Archive for the 'Shopping destinations' Category

19
Nov
12

Paragon Outlets – Livermore, CA

The recession must be officially over as a brand new High End Outlet Center has just opened on November 8, 2012 in Livermore, California. It is named The Paragon Outlets. It is the first new Outlet center in California in over a decade. I know that “High End Outlet Center” sounds like an oxymoron, but this place does have many high end stores such as: Barneys, Last Call (NiemanMarcus), Armani, ETRO, Brunello Cucinello, Prada, Coach,  Brooks Brothers, Bloomingdales and Off Fifth Avenue. Also, coming soon are Burberry and Dooney Burke. So, if there is such a thing as a high end Outlet, Paragon does a very good job. Not all of the stores are high end though, as some of the familiar not so end high end stores are there as well, like Skechers, Charlotte Russe, Volcom, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, etc.

The Paragon Outlets

The Paragon Outlets are located at 2774 Paragon Outlets Drive. Currently, there is only on way in and out,  (new exits and entrances are under construction), which can cause some long lines of traffic, and this is off the El Charro exit off I-580. Not only does this Outlet Center cater to Livermore, but, also, to some of the more affluent, nearby communities of Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville. It is 40 miles north of San Jose and 40 miles east of San Francisco. This has already impacted the Walnut Creek shopping centers.

The Paragon outlets are basically an outer rectangular perimeter of connected stores with a center strip of stores in between. There are 130 stores, but only one food court, which can be very busy around lunch time. I can only imagine what that will look like on the weekends following Thanksgiving and the Christmas season.

Shopping For Clothing Made In the USA at the Paragon Outlets

Remember that buying American can increase more American jobs. (Thanks to madeinusachallenge.com for the link.) Since there are 130 stores at the Paragon Outlets, I will not list each individual store but will list only the ones that offer you the best opportunity to find clothing made in the USA. For the other stores and how much US made clothing they sell, you may want to check out my link: Rating the Stores for US Made Clothing. Happy shopping and buy American.

Top Choice for US Made Clothing at the Paragon Outlets

Splendid/Ella Moss – Women’s clothing, mostly casual and targeted towards younger women.

New Balance – The only shoe maker in the U.S. that still makes athletic shoes. Look for the boxes with the United States flag on them.

Barneys of New York – The outlet of the high end store Barneys. Many European designers and some high end U.S. makers. For men, they carried brands such as Gitman Vintage, Steven Alan, Friend or Foe, and Todd Snyder.

Last Call – The outlet for Nieman Marcus. High end. Many European designers like Brioni and a few U.S. brands like A/G.

Off Fifth Avenue – The outlet for Saks Fifth Avenue. High end. Many European designers and a few US brands like Rag and Bone.

Charlotte Russe outlet. Mid to lower level outlet. Women’s clothing, mostly casual, targeted towards younger women.

Bloomingdales – Mid level outlet for the department store. Several US brands.

True Religion, 7 for All Mankind, Joe’s Jeans – One may find jeans made in the USA in one of these stores.

Updated February 14, 2013.

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12
Oct
12

Clothingmadeinusablog goes to France

Clothingmadeinusablog goes to France, sounds a lot like “Abbott and Costello Visit The Mummy” or “Gidget Goes Hawaiian”. The reason there have been no posts to this blog was because I had gone to France to do research and I am still getting over jet lag. I know it’s a hard life, but somebody has to do it. This entry will be about: France’s attitude about fashion; how the French people are different than Americans; and whether France makes clothes in its own country.

Paris – Fashion Capital of the World

So what is France’s attitude toward clothing and where is it made? First off, Paris is very fashion conscious. Paris believes that it is the center of the world when it comes to fashion and they are probably right, although New York City always thinks it is number one in all things. But, in comparison to New York City, in Paris, there are many more lavish fashion shows with many famous designers, usually, both French and Italian, who are  ready to go to Paris at the drop of a chapeau, because Paris is so geographically close to them (and chic).  And, let’s face it, the biggest names in fashion, have been and still are European. Another difference is the amount of media coverage of fashion news that it gets in its mainstream media sources. The French newspapers, television and general information magazines carry much more about fashion than its American counterparts. So, who is the fashion capital? Paris says: “C’est Moi.”

