How to dress like an All-American, with U.S.A. clothing brands
Can you clothe yourself, head to toe, in items made in the U.S.A.? Yes, with brands such as True Religion jeans and New Balance shoes.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Head to the clothes closet and it may feel like stepping into a global marketplace. One pair of jeans is made in China, another in the Philippines. Other apparel comes from Cambodia, Vietnam and India. Where are the American items?
Even iconic American brands such as Levi Strauss and Harley-Davidson manufacture apparel outside the United States. So while Harley-Davidson motorcycles are U.S.-made, the riding boots come from China.
The U.S. is still a manufacturing giant, but production is now focused on producing heavy equipment or complicated technology. Most mass-produced items such as clothing, shoes, toys and electronics are manufactured outside the U.S.
The shift in manufacturing trends means it's hard to find U.S.-made clothing or shoes. The U.S. imports 99 percent of footwear with a whopping 90 percent coming from China, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, a trade group representing apparel companies and suppliers.
Finding U.S.-made items is a challenge, but it is possible to dress from head to toe in U.S.-made items. Here are four pieces made at home:
True Religion is a young brand, founded in 2002. Items such as the Billy-Body Rinse jeans are made in the U.S. These jeans are made with 72 percent cotton, 28 percent elasterall. It is a low-rise fit with 7.5-inch front rise and 12.5-inch back rise. The legs are straight, and the dark rinse features soft brown thread and shiny copper rivets and button fly. Back pockets have flaps that close with a small button. Available in sizes 0 to 12, sizes are listed by waist circumference. $216 at truereligionbrandjeans.com or True Religion stores.
Carve Designs is a California company that manufactures several items in the U.S., including the complete High Point Collection which features tees, hoodies and jackets. The Halifax jacket is another option. This soft shell jacket is made for cooler weather and has a double breast and zip close. It is made with soft-shell nylon bonded with long hair fleece. The fit is close and hits at high thigh. Color options are chocolate or black, sizing is small to extra large. $228 at carvedesigns.com.
reMade USA is a San Francisco company that turns old leather jackets into fashionable bags. Ready to Order bags include The Sutter Clutch, a 12-by-7 handbag made from "random scraps" of leather jackets. The bag closes with two gold snaps and has a leather hand strap. The bag takes three weeks to complete and finished bags will vary. Available in black or brown, $125. Another option is to supply your own leather jacket and place a special order. Prices vary; remadeusa.com.
New Balance manufactures many of its shoes in New England, including the 993s. These high-performance running shoes have a suede and mesh outer and a shock-absorbing sole. Available in gray or black for $139.99. A pink version also is available for $149.99, benefits the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and allows for personalization on the tongue. Message options include "Survivor," "In Honor of," "Running for" and "Lace Up." Available at newbalance.com.
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