The 50 Greatest Brands Of Our Youth

When you're in the business of dudes wearing clothes on the Internet, nostalgia is a currency you trade heavily in. From pretending our dads were cool, to idolizing a bunch of dead racists, to quoting rappers who rap raps about cartoons and cereal, the past is something we hold dear. So, we're finna take things back, way back. Like, before Subway toasted their subs back. Let's travel in our digital DeLorean to a time when we were just kids. A time when anything was possible. A time before we cared about clothes, but still-kinda-actually cared about clothes. A time when we didn't get dressed for Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, blogs or street style. We weren't jaded and we didn't know what the fuck a four-in-hand knot was. We were just figuring it all out and it was a beautiful thing. These are the 50 greatest brands of our youth.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tedstriker Ted Striker

    Now I’m wishing I’d saved all those old-ass Eastbays.

    • http://www.mrmag.bandcamp.com MaG

      word! and those LL Bean fleeces. i ain’t no sh8t about style. smh. good sh*t Lawrence. now all we need is a best dressed men of the 80′s (which is like, 2. the 80′s were f*cking horrendous).

    • Markham

      except for RRL, this should be the top 50 deusche clothing lines for anyone out of middle school. how bout converse,vans,levis,american apparel,tom ford, it goes on from reasonable to expensive, new list please.

    • Markham

      ok oops. My bad, should have actually read the title of the article. (kicking my own ass for being so stupid)

    • Brian Selvik

      First of all great compilation. I can testify to seeking out many of these brands and being jealous of my older cousins for wearing Tommy Gear and A&F. My mom would not buy it for me because Kohl’s and Mervyn’s California had everything covered. Thanks mom.

  • Zaner

    lawrence were you in a frat bro!?

  • http://iamcolossus.tumblr.com aimee monko

    Dudes, what about CROSS COLOURS and CHAMPION??

  • http://rec.iceculinary.com/Home/CookingClasses thirdi

    Stussy, T&C surf, International News,
    Genera.. Guess?! maybe that was just the west coast…

  • pretty miko

    i love dashboard confessional

  • Lindsey

    Dude at my school was still wearing his Hornets Starter jacket in 2011. I however, chose to rock Dallas Cowboys colors as a child. Back in the glory days when they could win and Michael Irvin was getting arrested.

  • JB

    British Knights were banned at my school. As were Calvin Klein shirts. Blood Killers and Crip Killers always ruin fashion :(

  • jay

    Biggest snub goes to Structure, the paternal father of Express.

    • http://rec.iceculinary.com/Home/CookingClasses thirdi

      Agree. although if you are a structure fan I’d recommend Gant by Michael Bastian’s Pre Fall collection.

  • TM

    Better believe I wore the hell out of some Mecca in middle school.

  • MrHaroHaro

    Good on the Charlotte Hornets Starter jacket. My brother had one but I never realized it was that popular.

  • http://www.mrmag.bandcamp.com MaG

    FUBU, Karl Kani, and Fila were my go to’s.and shouts to TM for the Mecca plug. and Thirdi, thank you. was messing with Structure when it was Oaktree. i’ve always been a spectator of Gant gear, but you saying that will have me invested.

  • Luchini

    Funny. Even though I grew up in Australia and didn’t move to the US until 2006 I’m still in the exact same boat with 36/50 of these brands.

  • T

    Fossil?!?!

  • http://www.cakesandcrown.com Israel Daramola

    man oh man was I obsessed with JNCO jeans and those damn flamehead shirts

  • http://southbystyle.com Lauren

    Great list although I’m missing Gibauds. Everyone who was anyone was sportin an white tab-laden extra long crotch.

