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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Socks & Underwear
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aime Leon Dore