In an age of smartphones, year-round discounts and aggressive email marketing, it’s tempting to rely on easy wins that land in your inbox daily to stock your wardrobe. But what’s special about getting 50 per cent off the same nylon bomber you’ll spot another hundred blokes in come the weekend?

Indeed, there’s a certain smugness to be gleaned from finding and owning something none of your peers have managed to pin down. And there’s less chance of someone jacking your look, too.

So, for 2016 style that’s unique, not ubiquitous, these are the 10 underdogs to champion.

1. Several

Founded by Graeme Fidler – who’s held posts including Head of Menswear Design at Aquascutum and most recently Creative Director of Bally – British brand Several brings to bear all its founder has learnt over his years creating clothing for men.

“Modernity, detail and soul are the cornerstones of the clothing that we create,” says Fidler. Which translates as classic menswear staples – such as pea coats, button-down shirts and premium Scottish knitwear – given contemporary updates.


Made in Scotland from 100 per cent Shetland wool, this bold turquoise knit encapsulates the heart and soul of Several’s design ethos.

Pull it on with a pair of dark denim and layer under a Harrington jacket for a mod-inspired look that’s both modern and minimal effort.

Alternative Pieces

  • Several Midnight-blue Grove Wool And Silk-blend Blazer
  • Several Lorne Slim-fit Wool-blend Coat
  • Several Kilton Houndstooth Wool-blend Jacket
  • Several Braygate Slim-fit Checked Cotton Shirt
  • Several Ribbed Wool Rollneck Sweater
  • Several Arnold Slim-fit Stretch-cotton Trousers

2. Letasca

The brainchild of design duo Elbio Bonsaglio and Edoardo Giaroli, Milan-born Letasca’s form-meets-function offering takes its cues from one (unlikely) starting point: the bulletproof vest. Which is by all accounts a distinctly more modern take on military than your olive drab parka.

Although they’ve very recently expanded into sweats, tees and outerwear, what you’re really after here is the piece that’s made Letasca mates with both Bieber and Juventus’ Paul Pogba: the multi-pocketed vest. Each comes equipped with custom pockets designed to snugly fit essentials like your smartphone, tablet, sunglasses, and even a laptop at the back. Making you a more stylish version of The Terminator.


Crafted from grey mélange neoprene and camo nylon, the Sport Vest comes kitted out with the smart pockets mentioned above. What’s more, it’s reversible, so your cost-per-wear comes crashing right down.

Strap it on over a waffle knit long-sleeved tee or try it under an overcoat to nail AW15 layering.

Alternative Pieces

  • Letasca Neoprene Sweatshirt
  • Letasca Woven Strap Sweatshirt
  • Letasca Cross Detail Bomber Jacket
  • Letasca Chicago Print T-shirt
  • Letasca Hong Kong Print T-shirt
  • Letasca New York Print T-shirt

3. W.R.K.

Born out of founder Matteo Gottardi’s belief that it’s life, not clothes, that makes the man, W.R.K., or ‘Work Rest Karma’, produces functional pieces designed with a clear purpose in mind.

Established in 2011, the New York-based brand consistently taps both of menswear’s key reference points – the military and workwear – to produce a tight edit of essentials for your downtime, as well as getting dressed up.


Looking to master casual Friday come 2016? Team this indigo-dyed shirt with a knitted tie, chinos and a pair of suede brogues or Derby shoes for a considered alternative to the usual striped button-down and jeans.

Alternative Pieces

  • Denali Vest
  • Frontier Coat
  • Juneau Jacket
  • Healy Plaid Shirt
  • Solid Reworked
  • Schyler Crewneck

4. Carlos Campos

Honduras-born Carlos Campos was raised with a deep appreciation for how clothing can transform the male form. Which is hardly surprising for the son of a tailor.

Priding himself on all-American classics with a “Latin twist”, the New York-based designer has made his name on shaking up classic tailoring and shirting through injections of striking hues and geometric colour blocks.


The bold blocking of blues in this woven dress shirt is enough of a statement in itself, so steer understated down below with a pair of stone or navy trousers.

Step it up with suede brogues and a blazer or go low-key with a wool bomber and some white leather sneakers.

Alternative Pieces

  • Hybrid Raglan Bomber Coat
  • Double Breasted Tailored Blazer
  • Neoprene/velvet Bomber Jacket
  • Herringbone Sweatshirt With Black Graphic Print
  • Long Sleeve Standard Woven Shirt
  • Raglan Sleeve Color-block Dress Shirt

5. James Tanner

The selection of genuinely stylish men’s jewellery on the market is often scant. Most of it is either too gaudy or looks like it’s been surreptitiously swiped from your other half.

Thankfully, there’s James Tanner. “I founded the brand with the intention of providing an elegant alternative to much of the men’s jewellery on the market,” says Tanner, whose Art Deco-inspired rings, bracelets and necklaces offer the ideal mix of quality, affordability and wearability.

“Each piece is handmade, from initial models to finishing to hallmarking – with no compromise on cost [of manufacturing] or quality.”


