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Perry Ellis Review: Men’s Basics Designed for Real Life

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David has been covering men's style and grooming topics for The Adult Man as a writer and photographer since 2020. We asked David to sum himself up in four sentences, and here it is. Serial learner. Aspiring wordsmith. Bourbon enthusiast. Jack of some trades. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 4, 2024
15 min read
Perry Ellis Review Model Wearing Perry Ellis Chinos Puffer Jacket and Turtleneck

You’re sick of shopping at Zara and H&M for clothes that fall apart quickly, but don’t want to drop half of your paycheck on a single piece that promises to be durable. Even then, most of the expensive garments from quality clothiers aren’t built for everyday use, and can be uncomfortable or a hassle to clean.

Perry Ellis’ clothing line proposes a solution to this by designing garments that are meant for real life and its many bumps and scrapes. In this review, we take a look at five Perry Ellis pieces to see if they’re worth your money.

The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Perry Ellis
Perry Ellis

Bottom line: Perry Ellis aims to bring function and fashion together by making clothes that complement your lifestyle. I love the quality of materials used to make their jackets and sweaters, and I’m impressed by how affordable their clothing is. The brand didn’t always offer the color I wanted for larger items like jackets, but their adventurous colorways helped me step outside my normal palette.

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:
  • Garments are made for everyday use and won’t wear out quickly
  • Their products are designed to simplify your style choices, so you can look good with little effort
  • Wide selection of clothing for the office, the boardroom, the gym, or everyday wear, and individual shops for slim fit and big and tall pieces
  • Affordable prices compared to other men’s basics brands
Cons:
  • Just a few colors available for most products

I’ve wasted a lot of money on cheap clothes.

I’ll come across a nice t-shirt or pair of jeans that’s deceptively cheap and immediately feels like good quality, but the first wash tells the truth. 

Major shrinkage, tattered hems, loosened collars, and more make these clothes good for one or two wears at most, and then a one-way ticket to Goodwill or the trash after that.

I’ve had plenty of friends tell me that I need to make the investment in high-quality pieces that are built to last, but many of these end up being for special use cases and not ideal for everyday wear. 

Or, if they are for everyday wear, the amount of money to replace my entire wardrobe with these pieces could probably get me a new car. 

A bit of a sticky wicket, isn’t it?

Frustrated that I couldn’t find quality, everyday clothes that were built to last and at prices I could stomach, I did some Google sleuthing.

That’s when I came across Perry Ellis.

What Is Perry Ellis?

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Perry Ellis is the eponymous brand of the late fashion designer, whose first collection debuted in 1976. 

The man behind the brand, Perry Ellis, was something of a fashion designer rockstar at the time. In 1979 he won the Coty Award for his first Perry Ellis show, and would go on to win this award eight more times, along with the CFDA Designer of the Year Award in 1982. 

Those are some hefty accolades, but what made this brand so special?

Mr. Ellis’ focus was on innovating beyond tradition and formalities to create clothing that is meant for real life, and not just fashion for fashion’s sake.

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In his own words, “I don’t make fashion—I make clothes. The clothes cross all the points of my personal lifestyle. They’re to wear in the city or the country, to work, or to go out.”

The designer passed tragically while still young, but his brand continues to maintain his legacy. Today, Perry Ellis continues the ethos of the original brand: clothing that is versatile, innovative, relevant, and gives confidence to the wearer.

Ellis lived his life to the fullest, and invites you to do the same, in style, through his brand.

Things to Consider Before Buying Clothing from Perry Ellis

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The first is your personal style. 

If your wardrobe can be summed up with the phrase, “The weirder the better”, Perry Ellis probably isn’t for you. While they have fun designs and vibrant colors, their clothing styles are basic and not statement pieces. 

However, if you’re after a brand that sells quality basics and time-tested styles that work for a wide range of formalities, Perry Ellis is the perfect place to start. As an added convenience, the brand also makes watches, shoes, fragrances, and other accessories for a one-stop shopping experience. 

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The other consideration is your budget. If you’re scraping pennies together but still want to purchase quality clothing, Perry Ellis often has sales that bring their clothes in line with most budget retailers.

If you’ve got cash to drop, the brand is also a great choice because it hits the sweet spot of quality threads at non-premium prices. 

Perry Ellis

Perry Ellis aims to bring function and fashion together by making clothes that complement your lifestyle. I love the quality of materials used to make their jackets and sweaters, and I’m impressed by how affordable their clothing is. The brand didn’t always offer the color I wanted for larger items like jackets, but their adventurous colorways helped me step outside my normal palette.

