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Highland Duds Review: I Tried Their Most Popular Styles

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post containing affiliate links. We received compensation and courtesy product from Highland Duds in exchange for our honest review only. All opinions expressed here are our own. Learn more.

Matt Gulielmi
Expertise:

Style, Jewelry, Watches, Skincare, Brand Activations

Matt is a NYC-based merchandise planner in the luxury space and moonlights as a retail documentarian through his TikTok blog @retailecology. His fashion career has waltzed through styling for Michigan State's VIM Magazine, translating brand copy into Spanish for cosmetic startups, to managing inventory for some of the biggest retailers in the US. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 4, 2024
11 min read
Highland Duds Featured

Style is consistently changing. Last year’s wins are this year’s jokes. It’s like you’ve stepped into a universe where traditional menswear is somehow unpopular.

Sometimes, you just want something classic. Highland Duds aspires to return men’s fashion to its founding principles: Style and quality that doesn’t expire.

The Adult Man Image/Icon Image Source: Highland Duds
Highland Duds

Bottom line: Highland Duds’ doesn’t bow to the trends, and with high-quality fabrics and flattering cuts, they don’t have to. Because every piece is a classic, I could wear anything they sell, even something I don’t usually wear, like a trench jacket. For under $150, their Breckenridge Cable Knit is such a good deal it makes me feel guilty.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
Pros:
  • Classic menswear silhouettes updated with slimming cuts
  • High-quality, soft fabrics such as 100% Merino wool and cotton
  • The Telluride Stretch Pants’ relaxed fit and slight stretch are insanely comfy
Cons:
  • The Entrenched Trench Jacket’s belt hardware could be more sturdy
  • The Charleston Long Sleeve Shirt runs large
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

The quote “fortune favors the bold” rings true when applied to my fashion sense. I wouldn’t have developed my distinct style if I didn’t push the envelope from time to time.

It’s fun to wow my peers with a marvelous statement piece, but I don’t have the mental energy to plan photo-worthy outfits every day.

Filling in my wardrobe with tried-and-true menswear bangers keeps things simple.

I’m talking male attire icons with more oomph than the popular basics of today, not over-the-top threads I need to brainstorm an outfit for.

Could Highland Duds mediate my taste for soul and versatility?

What Is Highland Duds?

The Adult Man Highland Duds Breckenridge Cable Knit Sitting on Bench

After 20 years working in fashion, founder and designer Brandon Aldridge started Highland Duds in 2019.

His tenure in the industry exposed an issue he felt called to address. High-quality, detailed menswear was out of reach for the average guy. There should be designer-esque clothing without the designer-level price tag.

Furthermore, the trend cycle was unsustainable. Each season stood for something unique, but trends always result in fads.

Customers shouldn’t have to embark on an annual shopping spree just because this year’s look makes last year’s outdated.

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The North-Carolinian-turned-New-Yorker fuses the easygoing culture of his home state with the urbanite dress code of the Big Apple. The polished aesthetic says Upper East Side, but even Smoky Mountain forest folk can vibe with their universal styling and comfortable fabrics.

Driven by the excess of mass-produced collections, Highland Duds operates on a small-batch basis in partnership with family-owned factories. This means time is of the essence when new styles hit the site, but it’s the carbon-friendly alternative to mountains of leftover stock.

Additionally, the brand offers curated bundles, called Stacks, that offer an effortless look for a great value.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Highland Duds places quality at the top of their priority list. With that, most of their tops are 100% cotton or wool.

If stretch material is more your thing, you’re still in luck. Their relaxed-fit pants squeeze in a bit of spandex for easier movement. But if you’re looking for an outfit that goes from work to yoga without a pit stop in the locker room, these aren’t your do-it-all pieces.

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Highland Duds’ cost is also worth mentioning. While their jackets don’t come with 4-digit prices, they aren’t a thrift brand either.

The quality, care, and thoughtful design come with a price. If spending $80-$150 for a button-up is a nail-biter, Highland Duds isn’t the best option.

Highland Duds
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

Sometimes, you just want something classic. Highland Duds aspires to return men's fashion to its founding principles: Style and quality that doesn’t expire. Their pieces have a cntemporary cut, but they only select the most beloved menswear silhouettes. I truly think Highland Duds is a brand for the ages.

