New Made in USA Jeans

 

made in usa jeans

Dyer & Jenkins is a recent start-up Los Angeles-based men’s clothing manufacturer.  I first heard about them on Kickstarter in 2013.  It looks like they were successful!  I was able to sample their high-rise straight leg jeans and knit sweatshirt.  The quality of the fabric is excellent – tough and durable.  I’m not sure I should wash them, since it would make them softer (and less manly? :)  The fly uses copper rivet buttons instead of a zipper.   The stitching is tight and features special touches.  A rear belt loop attached diagonally :))   The sweatshirt is light and also shows a flair in its stitching.  Overall, impeccably made, stand-out clothes that guys from all backgrounds will like.

The team behind D&J appears to really take their mission of manufacturing in USA and supporting American jobs seriously.  I look forward to more exciting products from them.  D&J clothing can be purchased both online from the website, www.dyerandjenkins.com as well as from retailers in California, Texas, and New York.

 

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M.M. Confine

I was recently contacted by Jesse Malinowski of M.M. Confine, the creator of a Seattle-based, all-made-in-USA clothing line.  Right now, they have duffle bags, backpacks, socks, hats and shirts.  The website also features army surplus wear that goes along with the gritty tenor of the other items.

The more I explored M.M. Confine, the more enigmatic it seemed.  Is this punk rock?  Is this a creative anarchism?  Clothing made by industrious skateboarders?  There’s a vein running through the project, titled “The Common Sense Knights of Men.”  The logo is found on some of the clothing.  There is a zine with that title that is also available from the website:

The title is again, enigmatic.  I sense a streak of libertarianism in Jesse that is perhaps in its formative stages.

From the standpoint of the clothing, the construction is high-quality and style is masculine.  It goes well with army surplus goods.  Is this what our armed resistance to a foreign invasion would wear?  I hope to see a further expansion of the clothing line and would love to feature it here.

Jesse, if you’re reading this, please comment – what is the relation between the clothing, the music and the CSKOM?  Am I way off base? – Alex

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Duke’s Smoked Meats

It seems like every classic American food product is undergoing a renaissance these days.  These days there are exciting new choices in American coffee, beer, wine, whiskey, cheese and confections.  I would also like to add smoked meats to the list of craft-style/small batch American-made food products.

I recently tried Duke’s Honey Bourbon Beef Jerky, part of a sampler of beef jerky, from Thanasi Foods, a Boulder, Colorado company that makes Duke’s Meats and Bigs Sunflower Seeds.  Thanasi was founded only in 2003 and is found in 40,000 retail locations, according to their website.  The beef jerky is quite tasty and came in an attractive box along with several other flavors.  I think I should be having this with an IPA and an assortment of cheese to do it justice.

I am encouraged that specialty food makers, such as Thanasi and Duke’s Meats are finding value in emphasizing their made in USA credentials.  Their image as a high-quality, craft-style specialty product will earn them a growing customer following.

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Todd Shelton Made in USA Mens Shirts

Todd Shelton Logo

Todd Shelton

Todd Shelton is the all made in USA mens fashion designer from New Jersey (just outside NYC) that is setting a new standard in mens dress shirts.  I had the pleasure of trying on the shirt above.  The fabric is silky and light yet substantial.  The collar folds down very neatly and doesn’t get in the way of my neck like so many do.  The fit is trim/athletic without bunching or feeling tight.  At $125, the shirt is priced better than similar Brooks Brothers shirts (some of which are made in USA) for a better style and fit.  (see for yourself in the photo of me in the shirt, below).

Todd Shelton Made in USA Dress ShirtI spoke with Todd himself last year sometime, when he didn’t have the smaller sizes yet.  It was definitely worth the wait.  Now I see that he also makes jeans, slacks, vests, t-shirts and sweaters, all made in USA.  Some of the fabrics are domestic and some are imported.  The cool thing about the website is that location of manufacturing and origin of fabric are both separately listed for each item.  Also, rather than outsourcing his manufacturing to a third party, Todd owns his own production facility.

So if you are looking for quality up-to-date American-made mens clothing at a reasonable price (i.e. less than Brooks Brothers) Todd Shelton (toddshelton.com) is the place to go.

 

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Gallery Leather – Handsome Leather Books

I was recently able to sample a travel journal from Gallery Leather.  Leather-bound books are truly a luxury item and Gallery Leather also makes registers, schedulers, planners, journals, albums and other organizers.  Gallery Leather (see www.galleryleather.com) is based in Maine where they have been crafting leather-bound books for the last 3 decades.

Made in USA Travel Journal

The travel journal that I have is bound in distressed/slightly faded matte brown leather, has a ribbon bookmark and 192 lined ivory pages.  I don’t think that it’s right for me not to go sailing on a schooner around the world with this book tucked under my arm, recording my impressions.   Did Charles Darwin use one of these on the HMS Beagle?  Anyway, you get the picture – very impressive.   Listed at $20 on the gallery leather website, this is a steal.

The selection of other leather-bound products at Gallery Leather is quite impressive.  They actually make various such products wholesale for other brands as well and can be commissioned for custom work.  Gallery Leather is the first leather bound notebook maker that I have run across recently – highly recommend!

