American-made clothing has made a big resurgence in the past ten years, as well as it should. The more we outsource manufacturing and materials, the more it impacts our day-to-day lives. It’s more than just reading labels. However, some disreputable companies, as of late, have gotten their hands caught in the proverbial cookie jar for shenanigans regarding US-made goods’ labels. Here we’ll discuss how to approach the journey to buy American-Made clothing from head to toe. Spoiler alert, it’s not easy.
American-Made Clothing FTW!
From ball caps and cowboy hats to woolen caps and cold weather gear covering your head in thread stateside is both easy and difficult. The key here to finding US-made is whether the covering of your desire can be handmade or not. Finding something like an American-made baseball cap for anything under $60 or so is incredibly difficult. That’s because they’re simple and significantly cheaper to manufacture overseas.
Now take something like a Stetson hat. Authentic cowboy hats are bespoke, custom affairs typically fitted to the individual owner. They are not cheap by any stretch, but you can easily find one where both the materials used to make the hat and the shop selling it are all, you guessed it, as American as apple pie and baseball.
Let’s go to something; however, that is outside the $300-$500 range. You can readily find good quality, handmade knit caps online and even talk to the people making them here in the States. It’s a bit harder to verify the source of the materials, but they are out there if you go looking. When it comes to head covering options, pricepoint is what dictates the ease or difficulty of sourcing it from home.
Tops can be a bit of a mixed bag. It’s harder to find handmade daily wear, all sourced locally, but it is doable. Where you can find success here is in formal wear for both ladies and gentlemen. A quick browser search will yield quite a few options. That being said, be careful. Just like with headware, several companies have been caught forging US-made tags to increase their profit margins. Where you’re going to find consistency is in bespoke, custom clothing.
Often you can find tailors willing to make fully US-sourced clothing that fits wonderfully and will hold up well with long use periods. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t American-made clothing options for more casual wear. SOS From Texas is an excellent example of what you should look for in shirts. They are based in Texas and use Texas-grown pesticide-free cotton for all their products. The yarn is knitted, finished, and sewn in the Carolinas.
They also pay their workers a fair wage instead of the lowest wage possible. This means from start to finish, not only can you be confident in the product, but it’s also likely that the quality is much higher. The choice to go full stateside will also up your fashion game naturally, albeit in shirts at least.
The Belt And Below
Once again, belts, especially the leather variety, can be easily had locally, much like hats. Granted, they, like everything else in this article, are going to be more expensive than their counterparts but often, especially with belts which tend to be a heavier use item, you’ll also get a lifetime warranty with them that you can realistically use. A perfect example of an American-made product that lives up to its stellar reputation is the offerings from Mean Gene Leather. Handmade and stitched by Gene himself, when it comes to leather goods, specifically belts, look no further in terms of customization and quality. Regarding pants, there are a variety of options.
A standout company named Atlas46 out of Missouri has a selection of great khaki pants that offer both stylish and practical work options, all made in the US with materials sourced here as well. Another good source of clothing options, including for ladies, is FORLOH. FORLOH is more outdoor/hunting-focused, but they do have some decent daily wear options. Specifically for ladies, they have a great selection of practical and good-looking leggings.
Interestingly, shoes are probably the easier of the categories to shop for in this case. Like hats, you’re not going to find “cheap” options often because the materials, such as leather, are naturally more expensive, and the craftsmanship is of higher quality, so you’ll pay more accordingly. The advantage here is, much like with hats, no two heads are made the same. Feet also come in various shapes and sizes, so having a wide range of bespoke or custom options is always preferable.
There are a variety of great options starting with sandals/flip-flops. They are based out of Georgia and have a fantastic product. If you’re looking for something a bit more rugged, Danner boots have been a mainstay in the US market since 1932. They are Berry-compliant for you Military folks and have a stellar reputation, understandably. As time has progressed as well, their product line has expanded. While their primary market is still a work/combat boot, they also have some other nice offerings.
Much has been made over the past couple of years post-COVID regarding the role that overseas interests play in our everyday lives. One thing you can do as an informed consumer is to change that narrative in your own life by voting with your dollars. Learning how to buy American-made clothing is a great way to help fight to keep jobs here in America. The argument can even be made that it’s even more important than the ballot box in the modern era. Take the information you find here regarding great companies and people to act accordingly. In a world full of subpar textiles, solid people are still doing good things. You just have to look a little harder than Amazon to find them.