Quality/Durable Clothing Recommendations


#1

I am so, so tired of buying new shoes or pants only to replace them within 6 months because they already have holes. Even when I shell out more money for presumably better quality clothing they still don’t always last as long as I’d like. I’d appreciate y’alls input on sturdy clothing brands or items.

  • Do you have a go-to quality +1 clothing brand? Which items have stood the test of time for you?

As someone who walks multiple miles per day to commute, I’m particularly interested in reliable pair of boots and pants.


#2

I found a pair of very well used Sorel’s in 2010 that lasted me until 2016. I’m not sure about the quality of their newer boots but I was really impressed by how durable those old ones were.

The other thing I’ve had good luck with is Levi’s jeans. They’ve lasted me minimum two years to a maximum of six. I haven’t tried the commuter ones myself but I’ve heard very good things. They are pricey new but often go on sale at department stores and in my experience have been fairly easy to find used.


#3

While I agree that paying a little extra for nicer footwear and clothing is beneficial in the long run, I feel like clothing maintenance is neglected from discussions like these. For instance, it seems like your boots are getting a lot of wear through your daily use. Are you regularly cleaning them and using protective coatings for the materials? Are you making sure that pebbles aren’t lodging into the soles? And are you only using one pair of boots day-in, day out? If so, consider purchasing two pairs of mid-priced boots and alternating their use. Not only does it give you more options fashion-wise, it reduces the frequency of wear on each pair and allows for a significantly longer useful life. Finally, don’t be shy about getting your boots repaired by a professional from time to time. Resoling and patching boots can significantly extend their use at lower cost than buying new each time.

As for pants, avoid the dryer at all costs if you can, as that is the number one killer of useful life there. Also, make sure the fit of the pants is comfortable and allows a decent range of motion. Even the best pants will tear if you feel the crotch straining whenever you take a step.


#4

Realizes he ill-treated a pair of top-tier Levi’s jeans and yet they’re still going strong coming close to a decade now.

I apologize, nice jeans.

… They also make jackets with a higher quality cut than I’d expect from the pricepoint.


#5

I’ve been really happy with Eddie Bauer clothing, specifically there T-shirt’s have held up better than any I’ve tried.


#6

Yeah I have a levi’s denim jacket that just hit a decade. One of the sturdiest jackets I’ve ever owned.

@Navster do you know a good place to find guides for maintaining clothes? Pinterest is the best place I’ve found so far


#7

Unfortunately, everything I know about clothing maintenance comes from my wife, who is a savant for all things fabric. I’m sure there are great resources out there, though. I’d imagine Lifehacker would be a decent place to start your search.


#8

This is a really good point. Over the weekend I finally realized that I should probably buy multiple pairs of things since I tend to wear a single item to death. Got two pairs of black Lucky Brand jeans to rotate through during the week. Hopefully that’ll keep them going longer! I’ll do the same for the boots whenever I pick out a new pair.


#9

I’ve been wearing the same pair of Blundstone boots almost every day for the past four years and they are still going strong! They are comfy, good for walking in, water proof, and I think they look nice. I will say unfortunately they are expensive but if you average the price out over 4+ years it doesn’t seem as bad.

For context I live in Seattle and walk / bus to get around everywhere so I make fairly heavy use of them. I probably walk less than you do during my commute though.


#10

I destroy shoes. I walk double digit miles almost every day. I have only one good piece of advice on boots. Buy good boots with a real sole, and B, find a small local cobbler who charges a reasonable price for sole repair. Mine charges about $20.

My Redwings and my Fluevog BBC’s have both survived > 5 years thanks to sole replacement every 18 months or so. Most other shoes I’ve had have barely survived 18 months.

The Redwings are particularly durable out of the box, which surprised me. I expected them to be more fashion over substance, but they weren’t.


#11

I still use ten year old Adidas sneakers so I might be able to make anything last, but I do also love my Palladium boots. I’ve had them for five years soon and they rock. Really thick comfortable sole, water proof, warm even with thin socks, easy to clean.
They make not just boots, and I want some shoes from them to wear when it’s not cold and wet, but I hate buying shoes online.


#12

Naked and Famous makes real comfy, sturdy jeans.

They’ve even gone and made jeans so thick that they can stand on their own.

I still haven’t found a pair of boots/shoes that I’m crazy about. I just keep cycling sneakers every 9-12 months, since they get a fair amount of wear and tear.


#13

I’ve been wearing a pair of Chippewa 6" Homestead (I think they renamed the model to Smith ) boots for 8-9 years now. They’re quite costly, but definitely worth it. The sole is comfortable for walking all day but hard wearing, so you don’t wear through the tread quickly. They’re constructed with proper stitched cobbling, not glued together, so you can actually have them repaired and restored with new soles, insoles, etc. I recommend a cap-toe version, which gives you a bit of extra material on the toe which can be replaced if it gets damaged.


#14

Gunna be in the Chicago area this January. Any good recommendations for cold weather jackets? I was eyeballing this one, but Patagonia has de-listed a lot of colors and sizes are limited. https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-isthmus-parka/27021.html?dwvar_27021_color=INDG


#15

There is an interesting subreddit about items that last generations, and a good portion of it is about clothing: https://www.reddit.com/r/buyitforlife

A lot of it is “i’ve had this thing forever and here it is”, but there are the odd posts about specific brands to buy that go pretty deep.


#16

I have a couple of pairs of Patagonia jeans and I’ve worn one of them almost daily for the past two or three years. They’re comfy, look good and are holding up really great. I can’t really see any appreciable wear on either pair.

Patagonia’s warranty is really hard to beat and they have in the past several years began to push a repair program (in store, via mail or DIY) as part of a sustainability initiative. They unfortunately discontinued their shoe line, which had some of my favorite durable walkers in it.

I like wool for durable shirts. My favorite shirts are from a company called Ibex that tragically stopped business last year. If you ever find any of their stuff in a surplus sale, snatch it up!


#17

I’ve been wearing Carhartt work shirts in duck canvas for literally a decade and some of them maybe have a slightly frayed hem seam?


#18

I have a few pairs of Flint & Tinder jeans and chinos that have held up really well. It looks like they’ve been acquired by another company, so I can’t vouch for their current offerings, unfortunately.

Cotton Bureau mostly does limited run screen printed tees, but their premium blank tees are insanely comfortable and durable (and priced accordingly).


#19

I wear holes in jeans literally no matter what I do, so I go for the cheap H&M/Gap/Uniqlo stuff, get two or three pairs of near-identical black jeans, and wear them in rotation for 1-2 years until they die. I used to get nicer pants and patch or darn em when I wore em out though, which is a good option if you prefer pants that are more than like $30 a pair!

I also hear good stuff about Carhartt and Everlane for pants.

Seconding people who’ve said good things about Blundtstones boots! You have to waterproof them seasonally but they’ll last you at least 5 years (and up to 10!) based on my experience and they’re easy to get repaired - the only problem is that when they’ve had enough sometimes the sole completely self destructs and disintegrates. And Sorels for real snowy winter, though I think they have nice streetwear boots too now?


#20

Alternating use of shoes is crucial. They last so much longer when given time to “rest”.