Being French

The people of France have some unique differences from other countries. They are proud to be French and they try hard to keep their culture from falling apart. But it is not easy. There is quite a bit of influence coming from neighboring countries as well as the United States. The English language is heard frequently everywhere: in music, in television and movies. 70% of the movies in France are from Hollywood and in English, which are either subtitled or dubbed, as are some TV shows from America, like “The Mentalist”, “Two and a Half Men” – known in France as “Mon Uncle, Charlie”, as well as some reality TV shows like “The Kardashians” and “The Real Housewives of America”. Heaven knows what the French think of Americans after watching these shows. In fact, I wonder about Americans after any reality show I watch, which fortunately for me, this is rare event.

The French like being French and celebrate their Frenchness. Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite are the country’s motto which means Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood, which is a little better that “With Liberty and Justice for All.” The French like to enjoy life, rather than being a slave to their job or their pursuit of money – that is why they take two hours off for lunch each day, have some wine and cheese, and are closed on Sundays and often Monday as well. It is also, why there are still many small stores and small restaurants, unlike the Mega Businesses that predominate the United States. The French are more engaged in politics and yet there is not the polarization there is in the United States. (My personal thought is because there is not the Hate TV and Hate Radio in France that is so commonplace in the U.S.). In fact, a survey in France, asked the French people whether they were interested in the elections in the U.S. The survey result was 37% were interested, 52% weren’t interested. Funny, that is about the same as the American people interested in their own election.

Are The French Rude?

Are the French rude? That seems always to be a frequent question with visitors who have gone to France. I think for the most part, the French being rude is a myth. But realize, they are prideful people and would like to preserve their language. One may notice that in some conversations between French counterparts, sometimes certain English words or phrases come out, even when equivalent French words are available. Some French language proponents lament this phenomenon. Although, the French people do not expect foreign tourists to know French, they do appreciate the attempt some French. It is really quite easy. Always greet with “Bonjour, Monsieur” or “Bonjour, Madame” are usually sufficient. And in leaving: “Au Revoir, Monsieur” or “Au Revoir, Madame”. Also, “Est-ce vous parlez L’Anglais?” (Do you speak English?) is quite helpful. So, in short, no, the French are not rude. You may encounter an occasional rude French person, but then, you will, also, encounter an occasional rude waitress in your neighborhood American restaurant.

Clothing Manufacturing in France

The French like to buy French when it comes to purchasing certain things like French made cars to help support their country. But when it comes to clothing and where it is manufactured France is as clueless as most of us Americans. In fact, they are probably more clueless, because French clothing does not have to disclose where it is manufactured. Like almost all European nations, France has outsourced almost all of its clothing manufacturing. So, these famous French designers rarely have their clothing made in France. The top designers will have them made in Italy, the rest are elsewhere, mainly China. It appears that France does not recognize that manufacturing as a solid economic grower. France seems to be concentrating on the same 1980’s – 1990’s American movement that technology will save everything. France needs to diversify, they need to manufacture the technology that they are creating if they are going to get any economic benefit from it.
In the upcoming week, I will have a blog entry about shopping in France and especially Paris.

“The French complain of everything and always.” – Napoleon

30
Jul
12

Disneyland: How much of their clothes are made in the USA?

Mainpoint: Disney sells many souvenirs and souvenir clothing. About 1% of their clothing is made in the USA.

Disneyland

Disneyland – Brief background

Since there has been a great interest in the Olympics and its clothing, recently, why not shine the light on another great American institution – Disneyland? Disneyland was created in 1955 by cartoonist, Walt Disney. The area he picked was once a farmland in Anaheim. The park had a few rides, merry-go-rounds, and an area for riding mules and taking canoes out on the water as well as riding on a miniature train. And within the park, there were the re-creations of a castle, and old fashioned downtown area and Tomorrowland, based on what life would look like in 1986. It cost 90 cents to enter the park or if you bought the packet of tickets which included the admission pass, plus tickets for the A,B,C, D, and E rides, all of this went for the exorbitant price of $4.50. Back in 1955, things were simpler and slower. And just about everything back then was made in the United States. Fast forward to 2012: The Disneyland Park, during the summer receives some 50,000 to 80,000 people per day. People from all over the world come to visit the park year after year, more than any National Park. This is THE modern day National Park.

