Monday, April 23, 2012
Be authentic, please! or China don't know preppy!
"We live in a time of box stores, whose locations are based on proximity to highway exits, where consumers buy mass produced, context-free goods. To most, there is no perceived irony or dissonance in a person who has not been to the ocean in years buying, underneath a giant poster of a ship, a cheaply made nautically themed shirt that would not survive the shortest of sails, made in China, from a high school student who has never seen salt water."
Living in The South, I often search for authentic items that represent this region: bow ties, light weight cotton garments, etc. Needless to say, locating clothing made in the USA is difficult. Finding clothing made in The South is even more so. One would think that with the plethora of "Southern Preppy" brands being so popular on college campuses throughout The South, that most of that clothing would be made here in one of the southern states. Sadly, the answer is no, not as many as one would hope.
Have no fear though, there are companies out there that produce quality products, made right here in the good 'ol US of A. I've listed a few of my personal favorites here. Please comment with others that I may have missed.
Made in The South:
Jack Donnelly Khaki's - Roswell, GA - Khakis & Shorts
R Hanauer - Fort Mill, SC - Ties, bow ties, belts and more.
Otis James - Nashville, TN - Handmade ties
Ledbury - Richmond, VA - Shirts
Hartmann - Lebanon, TN - Luggage
Southern Tide - Greenville, SC - Classic clothing
Diamond Gusset - Bon Aqua, TN - Jeans
Earth Creations - Bessemer, AL - Shirts and Pants
Jolie and Elizabeth - New Orleans, LA - Women's Fashions
State Traditions - Birmingham, AL - State inspired polos, hats, visors and accessories. Made in Louisville, KY
Other brands Made in the USA (this is by no means an exhaustive list, but simply brands that I have personal experience with):
Eliza B. - Essex, CT - Shoes, belts and leather goods.
Bill's Khakis - Reading, PA - Khakis, Shorts and Shirts (They also have a facility right here in Alpharetta, GA).
Allen Edmonds Shoes - Port Washington, WI - Shoes
Alden Shoes - Middleborough, MA - Shoes
Please add to this list! I want to know about great American companies making traditional clothing in the US.