The 25 Best Clothing Brands to Shop for Basics During Quar (and Whatever Comes After)

Ronald A. Hurley

No matter your style preferences, quarantine has probably made you reconsider the best clothing brands when it comes to basics like sweats and tees (turns out the best sweats aren’t the stretched out joints you’ve had since college). Perhaps quar has also brought out your wildest fashion instincts and most radical forms of self expression (if so, that’s a beautiful thing). But it has certainly made you realize—damn—your high school basketball shorts are just not going to get you through another season of staying in. These 25 brands can definitely help, and maybe even enhance your more daring style adventures too. That’s the beauty of the best clothing brands for basics; like quarantine, they’re entirely what you make of them. 

Cult-Loved Tees

Buck Mason

Buck Mason’s tees made our Best White T-Shirt, Best Black T-Shirt , and Best Bright Color T-Shirts lists. There’s a cut, weight, price trifecta happening here that is just magic. 

Buck Mason slub classic pocket tee

$40.00, Buck Mason

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Buck Mason slub classic tee

$35.00, Buck Mason

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Jungmaven

If you like your T-shirts soft, faded, with the air of a rare vintage-store grail, Jungmaven’s hemp tees will be your new addiction. Unsurprisingly. the Cali brand also excels in the art of tie dye. 

Jungmaven Jung tee

$48.00, Jungmaven

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Jungmaven 100% hemp pocket tee

$96.00, Jungmaven

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Comfort Colors

Part of the Gildan family, Comfort Colors tees are softer than a Drake ballad and come in dozens of vaguely ’90s, garment-dyed hues, like chambray, charcoal, and faded purple. 

Comfort Colors pocket tee

$11.00, Amazon

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Comfort Colors pocket tee

$11.00, Amazon

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Everybody.World

If you love a fresh-outta-the-box tee but want to indulge consciously, Everybody.World makes deeply excellent T-shirts using 100% recycled fabric and ethical labor practices. 

Everybody.World recycled cotton classic trash tee

$39.00, Everybody.World

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Everybody.World recycled cotton long-sleeve trash tee

$45.00, Everybody.World

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Lady White Co.

A GQ staff favorite, Lady White Co. tees are made in LA from ring-spun cotton and come in strangely-hard-to-find colors like sand and rose. Happy to report the sweats and socks also kill.

Lady White Co our T-shirt

$55.00, Lady White Co

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Lady White Co light jersey t-shirt

$55.00, Lady White Co

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Levi’s

Levi’s is a great basics brand all around, but we’re especially sweet on Levi’s Vintage Clothing’s 1950s tee which manages to be heavy and soft and has muscle-enhancing extra-short sleeves. 

Levi’s Vintage Clothing 1950s sportswear tee

$65.00, End Clothing

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Levi’s Vintage Clothing 1950s sportswear tee

$65.00, End Clothing

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Socks & Underwear

Sunspel

Sunspel has been around since 1860, so it’s basically the basics king. Treat yourself—and your Tinder dates—to the English brand’s quality underwear and you’ll feel a bit like royalty too. 

Sunspel Liberty print boxer shorts

$70.00, Sunspel

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Sunspel superfine cotton trunks in white

$45.00, Sunspel

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Nice Laundry

Whether it’s a suite of stay-up dress socks or its genius boxer/mesh short hybrid, Nice Laundry is quietly innovative—no neon palm trees here—and also priced exceptionally well. 

Nice Laundry ribbed solid socks (3-pack)

$49.00, Nice Laundry

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Nice Laundry boxer lounge shorts (3-pack)

$75.00, Nice Laundry

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Uniqlo

Come for the Christophe Lemaire-designed pants or the ridiculously warm puffers, but don’t leave without a stack of ribbed socks and soft cotton boxers—a.k.a. the real prize of shopping at Uniqlo. 

Uniqlo ribbed socks

$4.00, Uniqlo

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Uniqlo supima cotton boxer briefs

$7.00, Uniqlo

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Bombas

Doesn’t matter if you’re a no-show, ankles-out guy or a man who isn’t afraid to rock loafers and turquoise dress socks, Bombas makes the most comfortable socks around. 

Bombas space dyed cushion no show socks

$12.00, Bombas

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Bombas ribbed dress socks

$15.00, Bombas

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Gap

When it comes to old-school mall stores, Gap wins the award for best basics. We’re still very much into the brand’s ribbed tank tops and boxer shorts, all these decades later. 

Gap ribbed tank top

$17.00, Gap

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Gap 3″ stretch boxer briefs

$15.00, Gap

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Sweats

Reigning Champ

This Canadian label makes our favorite heavy-duty hoodie of all time, but tbh we wouldn’t kick any of their sweats off the couch. No flashy branding here, just quality fleece wear. 

