Home Forums Living Spaces Clothing Closets American clothing

This topic contains 43 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  ninakk 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #159180

    ninakk
    Member

    DH and I are most likely flying to the States in July/August as his family invited us there. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get my wardrobe sorted out as I’m at some kind of turning point, where “nothing” fits with anything else. I will donate some, use other pieces at home and the few remaining ones I’ll turn into dishcloths by cutting and knitting. I guess I’m going for a more “grown-up”, “classic” look now (think Audrey, Grace and company in their leisure-wear) even though the odd cool t-shirt and crazy brooch or scarf will have to blend well with those.

    Since it’s truly difficult to find a whole wardrobe of organic fabrics in Europe (or it is too expensive for me), I thought the U.S. might become my Eldorado. Do you have any tips on local labels that would be suitable (ecological, maybe no sweat shop stuff going on either)? If not, then I’d at least appreciate some tips on labels that manufacture high-quality clothing that don’t wear down immediately. Right now we don’t have a dryer, just a washing machine, so that’s no problem either.

    What I want is to have a wardrobe that doesn’t scream “contemporary” but will be nice over a few decades. The odd modern addition will happen now and then, but the backbone should be timeless.

  • #182630

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    American clothing

    High quality clothing comes at a price. Most stores here are full of poorly made clothing, even some of the nicer department stores have a lot of stuff that isn’t worth the higher markup. I’m sure there are options, but don’t think of the US as better than Europe, if anything, I’m expecting it to be worse for reasonable priced clothing.

    If all else fails, one store that I do like that has nice casual/leisure clothing that isn’t too trendy is Coldwater Creek. I don’t know where the fabrics or clothes are made, but most pieces in the store are well made from nice fabrics for the price. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a store if you’re in an urban area.

  • #182631

    ninakk
    Member

    American clothing

    Thanks for the tip! For some reason I find good clothing when travelling, but if I start looking for something at home it takes forever. This makes me rather reluctant to waste time on shopping at home these days, since I’m more open/less judgemental when travelling as there’s something new and exciting going on. Go figure.

  • #182637

    pkilmain
    Member

    American clothing

    I’ve gotten some nice pieces at J Jill as well. Both those companies are online btw, so you can check out if they’re your style. And don’t forget that our sizing is different – you’ll likely need to try things on.

  • #182642

    jbeany
    Member

    American clothing

    I think Land’s End cotton clothes hold up really well for the prices. They offer really basic styles and clean lines, but they are good wardrobe staples.

  • #182643

    American clothing

    I love Free People clothing. I don’t know if I would consider it classic but the clothes are well made and I love the styles :o)

  • #182644

    pkilmain
    Member

    American clothing

    @jbeany – I totally agree! I think my closet is 90% Lands End, LL Bean and Eddie Bauer, but I’m retired and wear mostly jeans/chinos/t-shirts. πŸ™‚

  • #182645

    Emilie
    Member

    American clothing

    Well, it depends on your budget and where exactly you’re traveling. In most stores here, the clothes aren’t very high-quality. I try to buy fair trade clothing, but it’s definitely not common. One sweatshop free brand is American Apparel, which has stores in a lot of different cities. However, I know a lot of people won’t buy from them because of sexual harassment issues within the company. And, their clothes aren’t particularly well-made either– I could make them myself, which is saying something πŸ˜›

    Personally, when I’m traveling I like to go to thrift/second-hand stores, because there are usually completely different (and better) offerings than in my home area. There also seem to be a lot of vintage stores in the US, if that is your thing (if you’re going for Audrey/Grace, it may be). If I were you, I would get on Yelp.com and search “clothing” or maybe “boutiques” in the city/area that you’re visiting. I feel like a lot of the best stuff here is going to be regional.

  • #182646

    Stacia
    Member

    American clothing

    I agree w/ many of the others that it is hard to find high-quality clothes, even in the more expensive shops.

    I really like the clothing from J Peterman ( http://www.jpeterman.com/Womens ), but their stuff is catalog only (so I don’t know if that’s an option for you).

    Another thing to try is going to some of the discount designer places such as TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, etc…. Finding stuff will be hit-or-miss, but if you have the time, you will sometimes get a great find.

  • #182647

    ninakk
    Member

    American clothing

    Thanks, wow, there are some good options already! One thing I particularly like is that every store has a web page. Here there are so many small stores that they certainly don’t invest in keeping their page up-to-date and therefore all commerce goes through the physical shop. There simply aren’t enough customers for on-line shopping in many cases.

