In our never-ending quest to reinvent American menswear, we’ve spent countless hours researching, purchasing and wearing the best garments made in this great country.
While many American clothing brands have shifted production to overseas markets where they can pay lower wages, a number of heritage brands have stayed committed to employing American craftsmen. This allows companies to oversee quality control on every unit produced, retain skilled workers by creating a community environment around their brand, and provide an opportunity for their employees to attain the ever-fleeting American dream.
At the end of the day, whether you care about the American worker or not, the real lesson here is that you simply cannot replicate the quality and craftsmanship that comes with more than 100 years of research, development and heritage behind it. We’re talking generations of blood, sweat and tears. This expertise becomes evident when you invest in a classic American garment – it not only lasts the test of time, it actually gets better with age (ultimately saving you time and money in the long run). That is exactly why we tapped into America’s oldest tailoring factory to produce our tailored garments – to combine our knowledge and insight into the online market with their decades of experience producing timeless American tailoring.
As my favorite basketball coach used to tell me: there is simply no replacement for practice and experience. Greatness takes time – along with a undying willingness to improve every day, every season, and every year.
With that said, here are some of our favorite American-made brands (to wear with AoS), highlighted by our own personal garments that have lasted the test of time.
Leather Jackets: Schott
Originally Purchased: 2014
“The sons of a Russian immigrant, Irving and Jack Schott started making raincoats in a basement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan which were then sold by street peddlers door to door. Irving Schott’s leather jackets were lovingly branded with the name of his favorite cigar – the Perfecto. By the mid-twenties, Schott NYC was revolutionizing the way Americans dressed for the outdoors when they were the first to put a zipper on a jacket. Eager to innovate, it was no surprise that Irving Schott then set his sights on another American classic in the making – the motorcycle. In 1928, Irving Schott designed and produced the first leather motorcycle jacket. Retailing for $5.50 at a Long Island Harley Davidson distributor, the Perfecto was durable, rugged, and immediately embraced. To this new generation of “bikers,” the Perfecto was a symbol of the excitement, adventure and danger that fueled their fascination with motorcycles.” – Schott.com
Classic Headwear: Stetson
Originally Purchased: 2011
“In 1870, less than a year after making his first ‘Boss of the Plains;, John B. Stetson purchases a building on the northern outskirts of Philadelphia, establishing what would become the largest hat factory in America. Stetson builds his legacy as a business innovator, steward of a company as concerned for the welfare of its employees as in its commercial output.” – Stetson.com
Canvas Luggage: Filson
Originally Purchased: 2009
“The goods we quote must not be confounded with the cheap and vastly inferior grade with which the market is over-run. Such goods are not only useless for the purpose for which they are intended, but the person wearing them would be better off without them.” – Clinton C. Filson, 1914 catalog
Timeless Footwear: Allen Edmonds
Originally Purchased: 2017
“Allen Edmonds has been handcrafting fine welted Made in the USA shoes since 1922. Today, we continue to follow the same 212-step manufacturing process invented by Elbert W. Allen and Bill “Pops” Edmonds when they opened their first factory on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin nearly a century ago.” – AllenEdmonds.com
Leather Goods: Frank Clegg
Originally Purchased: 2012
“All Frank Clegg products are made in our Fall River, Massachusetts, workshop by a highly skilled team who share the pride of creating handmade products of unparalleled quality. We not only produce exceptional products, we also develop and design our goods in-house. Every bag, wallet and accessory has a story behind it.” – Frankcleggleatherworks.com
Ass-Kicking Boots: Wolverine
‘1000 Mile’ Boot by Wolverine, Brown Felt Hat by Stetson, Navy Knit Long Sleeve Polo by Reiss, Small Batch Burgundy Suit by Articles of Style
Originally Purchased: 2010
“G.A. Krause believed in the possibility of opportunity. He dreamed of owning a shoe company an tannery that employed his values and quality craftsmanship and incessant innovation. In 1883, he founded a small company with a handful of employees. By 1901, Krause organized the Rogue River Electric Light and Power Company to bring power to Rockford, Michigan, allowing him and his sons to build and operate a shoe factory. By 1903, they were making 300 pairs of shoes a day. Krause was a true revolutionary, later selling share of the company to its own employees, becoming one of the nation’s first profit sharing plans.” – Wolverine.com
The New Guys On The Block…
Denim Shirt by RRL, Bespoke Jeans by Red Cotton Denim, Brown Leather Jacket Vintage, Kenwood Penny Loafers by Allen Edmonds
In addition to heritage brands, their are a number of up-and-coming designers who are making some great products in America. When it comes to new designers, we only consider guys who are absolutely passionate about their product -borderline obsessed with the process of making things the right way. Two guys that come to mind are Camilo Love of Red Cotton Denim, and Alejandro Rodriguez of Beautiful Ful.
As a closing statement: just remember – every time you spend a dollar, on anything, you are supporting the people, practices and values of a brand (a group of people and machines). Our job is simply to pull back the curtain, your job is to make wise decisions on where to spend your hard-earned cash.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,
Source: Articles of Style