Tanner’s accessories’ cool simplicity makes them ideal for most pared-back casual looks. But remember to slip this ring off if you’re en route to an office that’s more corporate banking than creative services.

Alternative Pieces

  • Jt004
  • Jt005
  • Jt006
  • Jt007
  • Jt008
  • Jt009

6. Astorflex

Originally founded in the 19th century, Italian shoemaker Astorflex isn’t exactly new blood. But the label has had something of an overhaul in recent years, returning to market with an all-new sustainable approach to their exceptionally well-crafted desert boots.

Each pair of these Italianate beauties is constructed using vegetable-tanned leathers, water-based colours, non-solvent glues and natural rubber soles. Which is molto benne, to be fair.


These supremely soft-to-the-touch suede boots’ rich shade of whisky is best complemented by a lighter wash blue jean. Finish off with an Oxford shirt and shawl cardigan and you’ll pass the pub-safe test no problem.

Alternative Pieces

  • Astorflex Greenflex Boot
  • Astorflex Greenflex Boot
  • Astorflex Greenflex Boot
  • Astorflex Countryflex Boot
  • Astorflex Countryflex Boot
  • Astorflex Countryflex Boot

7. Zespa

Launched in 2009, high-end French sneaker label Zespa excels in combining A-grade materials with the cool, considered and contemporary aesthetic the French do so well.

Low in profile and rendered in luxurious leathers, Zespa’s shoes are every bit as beautiful as a pair of handmade brogues. Still not convinced you can team trainers with tailoring? These should change your mind.


Carefully constructed from premium grey suede, these ZSP4s feature a full leather sockliner and are finished with gold foil detailing to the heel tab and tongue. High-low never looked so good.

Alternative Pieces

  • Zespa Zsp4 Sneaker
  • Zespa Zsp4 Sneaker
  • Zespa Zsp4 Sneaker
  • Zespa Zsp2 Sneaker
  • Zespa Zsp2 Sneaker
  • Zespa Zsp5b Sneaker

8. The Workers Club

You might not think a husband-and-wife team based in rural Oxfordshire could be behind one of our favourite contemporary menswear brands. But you’d be wrong.

“The heart of our brand ethos is in the belief that men should buy less, but buy better,” says Charlotte Cameron, co-founder of The Workers Club. “With this in mind, we design pieces that we consider to be future classics.”


Breathable and water-repellent, this unlined cotton-canvas jacket is made for layering your way through changeable British weather. Wear it with a chunky roll neck, selvedge denim and hiking boots for cold spells, and swap out for a sweatshirt and sneakers once the thaw comes.

Alternative Pieces

  • The Workers Club Reversible Cotton Drill-trimmed Quilted Down Bomber Jacket
  • The Workers Club Hooded Cotton-canvas Jacket
  • The Workers Club Merino Wool Sweater
  • The Workers Club Checked Wool Gilet
  • The Workers Club Merino Wool Scarf
  • The Workers Club Marled Merino Wool-blend Socks

9. Tourne De Transmission

Planning on pushing the envelope this year? Then look to British label Tourne de Transmission’s unique blend of streetwear and Damir Doma-esque draping.

“Most of my inspiration comes from looking east; studying different clothing traditions and silhouettes, and then considering how I can fuse those influences with western dressing,” says Graeme Gaughan, Tourne de Transmission co-founder and creative director.


The 19th century ‘Ikkat’ dying technique applied to the yarns of this pant’s fabric before they’re woven delivers a truly unique finish. So, not only will they look good, you’ll have something to talk about too.

Alternative Pieces

  • Ozzy Suede Jacket
  • Psycho Zipper Shirt
  • Ruin Zip Thru Sweat
  • Yamdrok Granddad Shirt
  • Vacant Tailored Baseball Top
  • Yutok Ikkat Baseball Sweater

10. Atelier De L’Armée

Partners in both life and work, Amsterdam-based bag designers Elza Wandler and Joost Doeswijk are the brains behind this new accessories brand.

“[Before founding Atelier de l’Armée] I worked as a merchandiser with a love of vintage,” says Doeswijk. “And Elza was a designer, so our inspiration points met somewhere in the middle. We believe that a bag, a watch and a good pair of shoes are the key components to complete an outfit.”


Check the bag box at least with this military grade cotton-canvas and leather backpack. Finished with flashes of bright blue panelling, it’s long-lasting and head-turning in equal measures.

Alternative Pieces

  • Atelier De Larmee Leather-trimmed Cotton-canvas Backpack
  • Atelier De Larmee Leather-trimmed Cotton-canvas Backpack
  • Atelier De Larmee Leather-trimmed Cotton-canvas Backpack
  • Atelier De Larmee Leather Laptop Case
  • Atelier De Larmee Camouflage-print Leather-trimmed Canvas Briefcase
  • Atelier De Larmee Flight Ii Leather Key Fob

Final Word

Who are your new favourites in menswear? Are there any other new kids on the block we should know about?

Big them up below.