    ‘Classic’ might be too vague and narrow, but what I refer to are clothes that have fantastic cuts and which truly fit one’s body type. Some fancy details maybe but mostly they should be easy to combine. I congratulate people who have managed to make their wardrobes cohesive.

    Stacia, yes, catalogue is an option since I can order in advance to my MIL’s address (as long as the store accepts a foreign credit card, of course).

    How are labels such as J.Crew, GAP, American Eagle Outfitters perceived? Good quality, less attractive? Is GAP kind of like H&M?

  • #182648

    happymonkey
    Member

    American clothing

    I wear a lot of JJill, Lands End, Eddie Bauer, and some Coldwater Creek, but my lifestyle is pretty casual when I’m not in the office. For a more classic, tailored style that will last for years, I would try Talbot’s. When I worked full time in an office, I got a lot of my classic core pieces there, and they’re still going strong 10 years later. Now that I’m a freelancer, I don’t need to wear them as often, but it’s nice to have a good mix.

  • #182649

    Sky
    Member

    American clothing

    I like LL Bean and Lands End but my all time favorite for classic, beautiful clothes is Talbot’s. They’re online, have good sales and sometimes offer free shipping.

  • #182652

    ninakk
    Member

    American clothing

    No wonder you ladies like each other’s company πŸ˜› You all dress the same LOL. Love you, thanks for helping out, so enough with the teasing.

  • #182653

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    American clothing

    Yes, Talbots! I forgot about Talbots.

    Stay away from GAP, it’s way over-priced and trendy although I know people who love their denim pants/blue jeans/jeans. lol. The cotton button downs are stiff and never soften with age. Actually, GAP might be closing a bunch of store this year.

  • #182654

    Anonymous

    American clothing

    ninakk, I shop at JCrew (in fact, most of my clothes are from there) and I like the brand a lot, but have found some variances in quality at this store. And, I find that most of the really classic stuff can’t be found in the stores- most of the stuff they have in the stores is pretty trendy, but you can get a lot of classic stuff online. The Gap has, sadly, gone downhill over the years (although their sister store, Banana Republic, is great for classics). American Eagle tends to market to teenagers.

    The Gap is smaller and doesn’t have the range of styles that H&M has.

    You might like Ann Taylor, too.

  • #182656

    pkilmain
    Member

    American clothing

    Oh, and I’ve gotten some good stuff at Christopher & Banks, though I haven’t shopped there for 3-4 years. The things I got there I’m still wearing.

  • #182660

    luxcat
    Member

    American clothing

    Most of the shops mentioned already have all their materials and clothes made overseas and ship them to the USA. Nothing wrong with this, btw, I buy from those same stores- but you said you wanted organic, ecological materials… Depending on what areas of the USA you are going to visit those could either be hard or easy to find. Here in California it is fairly easy to find small local shops (and large ones like American Apparel, which is a non-sweatshop chain store but does not use organic materials) that sell nice, stylish clothes in sustainable fabrics… but in some smaller areas or different cities it may be much more of a challenge.

  • #182661

    jbeany
    Member

    American clothing

    @ninakk – LOL – well, I know who I can borrow something from when I need an outfit for a special occasion, now!

  • #182667

    Claycat
    Member

    American clothing

    Serengeti has a nice catalog. They are also online. They have cotton and rayon clothing. I won’t wear polyester!

  • #182669

    American clothing

    Flax anyone?

    http://www.flaxdesigns.com/

  • #182670

    jbeany
    Member

    American clothing

    Ooooooh, that looks interesting, needtoclean. I wish they didn’t want your e-mail addy and info when you want to check for a local retailer, though. I don’t do well with mail-order – I hate having to send things back, and I’m to short waisted to buy clothes without trying them on.

  • #182671

    American clothing

    Blue Fish anyone?

    http://bluefishclothing.com/index.php

  • #182673
  • #182674
  • #182675

    American clothing

    Citron anyone?

    http://citronclothing.com/items.aspx?id=sum11

  • #182679

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    American clothing

    I thought we were talking about quality clothing at a reasonable price.

    Dolce and Gabbana… seriously?? In this conversation?

  • #182689

    ninakk
    Member

    American clothing

    Thanks for all the names! I’m going out for a walk with a dear friend soon (almost jumping of excitement already! lol) but will look into it later today. You’re the best. It’s unbelievable really, but I have to say once again that there is so much information and knowledge in this group of people that if we were to rule the world, all wars would end. Pronto.

