Posts Tagged ‘7 for all Mankind

13
Dec
13

Best Stores To Find Clothing Made in the USA – Updated

Clothingmadeinusablog lists his favorite places to find made in USA clothing. Congratulations on looking for better quality clothing that will last for years. And, it is also very good for the US economy. I hope this blog entry will be of help.

We all know that finding clothing made in the United States can be very difficult. That is because only 2% of our clothes are manufactured in the U.S. in 2013. Therefore, it takes a plan in order to find these precious gems.  The first tip is to visit your neighborhood independent clothing store. A particular store might not have any but some could have up to 30% of their clothing made in the USA. That is because the independents often are unable to buy in gigantic volumes and because the independent doesn’t have to answer the higher bosses, they can carry more U.S made clothing. So visit your nearby independent clothing store and always check the label.

Department Stores

Even the best department stores will carry only about 2% of American made clothing, mostly because they deal with great volumes of clothing. The worst of the department stores like Kohl’s will carry less than 0.001% American made. Overall from the best to worst goes like this: Nordstroms> Nordstroms Rack> Nieman Marcus> Barneys> Saks Fifth Avenue> Bloomingdales> Macys> Dillards> Target> WalMart> Sears> JC Pennys> Kohls. Many of the department stores have websites and when looking for certain items, one can type in “made in usa” and then up on the screen should be a listing of the US made items, exceptions: Macys (which used to allow to search for made in USA items) and Saks.

Outlets

Outlets in general have less Made in USA clothing. Outlets specialize in huge volumes of clothing which generally come from China or Bangladesh. The only exceptions would be an American Apparel outlet or a Splendid/Ella Moss outlet.

 

Mens Clothing: Casual Pants

Some of the most common casual pants made in the USA are: Adriano Goldschmied (A/G), Citizens of Humanity, J. Brand, Paige, Vince (rare), Splendid, Rag and Bone at Nordstroms and Nieman Marcus.  Nieman Marcus also has pants made by Billy Reid and Original Paperbacks. Barney’s: in the past, have carried Band of Outsiders and Thom Browne. If you are looking for less expensive casual pants, I would suggest American Apparel. Steven Alan and Bills Khakis also carries US made casual pants. On the internet, you may want to try Osmium.

Dress Pants

Brands of dress pants made in the USA are very difficult to find : Joseph Abboud, Riveira, Vince (rare) can be found at Nordstroms or Nordstrom’s Rack (if one is lucky).  There are fine dress pants available at Alan Edmonds as well as Bills Khakis. If one is lucky, one may find brand name of Fitzgerald or Madison, made in the USA, at Brooks Brothers. Hickey Freeman is a good choice for fine dress pants. Thom Browne can be found at Barneys. Nordstroms is now carrying (at times) Alex Maine pants and Hugo Boss pants (rarely) made in the US. At times, one can find dress pants made in Canada At Bloomingdales, Nieman Marcus, and Sachs sometimes makes dress pants in the USA and Canada as well under their own label.

Jeans

Thank goodness, many brands of jeans are still made in the USA, but Wrangler and Lee no longer make any in the U.S. Levi’s still makes a limited amount in the US, they can be found in their flagship store (1155 Battery) in San Francisco. The United States makes great jeans, and especially the high quality selvedge jeans, see my link: selvedge jeans Made in the USA. Since there are so many brands of jeans to be found, my preference is going to Nordstroms Rack, they carry brands such as 7 For All Mankind, Paige Premium, A/G, Joe’s, and True Religion. One can also visit some outlet stores of True Religion and 7 For All Mankind. Blues Jean Bar also carries their own brands.

Dress Shirts

Dress Shirts brands made in the US are few, but there is  one new maker of American dress shirts. Best known for its great dress shoes, Allen Edmonds now makes dress shirts found in its stores or on-line. Other brands like Gitman Brothers can be found at small stores, but also stores that often carry Bill’s Khaki’s or Barney’s. Thom Browne, winner of my Best Dress Shirt in the United States, can be found at Barneys. Brooks Brothers carries Black Fleece but very few under its Brooks Brothers label. Robert Talbott shirts made in the USA (small amount of them are made in the US) can be found in Robert Talbott stores and outlets. If you happen to be in New York City, try and find Oxxford, makers of fine clothing since the 1916.

Casual Shirts

Casual shirts run the gamut of semi-dressy to T-shirt like design. For collared, long sleeved, buttoned up shirts, I like Freemans Sporting Club and Bill’s Khakis. For polo shirts, I prefer James Perse. Agave is another great brand of casual shirts. For T-shirts, there is a multitude to chose of brands to choose from. For T-shirts, I prefer to go to the Nordstroms Rack or Off 5th Avenue.

Underwear

Men’s underwear has a very small number of brands available. I prefer to go to American Apparel for this. Sometimes, I get lucky and find some REI underwear made in the US at REI. But my favorite is bgreen found at Eco Goods in Santa Cruz, CA. Otherwise, going on the internet and go to Flint and Tinder or Ramblers Way.

Socks

There are numerous brands of socks made in the United States. Just about all stores may have a few brands, even Walmart and Target, maybe not Kohl’s. For a listing of the various brands of socks, follow this link: socks. Some almost always made in USA brands of socks are Smartwool, Thurlo and Wigwam.

Shoes

For athletic shoes, running, cross training, and tennis shoes, there is only one American brand that makes these shoes in the United States, it is New Balance. For dress shoes, there are a few choices, but my favorite is Allen Edmonds, there are more and more A.E. stores going across the United States all the time. Dress Boots – there are a few big names still around: Red Wing, Frye’s, and my favorite Wolverine, the 1000 mile design. Red Wings Boots can be found at their stores. Frye’s and Wolverine boots can be found at various different department stores and independent stores across the United States. For a list of shoes made in the U.S. follow this link: shoes.

Sports Jackets

Sports jackets are one of the articles of clothing that the United States are still one of the best at manufacturing. Many times companies have sent their manufacturing to China, just to bring it back because of poor manufacturing. The major makers of sports jackets can be found at Nordstroms, Nordstroms Rack, lesser amounts at Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Dillards. The brands include: Hart-Schauffner-Marx, Hickey Freeman, Joseph Abboud. Brooks Brothers also carries a couple of lines of brands.

Women’s Clothing

Tops & Blouses

There are many U.S. made brands in many stores. Independent clothing stores should be your first choice. American Apparel which is casual and inexpensive is always available if that is your style. Otherwise the department stores: Nordstroms>Nordstroms Rack> NiemanMarcus> Barneys> Saks> Bloominddales>Macys> Dillards> Target> Walmart> Kohls. There are some brands that stand out as being made in America: Karen Kane, Three Dots, Bobeau, Bailey 44, Ella Moss, Haute Hippie, Milly, Monrow, Prairie Underground, Splendid and The Row. Don’t forget Michael Stars and their stores which have a good amount of Made in the USA clothing especially tops.

