh, and they’re Canadian – go Canada!).
Patagonia, or Patagucci as some like to call it, makes good stuff. I typically buy technical jackets/garments from them for camping and hiking, but a wetsuit from them is likely in my future.
I don’t wear a suit often, but it does always feel good to dress up. Unsatisfied with my high-school-purchased suits a few years ago, I ended up learning a lot about men’s dresswear, and subsequently researching all kinds of custom tailors.
I ended up ordering from Black Lapel, (Indochino was a close second), and I’ve been very satisfied. Their shirt quality isn’t the highest, but I’ve now bought two dress shirts and a suit from them, and it would be very, very difficult for me to get a better fit. Be prepared to invest some time and money in the initial process (two shirts and a suit is basically the minimum, in my opinion), but once you’ve got it locked down, you’ll have a source of custom clothes at a much more reasonable price, and you’ll look awesome.
I wear these all summer (and much of spring/fall) long, with sneakers and boat shoes. They’re awesome. I’ve tried all the solutions for keeping your shoes smelling great, but ultimately these are the only thing that consistently works. I also find they tend to reduce the instances of blistering on long days, and it looks like you’re not wearing socks at all. Invest in 9 pairs and you won't regret it.
Speaking of trying all kinds of solutions – I’ve tried all sorts of waterproofing/salt protection methods with boots, and this is the only one that works. Montreal winters are particularly nasty, but properly applied, SnoSeal will keep your boots pristine.
One caveat: they will make the finish of your boots a little hazy. It’s not extreme, and I don’t find it affects how happy I am with the look of my winter cap-toe boots, but just be aware. For me, not having boots that are ruined with salt, and are extremely waterproof, more than makes up for it.
To properly apply, you do have to heat your boots quite a bit – I’d recommend putting them on a cookie tray and then in the oven, to prevent leaving oven rack marks on your boot soles (oops). Once they’re heated enough, the SnoSeal should melt right on.
I’ve owned a lot of sunglasses over the years, not really sure why, but I keep coming back to Ryders. They make some great-looking sunglasses for pretty cheap (<$100), which means I have no problem throwing them in my bag on long trips and not worrying too much about them.
I’ve owned Oakleys, Ray-bans, Kaenons, etc., and yes the optics on some are better – but not worrying about losing my $300 sunglasses while traveling is a nice luxury.
I’ll also give these ones a shoutout – bar down the best optics in sunglasses I’ve ever experienced. They’re made by some founders that used to work at Oakley, and specialize in sailing sunglasses, but you can get casual glasses now too, and their support is great. I’ve recommended pairs to lots of friends, and you’ll see all the pros wearing them sailing. Worth the expense.
Notable mention: Everlane
A friend recommended I check this company out (thanks Bea!), and while I haven’t had a chance yet, they do have some great looking stuff. They’re also dedicated to ethically produced clothing, which, after seeing a great talk on the topic at CUSP, I’m also definitely more interested in.
What other brands do you buy from/like? What specific products? Let me know in the comments!