Introduction

When it comes to personal style, us Brits have a rich heritage that includes high quality craftsmanship and classic design. Kudos to you, kudos to us and kudos to your grandparents and great grandparents: our nation is a world leader in men’s fashion (minus the Burberry cap phenomenon, but the less said about that the better).

We know what to buy and we know our clothing – but what of other nations I hear you cry? Menswear is undeniably one of the fastest growing and biggest sectors of the fashion industry, and quality apparel is a universal language.

Here at FashionBeans, we’re always on the lookout for new inspiration and retail avenues to keep us on our sartorial toes. Following on from our previous All-American Style Inspiration article, we again look towards the land of the Star-Spangled Banner to bring you a rundown of five American brands you should consider adding to your wardrobe this season.

However, with any style-conscious gent already aware of the appeal of Levi’s denim or a pair of New Balance trainers, we have tried to focus our attention on slightly less well-known or up-and-coming brands today…

Number 1: J.Crew

My favourite label from across the pond, J.Crew has garnered a worldwide following with everyone from Jay Leno to the Obamas seen sporting the brand – and if it’s good enough for Michelle and Barack, it most certainly is for me.

Fresh to the UK, with three new London stores set to open before the end of 2013, J. Crew have tapped into east coast Ivy League culture without reverting to overt branding or following of-the-moment trends. Instead, we’re presented with a range of solid and colourful basics that can help you build a successful capsule wardrobe that works all year round.

Sadly, our own British prep style has been largely replaced by the ‘rah’ movement – flip-flops, Jack Wills tracksuit bottoms, lots of pouting and nodding. You know the look, and there’s a dire need for a cure.

Inject a little sartorial refinement and expertise back into the scholastic aesthetic (we started Oxbridge after all) with these quality, affordable pieces. The epitome of classic and timeless.

Renowned For: Contemporary wardrobe staples. Classics with a twist.
See More: Autumn/Winter 2013 Lookbook | Spring/Summer 2014 Lookbook
Official Website: www.jcrew.com

Example Lookbook

J. Crew Menswear Lookbooks

Key Pieces
  • Lambswool Shawl-collar Elbow-patch SweaterLambswool Shawl-collar Elbow-patch Sweater
  • Ludlow Fielding Suit Jacket In Solid English WoolLudlow Fielding Suit Jacket In Solid English Wool
  • Ludlow Fielding Sportcoat In Birds-eye English WoolLudlow Fielding Sportcoat In Birds-eye English Wool
  • Chunky Cotton Cable SweaterChunky Cotton Cable Sweater
  • Dotted Wool-silk ScarfDotted Wool-silk Scarf
  • Italian Wool Pocket Square In Navy Medallion PrintItalian Wool Pocket Square In Navy Medallion Print
  • J.crew Cotton-jersey Crew Neck T-shirtJ.crew Cotton-jersey Crew Neck T-shirt
  • J.crew Cotton-chambray ShirtJ.crew Cotton-chambray Shirt
  • J.crew Striped Knitted Cotton SweaterJ.crew Striped Knitted Cotton Sweater
  • J.crew 484 Slim-fit Selvedge Denim JeansJ.crew 484 Slim-fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
  • J.crew Wallace & Barnes Cotton-twill Bomber JacketJ.crew Wallace & Barnes Cotton-twill Bomber Jacket
  • J.crew Abingdon Waxed Cotton-canvas And Leather Holdall BagJ.crew Abingdon Waxed Cotton-canvas And Leather Holdall Bag
Number 2: Schott

After hitting the century anniversary mark this summer, Schott NYC is an all-round, all-American brand that has grown over a hundred years.

Dressing everyone from James Dean to Blondie, this label often falls under the UK radar but one can predict that change is imminent. The leather biker jacket (an iconic piece of true Americana style) was revolutionised by these guys and kick starting a timeless trend is probably one of the most difficult things for a fashion brand to pull off.

So, if you are in the market for your first leather or an on trend biker jacket, Schott should be your first port of call. Premium materials, classic design and a genuine sense of authenticity make their selection of outerwear a real investment that will last you for years to come, and never go out of style (see: Marlon Brando in The Wild One wearing his Schott Perfecto jacket).

New York recklessness has always been on trend and there’s no more emblematic alternative than Schott.