Disneyland and American Made Clothing

Last year when I visited Disneyland, I was very disappointed in trying to find American made clothing within Disneyland and Downtown Disney. It was extremely rare to find any US made clothing. About the only store that had US made clothing was one called “The Vault” in Downtown Disney.
This year, July 26 to July 28, 2012, I have noticed an increase (which is good) in the amount of clothing in the Disney stores, but not tremendously so. In the biggest store, “World of Disney” in Downtown Disney, it had at least 10 different types of T-shirts and tanks, made in the US. No pants, jackets, sweatshirts or hats were made in the U.S. Overall about 1%, of their total. The national average is 2% of all clothing is US made. The best stores for finding US made clothing was, again, “The Vault” and the store next door, “D Street”. These two stores are mainly aimed at the age demographic of late teens to twenties. I would say these two stores carry about 10 – 20% US made shirts, with labels such as Junk Food and Double 5. There were, also, a few shirts made in the USA manufactured under the name of Disney Couture as well as Disneyland. I found a Hawaiian shirt, made in the US, at a store in California Adventureland.

Disney Hawaiian type shirt
Made in the U.S.A.

Conclusion

Disneyland is truly a reflection of the United States. It started as a somewhat rural getaway – a park for both the children and the adults, to enjoy. It has slowly become urban as well as a giant multi-national mega-chain. The Disney souvenirs has slowly changed from US made to foreign made. Maybe we are seeing starting to see a US comeback. This comeback can been attributed to a grass-roots movement with very little help from the government which had allowed this to happen over the past thirty years. We can only hope that the continued grass roots movement will someday translate into action in Washington, D.C. To us grass roots people, it makes sense. Buying American creates more American jobs. An increase in American jobs means more money for everybody except, for the short term, countries like China. But, overall, a stronger America “will float more boats”, than if we just ship the jobs straight to the other countries.

07
Apr
12

Top 25 Shopping Cities – Lucky Magazine

Lucky’s Top 25 Shopping Cities

  1. New York
  2. Los Angeles
  3. San Francisco
  4. Miami
  5. Chicago
  6. Atlanta
  7. Portland
  8. Seattle
  9. Phoenix
  10. Las Vegas
  11. Washington D.C.
  12. Austin
  13. Boston
  14. Philadelphia
  15. Houston
  16. Dallas
  17. Denver
  18. Orlando
  19. New Orleans
  20. Nashville
  21. Kansas City
  22. Baltimore
  23. Charlotte
  24. Minneapolis
  25. Indianapolis

Lucky Magazine came out with their top 25 Shopping Cities on February 2012. Factors considered: the number of empty stores (culled from real estate firms, traffic on Yelp, the number of women’s clothing stores and department stores (from Costco to Saks Fifth Avenue), and where Lucky editors would want to shop. Regarding San Francisco: “San Francisco has tons of great neighborhoods, with a distinct mix of second hand, designer and boutique shopping. When it comes to innovation, SF has yet to open its ‘Opening Ceremony’ or ‘Ten Over Six’ equivalent. But in such a cool town, we know a cool concept store is sure to emerge!” said Lauren Sherman, Lucky’s executive digital editor.

For the full article please click on this link: Lucky’s Top 25 Shopping Cities.

“Veni, Vidi, Visa – I came, I saw, I went shopping” – Julius Caeser at Barney’s

02
Apr
12

Shopping the Magnificent Mile/Chicago for Clothing made in USA

Mainpoint: clothingmadeinusablog goes to Chicago’s favorite shopping destination, the Magnificent Mile, in search of clothing made in USA.

Clothingmadeinusablog heads to the third largest city in the United States, Chicago, Illinois to shop.