Jeans

There is an even greater selection of jeans for women than there is for men. For this reason, I would suggest one of the Department Discount stores like Nordstroms Rack. The brands most often seen are Hudson, Paige, Not Your Daughters Jeans, Joe’s, 7 For All Mankind, and True Religion. Outlet stores of the makers of jeans like 7 For All Mankind and True Religion are also good choices to find U.S. made jeans, but not Lucky Jeans nor Levi’s (unless you go to the flagship store and then it would be rare.). Don’t forget to try the smaller independent stores as well which carry many other brands.

Underwear

Underwear made in the USA for women, like underwear for men, are in very short supply. The list is limited. Hanky Panky can be found at Nordstroms. Commando is another brand frequently found. American Apparel is always a good source of just about all types of clothing and they are always made in the United States. For other brands of underwear, please follow the link: underwear made in the USA.

Socks

There are multiple makers of socks made in the US. Most stores will carry some US made socks. see my blog entry on socks for the almost 100 brands of socks made in the USA.

Shoes

New Balance is the only US made brand that makes athletic shoes, but, fortunately, they make many different models. For dress shoes, the selection is actually pretty sparse. Hands down the best choice is Nordstroms with its brands of: Athena, Callisto, Dezario, Icon, Jack Rogers, Munro, and Onex. For a full list of US made shoes, follow this link: Shoes Made in the U.S.

Listing of Brands of Clothing found at brick and mortar stores

For a more comprehensive listing of brands “Made in the United States” see this link.

Buying Clothing via the Internet

There are hundreds of companies that sell only through the internet. I have a blog entry with many links to find those garments Made in the USA at Listing of Brands of Clothing Made in the USA via Internet. Some of my favorites are Flint and Tinder and American Giant.

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Bo Derek

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16
Nov
12

Rating the Stores For Made in USA Clothing

Mainpoint: Clothingmadeinusablog rates all the stores regarding their inventory for sale of Made in USA clothing.

The United States makes 2% of its own clothing, most of the clothing in the  U.S. comes from East Asia or Central America as imports, which contributes greatly to our trade deficit. Because the U.S. makes so little clothing now, it is expected that most stores do not carry much clothing, but that doesn’t mean they don’t carry any at all. I will list by alphabetical order the more commonly found stores and will rate them by the amount of Made in USA clothing. Since 2% is the current amount of clothing made in the USA, this will be the “even” point. This means if a store’s inventory is 2% Made in the USA then they will be labeled “E”. “+” means greater than 2%; “-” means less than 2%. (I have just Added a bold ZERO for stores I have visited a couple of times that had do American made clothes.) Updated January 17, 2013.

Ratings

+10 100% American

+2  = 5.1% to 99% American Made

+1  = 2.1% to 5% American Made

E    = 2% American Made

-1   = 1.0 to 1.9% American Made

-2   = Zero to 0.9% American Made

Names of Stores                       Rating

Abercrombie & Fitch                       -2 ZERO

Addidas                                          -2  ZERO

Aeropostale                                   -2 ZERO

Aerosoles                                       -2

Akira                                               -2

—————————————————–

Alden Shoes                                  +10

Aldo Shoes                                     -2 ZERO

Allen Edmonds                              +2

American Apparel                        +10

American Eagle                             -2 (The name is clearly a contradiction) ZERO

——————————————————

Ann Taylor                                      -2

Anthropologie                               -1

(A/X) Armani Exchange                 -2 ZERO

Ashworth                                       -2 ZERO

Banana Republic                           -2 ZERO

——————————————————

Barney’s                                          -1

Basic                                               +2

Bass                                                -2

BCBG Maxazria                               -2 ZERO

Bebe                                               -2  ZERO

———————————————————

Benetton                                        -2  ZERO

Betsy Johnson                               +2

Bloomingdales                               -1

Blues Jean Bar                               +2

Brooks Brothers                            -1     (Outlets -2)

———————————————————-

Burberry                                         -2  ZERO

Burlington                                      -2

Cabi                                                -2  ZERO

Cache                                              E

Calvin Klein                                     -2  ZERO

Casual Male XL                              -2

———————————————————-

Champion                                       -2

Charlotte Russe                            +2

Chico’s                                            -2

Christopher & Banks                     -2

Clarks                                             -2  ZERO

——————————————————–

Club Monaco                                  -2  (recently went from zero to -2)

Coldwater Creek                            -1

Cole Haan                                       -2  ZERO

Columbia Sportswear                     -2  ZERO

Converse                                        -2  ZERO

———————————————————-

Cotton On                                        -2  ZERO

Crazy Shirts                                     -2  ZERO

Demasque                                       +2

Diesel                                               -2  ZERO

Dillard                                              -1

———————————————————-

DKNY                                                -2

Dockers                                            -2

Dress Barn                                       -2

Ecco                                                 -2  ZERO

Ecko United                                     -2  ZERO

————————————————————

Eddie Bauer                                    -2  ZERO

Eileen Fisher                                  -2

Elie Tahari                                       -2  ZERO

Ermenegildo Zegna                        -2  ZERO

Express                                          -2  ZERO

————————————————————-

FILA                                                 -2  ZERO

Florsheim                                        -2  ZERO

Foot Locker                                    -2

Forever 21                                      +1

Fox                                                  -2  ZERO

—————————————————————

Frederick’s of Hollywood                 -2  ZERO

Free People                                       E

Freemans Sporting Club                +10

Gant                                                 -2  ZERO

GAP                                                  -2  ZERO

—————————————————————

Guess                                               -2  ZERO

H & M                                               -2  ZERO

Hanes                                              -2

————————————————————-

Hilo Hatties                                    +1

Hollister                                          -2  ZERO

Hot Topic                                        -2  ZERO

Hugo Boss                                       -2

Hurley                                              -2

————————————————————–

J.C. Penney                                    -2

J. Crew                                            -2

J. Jill                                                 -2

James Perse                                   +2

Jockey                                              -2

—————————————————————

Johnston & Murphy                         -2  ZERO

Jones NY                                         -2  ZERO

Jos. A Bank                                     -2

Juicy Couture                                 +1

Justice                                             -2

—————————————————————–

Karen Millen                                     -2  ZERO

Kate Spade                                      -2

Kenneth Cole                                   -2

KMart                                               -2

Kohls                                                -2

——————————————————————

Lacoste                                            -2

Lane Bryant                                     -2

Last Call                                           -1

Leggs, Hanes, Bali                           -2

Levis                                                 -2      (except Flagship store in San Francisco +2)

Lids                                                  -2  ZERO

—————————————————————–

Limited                                              -2  ZERO

LL Bean                                             -2

Loft                                                   -2

Lucky Brand                                     -1

Lucy                                                  -2

——————————————————————

Lulemon Athletic                               -2

Macys                                                -1

Maidenform                                       -2  ZERO

Marshalls                                           -2

Max Mara                                           -2  ZERO

—————————————————————–

Men’s Wearhouse                             -2

Merrell                                               -2  ZERO

Michael Kors                                     -2  ZERO

Michael Stars                                   +2

Nautica                                             -2  ZERO

—————————————————————–

New Balance                                    +2 (For shoes only)

