Category Archives: Outerwear

Canvas Jackets For Him and Her: Made in USA

I stepped outside this morning to walk the dog and realized something: it’s getting cool out there!  The day has come when I’m going to need something a little more substantial than a long sleeve shirt. Then, with perfect timing, we received an American Giant Catalog in this afternoon’s mail and I was immediately drawn to the canvas jackets for him and her.The Mechanics Jacket and Utility Shell are both made from a heavy duty water resistant canvas. The men’s jacket is partially lined while the women’s isn’t.Both the men’s and women’s jackets comes in two colors; Cargo Green and Raven Black. The women’s jacket features an A-Line silhouette while the men’s jacket features elasticized shoulder gussets which allows for greater freedom of movement.Finally, the men’s jacket also features a waist adjustment if you like a slimmer fit. Both garments are made in Oakland, California.

I have a barn jacket that is coming to the end of  its useful life and now I have a good idea of what I will be replacing it with.



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.



Meet Wilson and Willy’s: American Made

I’m always excited when I find a new (or new–to-me) company making clothing here in the USA. Wilson and Willy’s is the latest of these companies. In addition to their own brand of men’s pants, shirts, and outerwear, they also carry a well-curated selection of other American items from companies like Oak Street Boot Makers, PF Flyers,Duluth Pack, Faribault Woolen Mills, and more.

Here are some of our favorite items:Waxed Anorak in Tobasco.
The Raglan Trench Coat is made from Faribault Woolen Mills Military blankets in NYCThe Waxed Rambler Coat features a mid-weight, wind- and water-resistant 8 oz Martexin waxed-canvas and is lined with moleskin.

Manufactured by Hackwith Design House with material from Faribault Woolen Mills, the Madeline jacket is 100% wool.The Melbourne Pajama dress is made from 100% cotton and made in L.A. by Maison Du Soir.The flannel boxy tee is beautifully shaped.The Stephen Kenn Foot Soldier Sofa is made in CA. and features material from Faribault Woolen Mills.

For those in the area, Wilson and Willy’s has a brick and mortar store in Minneapolis, MN.



Motorcycle Jackets from Schott NYC: A True-Blue American Success Story

I took a motorcycle safety class with my daughter a while back and the instructor asked, ‘Why do we ride motorcycles?’ Then she answered her own question: “to have fun and look cool!”This is on my mind because I’m preparing to buy myself a new motorcycle jacket. I know that safety comes first, but looking good kind of matters to me so I have been searching for just the right style. One of the brands that I’m considering is  SchottNYC.

Before we look at the jackets let’s consider Schott’s history. The company was founded over 100 years ago by Jack and Irving Schott, brothers who started-out making raincoats but quickly moved into leather goods. The Perfecto name, now synonymous with Schott jackets, was borrowed from Irving’s favorite cigar. From WWII (bomber jackets and Navy peacoats) to the Wild Ones (Brando in a Schott Perfecto One) to the Punk Rock movement (the Ramones and Blondie wore the Perfecto), Schott has been there. An interesting factoid: After the Wild Ones debuted, Schott’s sales suffered when high schools banned the jackets due to the hoodlum image portrayed in the movie. Schott has been a family-owned business for 4 generations and their USA-made garments are also  Union-made.

Enough history. Here are the goods:The classic Perfecto. I doubt I could make it look as good as Brando did!My personal favorite is the Cafe Racer. The Cafecto above has styling queues from both the Perfecto and the Cafe Racer jackets.

Whatever your style, these are beautiful jackets made by artisans. While they  don’t accept body armor, they are made from very heavy hides so the abrasion protection will be there. You can also wear a padded shirt underneath, which I’m looking at.
Not only does Schott make a very nice line of motorcycle jackets but some of their other jackets do a great job updating classic looks. The Peacoat above features leather trim around the hand warmer pockets.Classic Shearling BomberA unique take on a Plaid Hunters Jacket.

If you explore the Schott page there are some imported items but most of the jackets are Union Made here in America. If you want to take a quick visual tour of the factory you can click this link.



The Empowerment Coat: Warmth for the Homeless; Made In USA

(The Americanologists will be on vacation until January 4. See you in 2017!)

Let me start off by saying we wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and a healthy and enriching New Year.Now that you’ve bought gifts for what seems like everyone under the sun, we hope you will indulge us as we suggest one more gift for a person in need. This product, called the Empowerment Coat really struck a chord with us, and we have purchased one.
Designed to provide basic protection from harsh weather for homeless people, it is also designed to act as a sleeping bag. The Empowerment Coat came about as a school project by now CEO Veronika Scott to create a product that filled a need in her community.
The Empowerment Coat is built in Detroit. Not only is the coat made from water resistant fabric from Carhartt, it also uses up-cycled insulation from General Motors.The photo above shows the coat with the sleeping bag attachment.One of the best parts of the Empowerment Coat story is that the people being put to work making the coat are typically homeless single parents who are trained and educated to help end the cycle. To date, 34 homeless individuals have found employment working on the Empowerment Coat and over 15,000 coats have been made and distributed.

Like many of you, as we get to the end of the year it is time for us to write a few checks to our favorite charities. I think the Empowerment Plan is a very worthy cause.


Paul and Kathy