Shopping in Chicago used to mean shopping on State Street at McCormick Place and Carson Pirie Scott & Co. However, those places are history, and instead the favored shopping area now is on North Michigan Avenue between Grand Avenue and Oak Street, called the Magnificent Mile. There are 460 stores, 275 restaurants and 51 hotels. So, is it worth checking out? Yes. Is it the best? No, but it is in the top 5 in the United States.

Stores within the Magnificent Mile

If you come from a small town or a medium size town but many miles away from a large metropolitan area, then you may find this place overwhelming. Many of the major department stores, medium to upper end are located within a half mile from each other: (from South to North) Nordstrom’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Nieman Marcus, Macys, and Bloomingdales. And then there are chain stores galore. If you are a seasoned shopper, and have been to most of the big city stores and department stores then this place might not be as a big deal – but still it is nice that all these major department stores are so close together. The luxury stores are ample: Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Escada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Venetta, Chanel and Armani. Barney’s and Hermes  are actually a little ways down on Oak Street near Rush Street. There are three malls on the Magnificent Mile – the Nordstrom’s mall also called The Shops at North Bridge (520 N. Michigan), The Macy’s mall called The Water Tower (845 N. Michigan), is at the base of the 100 story John Hancock Tower, and the Bloomingdale Mall which is just called 900 N. Michigan. My preference are to see more independent stores. It gives the place more character, places likes Garrett’s Popcorn and Harry Caray’s restaurant  just down the street. Whereas, chain stores look the same no matter where you are whether in Little Rock, Arkansas, Honolulu, Hawaii or New York City. Of course, there are some exceptions. The independent stores tend to be rougher around the edges and may have more American made clothing. I have said in the past that independent clothiers may have more USA made clothing, but I may need to amend that when it pertains to men’s clothing. Men’s clothier’s tend to be more upper end, and with many of American manufacturers of men’s clothing, especially upper end rapidly disappearing, the void has had to be filled with foreign made clothes, European as well as slave labor countries. That is true for Mark Shale clothier’s as well.

Surprises on the Magnificent Mile

When shopping in these large complexes, we expect to see many of the same old chains: Gap, H & M, Maxa Mara, Abercrombie & Fitch, etc. But occassionally, we will see something new, like a brand new chain starting up (more likely) that just hasn’t made it to your neighborhood or a new, independent  store all together. These are called the surprises. One store, I had not seen in Northern California is Zara’s (700 N. Michigan). It is a chain that started in Spain, most, well maybe 50%, of its clothing is made in Spain, Portugal or Turkey, the rest in countries like China. I purchased a nice $60 dress shirt made in Spain at Zara’s. Next – All Saints Spital Fields (also at 700 N. Michigan)- it has has an impressive entrance with an entire wall made up of old Singer Sewing Machines, and the inside has some old sewing crafts and tables as well. It started in the United Kingdom. It is too bad that 100% of their products are from slave market manufacturing, except for the items from Turkey (I am still undecided if Turkey is slave labor or not.) Wohlford (in the Stores at North Bridge) is an unusual store in that most of their products are made in Austria. It is mainly a high end ladies undergarment store. Bras run about $160. Adele Dallas Orr is another interesting place, also located in the Shops at North Bridge – it carries ladies clothing and coats,  with a higher percentage of US made clothing. Many times I had to take the word of the salesperson that some of the garments were US made, because I could not find the labels anywhere inside the garments.

There were several small places in the Bloomingdale’s mall (900 N. Michigan) that were worth visiting: Space 519, probably named for the numbered  space within the mall, is a quirky little delight – on the one side is a tiny book-like shop with travelbooks and souvenirs and some items of furniture and on the other side were ladies clothing with a higher percentage than most of US made clothing. Definitely worth a stop. Another place worth a mentioning is DNA 2050 (in the same mall)- it is mainly clothing for younger people but had a fantastic selection of US made jeans. Akira (located in Water Tower place) is a clothing and shoe boutique that started in Chicago in 2002, now they have 17 stores around Chicago-land. The look is more younger and hip, but sadly, 100% slave labor made.

