Category Archives: Men’s Clothing

Shirts by Stock: Made in Chicago

I always look forward to seeing what’s new on the Stock Mfg. Co. web site. The fact is, I have a few of their shirts and I really like the styling, fit, finish and the pricing which is very reasonable for an American made shirt. All of the shirts are hand-made in Chicago and all feature 100% cotton and are pre-shrunk. Stock Mfg. Co,  like many other clothing manufacturers, started out using American contract manufacturers to make their clothing but as of this year they have opened their own factory.One of the things that appeals to me about the company is that the founders are not rooted in the fashion industry and were just a bunch of guys looking to make “menswear staples with a modern spin”.Recent additions to the line include button-down collar oxford shirts in light blue and classic white.I am also a fan of the short sleeve shirts like the grey and blue shown above.While I don’t usually go for flashier patterns, the Aztec Jacquard has just the right mix of style and subtle hues.If you are ever in the Chicago area you should check out their brick and mortar store shown above..

Regards,

Paul

Old Bull Lee: Board Shorts and More

The other day Kathy commented on the fact that I am still wearing cargo shorts and suggested it was time for an upgrade. So, off we went in search of American-made shorts and we came across Old Bull Lee. This California-based firm produces a line of shorts, Oxford shirts and some pretty uniquely-patterned board shorts. I really liked what I saw and decided to give owner Lee Johnson a call to hear a little back story:For starters, I asked where the name Old Bull Lee came from. It’s a bit of a long story but Lee started his career as an architect and realized that he didn’t want to work in a place where somebody else’s name was “on the door”. Thinking about potential names for a business of his own, he wanted to use his first name, Lee, but also remembered that something had struck him about the character “Old Bull Lee” in the book On The Road by Jack Kerouac. The character was modeled on William F Burrows, which just spoke to him.
Lee grew up on the East Coast and was one of those guys who would pretty much wear shorts year-round. So, as he put it, he woke up one morning and said to himself, ‘I’m going to start a company making shorts. Easy right?”

Now, he admits it was a lot more difficult than he thought. Lee made the first pair of shorts himself, but they were a bit of a train wreck, so he started utilizing American contract manufacturers to produce his wares. The company is 6 years old and has three full time employees.By the way, if you’re like me and don’t know what board shorts are, think of them as swim trunks without the elastic waistband – the kind surfers wear.While Old Bull Lee products are produced in America, like many other makers, Lee’s search for fabrics took him overseas. There is a fairly detailed explanation of the process behind the printing and manufacturing of the clothing on the site if you’d like to know more.Lee feels that, American-Made is part of the appeal of a product, it is the uniqueness of the designs that draws people in. When I asked whether there is anything new on the horizon, he stated that changes will be organic and over time, more of an extension of the existing product offerings.

Finally, Lee spoke about his interaction with his customers. He said he enjoys making sure that each person gets just  the right fit and is satisfied with their purchase because  a “happy customer is the best advertisement”

Regards,

Paul

American-Made Polo Shirts at J. Crew

The polo shirt is a staple of the summer wardrobe, but you can step-up your style with all-cotton fabric and rich, garment dyed colors.Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!J. Crew has some great-looking shades in its 2017 collection. The colors change from year to year, so if you like what you see, grab it now.If you’re in the mood to browse, Here’s J. Crew’s full selection of American Made products.

The Good Acre Collection by Taylor Stitch: Made in USA

Quite a few companies are grouping their menswear into “lifestyle collections” and one of my favorites is Taylor Stitch. I love the fact that you can buy a complete outfit that has a story behind it; even better if that story fits your own narrative. Take the Good Acre Collection, which is currently in the funding phase. The collection is geared more toward those that work with their hands rather than those sitting behind a desk but, truth be told, it works for both.The Chore Pant is better looking than the worn jeans I tend to wear to work everyday. It features a double knee and is made from 100% cotton Duck Canvas.The Utility Shirt is a slightly heavy fabric, so I see it as a Fall garment or as a light summer jacket worn over a colorful tee. The Cone Mills fabric alternates between twill and plain weave to achieve the “corded” affect.
The collection features two different jackets: The Project jacket, above, is constructed from a 10-oz Beeswaxed Army Duck Canvas, so it is water repellent.The second design is the Chore Jacket, which is on my short list to replace a foreign-made coat I’ve worn for years. The combination of a cotton, dry-wax canvas shell and a 100% cotton blanket stripe lining will be perfect for chores during the New England Fall when the leaves start to change.The shirt that Taylor Stitch chose for ths collection is made in Portugal, so I took the liberty of selecting my own, American-made replacement, the Moss Mechanic Shirt.Finally, there is the all-important footwear. There is only one choice here and that is the Mark Boot, made for Taylor Stitch by Rancourt of Maine.

Taylor Stitch is a crowd-funded site, so you need to act when items are offered. However,  there are plenty of items in their Essentials Collection that are kept in stock. It’s a very well-curated collection.

Regards,

Paul

New For Summer at American Giant: Made in USA

If you know American Giant, it’s probably because they manufacture the garment that has been called “The Greatest Hoodie Ever Made.” What you may not know is they have lots of new items for both men and women that are worth checking out.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post. Please do!Newer items from American Giant include summer-weight versions of their most popular items.Three new styles of pants for her: The Kick Flair, the Pant and the Cropped Pant.The Anorak and the Coach’sJacket are two new outerwear options available in Black, Blue and Pine.For the guys, there is the Heather Baseball T, Classic Muscle T and Warm-up T.

And several new dresses for women.Finally, the Weekend Short is new.

So head on over to the American Giant if you need to freshen up your summer wardrobe.

Regards,

Paul