Renowned For: Leather jackets and rugged, durable outerwear.
Official Website: www.schottnyc.com/

Example Lookbook

Schott Men's Lookbook

Key Pieces
  • Schott Nyc 100th Anniversary Camel Leather JacketSchott Nyc 100th Anniversary Camel Leather Jacket
  • Schott Nyc Brown Sheepskin Bomber JacketSchott Nyc Brown Sheepskin Bomber Jacket
  • Schott Nyc Black Biker JacketSchott Nyc Black Biker Jacket
  • Schott Nyc Army – Cargo Trousers – BlackSchott Nyc Army - Cargo Trousers - Black
  • Schott Nyc 100th Anniversary Burgundy Reefer JacketSchott Nyc 100th Anniversary Burgundy Reefer Jacket
  • Schott Nyc Faded Brown Leather JacketSchott Nyc Faded Brown Leather Jacket
  • Schott Nyc Plshawl – Cardigan – GreySchott Nyc Plshawl - Cardigan - Grey
  • Schott Nyc Summer Jacket – BeigeSchott Nyc Summer Jacket - Beige
  • Schott Nyc Score – Lace-up Boots – BrownSchott Nyc Score - Lace-up Boots - Brown
  • Schott Nyc Pl Shelter – Cardigan – BlackSchott Nyc Pl Shelter - Cardigan - Black
  • Schott Nyc Bombers – Light Jacket – BlackSchott Nyc Bombers - Light Jacket - Black
  • Schott Nyc Leather Jacket – BrownSchott Nyc Leather Jacket - Brown
Number 3: Carhartt

Kings of classic workerwear, Carhartt have been granting that coveted hunter-gatherer look ever since 1889. And, in keeping with their blue collar roots, they still sponsor American rodeos and Future Farmers Of America events. Agricultural and on point – who’ve had thought it?

Crops aside, the yearly hunt for the perfect winter coat is like searching for the Golden Fleece itself, and it’s often hard to build a seasonal wardrobe that’s both stylish AND functional. Well, this check-friendly heavyweight has been producing practical, heritage over layers for decades, and I for one couldn’t recommend them more.

Renowned For: Workerwear jackets, flannel shirts and durable denims.
Official Website: www.carhartt.com

Example Lookbook

Carhartt Men's Lookbooks

Key Pieces
  • Carhartt Shirt Sims Check Button DownCarhartt Shirt Sims Check Button Down
  • Carhartt Coat Core Worker CanvasCarhartt Coat Core Worker Canvas
  • Carhartt Sheffield Deck Jacket In BlackCarhartt Sheffield Deck Jacket In Black
  • Carhartt town Long Sleeved ShirtCarhartt town Long Sleeved Shirt
  • Carhartt Trojan T-shirtCarhartt Trojan T-shirt
  • Carhartt Anchorage ParkaCarhartt Anchorage Parka
  • Carhartt College Script SweatshirtCarhartt College Script Sweatshirt
  • Carhartt Douglas Flannel Shirt In NavyCarhartt Douglas Flannel Shirt In Navy
  • Carhartt Skill Pant – LongCarhartt Skill Pant - Long
  • Carhartt Jeans Klondike Slim Fit OverdyeCarhartt Jeans Klondike Slim Fit Overdye
  • Carhartt Miller Backpack In TanCarhartt Miller Backpack In Tan
  • Carhartt x Starter Logo Snapback CapCarhartt x Starter Logo Snapback Cap
Number 4: Band of Outsiders

With a client base that includes Frank Ocean, Max Minghella and Josh Brolin, Band of Outsiders are the rising stars of the American apparel market.

Premium in price but high in quality, every single piece has a sense of effortlessness – there’s nothing too try hard about a Band of Outsiders shirt. All the key aspects of US fashion – workerwear, varsity and sports luxe design – have been seamlessly fused and the result is an incredibly sharp line-up that would bolster any wardrobe.

Come on, guys have got to enjoy some luxury too right? If you’re more of an investment buyer than a trend purchaser, then this is most certainly the label for you.

