When Complex asked us to put together a list of the top fifty menswear brands, we were hesitant at first. After all, Put This On is about practical advice and guidelines, not brands. And what the heck is "menswear," anyway? We thought about turning the assignment down.
Then, of course, we changed our minds.
After all, what's more fun than arbitrary ranking? And what a wonderful chance to spend some time with the history of menswear! So we took the gig.
We had to narrow our terms a bit. We decided that for our purposes, "menswear" meant tailored clothing and the accoutrements thereof. So no Levis and no aloha shirts. Magnum PI be damned. We'd include a few token shoemakers, but mostly focus on the clothes.
Once we got there, we had to address the issue of "classic" versus "designer" mens clothes. We decided to split the difference. Our focus would be classic (as it is at Put This On), but we'd include designers who'd influenced the broader movement of style. And we'd consider the past alongside the present, though perhaps with a little bit of bias towards the latter.
Here's our result. Fifty of the greatest menswear brands of all time—ranked on their significance, influence, beauty and quality. With a healthy dollop of the arbitrary. Presenting: The 50 Greatest Menswear Brands of All Time.