While women seem to always stereotypically hold on to the title of Most Fashion-Conscious Gender on the Planet, the truth is that most men fret over their appearance at a comparable — albeit less noticed — rate. Whether or not they make use of facial hair, a rigorous workout regimen, or a full-length mirror, men are certain to care about whether or not their appearance is in keeping with their ideas about masculinity, sexuality, and attractiveness, and toward that end, clothing, shoes, and accessories play a vital role. While most men would like their friends, families, co-workers, and lovers to believe their look takes little thought or effort, the buying habits of the American male suggest otherwise. From decorated designers like Hugo Boss to good, old standbys like Levi’s, here are eight brands that American men continue to shower with their affection and cash.
This German design house provides a man with everything he might ever want to wear, from underwear and suits to socks and cologne. An international luxury brand that caters to both men and women, when Hugo Boss started his iconic brand in 1924 in Metzingen, Germany, it was little more than a simple, small clothing workshop. In 2013, it earned over EUR 2.4 billion worldwide, proving that more than just American men love the brand; men and women all over the world do, too.
Still known to many as primarily an upstart skateboarding shoe company, Vans continue to grow in popularity throughout the United States. The company’s original, comfortable and trend-setting canvas and leather shoes are now accompanied by a full clothing line that seems to appeal to men from almost every demographic. Based in Cypress, California, at its core, Vans appeals to the action-oriented male, which is why they sponsor teams of riders and skaters in BMX, Moto X, surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding.
One of the most iconic American brands of all time, Levis Jeans actually made the very first pair of blue jeans ever way back in 1873. Working class men, poor men, toddlers, and the Prince of Wales all wear Levi’s blue jeans. As ubiquitous as T-shirts are across the American landscape, donning a pair of Levi’s nevertheless remains a classic choice for the man who wants to embrace an assumed and understated look of confident manhood.
An Italian clothing brand that specializes in high-end street wear, Diesel is a company synonymous with designer denim. Worn by movie stars, rock stars, and fashionistas, Diesel makes just about anything these days (like underwear and motorcycle helmets), but it’s their jeans that continue to keep the brand in the spotlight. For the man who wants his denim to exude high-end designer taste, Diesel is essential.
While it offers every type of clothing a man might wear, the luxury brand Calvin Klein is probably most noted — and utilized throughout the United States — for its men’s undergarments. From its Hollywood debut in “Back to the Future” in 1985 to its place as one of the most popular brands of undergarments for men in the entire country, Calvin Klein is a premium choice for the man who wants to feel good in nothing but his skivvies.
From shoes to bags to threads, Gucci is a design house that appeals to the more formal gentlemen’s aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean their clothing is stuffy. Instead, this Italian company works with only high-end fabrics, threads, leathers, and more so that every shoe, accessory, and piece of Gucci clothing is utterly memorable. For men who need even the smallest detail to offer unmatched design and quality, Gucci is an ideal brand.
A brand known for their comfortable and affordable shoes, Cole Haan appeals to men who want their footwear to look utterly masculine and perform as such, too. Started in 1928 as a men’s footwear company in Chicago, Illinois, today the brand offers women’s shoes, as well as bags and accessories for both genders.
The quintessential sportswear company, Nike earned over $25 billion in 2013, proving itself once again to be the dominant choice worldwide for sportswear and shoes. While it has faced its share of controversy over the years, the company still features large in the American male’s psyche and wardrobe, offering casual footwear, serious footwear, and casual clothing to men of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes. Men may act as though they don’t give their appearance a second thought, but their loyalty to a handful of brands says otherwise. From Nike and Cole Haan to Gucci and Calvin Klein, American men are as committed to their brands as are their female counterparts.