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You want the best. And heck, you deserve the best. But there’s a lot of choice out there, and sometimes the best is hard to find. Fortunately, we know where to find it. Every week, the Esquire editors reveal their favourite brands, from under-the-radar steals to luxury loves, so you can invest in the best clothes, watches and accessories that money can buy.
This week, the hat that even non-hat people can wear: the humble cap.
Aimé Leon Dore
Murray Clark, Digital Style Editor
“Aimé Leon Dore is the best summer brand for this very summer, in my humble opinion. Yes, it’s a label on the incline. But it’s much more than mere hype. The New York-based outlet almost single-handedly did yachty without being too yachty; you want to be son of the hedge fund manager chaining Sobranies at the back of the yacht, not the hedge fund manager himself.”
“That whole aesthetic is Cristal clear in this striped T-shirt. Colourful, preppy, and a punch above shapeless salmon polo shirts and the men called Jenkins who fill them. I’ll see you on the lifeboats, anyway. Bring a light.”
Charlie Teasdale, Style Director
“Of all the T-shirts in my wardrobe, my go-to is always a plain Sunspel crew neck in Sea Island cotton. It’s been a couple of years of fairly heavy use, but it’s held its shape through every late night and wash cycle. It fits in all the right places, too. And it’s thin, so you don’t get that bunched-up feeling you get with thicker cottons. T-shirt aficionados will be well-aware of Sunspel’s pedigree.
“The brand was established in Nottingham in 1860, and over the years the product range has expanded to include outerwear, shoes, knitwear and shirting. But after 150 years the T-shirts might just be the best thing at Sunspel.”
Dan Choppen, Fashion Assistant
“Deep into lockdown, when cabin fever and hysterical new hobbies were rife, I explored the psychedelic realm of tie-dye, a staple for the summer months. My first attempts were enjoyable, but unsuccessful. So, instead of dying through all my white clothing, I decided to leave it to the pros.
“Story MFG are a Brighton-based husband and wife duo, Saeed and Katy, that co-opt the lost art of ancient fabrication and dying methods. The result? Sustainable, stylish clothing with an activist ethos that aim to highlight the uglier sides of fashion.”
Finlay Renwick, Deputy Style Editor
“Until recently I had been searching for the platonic ideal of a summer T-shirt. It needed to be sturdy, but not heavy. Have a fit that was relaxed and loose, but not sloppy. A crew neck that was neither drooping nor constrictive. I wanted it to have some colour, but not be one of those pieces that is so loud it doesn’t go with anything. It also couldn’t be stupidly expensive. T-shirts are easily ruined, by washes and wear and errant blobs of ketchup, so choose accordingly.
“Picky? What are you on about? Finally, after much research and deliberation I think I’ve found it, the Armor-Lux crew. It is boxy and soft and French, with a wonderful neckline and a Breton stripe that isn’t too ‘high street.’ I’ve now got three in natural & Quimper blue and green and natural stripe and just blue. They’re good with shorts, good tucked in, good left to just hang; good when you’re doing a little Bordeaux roleplay in your back garden. The perfect summer T-shirt.”
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