Posts Tagged ‘True Religion

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.

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

01
Aug
12

7 Fashion Brands Still Made in USA – Kiplinger

7 Fashion Brands Still Made in USA – Kiplinger. I found this link through The Manhattan Fashion Directory from Kiplinger, July, 2012. They mention 7 brands: Hickey Freeman, New Balance, Nanette Lapore, All American Clothing, Pendleton Blankets, Alden Shoes and True Religion. Please be advised that much New Balance, Hickey Freeman and True Religion are not made in the US, so always check the labels. You can always check out my more comprehensive list and most visited entry: “Listing of American Clothing Manufacturers – Retail“. The All American Clothing can be purchased through the internet only, so to find them you need to check this on a separate entry:” Listing of Brands of Clothing Made in the USA via Internet.” It is always nice to see magazines extolling the virtues of buying American.

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

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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