Shop Perry Ellis

Perry Ellis Review

Perry Ellis Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket being zipped up 1

To get a good taste of Perry Ellis’ varied products, I picked up their Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket, Untucked Total Stretch Banded Collar Shirt, Solid Tech Knit Turtleneck, Anywhere Stretch Chino Pants, and Chris Boots. 

The brand offers free shipping on orders over $99 for regular customers, and free shipping on orders over $50 for Perry Perks members. If you plan to do a lot of shopping at Perry Ellis, signing up for Perry Perks will probably save you some money every year. 

It’s free to join, and offers serious incentives like points that can be redeemed for purchases and early access to new arrivals and major sales.

The brand has standard 3-5 day shipping, and before I knew it a few sleek packages from Perry Ellis International were on my doorstep.

Anywhere Stretch Chino Pants

Perry Ellis Anywhere Stretch Chino Pants from the side

I’m a big fan of chinos for their ability to be dressed up and down with ease. Perry Ellis’ Anywhere Stretch Chinos are no exception to this, and are formal enough for your next business meeting, but also casual enough for the local dive bar.

Typical chinos are 100% cotton, which is comfortable, but not very forgiving. The Anywhere Stretch Chinos get their name from a 98% cotton and 2% elastane fabric blend, which gives them a hint of stretch for all-day comfort.

These pants are slim fit, so if you’ve got some Zeus-sized legs these could be tighter than you’d like. That said, in the spectrum of slim fit pants I’d say these are closer to a regular cut than a skinny cut.

The Anywhere Stretch Chinos feature a dobby fabrication, which weaves small, raised geometric patterns into the surface of the fabric for a refined, textured look. I love small details in clothing, and this is one I hadn’t encountered in pants before. Big fan.

Perry Ellis Anywhere Stretch Chino Pants from the front

Overall, these chinos fit well. I usually wear a 30 x 32, and I was pleased with the snug waist and appropriate length. 

I’ve noticed a trend recently where pants that say they’re 32 length are maybe 30 (seems like everything needs to be cropped) but the Anywhere Stretch Chinos are actually the correct length.

Regarding the color, I think I would have preferred for these to lean more towards the classic beige khaki rather than yellow, but they still pair well with plenty of colors. 

These chinos come in four other colors, including black, light blue, stone, and white, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding the right pair for your wardrobe.

Between the dobby fabrication, fit, stretch, and color options I’m a big fan of these chinos, and they feel sturdy enough to last a long time.

Perry Ellis Anywhere Stretch Chino Pants

Between the dobby fabrication, fit, stretch, and color options I’m a big fan of these chinos, and they feel sturdy enough to last a long time.

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Untucked Total Stretch Banded Collar Shirt

Perry Ellis Untucked Total Stretch Banded Collar Shirt from front

One thing Perry Ellis could easily improve is their garment naming strategy, but to be fair, you know exactly what you’re getting.

The Untucked Total Stretch Banded Collar Shirt is meant to be worn untucked, has some serious stretch, and features a banded, casual collar rather than your typical shirt collar.

This shirt is made from 100% polyester, which is where it gets its stretch. The polyester construction has the benefit of being moisture-wicking, which makes it comfortable even in hot and humid environments.

I was surprised by how similar this felt to a regular dress shirt. When I think of 100% polyester, I think of thick Adidas track suits, but this shirt couldn’t be further from that. 

Perry Ellis Untucked Total Stretch Banded Collar Shirt worn with jacket and chinos

The banded collar isn’t something you see often in men’s shirts, and I appreciate the unique style. It’s an easy way to set your outfit apart. It lends a refined, seasoned air to your ensemble, and I find it more comfortable than traditional collars. 

The polyester construction for this shirt also lets you chuck it straight into the washing machine after a long night out, which I appreciate.

Overall, the Untucked Total Stretch Banded Collar Shirt is great for casual outings and I love the comfortable stretch of the polyester construction.

Perry Ellis Untucked Total Stretch Banded Collar Shirt

This bad boy is meant to be worn untucked, has some serious stretch, and features a banded, casual collar rather than your typical shirt collar. It's great for casual outings and I love the comfortable stretch of the polyester construction.

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Solid Tech Knit Turtleneck

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I’ve owned a lot of turtlenecks in my time, and Perry Ellis’ Solid Tech Knit is my favorite by a long shot. 

Most of my retired turtlenecks have been polyester and cotton blends, which are comfortable, but stretch out easily and don’t have a very refined, luxurious feel. 