Shop Highland Duds

My Hands-On Review

Breckenridge Cable Knit Sweater

The Adult Man Highland Duds Breckenridge Cable Knit With Sunglasses

Ah, the classic wool sweater. Either a tender source of warmth or an inescapable, itchy mess.

The Breckenridge Cable Knit Sweater is the former.

Some cable knits have thick thread gauge that results in an overly chunky look. The fabric still has a beautiful woven design, but nobody will confuse it with a fashion student’s avant-garde knitting project.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Breckenridge Cable Knit Up Close Detail

The Breckenridge is 100% Merino wool. No polyester stretch blend or cheap cotton dilutes the value of this piece. It’s mind-blowingly cozy, and I’m struggling to comprehend how it’s less than $150.

While I love the Merino wool, it shed like a dog on the first wear. After its office debut, I returned home to find myself covered in stragglers. The stray fibers dwindled with each wear, but it’s not a bad idea to avoid contrasting apparel during the first 1-2 wears.

Maybe it’s my painfully strict desire for perfection, but an exposed undershirt throws off the look of a sweater for me. The Breckenridge’s collar firmly rests above the area where a T-shirt usually sits.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Breckenridge Cable Knit Collar

The Breckenridge Cable Knit gives me the look and feel of sitting by a ski lodge fireplace. For a mid-weight 100% Merino wool sweater, I question what I did to deserve such a hot piece.

Highland Duds Breckenridge Cable Knit Sweater
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

The Breckenridge is 100% Merino wool. No polyester stretch blend or cheap cotton dilutes the value of this piece. It’s mind-blowingly cozy, and I’m struggling to comprehend how it’s so reasonably priced.

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Entrenched Trench Jacket

The Adult Man Highland Duds Entrenched Trench Jacket Walking

I don’t see many trench coats these days. Is there no longer a need for weather resistance and superior coverage, or did they simply go out of style in favor of cropped fits?

The Entrenched Trench Jacket holds true to the OG trench profile with a double-breasted opening, waist belt, and broad collar.

It’s not the warmest jacket in the world, but holds up to inclement weather. Why else would they be issued to British soldiers since WWI?

Comparing my posh city life to the grueling trenches is a stretch, but this jacket is reliable for angry rain clouds overhead.

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The water-resistant twill is a lifesaver when I’m wearing an absorbent hoodie on a rainy day. Its longer length and double-breasted opening also make the wind more tolerable.

If the fabric was made of a synthetic blend, it would dilute the vintage aesthetic. There’s a touch of nylon to shed incoming droplets, but the remaining 70% cotton keeps the jacket from looking like a sportswear brand’s attempt at an iconic menswear piece.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Entrenched Trench Jacket Belt

It’s become my stylish alternative to the outdoorsy shell jackets that hijack my formal outfits.

Tops with a belt closure are my newest fling. Between my ranch sweaters and kimono shirts, the Entrenched Trench Jacket is my only belted outerwear.

The belt’s metal fastener is stamped metal. It makes it a little hard to tell when it’s facing the right way.

While the belt is mostly for looks, I’d be happier if the hardware was just a bit more durable.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Entrenched Trench Jacket Interior Pocket

Highland Duds offers free returns up to 14 days from purchase. So, if something goes awry, you’ll have to move quickly. If you miss the cutoff, customers are eligible for merchandise credit for up to 30 days from the date of purchase.

The Entrenched Trench Jacket sneaks a bit of cultural heritage into my wardrobe. Proper midlayering is something of an art, but it’s made a whole lot simpler with this trenchI’ve been layering a hoodie under mine for a streetwear look, but it’s truly my go-to for a dressier way to stay dry.

The lined fabric is comfortable and water-resistant, but the metal hardware could use some revisions.

Highland Duds Entrenched Trench Jacket
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

The Entrenched Trench Jacket holds true to the OG trench profile with a double-breasted opening, waist belt, and broad collar. It sneaks a bit of cultural heritage into my wardrobe, without looking too obvious, for a stylish and modern silhouette.