New York & Co.                                -2  ZERO

Nieman Marcus                                -1

Nike                                                 -2

Nine West                                        -2  ZERO

——————————————————————–

Nordstroms                                       -1

Nordstroms Rack                              -1

North Face                                        -2  ZERO

Off Fifth Avenue                                -1

Old Navy                                           -2  ZERO

—————————————————————–

Oneil                                                 -2

Original Penguin                               -2  ZERO

Orvis                                                 -1

Pac Sun                                             -2  ZERO

Payless                                             -2  ZERO

——————————————————————-

Pink                                                  -2  ZERO

Polo                                                  -2  ZERO

Puma                                                -2  ZERO

Rag & Bone                                      +2

Ralph Lauren                                    -2     (Flagship stores -1.5)

———————————————————————-

Red Wing Shoes                              +1

Reebok                                            -2  ZERO

REI                                                   -2

Rip Curl                                            -2  ZERO

Rockport                                         -2

———————————————————————-

Ross                                                -2

Rugby                                              -2  ZERO

Saks Fifth Avenue                          -1

SAS Factory                                    +10

Sears                                               -2

——————————————————————-

Seven For All Mankind                    +2 (But getting less all the time)

Shoe Palace                                     -2

Skechers                                          -2  ZERO

SOMA                                               -2  ZERO

Sperry Top Sider                              -2  ZERO

———————————————————————-

Splendid & Ella Moss                       +2

Sports Authority                             -2

St. Croix                                          +2

St. John                                             E

Steve Madden                                 -2  ZERO

——————————————————————–

Stride Rite                                        -2  ZERO

Stuart Weitzman                             -2  ZERO

Superdry                                          -2  ZERO

T.J. Maxx                                          -2

Talbots                                             -2  ZERO

——————————————————————–

Target                                              -2

Ted Baker                                        -2  ZERO

Timberland                                     -2  ZERO

Tommy Bahama                             -2

Tommy Hilfiger                               -2  ZERO

——————————————————————-

Tory Burch                                      -1

True Religion                                  +2

Under Armour                                -2

Uniglo                                             -2

Urban Outfitter                               -2

——————————————————————

U.S. Polo Assoc.                             -2 (Name is clearly a contradiction) ZERO

Vans                                                 -2  ZERO

Van Heusen                                     -2  ZERO

Victoria’s Secret                             -2  ZERO

Vince                                                -2

——————————————————————–

Vince Camuto                                  -2  ZERO

Volcom                                             -2  ZERO

Walking Company (The)                 -2  ZERO

WalMart                                            -2

White House Black Market               -2  ZERO

——————————————————————–

Wilsons Leather                              -2

Wohlford                                          -2  ZERO

Zara                                                 -2  ZERO

Zumiez                                             -2  ZERO

Department Stores

For the department stores, I am using a 10 point scale ( 0 – 10) as to the availability and selection for US made clothing. Going from best selection to the least (obviously there is not very much American clothing to chose from that is why the numbers are so low):

Nordstroms 3

Nieman Marcus 2

Barneys 2

Sak’s Fifth Avenue 1

Bloomingdales 1

Macys 1

Dillards 1

Walmart 1

Target 1

Sears 1

J.C. Penney 1

Kohls 0.5

“When I was younger, shopping helped me discover many new places and new things.” – Miuccia Prada

12
Nov
12

Best Stores To Find Clothing Made in the USA

Clothingmadeinusablog lists their favorite places to find made in USA clothing.

We all know that finding clothing made in the United States can be very difficult. That is because only 2% of our clothes are manufactured in the U.S. in 2013. Therefore, it takes a plan in order to find these precious gems. Some tips can be gleened from my blog entry ‘Best Tips to Buying.’ One of the basic tips is that small independent stores are good bets because they do not have to buy in gigantic volumes and because of their independent nature, they are more likely than the chain store outlets to carry U.S made clothing. So visit your nearby independent clothing store and check the label.

Department Stores

Even the best department stores will carry only about 2% of American made clothing, mostly because they deal with great volumes of clothing. The worst of the department stores like Kohl’s will carry less than 0.001% American made. Overall from the best to worst goes like this: Nordstroms> Nordstroms Rack> Nieman Marcus> Barneys> Saks fifth Avenue> Bloomingdales> Macys> Dillards> Target> WalMart> Sears> JC Pennys> Kohls.

How Best To Use This Information

For this listing to have the most relevance for yourself, let me first describe, what I, personally, am looking for. First, the clothing must be made in the USA. Second, I prefer a well-constructed quality garment. Third, the item can be found at a brick and mortar store. Regarding the particular stores, I am listing stores that on an ordinary day should have certain amount of made in USA clothing. In this blog entry I tend to list more of the larger stores so that people across the United States can also utilize this list. Please be aware that many small independent stores may actually carry more made in USA clothing than many of the chains. Also, note, I live in Northern California, so not all chains extend across the United States, plus I live in a metropolitan area, so my number of choices may be much more abundant than if you live in a rural area or small town. My listing will be divided up by clothing garments. Based on the above, you can see whether my information is relevant to you.

Mens Clothing: Casual Pants

Some of the most common casual pants made in the USA are: Adriano Goldschmied (A/G), Citizens of Humanity, J. Brand, Paige, Postage At Nordstroms. Nieman Marcus: J.Brand, Rag & Bone (also found at Rag & Bone stores in New York City). Barney’s: Band of Outsiders and Thom Browne. If you are looking for less expensive casual pants, I would suggest American Apparel.

Dress Pants

Brands of dress pants (this is a very difficult item to find): Joseph Abboud, Riveira, Nuvo at Nordstrom’s Rack (if one is lucky).  There are fine dress pants available at Alan Edmonds as well as Bills Khakis. If one is lucky, one may find brand name of Fitzgerald or Madison, made in the USA, at Brooks Brothers. Hickey Freeman is a good choice for fine dress pants. Thom Browne can be found at Barneys. Nordstroms is now carrying Alex Maine pants and Hugo Boss pants (rarely) made in the US.

Jeans

Thank goodness, many brands of jeans are still made in the USA, but Wrangler and Lee no longer make any in the U.S. Levi’s still makes a limited amount in the US, they can be found in their flagship store (1155 Battery) in San Francisco. The United States makes great jeans, and especially the high quality selvedge jeans, see my link: selvedge jeans Made in the USA. Since there are so many brands of jeans to be found, my preference is going to Nordstroms Rack, they carry brands such as 7 For All Mankind, Paige Premium, A/G, Joe’s, and True Religion. One can also visit some outlet stores of True Religion and 7 For All Mankind. Blues Jean Bar also carries their own brands.

