When it comes to gym garb, guys’ sartorial questions rarely stray: should dudes wear tights? Are these shorts too short? How many sweatbands are too many? (Okay, maybe that last one not so much). Whether something looks great is rarely considered, especially since the option is rarely on the table to begin with. To help you out, here are five stylish brands you might not have heard of.
Making its debut relatively recently as far as athletic wear goes, what’s great about H&M’s line of workout gear is what makes the brand great to begin with. Eccentric styles—closely resembling any of Nike’s best designer collabs—come at a fraction of the cost. Unlike some of the fast fashion brand’s other clothing, however, this stuff stays together even after many wears and washes. The downside is that it’s hard to find in brick and mortar stores, but online has you covered.
Based on the ethos that activewear should look as good as it feels, New York’s Number Lab makes high-performance, all-day clothing that can take a gym-going guy from workout to work. Included in its high-end—albeit wallet-friendly—lineup are some damn good-looking modern hoodies and tailored-fit sweatpants, not to mention the same basic T-shirts that helped the brand make a name for itself among the fashion jocks. Performance fabrics reign, although some designs come in thermal cloth that can come in handy this winter.
Japanese brands are well-known for their emphasis on aesthetic, and ONEHUNDRED ATHLETIC is no different. The brand was created in 2010 by the country’s famed mixed martial arts fighter Caol Uno, and sports an emphasis on fit and minimalism for its top-of-the-line workout gear. It bears noting that Uno’s brand will be dropping some casual wear pieces starting in spring 2014 for those who live the active lifestyle 24/7, but its current standouts include fitted windbreaker jackets and sweatshirts.
Russell Athletic Archive
Russell Athletics, the brand that claims to have brought you the first modern T-shirt following its 1902 founding, is dialing back its designs to the good ol’ days. The Archive line taps two of the world’s first sportswear company’s heritage researchers to re-introduce the vintage designs that made it famous in the decades from the turn of the century, to the Second World War, to 1980, when Russell was famous for its popular basketball gear.
Coming January 2014: S&H Athletics
Get prepared for a new kid on the block, brought to you by the same folks behind fashion brand Shipley & Halmos. S&H Athletics of New York City will be ringing in the new year with 50s and 60s-inspired athletic gear tailored to athletes of basketball, baseball, football and other classic American pastimes, perfect if you’ve always wanted to hit the courts decked out like Celtics legend Bob Cousey.