Renowned For: Preppy classics with quirky design touches.
See More: Spring/Summer 2014 Lookbook
Official Website: www.bandofoutsiders.com

Example Lookbook

Band Of Outsiders Men's Lookbooks

Key Pieces
  • Band Of Outsiders Contrast-pocket Cotton-jersey T-shirtBand Of Outsiders Contrast-pocket Cotton-jersey T-shirt
  • Band Of Outsiders Contrast Striped Cotton T-shirtBand Of Outsiders Contrast Striped Cotton T-shirt
  • Band Of Outsiders Contrast-pocket Check Cotton ShirtBand Of Outsiders Contrast-pocket Check Cotton Shirt
  • Band Of Outsiders Map-print Cotton ShirtBand Of Outsiders Map-print Cotton Shirt
  • Band Of Outsiders Striped Loopback Cotton-jersey HoodieBand Of Outsiders Striped Loopback Cotton-jersey Hoodie
  • Band Of Outsiders Slim-fit Cotton-twill ChinosBand Of Outsiders Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chinos
  • Band Of Outsiders Madras Quilted Check Jacket 168380Band Of Outsiders Madras Quilted Check Jacket 168380
  • Band Of Outsiders Contrast Trim Cardigan 168507Band Of Outsiders Contrast Trim Cardigan 168507
  • Band Of Outsiders Hooded Cotton Jacket 168344Band Of Outsiders Hooded Cotton Jacket 168344
  • Band Of Outsiders Crew Neck Wool SweaterBand Of Outsiders Crew Neck Wool Sweater
  • Band Of Outsiders Flat Front Cotton Chinos 168430Band Of Outsiders Flat Front Cotton Chinos 168430
  • Band Of Outsiders Leather And Wool-blend Bomber JacketBand Of Outsiders Leather And Wool-blend Bomber Jacket
Number 5: Engineered Garments

As menswear progressed, we did the unthinkable: we embraced prints. We embraced patterns. We even embraced florals.

The men’s fashion eye is larger than ever in recent seasons and it’s brands like Engineered Garments that we owe thanks to. Unafraid of polka dots, botanics or colour, this tailored label embraces sartorial eccentricities whilst still maintaining a level of style – not an easy feat.

Too often, men can jump on a trend and end up looking clownish, yet it’s expertise from our stateside cousins that keep us in check. Be unafraid of a statement ensemble – we’re pushing menswear forward and it’s the everyday man (you and me) that help continue its development. Taking a risk with a fresh new label is always a plus.

New York idiosyncrasy has never looked so good.

Renowned For: Tailored statement pieces. Quirky prints and detailing. Experimental silhouettes.
See More: SS13 Collection Review | AW13 Advertising Campaign | AW13 Collection Review
Official Website: www.engineeredgarments.com

Example Lookbook

Engineered Garments Men's Lookbooks

Key Pieces
  • Engineered Garments Tab Collar Shirt Blue & Red Printed FloralEngineered Garments Tab Collar Shirt Blue & Red Printed Floral
  • Engineered Garments Beach Popover TricolourEngineered Garments Beach Popover Tricolour
  • Engineered Garments Baker Jacket Navy PatchworkEngineered Garments Baker Jacket Navy Patchwork
  • Engineered Garments Work ShirtEngineered Garments Work Shirt
  • Engineered Garments Type 5 Jean JacketEngineered Garments Type 5 Jean Jacket
  • Engineered Garments Bedford JacketEngineered Garments Bedford Jacket
  • 19th Century Bd Shirt Navy Printed Crest19th Century Bd Shirt Navy Printed Crest
  • Deck Jacket Olive Cotton / Wool SateenDeck Jacket Olive Cotton / Wool Sateen
  • Zip Hoody Grey MarlZip Hoody Grey Marl
  • Engineered Garments Coverall JacketEngineered Garments Coverall Jacket
  • Engineered Garments Cpo ShirtEngineered Garments Cpo Shirt
  • Engineered Garments Ldt Uniform JacketEngineered Garments Ldt Uniform Jacket
Final Word

Outside of capital cities, it’s so easy to get stuck on the weekend high street, sifting through monotonous regurgitations available en masse via The Only Way Is Essex.

Yet we have the gift of the internet to explore plenty of new sartorial avenues. The land of the American Dream may be responsible for the Kardashians, jarring politics and SPAM, but they’ve also given us Tom Ford, New York Fashion Week and the wonder that is the McDonald’s chicken nugget.

This autumn and winter, why not mix up your wardrobe with one of our five American brands mentioned above – because style innovation is always necessary.

Make sure you let us know your favourite American brands in the comments section. Extra points for up-and-comers…