Special place not to visit: Isis – extremely rude service, even after I said I might help them to drum up business (and it’s not like they even had upper end merchandise like Louis Vuitton either).

The Best Places to Buy American Made Clothing on the Magnificent Mile

First – Allen Edmonds – men’s shoes, all American made, well made, very fashionable, they also carry some of their golf shoes in their stores.

Second – St. Croix (located in the Bloomingdale’s mall) – all sweaters are US made. All other clothing is European made.

Third – Nordstrom’s – still the best department store for finding clothing made in the US for both men and women.

Special mention: Nieman Marcus, Brooks Brothers and St. John.

Addendum: There is a brand new store has opened that features products only made in the USA. It’s name is Independence, located on 47 Oak Street (2nd Floor) just off N. Michigan Ave, at the north end of the Magnificent Mile. It is owned by George Vlagos, owner of Oak Street Bootmakers.

Places that have 0% US made clothing – too numerous to mention.

I had one other goal – to check out the places that have until last year were 100% foreign made, but since 2011, have started carrying “Made in USA” products. They are Levi’s, Orvis, LL Bean, Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco. Alas, the only one that had any US made clothing was Orvis, and that was rare. Ralph Lauren had dress shoes and jeans made in the USA but all the RRL (Retro Ralph Lauren) shirts were foreign made – India. I learned something interesting and trivial at the same time. The RRL brand, with the second R printed backwards, is the same logo as the Ralph Lauren Ranch in Telluride, Colorado, named after Ralph and his wife, Ricky Lauren. RRL was designed by Ralph Lauren, based on clothing he liked to wear out on his ranch.

Remember to avoid slave labor clothing when you can and better yet, buy US made clothing.

“The difference between style and fashion is quality.” – Giorgio Armani

13
Feb
12

Shopping Experience in Santa Cruz, CA

Mainpoint: Shopping in downtown Santa Cruz, CA looking for Made in U.S.A. clothing.

Clothingmadeinusablog is always looking for good independent clothing retailers. This time we go to Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz (Spanish for St. Croix, meaning Holy Cross), is a northern coastal California city, population of 59,946, 30 minutes south of San Jose, CA. It is famous for the largest beach boardwalk in the United States. It has a University of California branch, the University of California/ Santa Cruz (UCSC). UCSC is most famous  for its quirky grading system that doesn’t use grades, and their team name are the Fighting Banana Slugs – named for the indigenous bright yellow mollusks that slime their way through the Santa Cruz woods. Like other coastal towns, the number of visitors to Santa Cruz is dependent on the weather. On a warm summer weekend, Santa Cruz can be extremely busy and overcrowded, yet the next weekend, if the fog comes in thick (like San Francisco and Monterey), which can be frigid causing Mark Twain to once remark: “the coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco.” On those days, the number of tourists are down, and the top selling clothing items are thick long sleeve sweatshirts, preferably with a hood. The autumn is probably the best time to visit, unless you happen to visit on one of those unpredictable warm summer days. The population of Santa Cruz is younger, mean age of 29.9 years. Santa Cruz used to be over-run with hippies in the 1960’s and 70’s. They have moved on, and a newer counter culture of grunge has taken their place. An apt T-shirt is: “Keep Santa Cruz Weird”. Despite the counter culture aspect, there are no smoke shops or cannabis clubs on the “proper side” of the main drag (no pun intended). Because of the more youthful clientele, most shops are set up for the younger set.

Downtown Shopping

Santa Cruz does have some scattered outlets here and there as well as some big chain stores like Costco, Petsmart and Cost Plus World Market.  But the best shopping is downtown. Downtown has changed greatly since the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, many places had to be rebuilt, some places torn down. The Downtown areas continue to evolve, businesses always moving in and out. Presently, the best shopping and restaurants are on Pacific Avenue between Cathcart St. and Water Street. There are now many restaurants with outdoor seating that it is beginning to resemble France and their many cafes (sort of, in a way). The downtown association has been fairly good at keeping out the giant chains from the downtown area – which helps the Santa Cruz downtown keep its individual identity. But there still are chains: Starbucks (of course), Verizon, O’Neils, Cold Stone Creamery, Subway, The Gap, Noah’s Bagels, Urban Outfitters, Peet’s Coffee and an actual “good chain” – American Apparel.