Dress Shirts

Dress Shirts brands made in the US are few, but there is  one new maker of American dress shirts. Best known for its great dress shoes, Allen Edmonds now makes dress shirts found in its stores or on-line. Other brands like Gitman Brothers can be found at small stores like Bill’s Khaki’s or Barney’s. Thom Browne, winner of my Best Dress Shirt in the United States, can be found at Barneys. Brooks Brothers carries Black Fleece but very few under its Brooks Brothers label. Robert Talbott shirts made in the USA (small amount of them are made in the US) can be found in Robert Talbott stores and outlets. If you happen to be in New York City, try and find Oxxford, makers of fine clothing since the 1916.

Casual Shirts

Casual shirts run the gamut of semi-dressy to T-shirt like design. For collared, long sleeved, buttoned up shirts, I like Freemans Sporting Club and Bill’s Khakis. For polo shirts, I prefer James Perse. Agave is another great brand of casual shirts. For T-shirts, there is a multitude to chose of brands to choose from. For T-shirts, I prefer to go to the Nordstroms Rack or Off 5th Avenue.

Underwear

Men’s underwear has a very small number of brands available. I prefer to go to American Apparel for this. Sometimes, I get lucky and find some REI underwear made in the US at REI. But my favorite is bgreen found at Eco Goods in Santa Cruz, CA. Otherwise, going on the internet and go to Flint and Tinder or Ramblers Way.

Socks

There are numerous brands of socks made in the United States. Just about all stores may have a few brands, even Walmart and Target, maybe not Kohl’s. For a listing of the various brands of socks, follow this link: socks.

Shoes

For athletic shoes, running, cross training, and tennis shoes, there is only one American brand that makes these shoes in the United States, it is New Balance. For dress shoes, there are a few choices, but my favorite is Allen Edmonds, there are more and more A.E. stores going across the United States all the time. Dress Boots – there are a few big names still around: Red Wing, Frye’s, and my favorite Wolverine, the 1000 mile design. Red Wings Boots can be found at their stores. Frye’s and Wolverine boots can be found at various different department stores and independent stores across the United States. For a list of shoes made in the U.S. follow this link: shoes.

Sports Jackets

Sports jackets are one of the articles of clothing that the United States are still one of the best at manufacturing. Many times companies have sent their manufacturing to China, just to bring it back because of poor manufacturing. The major makers of sports jackets can be found at Nordstroms, Nordstroms Rack, lesser amounts at Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Dillards. The brands include: Hart-Schauffner-Marx, Hickey Freeman, Joseph Abboud. Brooks Brothers also carries a couple of lines of brands.

Women’s Clothing

Tops & Blouses

There are many U.S. made brands in many department stores. Many brands can be found in independent stores. In some department stores, some of the US made clothing is grouped into one area. Best bets: independent stores. For department stores: Nordstroms, Nordstroms Rack, Bloomingdale, Macy’s. Much less is found in Walmart, Target, Sears, J.C. Penneys (nearly zero). The worst is Kohls. NiemanMarcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys may have a better selection of the more expensive and higher quality tops and dresses. The very, very discount stores Marshalls, Ross, T.J. Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory are overall poor choices to find U.S. made clothes. If I had to chose a best store to find clothing made in the US for women, I would chose Micheal Stars.

Jeans

There is an even greater selection of jeans for women than there is for men. For this reason, I would suggest one of the Department Discount stores like Nordstroms Rack. The brands most often seen are Hudson, Paige, Not Your Daughters Jeans, Joe’s, 7 For All Mankind, and True Religion. Outlet stores of the makers of jeans like 7 For All Mankind and True Religion are also good choices to find U.S. made jeans, but not Lucky Jeans nor Levi’s (unless you go to the flagship store). Don’t forget to try the smaller independent stores as well which carry many other brands.

Underwear

Underwear made in the USA for women, like underwear for men, are in very short supply. The list is limited. Hanky Panky can be found at Nordstroms. American Apparel is always a good source of just about all types of clothing and they are always made in the United States. For other brands of underwear, please follow the link: underwear made in the USA.

Socks

There are multiple makers of socks made in the US. Most stores will carry some US made socks. see my blog entry on socks for the almost 100 brands of socks made in the USA.

Shoes

New Balance is the only US made brand that makes athletic shoes, but, fortunately, they make many different models. For dress shoes, the selection is actually pretty sparse. Hands down the best choice is Nordstroms with its brands of: Athena, Callisto, Dezario, Icon, Jack Rogers, Munro, and Onex. For a full list of US made shoes, follow this link: Shoes Made in the U.S.

Buying Clothing via the Internet

There are hundreds of companies that sell only through the internet. I have a blog entry with many links to find those garments Made in the USA at Listing of Brands of Clothing Made in the USA via Internet. Some of my favorites are Flint and Tinder and American Giant. Updated December 10, 2013

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Bo Derek

04
Dec
11

Clothing Made in USA – Best tips to buying

Mainpoint – Clothing made in USA – best tips to buying.

Congratulations on attempting to purchase clothing made in the United States. We welcome you for whatever reason swayed to start this difficult trek. We don’t know what convinced you, whether it was because of the “E’s”: environment, ethics, ecology, or economic, or because of the “P’s” – patriotic, personal health, or patronization of you favorite store or re-patronization of dollars back into the U.S. economy. Come join us, we have been expecting you.

Now here is the situation, the U.S. clothing manufacturing is on its deathbed, the U.S. makes only 2% of its clothing. Both clothing manufacturing and regular manufacturing are on life support. And mainland China is trying to pull the plug on the ventilator. You have arrived just in the nick of time.

Labels

The first item on your assignment, should you chose to accept it, is identifying which garments are actually made in the United States. It is not difficult, but sometimes it is tricky, especially for you newbies. The accepted protocol is to locate the manufacturing label, located inside the clothes. Avoid their well-known tricks: forget who makes the clothing; forget if it says American or US on the outside like: American Eagle, U.S. Polo Association, or John Varvatos, U.S.A. There is a 98% chance or higher that these garments are made in foreign, slave-labor encampments in East Asia or Central America. Note: there is one exception: American Apparel – all 100% in Los Angeles, CA.

Briefly, in order to locate the label, sometimes you will have to physically take the clothes off the hanger. On clothes that are designed for the top half of your body: shirts, blouses, tops, vests, coats and dresses – the labels are usually located on the collar, or if not there, usually along the left inseam. For pants, shorts, underwear, the labels are usually located along the waistband. You may need to bring a magnifying glass or reading glasses, because sometimes the writing can be very small. And make sure it says “Made in U.S.A.” For more details on labels, see my blog entry How to identify clothes made in USA. (Regarding the internet – the internet is not very reliable at providing the label information)

Types of Stores

Now that you are an expert at identifying clothing made in the U.S., the next challenge is where to find them, so we shall start with stores. Remember, my information is based on experience, and they are generalizations, there can always be exceptions.