The Solid Tech Knit Turtleneck is made with a blend of sustainable viscose and polyester which makes for a fantastic feel and fit. It’s stretchy, soft, cool, and perfect for all-day wear.

This isn’t a chunky turtleneck by any means, which makes it perfect for layering under suit jackets and other coats. It’s my go-to option when I’m wearing a suit and want to look like a European soccer star or James Bond.

Perry Ellis Tech Knit Turtleneck worn with jacket and chinos

The fabric blend also has the benefit of being antimicrobial, which helps keep odors at bay and protects against bacteria.

This turtleneck fits true to size, and comes in four, neutral colors that make it easy to pair with any outfit.

All said, the Solid Tech Knit Turtleneck is super comfortable, light, breathable, and will be a staple in my wardrobe for a long time.

Perry Ellis Solid Tech Knit Turtleneck Sweater

This turtleneck is super comfortable, light, breathable, and will be a staple in my wardrobe for a long time. It’s my go-to option when I’m wearing a suit and want to look like a European soccer star or James Bond.

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Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket

Perry Ellis Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket being zipped up

The Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket is warmer than you’d expect. 

It looks like it would be warm in the photos, but I was surprised by just how light the jacket is when I received it. This gave me some seeds of doubt as to whether it would really be warm, so I took it for a spin. 

I went for a walk on one of those days that feels like you’re getting sucker punched in the chin by Mike Tyson’s blast-chilled fist as soon as you step outside, but I stayed remarkably warm the whole time.

Perry Ellis Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket from side

Since it’s so lightweight, the jacket has awesome mobility and flexibility, which I greatly appreciate. Nothing bothers me more than feeling like I’m in a straightjacket while trying to stay warm.

The exterior fabric is water-resistant, which makes this jacket appropriate for days with light rain. The hood is deep enough to fully cover a big head with a hat, which I appreciate since I’ve been “blessed” with a big ‘ol dome.

The hood can be removed if you’d like a sleeker profile, which leaves a mock collar that offers enough protection from the elements on your neck.

Perry Ellis Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket being unzipped

I found the color options for this jacket to be slightly wanting, as there are only five and some of the colors are tricky to match. For example, the Bistre colorway is a dark, mustard yellow that wouldn’t have many pairing options in my wardrobe.

The other colors are Port (the deep, red-purple you see me wearing above), white, black, and alloy, which is a light, silvery gray. I would have liked to see a navy or forest green, but am happy with the Port.

Overall, the Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket delivers on its name and surpasses expectations. It’s surprisingly warm, fits well, offers great mobility, and looks sleek.

Perry Ellis Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket

This lightweight puffer delivers on its name and surpasses expectations. It’s surprisingly warm, fits well, offers great mobility, and looks sleek. I like.

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Chris Boots

Perry Ellis Chris Boots from the side

I wear Chelsea boots considerably more than dress shoes, so I was curious to get my hands on Perry Ellis’ Chris Boots.

These Chelseas feature a squared toe with a sleek, brushed faux leather exterior. I’m not usually a fan of square toe shoes, but these are rounded just enough to be appealing. Plus, square toe shoes are making a comeback.

The Chris Boots have a slightly lower ankle rise than I’m used to seeing on Chelsea boots, but it’s still comfortable and delivers the classic profile. 

These fit true to size and the brand offers half sizes if you normally find yourself between sizes. The insole is made with a dense foam material that’s comfortable from the start and is covered with a cozy sock lining.

Perry Ellis Chris Boots from the side mid step

I didn’t notice much of a break-in period for these—they’re comfy from day one and the squared toe makes extra space at the front so your toes aren’t crammed.

My main complaint with these boots is that the heel stack portion of the sole isn’t also black, like the leather uppers. This is just a personal preference, and has nothing to do with the quality of the boot as a whole.

My other is with the faux leather. If you have the budget, I advise stumping up a little more for something like the Thursday Cavaliers. You get a classy, slim, genuine leather Chelsea that’ll lost a lot longer.

Thursday Boot Company Cavalier

This dressy option pairs well with suits. There's no pull tab, so no worries about your pants getting caught in the back, which is a big problem when wearing your fancy pants. Decked out with cork-bed midsoles, the Cavalier gets more comfortable over time.

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Overall, the Chris Boots are a solid budget choice for everyday wear in semi-formal and casual settings.

Perry Ellis Chris Boot

With their squared toe and minimal break-in, these Chelseas are a solid budget choice for everyday wear in semi-formal and casual settings.

