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Four underrated brands and the one item that proves they're awesome

Let’s take a tour through the low-key names that’ll refresh your drawers

Four underrated brands and the one item that proves they're awesome
15 October 2018

It’s easy to get stuck in a fashion label rut, returning to the same old favourite brands time after time, slowly turning into a cartoon character with multiple versions of the same T-shirts, jeans and jackets. But why not shake things up with some up-and-comers? It’s time to take the plunge, friend.

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Best for outdoorsy inspired fashion


Hype kids have been throwing on mountainwear to survive their daring expeditions around the wilderness of Redchurch St and beyond for some time now. But few labels manage to balance mountain culture and streetwear like Brit-born Hikerdelic – a brand conceived from an “equal amount of love for the Peak District and the city of Manchester”.

With heavy cotton tees, slubby socks and psychedelic frisbees, Hikerdelic is less “high-tech garms” and more “stonerific climbing in Sixties Yosemite”… and it works a damn treat, we gotta tell ya.

Essential piece: One of its rugby shirts (£65) – an autumnal silhouette that we’ve spotted on the backs of ex-presidents, hip-hop royalty and old-school climbers.

Best for essential style staples


Yes, fine, okay, the Very Good Menswear Staples party is absolutely wall-to-wall right now. But we’ve checked, and there are still plenty of beers on ice, so no sign of things slowing up any time soon. Reason enough to get a load of relative latecomer Adsum, not just for the fact that the NYC brand’s founder learned all he knows about making clothes from menswear legend Mark McNairy, but because its fabrics – sourced from Japan, Korea, America, Italy and beyond – feel just that bit hardier than much of the other stuff you can get a hold of right now.

Essential piece: Drawcord troosies are very much a thing at the moment, and Adsum’s real rugged Bank Pants (£110) deserve to be centre stage.

Best for chunky sneaker and trainer fans

Stepney Workers Club

There’s a lot to love about these guys. One: those thumb-thick vulcanized rubber soles that we just wanna sink our damn teeth into. Dos: they hail from London, baby! C: those tidy handshake logos are a graphical masterpiece. And firstly: the brand’s unisex approach is inspired by the inclusivity of traditional workers’ sports clubs, and everything it does centres around the message of “freedom of sport, freedom of thought”. Some extremely 2018 woke vibes that we should all get behind.

Essential piece: These chubby-soled Dellow Hairy Suedes (£75) are the absolute smart-casual business.

Best for designer style credentials

Nicholas Daley

No musical genre – not even 2001 nu-metal – has turned out more style sirens than jazz. Makes sense, then, that there’s a serious buzz around Daley, who only graduated from Central St Martins in 2013 but is already screaming into the upper echelons of designerdom with a slew of garms inspired by the style of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and other golden-age jazz mavericks. And in an era of high-end fashion that sorta feels like one big practical joke (yo, Balenciaga!), Daley’s gimmick-free, hardy and actually wearable approach is refreshing. Boy’s gonna blow. Get in early.

Essential piece: A spicy meatball for your bank account to swallow, sure, but the dark orange 70s Shirt Jacket (£515) is built to last.

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