Small Independent Stores

Traditionally, small independent have been the best bet to find clothing made in the U.S. The reasons for this: they are a small business. They live in the community and would rather support other local businesses and manufacturing. Because they are independent, they can select any company they want. These stores have been decimated by the “Wal-Mart effect”. The Wal-Mart effect is buying and using their aggregate wealth, money, political clout and volume – so that they are able to keep prices incredibly and artificially low for a long time,  long enough for the other businesses to go under, and then, when the competition is gone, raise the prices. Wal-Mart was the first, now other businesses are using it everywhere. This has been a type of monopoly that has been thrust upon the public without much backlash or lawsuits. Now, it is nothing but chain stores competing with other behemoth chain stores on the American landscape. So, hats off to you small independent stores like: Mystyq in Mountain View, CA, Muldoon’s in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Khaki’s of Carmel, Carmel, CA, Freemans Sporting Club, in New York City, Pink Stripes, Smith Alder in Santana Row, San Jose, CA, and Unionmade in San Francisco, CA.

Department Stores

To find American made clothing in department stores, first we need to give you a little briefing. Clothing made in U.S. are considered medium to upper end, but, in general, they are not considered too high end, which is usually reserved for the very expensive Italian or French made clothing. So, we need to identify department stores that are medium to high end. The department stores can be categorized like this (from low end to high end):

Wal-Mart, Target < Kohl’s, Penney’s, Sears < Macy’s, Dillards < Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s < Sak’s Fifth Ave, Neiman-Marcus, Bergdorf-Goodman, Barneys.

Your best bet is Nordstrom’s or Bloomingdale’s. And don’t forget to check out the Nordstrom Rack, sometimes the outlet will carry more U.S. Made clothing than the actual stores, but each store and outlet does vary quite a bit. I do believe that Nordstrom’s does make a concerted effort to carry U.S. made clothing versus Kohl’s which makes a concerted effort not to carry U.S. made clothes. Boo Kohl’s.

The Very Best Tip: Since Nordstrom’s has the most American made clothing of any of the department stores and their website is very accurate as to whether their clothes are made here or not, I would suggest that you visit the Nordstrom’s website via this link or type in: “shop.nordstrom.com”, then under search, type in “made in america”, and it will give you many items made in the USA. Then go to one of their brick and mortar stores, see if you can locate the item you liked, try them on, and if you like the item, buy it. Other websites either are not very accurate or do not allow the search for “made in america” or “made in u.s.a.”

Malls/Chain Stores

Chain stores are lower on the list as far as locating clothing made in the U.S. The reasons for this, the larger the chain, the less the store manager is able to select what goes into the store. There is less local influence, and all decision come from up top. Malls, let’s face it, are mostly chain stores, are often limited in space, and quite often, do not carry different or more esoteric stuff than might their Anchor or Flagship stores. There are some mall stores like Basic and Demasqe (Valley Fair, San Jose, CA) or Francesca’s (Oakridge Mall, San Jose, CA) that carry a higher percentage of U.S. made clothes. And sometimes an American Apparel may be in a neighboring mall.

Anchor or Flagship Stores

These are the stores that the chain stores usually take pride in. They are larger, they carry different items that none of their other stores carry. And just sometimes they will carry more U.S. made clothing. Examples: Levi’s has restarted making a limited number of U.S. made jeans – usually found only in the anchor stores, like the one on Fillmore in San Francisco, CA (and occasionally in Nordstroms’); Ralph Lauren, in one of their anchor stores, also on Fillmore in San Francisco, carries “Retro” Ralph Lauren (RRL with the first R being reversed), some of them made in the U.S.; And Eddie Bauer, remaking some of their “retro” lines of jackets and clothing – some made in Canada, but soon to be manufactured in the U.S. as well.

Outlet Malls

Outlets malls of large chain stores have probably the smallest percentage of U.S. made clothes. Sometimes, if you are lucky, their might be an outlet of one of the small chains. But, if you had to go forth, and find American made clothes, this should be very low on your list. I think that trying to find a needle in a haystack is the appropriate analogy.

Semi-American Clothing Stores

100% American stores are rare. You have American Apparel – large chain, and Freeman Sporting Club – three stores. That’s about it. Then you have the ones that started as 100% American but have added other stuff (foreign made) to make themselves an entire store. These stores include:  7 For All Mankind, True Religion, Michael Stars, Blues Jean Bar,and Rag & Bone.

Types of Clothing

Now that we have directed you to the stores, we now need to find the clothes. Not all types of clothing are equal. Some types of clothing are not to difficult to find. The U.S. still makes quite a few sports jackets and suits. There are more than several U.S. manufacturers that make T-shirts, or tops made out of a T-shirty material, or a top with a “burned out” appearance. Also, several “brand” companies make socks here in the U.S.  So, that is about it, everything else is hard to find (unless you are lucky, luck does help). For the more difficult items, I will give you some helpful hints.

Dress/Oxford Shirts

Dress or Oxford shirts made in the U.S. used to be quite prevalent, now they are very difficult to find. Clothing manufacturing companies in the U.S. are closing down every month. Ike Behar, no longer makes shirts here. Hlaska, no longer makes apparel. Hickey Freeman, which makes many suits, has been having their shirts made elsewhere. So, now, what is a reliable American brand that makes dress shirts (besides American Apparel)? The answer is Brooks Brothers. This is a surprise because, you have to hunt fairly hard to find them in their stores, but they continue to carry them (for now). After Brooks Brothers, you will have to look for specialty stores like Freeman Sporting Club, Rag & Bone, and Oxxford Clothes. Other American made brands, but quite difficult to find are Thom Browne and Hamilton. Just a brief word about Hamilton, the shirt material comes from England, you are measured in the store where you are to purchase the shirt, they send the shirt to Texas to sew it, and then send it back to the store to see if it fits you. It’s kind of a long distance tailoring. My recommendation is if you are unable to find an American dress shirt, either purchase one on-line from one of the above companies or buy an Italian-made shirt, never an East Asian or Central American manufactured product – I really do not see much rationale to accept and condone slave labor, wherever it is occurring. One addendum: there is one more additional maker of American dress shirts – Gitson Brothers.

Underwear

Underwear made in the U.S. is difficult to find. My recommendations are American Apparel, bgreen, or Bamboosa. The last two are organic, and can be found in stores where organic is important, such as Eco Goods, in Santa Cruz, CA. The other option is REI, which may carry up to two different brands of U.S. made underwear: Patagonia or the store, REI brand. For women, the choices are even more sparse: Hanky Panky, American Apparel and Zilke bras. (Unless, you want to include Spanx). See my blog entry regarding underwear for more information.

