When building a wardrobe, I want a few key pieces that can work in most situations.
You know, like a bright red velvet suit with an embroidered tiger face on the back.
Ok, maybe not like that at all.
Jokes aside, I’ve been scouring the web for brands that specialize in premium basics: clothes that are simple, versatile, and fit well.
When I came across PAIGE, I wanted to give the brand a try to see if their pared-back designs could make a place in my walk-in. Keep reading to see my thoughts on the brand and get the scoop on whether PAIGE is worth it.
What Is PAIGE?
PAIGE is an L.A. based lifestyle collection for men and women. They make what’s called “premium basics.”
Another way of saying that is: simple style staples done well, but at a price.
PAIGE was founded in 2004 by former fit-model Paige Adams-Geller and launched their men’s line in 2006. The brand built its reputation on denim, but has since expanded to so much more.
I’ve been a fan of the brand for a while for their innovative take on jeans. I even included PAIGE on our list of best jeans for men.
While the fit might look standard, the brand has embraced technical and stretch fabrics. They don’t call themselves a tech-fabric brand like Public Rec or Mizzen + Main, but it’s clear PAIGE puts just as much emphasis on comfort as they do on style.
Things to Consider Before Buying Premium Basics
Premium basics aren’t for everybody. The most important consideration is your budget. I think it’s worthwhile spending extra for the best quality and fit possible. And I don’t mean that just from a fashion-perspective.
I’ve had plenty of clothes I cheaped out on, only to bury them at the bottom of a drawer because they either didn’t fit well, or the quality was so low that the clothes were basically useless after a few washes.
As I approach my 30s, I buy fewer clothes, though I’m more comfortable spending a little extra.
If money isn’t an object for you, congratulations. But if you’re like everyone else, you’ll want to pick out a few premium basics that make the entire outfit.
For instance, say you get a statement piece jacket—you can go with a less expensive t-shirt or jeans underneath because the jacket fits well and looks nice.
Similarly, a fantastic pair of jeans doesn’t need much dressing up.
So when you’re looking for premium basics, keep an eye out for the key pieces that do most of the talking.
Ok, so maybe I was in the middle of a Queer Eye marathon and I got bomber-envy from Karamo’s extensive collection. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, move along and pretend I never mentioned it.
I’ve been on the lookout for a sleek bomber that looks more “crisp” than the traditional bomber style.
Last year I picked up a bomber jacket from GAP, and while I like it, the style is very casual.
Like most bomber jackets, the GAP version has a sleeve zipper and is a little bulkier through the arms and torso.
But the PAIGE Hayward Bomber does away with some of those old-school elements and keeps their jacket simple: no arm zipper, and a slimmer modern fit.
I picked it up in their Black Coffee colorway, which is a charcoal grey/black mix that’s versatile and will look fantastic in fall and winter.
The fabric is a blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex, but it’s texturized to feel like tweed. I was surprised to learn it was 100% synthetic performance fabric as it’s got a more organic feel to it.
There aren’t any buttons on the pockets which keeps the silhouette trim and uncluttered. While I like the pockets at the waist, I always prefer an internal breast pocket on my jackets as it’s much easier to carry a wallet or a few cards.
Both the collar and cuffs are comfortable and not too constricting. The cuffs and hem hug around my wrists and waist firmly, but they still move naturally with my body.
Overall, this jacket is very comfortable and it’s lightweight. If you live in a warmer climate like I do (North Carolina) this jacket is the perfect weight for fall and the colder months of spring. It won’t hold up to winter temperatures, but it’s trim enough to work as a middle layer.
I ordered a size medium, and at 6’1” and ~190lbs, it fits well in the shoulders and arms. The length is perfect, too. My only issue with the fit is that it’s a bit wide around the stomach and could’ve been taken in a little more.
PAIGE takes a minimalist approach to the bomber jacket style with their Hayward Bomber. You won't see much of the original military inspiration but you can bet on sharp clean lines and a modern silhouette.
Cruz Cargo Trouser
When I knew I was going to do a review of PAIGE, I felt I had to go with a pair of their jeans—it’s what they’re known for, after all.
But once I saw the Cruz Cargo Trouser, I couldn’t resist them. I like the utility look of the cargo pockets in a slim fit, modern fabric pant. True, they’re not jeans, but I figured if PAIGE could nail the fit on these, they can nail the fit on jeans.
And I’m happy with my decision.
Made with PAIGE’s Transcend Knit technical fabric, I was surprised at how stretchy and soft these pants are—they almost feel like sweatpants. While I initially thought that might make them look frumpy, it doesn’t.
Despite the soft material, these pants look crisp even after a few washes. And they’re comfortable, too. Unlike chinos, I don’t have to worry about bending over and exploding the seat of my pants, which happens to me more often than I care to admit. It’s inconvenient and slightly traumatizing as you might imagine.
Us gentlemen don’t have a huge array of pant options—we’re usually saddled with jeans, chinos, and dress slacks. You can include shorts in there. But really the styles are fairly limited.
I love the cargo-pant aspect to these trousers because they give a distinct elevated-workwear type vibe. They look rugged, but pair nicely with soft suede boots.
My Thoughts Overall On PAIGE
What I Like
The Hayward Bomber modernizes the bomber jacket—it’s slim and minimal, but keeps the accents that make the style so cool.
Besides being super comfortable, the Cruz Cargo Trousers offer a unique flair that you can’t get with chinos or jeans. They’re crisp looking, but still casual.
Both the bomber and trousers are made with comfortable technical fabrics, which allows for a lot of mobility and stain-resistance.
What I Don’t Like
Exchanges and online returns are paid for by the customer.
Who is PAIGE for?
PAIGE is an excellent brand for the guy who is looking for a few laid back statement pieces. For instance, I can throw on the Hayward Bomber with a simple t-shirt and jeans combo and still look neat and put together.
PAIGE may have made their name with their denim, but the brand has a lot more to offer.
After trying their Hayward Bomber and Cruz Cargo Trouser, I’m confident saying the L.A. based brand is excellent with technical fabrics cut into modern, slim silhouettes.
Both pieces I tried can make an entire outfit: the Cruz Trousers with a t-shirt and boots is a military-inspired style forward combo that would flatter any guy. Similarly, the Hayward Bomber with an oxford shirt and jeans would make for a smart-casual outfit that’s laid back and refined.
While I hope to see a few minor changes in the future regarding their online returns policy, I’m a fan of PAIGE.
PAIGE premium basics add a subtle twist to modern-day style essentials. The brand built its reputation in denim, but they've proven they can do much more than just a killer pair of jeans.
Are PAIGE jeans good quality?
Yes, PAIGE jeans are good quality. Many of their jeans are made with high percentages of technical fabric, which is comfortable, stretchy, and durable.
Do PAIGE jeans run small?
No, PAIGE jeans run true to size.
Where are PAIGE jeans made?
PAIGE jeans are designed in Los Angeles, though they’re constructed overseas.