It’s impossible to build something brilliant without first laying a solid foundation. That’s why a selection of high-quality essentials is such an integral part of any well-dressed man’s clothing collection. Simple pieces like T-shirts, polos, button-downs and knitwear set the framework for a well-crafted minimalist wardrobe, subtly elevating your looks while letting bolder, statement pieces take centre stage.
Nailing these essentials means buying right, and buying right means knowing where to spend your money. Lots of brands make essentials, but not all of them do it with the same refinement, attention to detail and commitment to quality as the ones you’ll find below.
These are the labels striving to take your wardrobe to the next level through the medium of those bread-and-butter pieces – the staple garments you can’t live without, executed with precision using premium materials and craftsmanship. In out opinion, they’re the bust luxury essentials brands in the world today.
Best For: Knitwear
A cashmere sweater is the definition of a premium essential. It’s versatile, completely timeless and oozes luxury. If you’re in the market for one, or anything made of cashmere for that matter, we’d urge you to take a look at Luca Faloni, an Italian brand that knows a thing or two about knitwear’s fanciest fabric.
Whether it’s a knitted polo, a chunky cardigan or a fine-gauge turtleneck, all of Luca Faloni’s garments are crafted in Italy using traditional techniques, and while prices are still unmistakeable premium, they’re much more affordable than those of some of the other big names in Italian knitwear.
Best For: Underwear
Dressing well doesn’t have to stop at the threshold of your home. We’re not saying you should be donning a tuxedo to watch Netflix, but investing in some luxurious loungewear can help take your downtime to the next level, and Swedish brand CDLP is well equipped to deliver the goods.
The label has carved out a niche for itself, bringing typically clean and minimalist Scandinavian design and applying it to everything from underwear to T-shirts.
Best For: Casual Pieces
Casual luxury is a peculiar concept, but if you want to know what it looks like, go and check out what James Perse has been doing for the past for the last 20 odd years. The American brand makes simple wardrobe staples that blend laid-back, off-duty looks with an air of indulgence that makes for some of the finest basics around.
To get a measure of the brand, we’d suggest checking out the T-shirts – they’re made in the USA from the best lightweight jersey cotton and have a well-earned reputation as some of the best tees in the game.
Best for: Resortwear
Vilebrequin has been producing luxury resortwear since 1971, and from the very beginning it’s always placed great emphasis on fabric and fit. Its shirts are made from the finest linen and cotton, while its swim shorts are crafted from recycled polyamide, which is treated to ensure faster drying.
The French brand has become renowned for its unique prints, which vary from artist designed patterns to its trademark turtle motifs, but whether you go for something loud or understated, you’ll struggle to find better-made swim shorts anywhere.
Best For: Workwear
Portugal-made brand ISTO is a relative newcomer to the menswear scene but already its making quite the name for itself thanks to its refreshingly stripped-back designs and conscious approach to fashion. It’s one of those brand’s you could conceivable stock your entire wardrobe with, offering everything from timeless outerwear and overshirts to denim and knitwear. What ties it all together is that everything is handmade in Portugal, right down to the labels and buttons.
Best For: Sleepwear
Derek Rose is another British brand specialising in making your evening routine as lavish as feasibly possible. For over a century, the label has been producing men’s clothing, focussing on the loungewear side of things since the early 2000s. Today, it still produces some staple day-to-day pieces like knitwear and sweatshirts, alongside luxurious pyjamas, dressing gowns and even swimwear.
Best For: Tees & Sweats
When it comes to British basics, there’s no better brand than Sunspel. The brand makes everything from sweatshirts to socks, but it’s the T-shirts that really steal the show. Yes, they’re at the top end of the price scale, but they’re also the best in the game, boasting luxuriously soft cotton, a flawless fit and perfect proportions.
The hunt for the perfect plain tee can feel eternal, that is until you finally and inevitably end up settling on one of Sunspel’s.
Best For: Legwear
You can always count on the Italians when it comes to luxury essentials, and Incotex is further proof of that. The brand specialises in premium legwear – its chinos in particular are some of the best you can buy.
The brand works with beautiful Italian fabrics to make exceptional trousers that do it all. It also applies the same concept to shorts, so that your legs can look the part in the warmer months too.
Best For: Sportswear
Canada’s Reigning Champ has been at the forefront of the athleisure movement since before there was even a name for it. It’s one of the few brands in the world that has its own cut-and-sew factory, and the design knowhow of its founders has attracted collaborations with the likes of New Era, Adidas, Asics and Converse.
Best For: High-End Materials
Loro Piana is probably the biggest name there is when it comes to luxury materials. The historic brand is the largest processor of cashmere on the planet, importing exotic yarn from all over the world and supplying garments to some of the most esteemed fashion houses in existence.
In spite of all this, it still has time to produce its own line of indulgent knitwear and accessories, including staple items like cashmere sweaters and scarves.