Jeans

There are over 67 different manufacturers of U.S. made jeans found in retail stores, and 27 brands found on the internet. I will list some of them in alphabetical order: A/G, Agave, Blues Jean Bar, Citizens of Humanity, Cult of Individuality, Current, Divine Right of Denim, Doheny, Ernest Sewn, Fidelity, Hudson, Joe’s, Lacoste (made by Ernest Sewn), Levi’s (rare), Lucky (rare), Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Paige (Premium), Postage, Rag & Bone, Raleigh Denim, R44, Seven for all Mankind, True Religion, and William Rast (rare). Your best bet to finding them (if they don’t have their own store) is Nordstrom’s or Nordstrom’s Rack. For more information: see my blog entry: Listings of American Clothing Manufacturers-Retail not only for jeans, but for all categories of clothing.

Dresses

The best bet if you are looking for nice dresses would be an individual clothing store if you have one. If you don’t have that available, then a Nordstrom’s (or Nordstrom’s – like) department store. They may carry some lines of clothing that are made only or mostly in the U.S., such as  Three Dots or Karen Kane. Macy’s carries a few U.S. made dresses such as Alex or Onyx or Betsy Johnson. With women’s clothing it is more of a hit and miss, as there are so many small manufacturers. A link like my blog’s “Black Friday link” put out by the Alliance of American Manufacturing would be phenomenal resource if there were such a thing present each month. It lists the American made clothes that are presently available in Nordstroms, Macy’s and Sears. I will see what I can do to make this a recurring feature to my blog.

Now That You Found Your Clothing Made in the USA, Now What?

You have searched high and low and finally you have found that elusive American made garment. Then what happens? You look at the price tag, and you know what, it is higher than you had hoped. You know why. Because we have been brainwashed, we have been out “Walmarted” by the Chinese, they are sending literally tons of clothing on us in America, in Europe, and the rest of the world because they want to run everybody else out of business. In order to do this they have their yuan very undervalued (less cost to us), the government directly provides money to companies (collusion) and manufacturers in China are running at break even prices in their sales to us. (The factories actually make money selling goods on the side much of the time).  Have you ever wondered why is it that you can buy jeans in 2011 for less than you could in 1980, where everything else in the world has gone up 400%? That’s right we are being Walmarted right out of existence. So, try to keep in mind, what the real value of clothes is. I hope you don’t go the way that so many before have fallen prey to the: “Gee whiz, this is so cheap”. Yes, it is cheap. And you are falling right into their trap. Stay strong. Think and Shop smartly. Remember to continue to look for sales on all U.S. made clothes. For more information on the names of companies that make American clothing, see my blog entry:”Listing of American Clothing manufacturers retail.” Buy American! I am counting on you to spread the word.

“Fashion is a tool…to compete in life outside the home. People like you better, without knowing why, because people always react well to a person they like the looks of.” – Mary Quant

08
Nov
11

A Californian in New York City: Finding clothes made in USA in NYC

Mainpoint: Finding clothes made in the USA within New York City – the fashion Capitol.

It has been said that what first occurs in New York City will eventually find its way to the rest of the nation. And this has been very true regarding fashion and clothes. So, clothingmadeinusablog went to New York City to see the state of nation in regards to clothing manufactured in the United States. And, in general, it is dismal. Clothing manufactured in the United States is about 2% overall. In New York City, it is no better. I can say this only in a general sense, because this unlike the time I surveyed every single store at Santana Row in San Jose and took a rough inventory of American clothes in each store. The reason for the change in methodology is obvious – there are not enough people, i.e. money and time that could map out Manhattan and their inventory of clothes.

For those of you who do not know New York city, it is divided into many unofficial districts: Times Square, Chelsea, Financial district, etc. I decided to start in Times Square, for its innumerable shops, its immense tourist density and because I was staying there. There are many people from Europe visiting New York. And these tourists are just salivating at the prospect of purchasing American clothes. There was this time I was going up in an elevator with a French couple and their two and a half children. The father and the two tweens were proudly wearing their polo shirts emblazened with “American Eagle” on the front. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to ruin their moment and tell them their shirts were all imported from China and not much of the shirts were American at all. The equivalent would be they are as French as French fries. I suppose to this family it was still buying American, using that funny American money and having to pay New York Sales Tax. But still, if you want to get a genuine American souvenir, you should buy one that is made in the USA. Why go to Amish country and then buy one of their cheaper Chinese versions? You didn’t need to travel all that way to do that.

Times Square

It had been ten years since the last time I had been back to New York City and Times Square. It has gotten larger and there are much more lit up moving billboards. There, also, seem to be a lot more “Broadway” theaters than I remembered. Many stores have come and gone in that time – that’s just the way it goes in the big city. But, more than anything else, the most notable change is just a ton of chain type stores. Chain store here, chain store there, with the exception of an independent souvenir shop. There were Starbuck’s and Duane Reade Drug Stores almost every block. And none of these chain stores had any bigger selection than the stores everywhere else in the US, certainly no “anchor” stores or “flagship” stores – stores that sometimes carry more inventory and occasionally unique items in that particular store and no where else within the chain. So, as far as buying American – Times Square is a bust. The exception is a branch of American Apparel stores – everything is made in the USA – its anchor store is in Los Angeles. This chain of stores for the most part is designed for younger people and with the quality equivalent of a Kohl’s. But, at least it is 100% American. Hallelujah!

Uptown

Uptown is the area where you go to spend too much money. We are talking: Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue and Bounce-a-check Avenue. Hold it. That is too much of an old reference, nobody uses checks anymore. Something more appropriate would be “Credit card limit extremely over and thus declined Avenue”. There reason to shop in uptown is as follows: there are different levels of quality and therefore prices within clothes. At the bottom, there are the sweatshop clothes – China, India, East Asia, Mexico, and Central America. The next level of clothing manufacturing is: Turkey, Poland, Peru, Romania and possibly Tunisia. The next level is clothing manufactured in the USA, possible exception – American Apparel. Then the very top level is clothes made in Italy and France. So, my hope was to find higher level shops that may carry American made clothing. This did not produce the results I had hoped for. I found many too expensive Italian clothes with just a smattering of too expensive American clothes. At Barney’s, I found a couple of American made brands I had not seen before: “Thom Browne” and “Band of Outsiders”.

I had found that in Uptown, there is no limit on excessive price gouging. Just when you think you have seen it all, there is another whole level that exists. When you get to two levels above outrageous, then you are just buying luxury. I have bought things that were priced outrageously, but in my mind, they were still worth it, quality products that will last for years. I suppose everybody has different levels of what is outrageous. For instance, what I buy now compared to when I was a college student would be considered two levels above outrageous from my “poor me” days. But, I make decent money now and still some of these prices just make my head spin. I guess there is a top 1% and then there is the top 0.1%.