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Telluride 5 Pocket Stretch Corduroy Pant

The Adult Man Highland Duds Telluride Stretch Pant Sitting

There’s nothing like a pair of cords to add vintage flair to an outfit.

I scooped the Telluride 5 Pocket Stretch Corduroy in a sleek navy. The fabric has a subtle sheen that I wasn’t expecting, but it has a dressier look that’ll pair nicely with a matching blazer.

I’ve reviewed a number of trousers from popular brands, and they must be in cahoots planning a slim-fit takeover. The majority were tight enough to make me look like a Ballerina.

The Telluride’s fit was almost bespoke. Highland Duds doesn’t make odd sizes, so I had to size up.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Telluride Stretch pant Pocket Detail

Despite my meaty legs, the relaxed fit has a slight taper that does a great job of slimming my lower half. The Telluride complements my frame without any tightness in the leg, thigh, or crotch.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Telluride Stretch Pants Front On

If you are in between sizes, going up a size should work best.

For those with rugby-caliber legs, the cotton fabric sneaks in spandex for added freedom.

With a few nights out in the Telluride, I can safely say they’re city boy certified. The slightly stretchy corduroy is nice for long walks, boogying down, or simply crossing my legs at my desk.

A slight taper helps me look good during all of it.

Highland Duds Telluride 5 Pocket Stretch Corduroy Pant
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

The fit of the Telluride pants from Highland Duds is almost bespoke; relaxed but also tapered, so it does a great job of slimming the lower half and hugging the right places. These stretch corduroy pants cut a nice silhouette without any tightness in the leg, thigh, or crotch.

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Charleston Long Sleeve Shirt

The Adult Man Highland Duds Charleston Long Sleeve Up Front

With each passing year, it seems like apparel strays further away from using natural fibers.

Especially with dress shirts. Why do they all have to be a synthetic blend?

The Charleston Long Sleeve Shirt is 100% cotton, so thank you, Highland Duds.

It’s made from a seersucker fabric. You know those dimpled shirts that look like a golf ball? It’s one of those. I think they’re top-notch for a preppy summer look, especially the striped version I bought.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Charleston Long Sleeve Untucked

Comfort-wise, the shirt is as soft as I would expect from all-natural textiles.

While I’m a big fan, the textured seersucker needs quite the ironing session after a wash cycle. A steamer works too, but I could only get a crisp finish with the pressure of a flat iron.

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Whether it’s a jacket, shirt, or sweater, I order a large. The Charleston had a draftier fit in the length and torso. Highland Duds designed it to be tucked or untucked. It looks good with a firm tuck, but the bottom hem fell below my pockets.

Despite the sizing hiccup, the craftsmanship still shines. Each seam is thoughtful, the buttons feel secure, and the collar never leaves the wash lopsided.

If Highland Duds releases designs other than stripes or solids, I’ll definitely come back for more. The seersucker is a handsome alternative to oxford cotton or linen–just remind me to grab the medium.

Highland Duds Charleston Long Sleeve Shirt
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

The Charleston Long Sleeve Shirt is 100% cotton. It’s made from a seersucker fabric, perfect for a preppy summer look, and is perfectly comfortable and luxuriously soft, thanks to its all-natural fabric composition.

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Seaport Short Sleeve Tee

The Adult Man Highland Duds Seaport Short Sleeve Walking

I’ve developed an eye for nuanced details.

How did I do it? By reviewing T-shirts.

If a brand can innovate the most bare-bones piece of clothing, the rest of their product must be some pretty elevated stuff.

The second my head popped through the crewneck collar of the Seaport Short Sleeve Tee, I was hooked.

With countless reviews under my belt, I’ve become quite the tee snob. The Seaport has the exact fit I look for in a T-shirt. Cropped just below the waist, fitted in the arms and chest, and a slim torso.

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I like a shorter T-shirt fit, but I can’t speak for the masses. If you’re someone who tucks in their tees, this shirt is more for an over-the-pants casual look.

Fabric that sits close to my skin has to be smoother than oil for me to accept a shirt as one of my own.

The 100% Pima cotton has the luxurious feel Highland Duds was clearly going for. Thinner than the average T-shirt, but decadently soft.

For such a nice tee, I wouldn’t dare work out in the Seaport, however it’s noticeably breathable when I’m running all over the city.