The Best Stores for Finding U.S. Made Clothing in Santa Cruz

Overall, the shopping in downtown Santa Cruz is better than average when it comes to finding U.S. made clothing. One of the reasons for this, most of the stores are locally owned and independently run. They are not taking their orders from the corporate offices from New York City or Hong Kong (sorry, GAP). Therefore, these small stores can purchase in small quantities from small manufacturers (often American), and can provide unique clothing not found in your chain stores.

I have listed four stores that deserve special mention: Eco Goods, Jade, Moda Bellissima, and Stripe.

Eco Goods

My favorite store is Eco Goods. This is what is called a socially conscious store. Eco Goods started in 1994. It is a general store that sells clothes to house wares based on earth friendly merits. Clothing is made from organic cotton (no nasty pesticides) and hemp. More recently, they have added clothing made of natural products such as bamboo and soy. Mugs and plates are made from recycled glass. Toys are made with natural materials and natural dyes. Plastic bottles for children are all bisphenol A free. Many products also are fair trade certified. Just think if all the stores were socially conscious, better yet, what if all consumers were socially conscious? In regards to American made clothing, Eco Goods carries about 30% US made. They carry underwear for both men and women, which are rare (US made) finds. For the ladies, they carry Blue Canoe, for the men, bdgreen and bamboosa. They carry US made T-shirts like Saving The Earth Creations, GGO Clothing Dresses, No Enemy tops for children and several brands of U.S. organic socks: Sockwell, Good Hen, and Maggie’s. Address: 1130 Pacific Avenue.

Jade

Jade is a clothing store with the highest percentage of U.S. made clothing with the exception of American Apparel which is 100%. You would think that a store named Jade would not have much American made products, but it does. Jade is a medium end store. It is a ladies clothing store. The percentage of U.S. made clothing is about 40%. Many tops and T-shirts, with American manufacturers such as Prairie Underground, Fluffco, Supermaggie and Obey. They also have Genetic Denim U.S. made jeans. The target audience is young women. Address: 1128 Pacific Avenue (next door to Eco Goods)

Moda Bellissima

Moda Bellissima is located on one of the side streets off Pacific – on Locust Street (107 Locust Street). Moda Bellissima is the only store that I would consider medium to high end and the only ladies clothing store that doesn’t cater strictly for young women, in the downtown area.  Probably 10% is U.S. made. American makers such as Karen Klein, URU and Eva Varro are for sale as well as Joseph Ribkoff of Canada, all great stuff. The place has been in business for only four months. Definitely give the place a look. – Store is closed

Stripe

Stripe is a nice little surprise. It is an eclectic mix of clothing, jewelry, gifts, art and accessories. They also have some vintage leather jackets. This store is like a mixture of Santa Cruz and San Francisco. One thing I appreciate is their supporting of locally made products like Santa Cruz’s own Sally Esposito, and Thieves. About 10% is U.S. made. Give the place a look. Address: 107 Walnut Street. Target audience: younger men and women. There is also a Stripe for men as well.

Honorable Mention

Pacific Trading Company

Pacific Trading Company is one of the largest clothing stores in downtown Santa Cruz. There are numerous American made clothing labels. 15 to 20% of the clothing is U.S. made. Target audience: young women. Address: 1224 Pacific Avenue

American Apparel

American Apparel is a chain of clothing stores. All clothing is made in Los Angeles, 100% American made. So, why isn’t American Apparel on the top of the list? First, I have already featured them in my blog entry “Favorite U.S. Store #1 – American Apparel”. Second, this is the fifth American Apparel store I have visited. Why this isn’t my number one clothing store of all time? Well, it is geared for young men and women, the clothing is a little on the low end like H & M or Old Navy, and third, some of their items such as shorts, pants and some shirts are unisex, which really means they are only for women. I did find one new item on this trip: retro flannel shirts. The downtown American Apparel has been in Santa Cruz for four years. This store is great for the basics and at a reasonable price.