In my walk uptown, I discovered a small store, Oxxford Clothes on 56th Street between 5th and Madison. I tried the glass doors and they were locked. Fortunately, the salesman saw me, decided I wasn’t there to rob him and buzzed me in. What I discovered is Oxxford Clothes are all made in USA, specializing in dress shirts. The shirts ranged in price from $180 to $325. There was a section of shirts that were 50% off as well. The Oxxford Clothes started way back in Chicago in 1916. It may be the only place to get a hand cut, hand sewn, custom made suit made entirely with American materials and American tailors. One thing that sort of put me off, is that I selected three shirts to try on, the salesman allowed me only to try only one on (I was wearing a T-shirt under my dress shirt as well), and then we could make the decision whether that fit was right. So, I tried the one shirt on, it fit well, and I purchased only that shirt. I might have purchased a second one had it not been that approach. The salesperson did say that Oxxford Clothes does send it shirts for sale at one place in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA – “Wilkes – Bashford”. I may have to visit Wilkes-Bashford again. You may want to visit the website of Oxxford Clothes at oxxfordclothes.com. They have a video of how they make their suits – which is quite interesting, especially in this age of automation.

I did go to Sak’s Fifth Avenue. I found some very nice Italian and French shirts. But, I did find something disheartening. “Ike Behar”, an American shirt manufacturer, had been purchased by a new owner last year, and now, no further American made shirts will be coming from Ike Behar. I guess I will scour some of the discount stores to see if they have any older Ike Behar, made in USA, shirts. I did end up purchasing an Italian shirt by Breuer, a shirtmaker making shirts for centuries. Other information from the salesperson: “Fanconnale” – a French company – was bought by Nordstrom’s and all their clothes now are made in China. BEST ADVICE: It is best to purchase a shirt from a shirtmaker that has been doing it for a long time – not a “perfume maker” – somebody just interested in making money. Shirtmakers pay special attention to details like the fit, the stitching and gossets – inserts to help the shirts from separating at the front ends. You will get the ultimate quality from a shirtmaker.

Greenwich Village

This is your best bet to find American made clothing. It is an eclectic mix of small shops, cafes and trendy boutiques. I found several stores in this district that make American made clothes. “Rag and Bone” – about 50 -70% American made clothes for the men. Clothes are made in New York, jeans, shirts, suits and shoes. The men’s store is on 100 Christopher Street, the women’s store 104 Christopher. They have two more stores (One Men’s and one women’s in Soho as well. “Freemans Sporting Club” has two locations: 327 Bleeker, also 8 Rivington, was founded in 2006 by a restauranteer, Taavo Somer. They make shirts, twill pants, jackets, neckties and specialize in suits. Everything is made in New York City sometimes using 100 year old sewing machines. Their motto is “Made Local, Buy Local” One interesting note, at the SOHO store, in the back of this store is a very busy barbershop. Freemans Sporting Club also has a store in San Fransisco.  “7 For All Mankind” is a chain of stores that make US made premium jeans, actually they are based in Los Angeles. Just be aware that not everything including the jeans are made in the USA (so read the label). Not too far away is Ernest Sewn, 821 Washington Street at Gansevoort Street, since 2004 have been making premium jeans in New York. They also make a special pair of jeans for the Lacoste store chain. In the Ernest Sewn store, you can have your jeans custom-made while you wait.

Conclusion

There are some bright spots within New York City regarding clothing manufacturing in the USA: Rag and Bone; Freemans Sporting Club; Ernest Sewn; and Oxford Clothes. I did find some expensive American made clothing at Barney’s – Thom Browne and Band of Outsiders. Other than that, New York City is a huge city which is losing its character with its rampant expansion of chain stores that can be found in every suburb across the United States. Except for the high end stores along Madison Avenue and a few interesting stores in Greenwich Village, shopping in New York City has become very pedestrian. With regards to clothing made in the USA, I would say that New York is about average, only about 2% is made in the USA, and it doesn’t look like it will increase anytime soon unless their is a change in the population’s attitude or government intervention. There may be a silver lining, I have found that there is a movement to produce vintage clothes in the United States once more, stores like Levi’s and Eddie Bauer. One last tip, if you are visiting New York City and you purchase over $110 worth of merchandise, you may want to inquire about shipping them home, by doing that, you avoid their sales tax.

“Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.” – John Locke

19
Oct
11

Jeans – American Born but American Made? Part II

Mainpoint – The progression of jeans from the 1960’s to the present. And where to find jeans made in the USA.

Blue Jeans Hit The Fashion Parade

Starting in the mid to late 1960’s was the first real change in the actual style of jeans since its inception. There had been minor changes, but there were still the old classic jeans. These new designers were going to make jeans a fashion statement. And there was no bigger statement than the inception of bell-bottom blue jeans. The bell bottoms, named because of their exaggerated flare at the end of the jean’s legs, resembled a bell (sort of). The circumference was 27 inches almost twice the circumference of the traditional or straight leg jeans. They were a major hit with the counter culture, hippies. Patches were placed on jeans and very often accompanied with tie-dye T-shirts, and granny glasses. Almost around the same time came the “hip huggers”.  They were worn much lower on the hips, similar to the low cut or ultra low cut jeans of today. This was the jump start of jeans into fashion, never again could you just say, “I would like a pair of jeans”, without having a salesperson say, “What kind of jeans?”

Other Fashion Bubbles and Improvements

The early 1980’s were the time of “Designer” jeans. Jeans that were created by “Name Designers” like Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein. These were expensive compared to the older, classic jeans, and very form fitting (“tight butt hugging”). Jokes were frequent – like how long it took to get into the jeans, and how you would get stretch marks just bending over to pick up a coin. This fashion faded, (and its made a comeback), but there has always been a new jeans fashion to replace it. And the designers are always inventing new names to make it sound cool. I will go over some “improvements” and I hope to demonstrate that these new names may not be as difficult to understand at first glance.  First, let us go back to the ‘classic jeans’. They were brand new denim, never been washed (this is called the ‘wash’), the waist or ‘Rise’ was just over the hips and a couple of inches below the navel. That is now called ‘medium rise’.  The ‘Fit’ (the tightness or looseness around the legs and rear) was slightly relaxed. The ‘Cut’ at the end of the trouser was ‘straight leg’, no flare, no taper, 14 inches in circumference.

 

This will help you when you respond to the salesperson’s question, “What kind of jeans do you like?” Instead of saying , “What kind of jeans do you have?” You can say,” I would like Mid-rise, classic fit, straight leg, raw denim.” But if you are not sure, when the salesperson starts rolling off their entire menu, at least, you will be prepared to know what some of the terms mean. So, let us look at all of these names or variations:

The Rise

This is easiest to comprehend. It is where the waistband goes around the body. Starting with the normal fitting trousers, pants or jeans – the ‘classic’ is considered ‘mid – rise’. As I described before – it goes over the hips and a couple inches below the naval. For centuries this has been the most natural of designs as the hips tend to keep the pants from falling down. ‘Low cut’ or ‘low rise’ (or ‘ultra low cut’) have the waistband at the hips  or just above (the hips are where the bony prominences of the proximal femurs can be felt). If the back is not covered, the crack of the butt can be sometimes be seen with standing and certainly with squatting. These are meant for young people only. The ‘high rise’ or ‘high waist’ has the waistband coming across the navel. It has been in and out of fashion throughout the years.

