8 Menswear Brands To Get You Off The High Street

Time to start stepping up your wardrobe game

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There comes a time in every man's life when he must step up his wardrobe game. 

That's not to say you need to leave the accessible high street stores behind - they're still fantastic for basics and for style on a budget - but you're earning good money now, and you want to start shopping for investment pieces and developing your own sense of style. 

There's a bevvy of great brands that sit at that newly-accessible price point, and we've pulled together key pieces from eight of the best.

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Oliver Spencer

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Much loved for the amazing quality and fit of his clothing, Oliver Spencer started out in tailoring (you may know his other, much more formal brand, Favourbrook), and that paramount concern for cut is heavily present in is collections. SS16 is bohemian, billowy and warm in tone – the kind of thing Mick Jagger might have worn in his youth. A perennially cool and wearable brand, Oliver's was the first name on the list for this article.

Stripe Cotton T-shirt, £65

Folk

One of my favourite brands, Folk takes wardrobe staples, simplifies them and makes them interesting. Tailoring, for example, is invariably soft and unstructured, shirting is cut in fabrics with subtle weaves and patterns (few brands do something short sleeved and camp collared better) and the knitwear is designed with fit and drape at the fore. Visit either of the Soho or Lamb's Conduit Street stores to get the full Folk experience, which involves carefully chosen art, furniture, homewares, magazines and more. Just loads of cool stuff, really.

Birdseye Cotton and Linen Blend Blazer, £350

Wax London

A very new brand at the lower end of this higher price bracket, Wax London's SS16 collection is its first, but it's very promising, and I've already seen AW16, which is better still. The focus is on fabric, and founders Tom and Rich try to use British factories where possible, so much of the collection is made in Leytonstone, East London. It costs more, but it yields a better product, which speaks volumes about what Wax London is all about.

Otley Workwear Jacket, £100

APC

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A near constant source of luxy staples that you can't not want to wear. Seriously, stop into the store on Lexington Street and you'll be smitten. You buy APC if your style is about understatement, comfort and ease. You know that annoying guy who wears jeans, T-shirt and a sweater and looks better than everyone else? Yeah, he's wearing APC.

Crew neck jersey sweater, £90

Private White VC

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Likely to be the kind of brand Wax London aspires to be, Private White VC makes everything in its Manchester factory from UK-sourced fabrics. The aesthetic is military inspired, but there's elements of work wear in there too, and everything feels incredibly sturdy. It's at the upper end of the price scale, but that's down to the quality and production. Dip your toe with a shirt and see if anything else takes your fancy (it will).

Linen collarless shirt, £165

Levi's Vintage

You know Levi's - you probably have at least one pair of their jeans - but you might not know Levi's Vintage, one of the iconic brand's spin-off lines. This is where you get the pieces inspired by the brand's incredible heritage, that are cut from premium fabrics and designed with a little more finesse. This blue and white sweater is fantastic, but you should check out the full SS16 collection, which is inspired by Fifties Americana.

Striped jersey sweater, £120

Wood Wood

A Copenhagen brand that is now making much deserved waves throughout the fashion world, Wood Wood is cool. Youthful, sportswear-y and occasionally loud, it's cut slim (as is most cool Nordic clothing…), and designed to be layered up. If you want to make a real statement, invest in this shirt, and never look back.

Printed shirt, £100

YMC

Celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, YMC is a joyfully permanent fixture of the British menswear industry. Always looking to subvert traditions, YMC pieces are never straightforward. An extra pleat here, a cheeky drawstring there, maybe a few missing collars, and it all combines in youthful, slouchy abandon. I chatted to founder and creative director Fraser Moss last year and he said he was into baseball collars, and that he'd be using them more and more. Something he's done to great effect.

Baseball collar shirt, £125

What do you think?

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