Suggestions for durable colthing
September 3, 2009 9:35 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for quality, durable mens clothing, what are your recommendations?

It could be dress wear, working clothes, shoes, sportswear; I want to buy those pieces of clothing that you pay 2 times the price but still looks fine after 10 years.

For example, I’ve been dissatisfied by Banana republic but satisfied by the quality of Patagonia clothing and I want that durability across my wardrobe.
posted by racingjs to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jdroth at 9:58 AM on September 3, 2009

Duluth Trading Company sells work and semi-casual clothing of exceptional quality.
posted by Danf at 9:58 AM on September 3, 2009

When I used to work in forestry, Carhartt became something of a religion.
posted by 256 at 10:14 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nau. They haven't been around long enough for me to have ten year old stuff by them, but I've worn the hell out of their things and it holds up well. Very durable in my experience.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:16 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Carhatt Double Fronts are about as indestructible as I've ever found in a pair of pants. I know of people who've worn them thru motorcycle accidents, and begged the paramedics not to cut them off so they could keep wearing them. I wear mine to work (at a white collar job) constantly, and they're the only pants I don't feel bad about not changing out of once I get home and start puttering around the car or yard. I've heard good things about Duluth's Fire Hose pants, but haven't tried them out yet. For basic jeans, you can't beat APC jeans for the price. Mine are over two years old and still gunning along fine. Not a seam out of line.

Frye boots are as good as Doc Marten's used to be (if not better). And Doc Marten's is admitting they're not as good as they used to be by introducing their classic in a "Made in England" style and a "lifetime guarantee" style ( haven't gotten either yet. I've owned two pairs of Red Wing boots that lasted nearly forever. Vasque hiking boots used to be amazingly over made, but I just bought a new pair two years ago, and while they're still good, I don't feel like they're quite as solid as they used to be (but I've worn them for nearly three years now so who am I complain?)

As far as outer wear, try and find old (pre-1990 or whenever it was they quit selling sportswear) Eddie Bauer stuff on ebay, it refuses to die. My dad's 25 year old EB parka still looks great and hasn't so much as lost a button. Belstaff Trialmaster and Barbour International jackets are known among motorcyclists as being indestructible, and timelessly stylish. You can't go wrong with a wool US Navy peacoat either. Other manufactures to note are the LL Bean barn coat, Cabela's fishing shirts and also REI's store brand outerwear.

As far as bags and luggage go, I have ten years of travel (via airplane, motorcycle, car and foot) on my Timbuk2 messenger bag and it's indestructible. Yes, they have hipster cache now, but the made in San Francisco bags refuse to die.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:03 AM on September 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Genuine shell cordovan dress shoes by Alden or Allen Edmond will last you 10-15 years.

(Cordovan is a special type of leather sourced from a horse's ass.)
posted by chalbe at 12:07 PM on September 3, 2009

They are cheap, and may or may not look good depending on your tastes, but you can't beat Wrangler jeans for durability. I've got pairs that are 5+ years old that are in better shape than my 1 year old Levi's. There was actually a durability test* in a RIDE (motorcycle) magazine a few years ago, that tested the durability of a dozen or so brands of jeans and Wranglers stood up the best by far. I don't remember about many others, but Levi's were middle of the pack and Calvin Klein were the worst.

* The test was to see if any were strong enough to provide protection against road rash and the result was a resounding no, even for Wranglers.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2009

Filson, Carhartt, Arborwear, Barbour, Mountain Khakis, Red Wing, Frye, Danner. The world's various militaries make some really durable stuff, too.

Broadly speaking, outdoor clothing, especially the stuff aimed at working people, lasts much longer than... indoor clothing? Fashion clothing? Whatever you'd call it.
posted by box at 12:27 PM on September 3, 2009

Again with the Filson! Also, Akrubra felt hats. And I have a heavy wool coat from Johnson Woolen Mills that I expect to outlast my own hide.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:53 PM on September 3, 2009

And box, aren't some militaries buys COTS products, or at least contracting them out, these days?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:55 PM on September 3, 2009

Seconding Carhartt! I live in Carhartts.
posted by gregr at 1:55 PM on September 3, 2009

Blue in Green Soho or Self Edge sell some incredibly durable Japanese raw denim. $300 or so but they'll last you for years--way more than Gap/Express/Levis and they'll fit better too.

Just remember: they're raw denim, so try not to wash them every time you do laundry.
posted by achompas at 2:07 PM on September 3, 2009

I've been very happy with LL Bean clothing over the years.
posted by easilyamused at 2:14 PM on September 3, 2009

posted by Seamus at 2:46 PM on September 3, 2009

I'll specifically second the Carhartt Double Fronts. Really tough work pants.
posted by 6550 at 4:05 PM on September 3, 2009

I've recently been on a kick for "authentic clothing." I like the web site "A Continuous Lean" and the side bar linked blogs might lead you somewhere. On this website, there are recommendations for small chains and local shops that sell traditional durable men's clothes, which certainly cost double their less-functional equivalent elsewhere.
posted by ohshenandoah at 5:18 PM on September 3, 2009

Walker shoes from Whites Boots & Shoes, and pants from 511 tactical clothing. I've worn and had great success with Carhart and Filson clothing too.
posted by X4ster at 7:26 PM on September 3, 2009

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