The Rest

Sockshop and Shoe Company is a worth a visit with its myriad of socks. They carry 12 different brands of socks made in the USA. The other half of the store is the shoe store – 0% American made shoes.

OM Rhythms – Different type of garments predominantly from Nepal. I did find two different made in U.S. labelled clothing. 1% US made.

Kaleponi – Ladies clothing, Target demographic: young ladies. 2% U.S. made.

Sway – Ladies Clothing, Target demographic: young ladies. 5% U.S. made.

Bubble Lounge – Ladies Clothing, Target demographic: young ladies. 5% U.S. made.

Kurios – Ladies Clothing, Target demographic: young ladies. <5% U.S. made.

Jewels on Pacific – Ladies Clothing, some fancy dresses, Target demographic: young ladies. <2% U.S. made.

Flying Lizard – Ladies Clothing, Target demographic: young ladies. <2% U.S. made.

The Hat Company – Hats and some ladies wear. <1% U.S. made

Legs – Stockings and Socks. 5% U.S. made.

Wallflower – Ladies Clothing, Target demographic: young ladies. <2% U.S. made.

Bunnys – Ladies Clothing, Target demographic: young ladies. 2% U.S. made.

Camouflage – Lingerie and costumes. 2% U.S. made.

La Playa – Clothing, Target demographic: tourists. < 1% U.S. made.

Bunny Shoes – Shoes, 0% US made.

Fetish Shoes – Shoes, 0% US made, but some from Italy and Portugal.

Old School Shoes – Shoes, (actually a disappointment, I thought there would be many different retro shoes, instead a re-tread of old keds but now made in slave labor countries) 0% US made.

GAP – clothing, multinational chain (also part of Banana Republic and Old Navy) <1% US made.

Oneill – Clothing, wetsuits, multinational chain (also a disappointment, you would think that a company started in San Francisco and Santa Cruz might be more socially aware, but no.) , < 1% US made.

Urban Outfitters – National chain,  <1% US made.

Conclusion

Shopping in Santa Cruz is an interesting experience, different articles from many small independent operators. Most stores are geared for the young shopper and are either low to medium end. Visit the Boardwalk, have a meal at one of the sidewalk cafes and shop downtown. Remember to buy American, if not from American, then from Italy, England, Portugal, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden or Japan, or any place where there is a fair wage for a fair job. By buying products made by slave labor, you are condoning slave labor practices.

“Women thrive on novelty and are easy meat for the commerce of fashion. Men prefer old pipes and torn jackets.” – Anthony Burgess

Updated 3/28/2015

15
Dec
11

Clothing Made In USA: Stanford Shopping Center

Mainpoint: Determination of percentage of clothing made in USA at the Stanford Shopping Center.

The Stanford Shopping Center is an outdoor complex consisting of 140 stores. They have four anchor stores: Nordstrom’s,  Nieman-Marcus, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Their target demographic is a medium to slightly more upper end shopper. It is located on El Camino Real at Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto/ Stanford, California. It actually intrudes slightly into the Stanford University campus.

I went to the Stanford Shopping Center to determine how much clothing made in USA were in each store. I visited each store and checked the manufacturing labels and from that I determined how much of the store carried the labels that said “Made in USA”.

The Stores

Below is the alphabetical listing of each store that carries clothing with a brief description and the percentage of U.S. made clothes:

Abercrombie & Fitch – A large national chain. Clothing directed towards a younger age group. Quality: Low to Medium. % of American made: A big fat ZERO.

Ann Taylor – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. % of American clothing <1%. (Ann Taylor Socks).

Armani Exchange – A large national chain. Women’s clothing, limited men’s – medium end. 0% American made.

Banana Republic – A large national chain. Men and Women’s – Low – medium quality. < 1% American made.

BCBG Maxzria – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Betsy Johnson – A national chain. Young women’s clothing – medium end. 10% American made.