  • #182703

    STLMom
    Member

    American clothing

    A few years ago I bought an organic t-shirt from Fashionandearth.com. It was expensive, but it is just starting to fade a little after years of wear and washing and drying. It is made from a very soft, drapey material, but has no holes or tears. I’ve had cheap t-shirts that lasted less than a year, so it was worth the higher cost up-front.
    You could also do a search on Etsy.com for organic clothing. There’s lots of people on Etsy making lovely things, and you know it’s not from a sweatshop.
    My recommendation if you want to save money is to set up an email address just for shopping, and sign up at all the websites mentioned above, and at any other stores you find online. Many U.S. stores will send you coupons by email, which you can use online and/or in the store, and they will tell you when their sales happen. After your trip, just cancel the email address. Many American never, ever pay full price!

  • #182728
  • #182790

    morfydd
    Member

    American clothing

    ninakk: Did you say where in the States you were going? I could name a bunch of good local choices in Seattle or Portland, but anything else I could name would be national brands.

  • #182799

    lucy1965
    Member

    American clothing

    @morfydd If ninakk doesn’t want to hear about choices in Portland, I do — I’m moving there next year and would love to have a list!

  • #182806

    Julia
    Member

    American clothing

    Depending on whether you’re looking for “stylish/fashionable” or simple/serviceable, may I suggest DevaLifeWear.com? All cotton, very well-made (sturdy). Catalog/web only, I think.

    I can’t say that the cotton is organic,unfortunately.

  • #182810

    American clothing

    Julia: THANKS for the Deva recommendation. Love the look and the fabric and have my shopping basket full for a possible order.

  • #182816

    ninakk
    Member

    American clothing

    Hey people, I’ve been a bit busy, but thanks for your replies once again!

    Yes, candy, I’m in Cph right now; NPS is nice but a bit expensive at times, not all of it though.

    Hrm, well, most likely it would be St Louis and Denver plus a smaller region in Colorado. It’s mostly with hubby’s family so I thought it’d be best to plan in advance in case there won’t be that much time in a city setting.

  • #192465

    meghank
    Participant

    American clothing

    I’m seeing a lot of suggestions for clothing that is definately not organic. From the original post, I thought that was what she was looking for. I think it is hard to shop ethically all over the world. Here in Los Angeles, we have a shop called American Apparel which has an organic line. There is a blogger called GreenLAGirl who posts occasionally on eco friendly designers.

  • #192470

    Trish
    Member

    American clothing

    For organic clothing I shop at REI- they carry brands like Isis, Horny Toad, and Prana. (Not always 100% organic, make sure you read labels!) Fair trade is trickier… check the local travel wear boutiques, and good luck! πŸ™‚

  • #196434

    maco
    Member

    American clothing

    Maybe http://www.devalifewear.com/ too. It’s a cottage industry in North Dakota IIRC, so all handmade in the US.

  • #202117

    chacha1
    Member

    American clothing

    Deva, REI, and Gaiam. Of course at this point Nina may be completely over this exchange.

    But, just to continue the discussion, in my observation the real granola-eating tree-hugging type companies are MUCH more likely to have sustainable, if not organic, natural fabrics in their products.

    Nothing, in other words, that you can buy in any mall. πŸ™‚

  • #212053

    trillian
    Member

    American clothing

    I think this thread is long-dead at this point, but just in case anyone is still reading it, I’ve found Blue Canoe to offer nice, organic clothing that’s made in the USA at decent prices. It’s all very “yoga-inspired” but nicely made, high quality, and comfortable. Many of the tops pair very well with jeans for a non-yoga look. πŸ™‚

    http://www.bluecanoe.com/index.asp

  • #212054

    trillian
    Member

    American clothing

    Oh, and one more! Alternative Apparel:

    http://www.alternativeapparel.com/store/

    Organic, bamboo, fair trade, etc. They have a very nice social responsibility statement on their website: http://www.alternativeapparel.com/store/About-Alternative/Social-Consciousness.htm

    Also, as a side note, I try to only buy second-hand or organic/fair trade and I WILL NOT buy from American Apparel. They are made in the USA (here in Los Angeles, actually, where I live) and they have an organic line, but there are serious harassment issues within the company and sexual exploitation of young girls. Their advertising campaigns are exploitative and inappropriate, and there are numerous lawsuits against the (former?) owner for his personal behavior. YUCK.

  • #212061

    luxcat
    Member

    American clothing

    as a fellow Los Angelean trillian may I throw in my agreements. Not only that but American Apparel is shoddy (in my opinion) and really buys into the “cheap clothing purchased, worn a few times, and thrown away- the buy more!” mentality. Not to mention it’s kinda sad when your “good name” is based almost wholy on “hey, we don’t have overseas sweatshops!”

  • #212083

    trillian
    Member

    American clothing

    Hello luxcat — well said. And it’s nice to see a fellow Angeleno on here! πŸ™‚

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