Five Favorite Brands (If You Don’t Like Labels)
I am (proudly!) label-averse. I don’t like advertising a brand or have everyone know where my clothes are from in such an immediate and unambguous way. I prefer a little more discretion in my attire. However, it’s often difficult to find well-made clothes without ostentatious branding. Here are five of my favorite “if you know, you know” brands.
For shoes: Belgian Shoes
Belgians are truly the ultimate in discretion. They can’t be purchased online, and each pair is handmade to order. They are extremely well-crafted, comfortable, and practical. You can wear them with just about everything. I can’t wait to invest in a second pair! (You can read more of my thoughts on Belgians here.)
For clothes: Ann Mashburn
Ann Mashburn produces quality pieces that will last a lifetime. Over the years, I’ve added a relatively large number of Mashburn products to my wardrobe, from my wallet to black tie attire to my favorite Kiki jackets–and everything in between. (Read my review of ten items I own and love from Ann Mashburn here!)
For handbags and travel: Mark Cross
Mark Cross is, to me, the ultimate in understated branding for leather goods. While some of their pieces carry their “C” branding, most is only discreetly emblazoned with their logo. My mother had several Mark Cross pieces I used to “borrow” with great frequency. Something I love about Mark Cross is how they offer a vintage bag marketplace on their website, with all bags authenticated by the company. It’s a great move towards sustainability and making beautiful things more accessible! (For bargain vintage hunting, Etsy* has an amazing collection of vintage Mark Cross at truly unbeatable prices!)
For jackets: Barbour
I love my Barbours (yes, in the plural) so much, and I’ve been wearing them since I was a toddler. There’s nothing to beat the sheer practicality of a Barbour, and it’s one of those “buy it for life” items. If you take care of it properly (you can buy the wax jacket care kit here*), it will outlive you! I have the Bedale*, two Beauforts* (one was my mother’s, one a gift from my grandfather when I turned 21), and a quilted jacket. All serve different purposes, but really, one will last you forever. The corduroy color is recognizable, and newer jackets have “Barbour” embroidered on the pocket, though thankfully in the same thread color as the waxed cotton. It’s a great investment that will take you wherever you want to go!
For coats: Loro Piana
My mother had the most beautiful Loro Piana cream cashmere coat–truly the most beautiful piece of outerwear I’ve ever seen. I inherited it from her, and while it needs some minor repairs and cleaning, it is in stunning condition. Loro Piana is definitely a splurge, but it’s a lifetime investment and one that will serve you well, especially if you don’t wear fur.
What are your favorite places to find clothes without labels?
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