Buying American is just good juju all-around: You have the satisfaction of knowing your purchase was produced in a safe, clean factory by workers making a decent* wage, and you’re supporting businesses, many of them on the smaller side, that have chosen to keep production—and jobs—stateside, when shipping them overseas would cost a fraction of what they wind up paying here. This means that prices of American-made products can run a bit higher than what’s produced overseas. But in my experience, so does the quality. Here’s a special pre-Independence Day roundup of some of my favorite domestically-made brands (I say “some” because a few really good ones got left out, so there will almost surely be a Part II). Please do weigh in with any personal—and especially local— favorites in the comments.
Billykirk Leather and canvas bags, accessories Billykirk specializes in rough-hewn, classic bags and clutches and totes, and even if you don’t think that’s your thing you may be surprised. It’s true that I love everything that contrasts black with blue, but I especially love how the two shades of blue mix with the black leather accents on this waxed satchel.
Emerson Fry Apparel and accessories It is not overstating matters to say I want every single thing from this line out of New Hampshire, which is very American classic with a nice dose of urban edge thrown in to keep things interesting.
Essie: Nail polish A friend recommended this deep red called Tomboy No More to me the other day and it’s totally going on my toes next pedi.
Filson Luggage, outerwear, gear This outdoorsy brand is mostly aimed toward men, but they make fantastic-looking luggage that works for anyone. If I didn’t already own too many rolling carry-ons (have we ever discussed my rolling suitcase problem?) I would totally go for this elegant model.
Gorjana Jewelry All manner of inexpensive (but not cheap-looking) adornments; a good place to check in when you want to buy something on-trend but don’t want to pay a fortune.
J Brand Denim Definitely on the very short list of my favorite denim brands. I loathe when anyone swears that one jeans line or another has a “perfect fit”—bodies are so different—but these work on the skinny-assed and wide-of-hip alike.
JW Hulme Bags The most classic shapes—messenger, tote, saddle—executed brilliantly, and in a variety of sizes and colors. The kind of bag you really will have forever.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Makeup Vegan, cruelty-free, really rather fabulous and straight out of the Lower East Side.
Quoddy: Footwear Ring boots like this insanely great brown suede pair—very coolest-girl-at-prep-school—handmade in Maine.
Schoolhouse Electric Housewares When I describe this Portland-based outfit as utilitarian twee, I actually mean that as a positive. I’ve bought a couple of lamps from them that I love, and I came very close to snapping up some stools before (dejectedly) accepting that my my kitchen counter isn’t deep enough for any.
Steven Alan Apparel The only button-down shirts that don’t make me feel shlumpy and unfeminine are Alan’s reverse seam models: they’re shrunken but not in any kind of horrible cropped way—just sort of like a very well-tailored blazer.
Schott NYC Outerwear You want a straight-up classic peacoat, you go to Schott. And you can get yourself a pretty damned iconic moto jacket from them while you’re at it too.
Utility Canvas Canvas bags, quilts, throws Magazines give out a lot of tote bags at events, and by the time I got fired from Lucky, my entire family was totally Lucky-branded. I couldn’t have them all walking around to work and the beach and so forth advertising my former place of employ, so I went to Utility and bought a mess of new, unsullied bags for everyone. I’m an even bigger fan still of their bright and fun quilted blankets and throws.
*Although I hope we can all agree the minimum wage could use some work.
, Emerson Fry
, J Brand
, JW Hulme
, Made in America fashion
, Made in USA fashion
, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
, Schoolhouse Electric Co.
, Schott NYC
, Steven Alan
, Utility Canvas