While Highland Duds put their signature blue tape motif on the side seam, it’s not super overstated. I like my shirts with zero branding whatsoever, but the blue tab is far more digestible than a chest logo.

The Adult Man Highland Duds Seaport Short Sleeve Seam Detail

It’s also pre-shrunk and resistant to pilling. I’ve noticed that pilling comes from machine drying more than anything, so I love not having to worry about either when I’m too impatient to hang dry it.

I’ve washed it six times, and it looks the same as the day it arrived on my stoop.

I struggle to find anything I don’t like about the Seaport Short Sleeve Tee. The fit is superb, and the easy wash care means it can go in with the rest of my darks. With a sporty, soft fabric, I’m tempted to say this is the T-shirt.

Highland Duds Seaport Short Sleeve Tee
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

The Seaport has the exact fit I look for in a T-shirt. Cropped just below the waist, fitted in the arms and chest, and a slim torso. It's soft, breathable, pre-shrunk, and resistant to pilling, so you know it's built to stay looking good for as long as possible. A classic tee and an elevated wardrobe staple.

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What Do Other Reviewers Say?

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Reviewers have nothing but love to show for the Entrenched Trench Jacket. Things like the fit, style, and quality get customer shoutouts, with one reviewer stating that “the attention to detail is unmatched for this price point.”

There’s a lot of positive feedback in the Seaport Tee’s review section as well. Similar to my experience, customers love the fit and comfort the shirt provides. One testimonial states: “just the right amount of room around the midsection to be flattering, but not tight.”

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • The Breckenridge’s 100% Merino wool fabric is a bargain given its sub-$150 price point.
  • Blue tape detailing on each piece is a subtle yet recognizable way to make a Highland Duds product uniquely their own.
  • The Seaport Short Sleeve Tee is one of my best-fitting T-shirts.
  • Water-resistant material, double-breasted closure, and iconic style make the Entrenched Trench Jacket my classiest form of weather protection.
  • The relaxed fit of the Telluride Stretch Pant is refreshing compared to the endless “skinny stretch” pants on the market.

What I Don’t Like

  • The metal hardware on the Entrenched Trench Jacket’s belt is flimsy and thin.
  • I would’ve sized down on the Charleston Long Sleeve because of its longer length.

Who Is Highland Duds For?

I recommend Highland Duds for the guy who wants to look stylish without giving in to trends. With a budget of $500, you could score a few of their pieces with new-school styling and old-world quality.

The Verdict

Highland Duds, despite its seemingly self-deprecating name, is anything but a dud.

The brand’s product have a contemporary cut, but they only select the most beloved menswear silhouettes. I truly think Highland Duds is a brand for the ages.

I’m most excited about the Breckenridge Cable Knit. I can’t stop talking about how nice the Merino wool is, and the detailed weave is such a nicer look than untextured sweaters.

The Entrenched Trench Jacket was the first of its kind in my wardrobe. Highland Duds had the right idea with a traditional design upgraded with water-resistant fabric, but the belt’s hardware felt cheap. Luckily, it’s removable.

With a sleek appearance and soft Pima cotton, the Seaport Short Sleeve is a must-buy from them. It looks killer when I balance out the slim fit with a pair of wide-leg jeans.

The Telluride Pants do justice to original corduroys, only comfier and stretchier. I’d like them just a bit more if they were offered in odd sizes.

The Charleston Long Sleeve Shirt is my preppy best friend for summer gatherings near the coast.

This won’t be my last purchase from Highland Duds. If I had to recommend two things from their lineup, it would be the Breckenridge Cable Knit and Seaport Short Sleeve.

Thankfully, Highland Duds also offer their signature Stacks (bundles of their bestsellers) that make it easy to choose ready-to-wear outfits, so I don’t have to rely on my own fashion sense when choosing pieces.

Highland Duds
(Get 25% off with code ADULT25)

Sometimes, you just want something classic. Highland Duds aspires to return men's fashion to its founding principles: Style and quality that doesn’t expire. Their pieces have a cntemporary cut, but they only select the most beloved menswear silhouettes. I truly think Highland Duds is a brand for the ages.

Shop Highland Duds