Reigning Champ terry sweatshort

$105.00, Reigning Champ

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Reigning Champ lightweight terry crewneck

$125.00, Reigning Champ

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Champion

Champion got it very right when it invented its durable—and shrink-proof!—reverse weave fabric in the ‘30s. We’ve been wearing their hoodies since high school and don’t intend to quit. 

Champion Reverse Weave popover hoodie

$105.00, Champion

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Chamion Reverse Weave classic crew sweat

$95.00, Champion

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Entireworld

If you love the faded tones and extremely chill slouch of vintage sweats, you’ll appreciate Entireworld’s entire fleece-wear line. Ace Zoom casual by mixing in oversized Oxford shirts. 

Entireworld Type C sweatpants

$88.00, Entireworld

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Entireworld Type C sweatshorts

$58.00, Entireworld

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Cotton Citizen

LA basics line Cotton Citizen doesn’t do collections; there are core pieces and every season you get ’em in fresh colors. Convenient, if you fall for their super-soft sweats as many, many have. 

Cotton Citizen Jackson pullover

$225.00, Cotton Citizen

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Cotton Citizen Bronx sweats

$225.00, Cotton Citizen

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Aime Leon Dore

If you want the perfect sweatsuit, fresh sneakers, and accessories that’ll turn it into a massive fit, NYC label Aime Leon Dore can handle all three requests with equal skill. 

Aime Leon Dore uniform crewneck

$140.00, Aime Leon Dore

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Aime Leon Dore logo sweatpants

$185.00, Aime Leon Dore

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Casual Basics 

Club Monaco 

Club Monaco’s muted, minimalist aesthetic isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking to stock up on basics—particularly lightweight knits—you’ll always find what you’re looking for here. 

Club Monaco short-sleeve boucle crew

$120.00, Club Monaco

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Club Monaco linen crew sweater

$120.00, Club Monaco

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Alex Mill

From boxy striped tees to drawstring chinos and rumpled Oxford shirts, everything at Alex Mill has a relaxed ease that’s built for quarantine. You’ll feel less stressed upon contact. 

Alex Mill pocket t-shirt in cotton

$65.00, Alex Mill

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Alex Mill pull on button fly pant

$115.00, Alex Mill

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Polo Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren makes a whole lot of clothes that are the opposite of basic—think: patchwork shearling aviator jumpsuits—but, c’mon, no one makes a better Oxford, rugby, or polo shirt. 

Polo iconic Oxford shirt

$99.00, Ralph Lauren

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Polo rugby tee

$99.00, Ralph Lauren

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Everlane

Many tech bros have made uniforms out of Everlane’s streamlined basics. Whether or not you want a Zuckerberg-plain wardrobe, there’s solid, building-block stuff in here for everyone. 

Everlane re-cashmere crew

$99.00, Everlane

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Everlane slim-fit performance air oxford

$62.00, Everlane

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Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder‘s basics are so sophisticated, even his cotton weekend clothes and Champion sweats are nice enough to wear to dinner. The designer also has a mesmerizing way with color. 

Todd Snyder cotton cashmere sweater

$188.00, Todd Snyder

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Todd Snyder pleated pant

$148.00, Todd Snyder

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Carhartt WIP

Carhartt WIP makes solid beanies, tees, and hoodies but the basics to focus on from the American brand are of the workwear variety. Chore coats, drill pants, overalls if you’re feeling alive. 

Carhartt Michigan chore coat

$218.00, Carhartt WIP

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Carhartt WIP single knee pant

$135.00, Carhartt WIP

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COS

There are the basics you want to lay on the couch in and then there is the stuff from COS. In these modern, sophisticated clothes, you’ll be motivated to do more than just binge bad TV. 

COS silk cotton knit polo shirt

$89.00, COS

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COS regular cotton pants

$99.00, COS

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Basic Rights

Basic Rights is a London-based brand making retro, musician-inspired clothes that don’t look at all costume-y. Go here for open-collar shirts, slim trousers, and mock-neck knits. 

Basic Rights short-sleeve rockabully shirt

$110.00, Basic Rights

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Basic Rights cotton high waisted trousers

$160.00, Basic Rights

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Rag & Bone

For the best black basics in the business, you can’t go wrong with Rag & Bone whose jeans and chinos always fit perfectly and whose button-downs never manage to be stuffy. 

Rag & Bone Tomlin slim-fit button-down shirt

$225.00, Mr Porter

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Rag & Bone Fit 2 chinos

$225.00, Mr Porter

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Originally Appeared on GQ

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