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Perry Ellis Alternatives

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers corduroy brown pants and black turtleneck

This legendary American clothier specializes in men’s suits, dress shirts, and everyday basics like sweaters and chinos. 

While their clothes are considerably more expensive than Perry Ellis’ offerings, the quality is top-notch and fabrics like merino wool, lambswool, and cashmere are used throughout.

Brooks Brothers checked suit

Brooks Brothers was founded in 1812, making it over 200 years old, and as such has more of an old school, preppy feel than Perry Ellis does. 

If you’re looking to nail down classic styles with quality construction and premium materials, check out Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers is an excellent brand for you if you want top-notch fabrics and a classic fit that accentuates your traditionally masculine features.

Shop Brooks Brothers Read Our Review

Ben Sherman

Model sitting in Harrington Jacket

Ben Sherman is another great men’s shirting clothier, with their flagship offering being an Oxford shirt. 

The brand also has a sizeable catalogue of everyday staples like chinos, bombers, and sweaters that showcase traditional and eclectic styles.

Model sitting in Button Through Mod Polo

Their clothes can be on the expensive side, though not as expensive as Brooks Brothers. That said, Ben Sherman’s clothing has excellent construction quality and uses durable materials across the board.

Stylistically, the brand leans a bit preppy, but some of their statement pieces make it easy to stand out in a crowd, which I like.

Ben Sherman

Whether you’re into timeless apparel or bold patterns and colors, Ben Sherman’s catalog of retro-inspired garments has something to round out your wardrobe.

Shop Ben Sherman Read Our Review

Taylor Stitch

Taylor Stitch boss duck outfit

For a more rugged selection of everyday men’s essentials, check out Taylor Stitch.

Most of the brand’s offerings are similar in style to workwear, but with a fashionable flair that nicely maintains a balance of tough sophistication. Many of their styles have a slimmer cut, which keeps their clothing sleek and modern.

Taylor Stitch chinos on model

The brand is committed to sustainable business practices as well, which is done through reducing their carbon footprint and partnering with companies that are making a positive ecological impact.

Although their offerings are expensive, the quality and durability makes it well worth the price.

Taylor Stitch

Taylor Stitch uses crowdfunding to ensure they make just enough to meet demand without overstocking so they can keep their prices lower. The brand has a unique, wear-for-life ethos that we can get behind.

Shop Taylor Stitch Read Our Review

What do Other Reviewers Say About Perry Ellis?

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Reviews for Perry Ellis are largely positive. Satisfied customers mentioned the sleek styles, quality-construction, and especially how well the shirts and sweaters fit. The Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket is a new release and already has more than 100 positive reviews.

Of the negative reviews I could find, there were a few cases where customers had delayed shipping times or never got their products in the first place, but these were few and far between. In each of these instances, a service rep from Perry Ellis replied and directed the customers to a return and refund portal.

My Thoughts Overall On Perry Ellis

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

Who Is Perry Ellis For?

Perry Ellis is a great choice for any guy who needs clothing that’s designed for everyday life with a stylish flair. The brand has a huge selection of clothing, shoes, accessories, and even fragrances at affordable prices for the level of quality.

The Verdict

Perry Ellis strikes a solid balance between quality, stylish clothing and affordable prices.

While their clothing may not be as cheap as bulk retailers like H&M and Zara, the quality of their garments makes the price worth it in the long run. Also, the brand often has sales that help bring their prices in line with the fast fashion competition.

I’m a big fan of Perry Ellis’ Lightweight Hooded Puffer Jacket and Solid Tech Knit Turtleneck, and although color options are a bit limited, both have exceptional quality and construction for the price.

If you’re looking for clothes that won’t wear out after the first wash and will keep you stylish with little effort, I recommend checking out Perry Ellis.

Perry Ellis

Perry Ellis aims to bring function and fashion together by making clothes that complement your lifestyle. I love the quality of materials used to make their jackets and sweaters, and I’m impressed by how affordable their clothing is. The brand didn’t always offer the color I wanted for larger items like jackets, but their adventurous colorways helped me step outside my normal palette.

Shop Perry Ellis

FAQs

Does Perry Ellis run small?

Perry Ellis does not run small. The brand recommends ordering your normal size and I found their sizes to fit as expected.

How good of a brand is Perry Ellis?

Perry Ellis makes high-quality clothes that are appropriate for everyday wear and at affordable prices.

Is Perry Ellis a designer brand?

Perry Ellis is technically a designer brand, but the prices are affordable.