  • http://www.sstevens.co Spenser Stevens

    These captions are gold. 50 posts of semi nostalgic regret

  • Acronym

    Damn.. that Hornets jacket though, I remember my Mum buying it for me off my sisters’ (hot) friends younger brother (who was 2 years older than me) and I wore it to death. That was in New Zealand too so you know that shit had blown up big time to make it all the fuckin’ way down there

  • Snatchmo

    Some of these are spot on, like LA Gear, Starter, Big Johnson, and No Fear. However, some of these feel like you just needed some brands to fill out a list. Maybe I was expecting more defunct brands, but I wouldn’t call Adidas, Nike, Ralph Lauren, etc brands of my “youth”. They are just brands. I’m surprised brands like Vaurnet, IOU, and Skidz aren’t listed.

  • gabes

    You can’t forget BOSS!

  • bbo

    no love for body glove?

    • lawrences

      It was #42, slide 10.

  • Abezzi

    Some missing from my youth :
    Levi’s Silver Tab
    Wu-wear
    Phat Farm
    Sketchers (1 pair, don’t judge)
    Miller’s Outpost / Blue Anchor

  • N.I

    Ahh memories. Back in the day Mecca was my shit! Corduroy Mossimo pants anyone? And oddly enough, i’m rocking a Triple5Soul hoodie from like ’04 as i’m typing.

  • Person

    Steve and Barry’s anyone??

  • Crumb Cake

    Bad Boy and Cavaricci. Absolutely tragic that they didn’t make it. T&C surf designs too.

  • http://www.nowandhere.tumblr.com Matt

    where is coogi!!!

  • http://www.miketerryphoto.com Mikey

    text makes this….brilliant.

  • Jones

    Sick list, but no VUARNET FRANCE? C’mon. Also, British Knights were my first squash shoes. Bougie bougie.

    • Curt

      I whole heartily agree with Jones, Were the f is VUARNET FRANCE on this list.. I remember buying my first t-shirt from this glasses frames shop back in 1991.

  • 216

    hypercolor? skidz?

  • http://www.slideshare.net/nicholasliggins/show-off-with-right-tights-know-the-right-way-to-look-glamorous fantasie panty

    I prefer to read blogs to for the latest fashion updates.And also I agree with this list of youth brands.

  • drasil

    right, because in 20 years, no one will EVER think, “hey, remember when total wimps thought it was cool to dress like some kind of metrosexual lumberjack?”

  • Rich Future

    No mention of Skidz??

  • zerofirefox

    Great website for someone using IE, but for the rest of us…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005193665199 Nancy Jones

    Never knew so of the products whic we use in our daily life is a top Brand in this industry. Great Info! Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jim.Ginn Jim Ginn

    are dad jeans cool now? Somebody link me to some cool dad jeans.

  • CKS

    This article just screams fashion snobbery, considering that a bunch of these brands are still kicking around and, in some cases, still very popular. It’s a nice cautionary tale, however, that one shouldn’t be so quick to drop a c-note on a plain tee just because it has a brand name on it (see Vuarnet, OP, No Fear, et al.).

  • SC

    Quiksilver and Northface are still sick brands

  • WolvesAteMyDad

    So ya’ll are just doing the Complex schtick now?

    • thetrilltroll

      they’re owned by complex

  • Tiff

    Guess, Swatch, Oakley, KEDS, ZCAVARRICI, Vuarnet France, Esprit, Vans, Giorgio (fragrance), British Knights, Converse, Local Motion, Stussy, Mossimo, Quicksilver,

    • Brady

      Add some Cross Colors for my black friends that grew up in a more white environment than my pasty Irish family.

    • jav

      Mossimo is junk!

  • dp

    I had the LA Gear MJs! Why Michael Jackson had a high top I will never know

  • Max Most

    I see some straight throw backs but I really felt like you left out Eddie Bauer..

    • Brady

      Eddie Bauer is there.

  • thetrilltroll

    Where the fuck is Champion USA and ellesse?

  • squatty

    if mecca and abercrombie was important to you, then i understand why this blog is complete shit most of the time

  • John

    I still rock a G-Shock :(

  • http://clothinglook.com Fashion Girl

    Guess is my clothing brands first pick