19 Affordable Luxury Brands That Give You More For Less
Despite it being an oxymoron, affordable luxury is a real thing, and we’ll tell you exactly how to spot it and where to find it.
OK, so before we get our collective knickers in a twist, let’s give this caveat some airtime: affordability’ is entirely dependent on personal circumstances and what is a drop in the ocean for one person might be a 40-year mortgage for another. It’s a slippery term, make no mistake.
‘Luxury’, too, can mean quite different things. But in the context of ‘affordable luxury’, we’re talking about garments that have been made with care, skill and superior fabrics, and importantly, at a price discount to luxury fashion brands.
Smaller companies can often afford more time for artisan production and quality control, selling direct to consumer for a much better price. These are the brands that make up the affordable luxury category, and we’re very thankful they do.
Below we’ve compiled an extensive but by no means exhaustive list of our favourite names across clothing, footwear and accessories to give you a great starting place to elevate your wardrobe for less.
The best affordable luxury brands for men
The Resort Co
When the summer swings around, one brand that we are instantly drawn to is The Resort Co, which has been quietly been building momentum over the last few years but still flies under the style radar.
The Resort Co’s raison d’etre is constructing the perfect resort-ready wardrobe, full of chic European influences handcrafted carefully and ethically in Europe.
The tailored swim shorts would look right at home on the deck of a 100ft super yacht, while the knitted and terry cloth polos are summer style divinity. You’ll want to buy one in every colour.
This Stockholm-based shoemaker was founded in 2013 and very quickly made a name for itself among discerning sartorialists looking for a smart suede sneaker they could use to dress down tailoring or dress up casualwear.
C.QP was originally famous for its minimalist suede ‘Racquet’ pumps, but it has since expanded to offer a really modern and eclectic collection replete with retro runners and chukka boots.
They’re definitely on the pricier side of ‘affordable’, but the aesthetic is timeless and the craftsmanship is second-to-none, using buttery-soft Italian suede and leather for the most part.
When coming up with the premise of this article, Luca Faloni was one of the first brands that sprung to mind when thinking about ‘affordable luxury’.
Faloni’s genius – other than creating stunning timeless classics such as cashmere knits and linen summer wear – is that he has devoted his modus operandi to ‘Made in Italy’, using skilled niche artisans all over the country to produce his superior garments.
The direct-to-consumer label uses cashmere from Cariaggi, linen from one of the oldest Italian mills, brushed cotton from Grandi & Rubinelli, piqué cotton from a historic mill in Veneto, and full-grain leather from Santa Croce, in Tuscany.
It all amounts to really well-considered clothing with that European stealth wealth aesthetic, only you don’t have to be one of the super rich to own it.
Despite the French name, this London-based quiet luxury label is on a mission to simplify your wardrobe (and therefore your life) with its supremely minimalist collections constructed from renewable and recycled materials such as organic cotton.
Designed in London, but crafted in sustainable European factories, L’Estrange is guided by the principle that less is more, hence it creates garments built to last.
It also offer repairs free of charge, in order to extend the life of your clothes and reduce the burden on the environment.
If understatement is your statement, you’ll have a field day here.
Dutch brand Aurélien is the very definition of affordable luxury, creating its super-chic collections in the same factories that the big names use, but offering its wares at a significant discount thanks to clever streamlining of operations, word-of-mouth marketing and a direct-to-consumer model.
None of this matters a jot if the clothing is rubbish, though. Needless to say then, Aurélien doesn’t disappoint, using fabrics suh as Cashwool, cashmere, linen and organic cotton to craft beautiful timeless garments with a contemporary tailored aesthetic.
Take one look at the Cashwool polo shirts and you’ll want one in every cut and colour.
Self-taught tailor Oliver Spencer has been at the forefront of London’s menswear scene for two decades, and was one of the first to pioneer a more sustainable approach to fashion.
Spencer’s relaxed tailored aesthetic, which combines elements of workwear, is all made in the UK and Portugal, predominantly from organic cotton, linen and British and Italian wools.
Famous for an unstructured silhouette, his laid-back suits, premium knits, cropped trousers and lightweight blousons are a must for those who like their luxury with a nonchalant edge.
Artknit Studios is every modern sartorialist’s little secret. Its stunning collections are all made in small Italian workshops by skilled artisans, and are sold direct to consumer to strip out any middleman costs.
At least 70% of its raw materials come from the famous Biella textile district in Italy, which is where Artknits main office is located. The brand list all its makers and suppliers on the website, so you know exactly the superior quality you are getting.
As for the clothes, think Italian riviera chic with a distinct minimalist vibe and you’ve got the picture. The summer linen collection is to die for, while the fall/winter offerings are soft cashmere heaven.
Founded in 2009 in Aix-en-Provence in the South of France, breaking into an already saturated and highly competitive sneaker market is no mean feat, but that is exactly what Zespà has done.
With a small flagship store in the Haut Marais in Paris, the brand is quietly infiltrating the luxury sneaker space with stunning lo-fi low-tops and high-tops mostly handmade in Portugal using full grain calfskin leather and suede from the best European tanneries.
