Never before has there been so much choice for dedicated followers of men’s fashion.

Have you noticed how much better men are looking these days? More put together; more groomed; more stylish. The male of the species taking care of its appearance is definitely a thing.

From chic barbershops, to cool cosmetic brands, to a plethora of new labels, the retail industry is shining its light on the guys right now. Indeed – whether you like it or not – researchers predict that the men’s clothing sector will outperform the women’s by 2020.

So, all you men out there, soon it will not be OK to loaf about in the tracksuit bottoms you’ve had since university. One pair of shoes for work and one for play will not be enough. And, yes, even you must moisturize. If you want to keep up with Mr Jones, you are going to have to ramp up your sartorial efforts – sharpish.

Here are the sites that will put extra oomph into any man’s wardrobe.

Mr Porter


Launched in 2011 and now the undisputed king of menswear sites, Mr Porter is a pleasure to peruse. New products – including the sharpest of clothes, shoes and accessories from over 500 hot designers – are added to the award-winning platform three times a week. An all-encompassing lifestyle destination, Mr Porter also offers inspirational editorial covering everything from the best-dressed men of 2019 to which man bag to buy now.

Sir Plus


This sustainable British menswear brand has gone from strength to strength since it launched with boxer shorts in 2010. Using surplus fabric where possible, its Nehru jackets, granddad shirts and dressing gowns are fresh, cool and hard to resist.

Founder Henry Hales describes the brand’s genesis thus: “One day I was walking along Jermyn Street and noticed that all the shirt-makers had scraps of material under their tables.

“I asked a few people in the business about this and realised that I could use these bits of surplus fabric to make my boxer shorts.

“I sold the first few on Spitalfields Market, and before long managed to get a pitch on Portobello, which is where people really started to pay attention to what I was doing.”

The Idle Man

Valuing style over fashion, The Idle Man’s mission is to offer in one place the best menswear money can buy. After a decade working in men’s fashion, founder Oliver Tezcan left his job at ASOS to branch out on his own. The resulting site only sells clothes that the team, based in Shoreditch, would wear themselves. The vibe is youthful but elegant, and the prices – especially for the own-brand items – are extraordinarily reasonable. The Idle Man Puffer Jacket in Black is as nice as any we’ve seen and retails at just £80.

You Must Create


This one is trendy but somehow timeless, too. Set up in 1995 as a unisex brand, its menswear is eye-catching. The founders describe the clothes they sell as “directional but highly wearable… pieces to stand the test of time.” Think stripy crew-neck jumpers, chunky baseball cardigans and super funky footwear.

The Hambledon


The website of this charming independent lifestyle store in Winchester feeds perfectly into the psyche of the male shopper. The relatively small selection of men’s hoodies, t-shirts, shorts, trainers, shirts and jumpers (as well as baseball caps and tote bags) enables an easy decision-making process. By its own admission, The Hambledon is a department store that just sells the good stuff. As a result, you can trust that each item is totally on point – and no man can really get it wrong here.

Beaufort & Blake


Premium fabrics, cool prints and dedication to the final details are the watchwords of this posh young British brand. The founders conceived the idea in a secluded Cotswold pub and started by selling dress shirts out of the back of a Land Rover in 2013. Soon, the upmarket gentleman’s outfitters, Cordings of Piccadilly, wanted to collaborate with them. Today, via their clean-cut website, they sell scores of casual shirts, swimming trunks, gilets and seriously nice jumpers.

Couverture & the Garbstore


Championing emerging brands as well as its eponymous label, this site sells eclectic threads that stand out from the crowd. With elements of French, British and Japanese design, the contemporary men’s clothing references the past with a modern edge. Couverture & the Garbstore founders, the husband and wife duo, Emily Dyson (who is the daughter of the inventor, James Dyson) and Ian Paley, have their fingers firmly on fashion’s pulse.

Liberty


You may not think of the iconic London department store as a natural destination for stylish menswear – but check it out this instant. This curation of men’s clothing, grooming things and accessories is beautifully thought through. We say: do not miss the excellent sunglasses selection. Meanwhile, GQ magazine describes Liberty’s menswear section as “a must-visit for any man who is serious about how he looks”.

J Crew


J Crew menswear is for the man who reminisces fondly about the days when his mother dressed him head to toe in Gap. Think chinos, New Balance trainers and the softest button-down shirts. J Crew has nailed the classic-pieces-in-covetable-colours brief. Every chap needs a pair of their stretch shorts in subtle pink. Plus, here is a happy bonus for the dudes: several customers claim that J Crew menswear is more favourably priced than its womenswear.

Monocle


Everything associated with the global media brand, Monocle, is stylish and tasteful. Pricey it may be, but the online shop carries all that the discerning man about town could need. We love the Boston weekend bags, the all-rounder jacket and the zesty Alpine shampoo. Their beautifully packaged scents, produced in collaboration with Comme des Garcons, will turn the most puritanical man into a regular shopaholic, too.

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Christopher Ward

April 2019