Lifetime Laces

Like socks, laces are a great way to make a little style statement in the day-to-day grind and, luckily, you can still find laces made in the USA.
I don’t know about you, but I find it really annoying when you’re getting ready for the day, putting on your favorite pair of shoes, giving the laces a firm tug and having one of them break in your hand. But now there’s a company that has an answer.

I recently checked out boot laces (shown above) from a company called Castle Brook which feature paracord material and a lifetime warrantee!  The paracord is made in North Carolina and North Dakota and then cut to length in the Castle Brook shop. They come in a range of colors and lengths, are shipped to you in a burlap bag and  are just tough-as-nails.

Benjos (above) is another lace maker with the full range of dress shoe, sneaker and boot laces made in the USA. Check out how a search for red shoe laces was the inspiration for this company.

Both firms offer how to guides on imaginative ways to lace your shoes or boots.

Here are a few other manufacturers worth checking out:
KG’s Boot Guard
Old Kooks


The Americanologists Hall of Shame: Nike Olympic Merchandise

The USA Olympic Team has an online store. It carries products whose makers have paid for the right to be called the official blah-biddy-blah – shirts, gloves, blankets, you name it – for Team USA. I think it would be meaningful if these companies at least made the Team USA stuff in the USA, but much of it is imported. Nike, which has a large selection of good-looking clothing, does not have a single “Made in USA” garment for sale, according to a search done on the Team USA Store this morning.

Ralph Lauren’s American-made items, which we featured last week, are on the site, but so are some imported Ralph Lauren clothes. Click here for the clothes that are American-made.

Use this link to see the 149 items at the Team USA Store (out of 1206) that are American-made.


John Ratzenberger’s “American Made”

Here’a a familiar face promoting “Made in America.”

John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff on the classic TV comedy, “Cheers” and provided the voice for animated characters, including “Hamm” in movie Toy Story “Mack” in the movie “Cars,” has a brand new venture. He wants to produce a new show, “American-Made,” that profiles companies that manufacture in the USA. He’s raising funds on a crowd-sourced site called “Fund Anything.” Even though there’s no guarantee of his success with the show, the rewards are pretty good. For example, donate $10 and you get a $10 gift certificate to the All American Clothing Company.


Hats off to the USA!


Ok, so I love hats, but my wife thought I looked a little silly the first time I put on my Harris Tweed Ivy Cap from Hats in the Belfry

I don’t know if I look any less silly now or if she’s just getting used to it, but I’ve been happily wearing it all winter without comment (Hmm, wonder how she’d react to a fedora…).

The following four companies all make men’s hats in the US and the styles cover a full range. So whether you’re a gentlemen out for a Sunday drive, a guy who admires the Rat Pack and their Fedoras, or an aspiring cowboy, here are a few places you should check out.

Shown: Belfry Paine Murino Wool Fedora (left) and Belfry Tammany Wool Lined Derby Hat.

Shown: Heritage Pauly (left) and The Doctor.

Bollman Hat Co.
Has multiple brands including the Country Gentleman line, shown above.  Check out a video about their deep American roots.

And of course, there’s Stetson, the storied maker of American western hats. Check out their video here:


Yes, Virginia, There IS a Mrs. Meyer

If you haven’t tried Mrs. Meyer’s wonderful plant and flower scented cleaning products, you’re missing out on a great alternative to harsh chemical cleaners. The inspiration behind the product line is a real person, 81-year-old Thelma Meyer, an Iowa mother of nine (yes, I said NINE).

There are 88 “Made in USA” products on the Mrs. Meyer’s web site, including hand soaps, glass cleaner, dryer sheets, room fresheners and more. With scents like honeysuckle, geranium, lavender, orange spice, and lemon verbena, no wonder the company’s mantra is “Smells like a garden, Cleans like the Dickens.”


One couple's search for a Made-in-USA lifestyle