This writer has just added a second pair to his rotation and can say with certainty that they are exquisite and some of the best-made kicks on the market.
Based in Saint Germain in Paris, Officine Générale founder Pierre Mahon has created a stealth wealth institution that doesn’t cost the earth but looks as if it might have.
Mahon’s vision of smart Parisian menswear is full of slim navy and neutral silhouettes, carefully tailored to create a versatile modern wardrobe that earns nods of respect wherever it’s worn.
Rise and Fall
If you follow interior or menswear accounts on Instagram, then the algorithm will have almost certainly point Rise & Fall your way.
The company is the brainchild of London-based New Zealanders Jed Coleman and Will Coulton, both of whom swapped high-flying legal careers for the lure of entrepreneurship.
The brand started out selling high-end, sustainable bed linens and has since expanded to include a beautiful collection of modern menswear essentials such as Mongolian cashmere knits, terry cotton sweats and organic cotton tees.
The company works direct with painstakingly sourced manufacturers, hence the incredible prices.
Each of Alex Mill’s trio of founders has quality pedigree in the menswear industry, so when they joined forces in 2012 the result was always going to be great.
Since then, the New York-based brand has done a fine job of producing elevated workwear classics and modern preppy cuts in premium quality fabrics, designed with a timeless aesthetic that will always have a place in your wardrobe.
Jewellery designer Erwan Le Louër is the co-founder of this much admired brand. Despite Le Louër gaining a master’s degree in industrial design, he swapped tracks to venture into jewellery design, landing upon a slick, pared-back aesthetic that he has incorporated into Le Gramme.
Over 80% of Le Gramme’s creations are constructed from recycled precious raw materials. Besides the conflict-free diamonds, and the short supply chains that keep costs down, the jewellery itself is excellent, with a stellar cast of silver bangles, pendant necklaces and 18k gold jewellery.
AMI Alexandre Mattiussi
AMI Paris founder Alexandre Mattiussi has created a bona-fide fashion brand with a cult following, thanks to its measured tailored aesthetic that riffs on contemporary silhouettes, elements of streetwear and modern minimalism.
AMI’s stellar Paris shows have elevated it to the top table of fashion, but the French brand refuses to hike up the prices, instead providing genuine fashion cachet for considerably less than its luxury peers.
With clever logo branding and beautifully constructed garments, AMI Paris is an exceptional way to invest in fashion for less.
Founded by creative mavericks Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, Maison Kitsuné is a unique fashion proposition that riffs on musical and artistic influences to create an upbeat and fun streetwear aesthetic punctuated by a vibrant colour palette (and the instantly recognisable fox logo). ]
We love its knitwear collections, which are always vibrant, especially the preppy sweatshirts, cardigans and polos, all of which add a Parisian twist to vintage collegiate style.
It’s both fashion forward and reassuringly nostalgic, with cultural cachet at prices you’ll love.
Legendary Japanese retailer BEAMS was founded in 1976 in Harajuku, Tokyo, but it wasn’t until 1999 that it released its own line of timeless Americana-inspired menswear, BEAMS+.
Still going strong, the BEAMS+ line is a fabulous high-quality reinterpretation of all of those preppy American classics and workwear silhouettes that the Japanese have come to produce better than the US itself.
Heritage, nostalgia and supreme quality, all at a really reasonable price points.
MR PORTER’s in-house label, Mr P., is the very epitome of affordable luxury, specialising in a wide range of modern menswear garments that nicely combine tradition and nostalgia with trend-driven contemporary aesthetics. And you get all that at a deep discount to most of the other brands you’ll find on its extensive website.
The quality is right up there, as you would expert from a luxury e-commerce player. The vibe is very much contemporary sartorial, so you’ll expect all of the classic menswear shapes – from military-inspired outerwear pieces to chinos, polos and tailoring.
Just as MR PORTER has Mr P., e-com competitor MATCHES has Raey. It’s in-house label launched in 2015, specialising in menswear essentials and understated contemporary silhouettes.
The important difference between the two is Raey’s approach to sustainable production. Seasonless, and curated into monthly stories, the brand’s manufacturing is almost entirely driven by environmental and social impact, hence why so many of the drops contain garments cut from innovative recycled fibres by closed-loop manufacturers.
With a very muted colour palette (think black, navy, white and grey), it’s perfect for wardrobes already well-versed in minimalist looks.
Sunflower is a fashion insider’s secret from Copenhagen, Denmark, that has been quietly but confidently producing contemporary menswear collections which blend a tailored aesthetic with a typical Scandi edginess, all at a great price point.
It’s like a more moody, darker Acne Studios – using a host of great fabrics, such as organic cotton, organic wool and vegetable-tanned leather.
It’s great for one-off pieces with quirky details.
Pearls Before Swine
Founded in 2006 by Canadian jeweller Himo Martin, Pearls Before Swine started life as a research model to explore working with defected precious metals, and has since become a highly covetable affordable jewellery brand in its own right.
Where PBS is different to most jewellery brands is in its celebration of metal and precious stone imperfections, meaning no two pieces are ever identical, from the delicate silver chains to the truly unique gem-studded signet rings.