The Fit

The fit is the tightness or looseness of the jeans around the legs and butt. Starting from tight to loose: ‘Skinny jeans’ (also known as cigarette jeans) are form fitting, like the 1980’s Designer jeans. ‘Skinny jeans also incorporate a smaller leg opening at the bottom. ‘Slim fit’ are the next step down. There are not as form fitting (they don’t ‘hug’ the body) like the ‘skinny jeans’, but usually with a straight leg. The next step is the ‘classic fit’, for some women they are called the ‘classic boyfriend fit’. The overall form is still seen but there is enough space around the legs and butt to be comfortable. Next, ‘relaxed fit’ – one additional inch in the butt and thighs. Then there is the ‘loose fit’. In the ‘loose fit’, there are an additional 1 – 4 inches of additional room in the seat and thighs. Last and certainly least – the ‘baggy jeans’. Certainly a fashion statement with all that additional and unnecessary material. ‘Women’s jeans’ are made to enhance the look of the woman’s anatomy, more curves for hip room versus the men’s traditional straight up and down anatomy.

The Cut or Leg

The cut refers to the trouser leg, sometimes starting below the knee or above the knee. starting from largest to smallest. ‘Bell Bottoms’ – starting at the knee the opening at the opening got larger around 27 inches in some cases. Similiar, but not as pronounced, are the ‘Flare cut’. This starts at or just below the knee with gradually widening until 21-27 inches. The next cut would be the ‘Trouser jeans’ or sometimes called the ‘wide leg’ or even the ‘baggy jean’. In this cut, the leg is widened the entire way and may get bigger at the bottom. The ‘Boot Cut’ are straight or even a little tighter in the thighs, but below the knee flares out to accommodate a boot, opening anywhere from 15-22 inches. The ‘straight leg’, the traditional cut has no taper, opening 14 inches. ‘Skinny jeans’ – thin all the way down with a slight taper at the ankle to 13 inches. ‘Micro skinny’ – opening 12 inches.

Wash

Blue jeans are impregnanted with an indigo colored dye and are very dark when first manufactured. The wash refers to the number of times they have been washed or in some circumstances treated in a different fashion to give them a distressed appearance. It is kind of funny that we desire our brand new clothes to look like we got them at a second hand store filled with rips, and frays, holes, stains and fading, but that is the fashion. If jeans have never been washed they are called ‘Dry wash’ or ‘raw wash’ (Never washed seems more appropriate to me). I have heard that a single hand wash of the jeans can still be considered a ‘raw wash’. The manufacturer can throw the jeans into a washing machine full of large stones and then call them ‘stone-washed’, or add chlorine and call it ‘acid wash’, or some other chemical and call it ‘dirty wash’. There are actually too many numerous variations, and I tire of the entire lame wash subject. So, enough about washes.

Additional Note

So, I have covered most of the types of jeans and I hope I have made some sense of all this mish-mash, but just realize many stores like to use their own particular name for the types of jeans they sell. So, then you have to ask the salesperson – “What is a modern cut?” or whatever it is called this week, the salesperson should be able to say, “Well, that is equivalent to a low rise jean.”

Jeans made in the USA

It is rather a sad subject that the piece of clothing originating in America, a true American original, and which made clothing history is very infrequently manufactured in the U.S. Most jeans come from Mexico, China or Honduras. But there are a few manufacturers still here. There are several jeans manufacturers that have their own retail stores, plus distribute them to department stores. The best known are 7 For All Mankind and True Religion. I had just found out that Levi Strauss after a few year hiatus, makes a limited number of American made jeans since March of 2011. Other jeans made in the USA, found in retail outlets are: Hudson, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Ernest Sewn, Paige, Doheny, Postage, Rock And Republic, Raleigh Denim, Citizens of Humanity, and Blues Jean Bar. Most of these manufacturers are premium jeans so the are expensive $150 – $220 for full retail. If you can find them at Nordstrom’s Rack, maybe you can buy them for $75.

“Fashion is the science of appearance, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be.” -Henry Fielding

30
Sep
11

Favorite US Store #2 Michael Stars

About Us | Michael Stars.

Main point: Michael Stars makes clothing made in USA, medium priced, good quality, 80% of tops made in USA.

Who would have thought that Walnut Creek, CA would be the American made clothing mecca in Northern California? There are four stores within 200 feet of each other that have a higher percentage of clothing made in the USA than the usual (around 2%).  Second place would be in San Jose – the area from Santana Row and the Valley Fair Mall (Hlaska, 100% American, Blue Jean Bar and American Apparel, 100% American). In Walnut Creek, the first store is Nordstrom’s with maybe the best American made selection of all the Nordstrom’s in Northern California. They have a great selection of Alan Edmunds American made shoes. There is nearly an entire table of young adult made in USA T-shirts. There are other young adult shirts made in America. I did find one very interesting thing – an American made leather coat – made by Remy. The only reason I was at Nordstrom’s was for investigating, but when I came across that jacket I had to buy it, breaking my budget for the month. But I should be happy with it for many years to come. With regards to dress shirts, I was slightly disappointed, no American made shirts, just a few choices of Italian made shirts and slacks.

The second store was 7 for All Mankind. “7” is known for premium jeans made in the USA. The company started in Los Angeles in 2000 and sends its jeans to many of the upscale retail department stores. But they have recently started their own stores, they are in almost every major city now as well as in Europe. In visiting the store, it was actually fairly small. Jeans were about 70% of all the clothes in the store. Most of the jeans were American made. All the tops were foreign made.

The third store was True Religion. Like 7 for All Mankind, True Religion is also noted for making premium jeans made in the USA. They have many jeans in the upscale retail department stores and have their own stores in all the major cities in the US. It is a small store with the majority of its clothing – American made jeans.

But the real reason for writing this entry is Michael Stars. Michael Stars is a medium end clothes store for ladies.  Michael Stars is based in Los Angeles. It has 12 retail outlets: Scottsdale,AZ; Corte Madera, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Manhattan Beach, CA; Newport Beach, CA; Santa Monica, CA; 1233 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA; Destin, FL; Atlanta, GA, Las Vegas, NV; and E. Hampton, NY. The store in Walnut Creek has a great location, facing the street and is a little small square footage-wise. The target population is 20 – 50 year olds. The tops are mostly one size fits most. I would estimate the percentage of American made tops is 80%. The shorts and jeans are all foreign made. Customer service was more than adequate.

Overall, if you are looking for a good looking ladies American made top, reasonable priced, Michael Stars is highly recommended.

“So soon as a fashion is universal, it is out of date.” – Mare von Ebnder-Eschenbech




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