Bloomingdale’s – A large national department store. Men and Women’s clothing – medium to high end. 2% American made.

Brooks Brothers – A large national chain. Men’s clothing – medium to high end. 2% American. (Good place for American dress shirts).

Burberry – A large national chain. Men and Women’s clothing. medium – high end. 0% American made.

Cache – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. 2% American made.

Coldwater Creek – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. 1% American made.

Eileen Fisher – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Ermenegildo Zegna – National chain. Men’s clothing – upper end. 0% American made but high percentage Italian.

Express – A large national chain. Men and women’s clothing – low to medium end. 0% American made.

Fashion Passion – an only store – Women’s clothing – medium to upper end. 0% American made but high percentage European.

Free People – National chain. Women’s clothing – low to medium end. <5% American made.

Gap – A large national chain. Men and Women’s clothing – low to medium end. <1% American made.

Hlaska – One of three stores. Men & Women’s clothing – medium end, Will no longer be making clothes. Was 100% American.

J. Crew – A large national chain. Men and Women’s clothing – low to medium end. < 1% American made. (Belts).

J. Jill – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. < 1% American made. (Socks).

Juicy Couture – A large national chain. For young women – medium end. 10% American made.

Kate Spade – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. <1% American made.

LaCoste – A large national chain. Men and Women’s clothing – medium end. < 1% American made. (Special Ernest Sewn Jeans Only).

Lucky Brand Jeans – A large national chain. Men and Women’s clothing – medium end. < 2% American made.

Lucy – A large national chain. Women’s exercise clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Macy’s – A large national department store. Men and women’s clothing – medium end. < 1% American made.

Max Mara – A large national chain – Women’s clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Michael Kors – A large national chain. Women’s clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Nieman-Marcus – A large national department store. Men and Women’s clothing – medium to upper end. <2% American made. (Much more higher end European clothing.)

Nike Running Store – A large national chain. Men and women’s exercise clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Nordstrom’s – A large national department store. Men and women’s clothing – medium to upper end. 2% American made. (Probably your best bet in regards to American made clothing and department stores.

Pac Sun – A large national chain. Young people’s clothing. – low to medium end. <1% American made.

Polo – A large national chain. Men’s and women’s clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Stanford shop – local only. Stanford clothing – low to medium end. < 1% American made.

Talbot’s – A large national chain – Women’s clothing – low to medium end. 0% American made.

Territory Ahead – One of nine stores. Men and women’s clothing – low to medium clothing. < 1% American made. (Special T – shirts only).

Tommy Bahama’s – A large national chain – Mainly men’s, some women’s clothing – medium end. < 1% American made (rare women’s blouses).

Tory Burch – A large national chain – women’s clothing – medium end. <2% American made.

Urban Outfitter’s – A large national chain – Young men and women’s clothing – low to medium end. <1% American made.

Victoria Secret – A large national chain. Women’s lingerie – low to medium end. 0% American made.

Vince – A national chain – Men and women’s clothing – medium end. 0% American made.

Wilkes-Bashford – One of two stores. Men and women’s clothing – high end. <1% American made. Plenty of European imports.

Conclusion

With regards to clothing made in the United States, the Stanford Shopping Center is a bit of a disappointment. For men, the best choice is Nordstrom’s where one can find American made belts, ties, socks, T-shirts, suits, jeans and some casual shirts. Difficult to find are: dress shirts, shoes, underwear, (dress pants without the suit), pajamas, coats, and athletic wear. For young women – there is higher percentage of U.S. made clothes at Betsy Johnson and Juicy Couture. For the ladies, the best bet is again Nordstrom’s.

Other Places

If you want American made, but a little on the lower end, just a half mile away is an American Apparel on University Avenue. Otherwise, just 30 minutes away is San Francisco. For men, there is Bill’s Khaki’s, Levi’s Corporate Store, Freemans Sporting Club and Unionmade. Don’t forget to check out the Allen Edmonds shoe store as well.

“Fashion as king is sometimes a very stupid ruler.” – G.T. Bell




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