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Pay more and feel great about it

It was like most of the clothing we inevitably own, mass produced in the vast factories of Southeast Asia. The seams were badly puckering and the hemming kept undoing itself. The chinos had reached the end their life, the base of the pockets was now too badly damaged. Yet I had only owned the pair for less than a year. Something had changed through all these years. I recalled my grandfather long ago with a well worn jacket, the evidence of many tales through the wrinkles and stains. My father’s old winter boots, scuffed with the logo hardly visible, ready still to take on another winter. I recalled the good deal I got on the chinos, but it didn’t seem like such a good deal anymore. I decided I had enough.

A short time later, I was on my way to a local boutique. I picked up a pair of American made chinos from a small outfit out of New York. I noticed some things immediately: the fabric was a sturdy weave, the threads were thick, and the lining on the inside was substantial. I put them on and the stiff fabric which was going to need some breaking into, something I wasn’t used to with cheap products. Finally, I had garment that my hardworking forefathers would approve of, something that was going to last much longer than a season.

The price was substantially higher than a similar item at a big box store. Cheap prices are appealing, but I’ve come to realize that cheap goods aren’t, especially when you have to keep re-buying the item because the old one keeps breaking. It’s better to trust fewer, but better quality products to take you through life.

Products that you demand the best of also demand the best of you. Take your sweet time breaking them in because they deserve another hard winter or sleeve-rolling labor session. Durable goods are like sled dogs, they thrive on being tested and tried. Remember, items like these cannot be found at a Wal-Mart or Zappos, thankfully online retailers of high caliber goods are becoming more common.

http://thereliableseries.com/ is a place to discover products that will last more than a life time.

by Andrew Biancini

question or comments hello@thereliableseries.com

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Moto X Assembled in USA Phone

image

I just made the switch from the iPhone to the Moto X from Google android a few days ago. I have been trying out Republic Wireless and was also interested in checking out the phone assembled in USA by Motorola which is now owned by Google. Republic Wireless requires you to buy the Moto X which is specifically made for them.

Not only is it exciting to hold a high-tech piece of consumer electronics which is assembled in USA but this is a hands down excellent phone. I have new functionality in capabilities that I did not have on the iPhone so I think I will stay with the Android universe. This is despite the fact that I have Macs in the house. 
When I say assembled in USA, I don’t mean that every component in the phone is made in USA. That is virtually impossible these days in consumer electronics. But even having an assembled in USA piece of consumer electronics is a feat and accomplishment that Google and Motorola should be complemented for. The price on the phone is $299 with no contract which is a very good price. Good job, Google!
By the way this entire post was written on my new phone!

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Horse Cut Shop T Shirts

http://www.horsescutshop.com

is an apparel company in Seattle that prints the logos of small, iconic, independently owned businesses on 100% cotton, USA Made T-Shirts that we then sell, returning a portion of the proceeds back to that business. The bait shop, a bowling alley, a record store, a tavern, a dairy farm. We sell the shirts via our website and through an exclusive partnership with Nordstrom stores. We’ve got a very unique story as we’re using fashion to get people to think about the small, independent businesses out there that are struggling in the face of the overwhelming marketing power of large brands and mega stores.
Our strategy is to promote and support the most iconic local businesses across the US in hopes that they can keep on doing what it is they do best. I’m including a bunch of press to what we’ve been up to.

Gabe
Horses Cut Shop
Made from America
www.horsescutshop.com

FASHIONISTA: http://fashionista.com/2012/11/horses-cut-shops-gabe-johnson-curates-the-american-spirit-and-brings-it-to-treasure-bond/
RACKED: http://ny.racked.com/archives/2012/11/26/horses_cut_shop_at_treasure_bond.php

@ NORDSTROM

http://blogs.nordstrom.com/men/made-from-america-horses-cut-shop-gabe-johnson-interview/

http://www.seattlemag.com/horse-cut-shop-pops-nordstrom

http://blogs.nordstrom.com/fashion/gift-personalities-the-maverick-gabe-johnson/

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More Men’s Pants Made in USA

I recently bought more clothes from Joseph Abboud.  I saw them on Bluefly.com and they were on sale as most of their items are.  I wasn’t sure that they were made in usa, as bluefly isn’t the best on providing country of origin information online.  However, the pants came and are made in USA, all 3 pairs.  The fabric is imported, I believe.  The quality and cut are excellent.

So I’m still recommending Joseph Abboud – reasonably priced designer menswear that’s still made in USA.  Check out http://www.josephabboud.com/joa/

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Vermont Pen Company – High End Made in USA Pens

Ok, this is not a post about cheap or disposable made in usa pens.  These exist and I currently have such pens in my business.  It took me a while but now I have those.  No, this post is about a pen I only dream of, about pens that are hand-made in Vermont out of copper and brass like an antique nautical instrument.

The Vermont Pen Company has a craftsmanship tradition that stretches back to 1791, according to their website.  The pens look like something you’d find in the office of a CEO of a large corporation or other leader of the free world.  They are made one at a time.  They come in both ballpoing and fountain pen varieties.  This is the sort of pen that should be passed down as an heirloom from one generation to the next.   I find a striking similarity between The Vermont Pen Company and RGM Watches, which is a resurgent small watchmaker from Pennsylvania that makes luxury timepieces.

To find out more about Vermont Pen Company, please visit http://www.vermontpen.com.

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