Let’s go shopping: more made in USA

I’m hoping to make this Made in USA  ‘shop along with me’ a new frequent feature, I’ve created a tag for it to follow those types of posts here. The goal being that you can shop Made in USA all over, be it new, used, or recycled.

I’m going to combine several days of window shopping here, over a range of shops. In hopes to show you that shopping made in USA can be achieved at many different price points and tastes.

Crossroads – trendy resale store, good for basics.

American Apparel skirt
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Splendid shirt dress
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Rag & Bone jacket
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Buffalo Exchange – equally trendy resell chain, I feel like they carry some hard to find items once in a while (I’ve struck gold here).

Corey Lynn Calter dress
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Pink hued JBrand jeans
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Printed Tucker blouse
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Wasteland – my go to place for items that are currently in store but at a fraction of the price. Very gently used.

Steven Alan shirt dress
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Helmut Lang moto jacket
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

3×1 waxed denim jacket
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Goodwill – goodwill hunting will bring you down. I almost gave up this time cause I wasn’t finding anything. You’ll always have to dig.

White House Black Market dress (yes, made in USA!!)
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

C&C top
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

David Meister evening dress
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

as a bonus, this vintage petticoat slip
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Nordstrom Rack – a little more traditional retail.

Trina Turk dress
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Sundry tee
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Nanette Lepore skirt
shopping made in usa, thrifting made in usa, sustainable shopping

Thrift Made in USA

Thrifting operations have changed gears somewhat – I feel very content with this direction my wardrobe has gone in and since I have shifted towards more made in USA items; I thought I would continue this Thrifting made in the USA bit I did a while back to show you that it can be done even on a dime. I approached it in two different ways (and next, I’ll show you how you can shop made in USA in other stores too) – first at an actual thrift store (in this case Goodwill), and second at a re-sale store (at Crossroads trading). I surprisingly had similar results at both stores! The price points being a little different of course.

We’ll start with Goodwill! The only downside is that yes, you’ll have to sort through lots of things. Thrift stores have now become graveyards for cheap mall clothes, so it takes more time to find the hidden gems. But do not lose hope, gems are there to be found, even if you have to dig deeper.

A trendy black blazer by Aqua
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Or how about a vintage (had a made in USA label inside) midi skirt with oversized pockets?
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Surprise, this Betsey Johnson dress was made in the USA!
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

A beautiful black party dress by Milly
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Summery and silky dress by Rory Beca
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Or how about a simple cotton dress by LNA?
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

And now, moving onto Crossroads – stores like this will be less digging through, and consequently, prices will be much higher.

This well constructed coat was $50 and by St. John, you’d pay that much or more for a coat that was already falling apart the day you bought it new
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

My new go-to denim brand, J Brand
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

A bright dress by Cynthia Vincent
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

Or how about this funky Marc Jacobs mainline skirt that yes, was also made in the USA
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

My suggestions to you, is to always try something on before you buy and to resist the temptation to buy things that do not fit you (that goes without saying for any type of shopping!)

I didn’t buy any of these things, although the temptation was high – and I encourage you to ask yourself when shopping if you really NEED those things!

Made in the USA thrifting

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed my previous post and I loved hearing what you guys had to say about the topic! It will continue to be an ongoing discussion here! So I thought it would be a perfect chance to show you that yes, you can thrift Made in the USA too!

A few disclaimers first – I did not buy any of these things. I don’t need to buy anything right now (except a sister of the bride dress as you’ve seen), this was a journey to show you (and myself) that you can in fact thrift things that are Made in the USA. That being stated, I kind of want to point out that thrift store trends and how people shop now, it may be harder to thrift Made in the USA items because it’s easier for people to donate things that aren’t made in the USA and cheap. But also because if you’re buying something that’s of better quality, it’s harder to give it up to a charity store. So it may be harder, but not impossible!

The first store I visited was Wasteland – they specialize in gently used resale items (similar to Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads, Plato’s Closet, Beacon’s closet, etc). Wasteland seems to stand out because it carries more vintage and more high end designers than most of the other stores (their prices are a little higher too sometimes). These are just a few of the things I found there.

A cute little vintage wrap dress
Thrift Eye

A sexy Black Halo dress (pretty cool that it’s still in stores!)
Thrift Eye

A summery Ella Moss dress
Thrift Eye

A cute little Theory dress ***not all Theory brand is made in the USA, this was.
Thrift Eye

And as a bonus, I saw these two pieces coming together and was tempted to buy. A very pretty silky Steven Alan top (it’s still in stores, but in other colors) and this awesome vintage knit skirt that was actually made in Japan, totally giving Sonia Rykiel vibes!
Thrift Eye

My next stop was an actual Goodwill thrift store! If it was hard at Wasteland, it was just that much harder at Goodwill for contemporary clothing because of the overwhelming supply of cheap trendy clothing, but you’ll also have some great pieces that are vintage!

A funky geometric printed vintage Bill Blass dress (I think if you could tie the bow around the waist, it would look better once on!)
Thrift Eye

A punchy Ella Moss dress
Thrift Eye

And a party or poolside ready Tbags dress
Thrift Eye

Think about where your clothes come from, ask yourself do you need it in your closet. Be a conscious shopper – you can be conscious and fashionable at the same time, they’re not mutually exclusive! I hope you liked this little thrifting escapade, and hope to do more in the future that focus on the same topic!

An update to humanitarian fashion

Thrift Eye

So I wanted to do a big follow up to my post on thinking about fashion in a humanitarian and responsible way. Julie’s post at We So Thrifty put it into a bigger perspective, I highly recommend you read it. She makes a fantastic point that the fashion blogging community is hesitant to speak out about the subject, because a solution to the problem is to stop shopping – but if you’re a blog that tries to make money from links, partnerships, or things you sell, then you’re cutting into your own profits. It’s a super fine line to walk.

When I wrote my post originally, it came across as “don’t shop here, shop here instead.” Which is great, but a wonderful comment from Mai also gave another angle – the point being that yes thrift shopping is cheaper, but it STILL means shopping sensibly and responsibly. Binge shopping in thrift stores contributes to the waste and consumerism just as much as cheap binge shopping at Wally World, Forever 21, Target, H&m, et al. Shopping irresponsibly is still considered irresponsible no matter what store you’re in. Before you buy at a thrift store (or anywhere really), ask yourself where was this made? Does it fit me? Do I have something just like it at home already? Do I really love it? The point here is to begin seeing your wardrobe as quality over quantity.

For me, as a blogger and just a regular person, how this has manifested since I wrote the blog post over a month ago – I have thrifted once, and I ended up buying a pair of these Marc Jacobs heels for $8 (in above picture). They are of a great quality and of a color I don’t own. But was I tempted to get other things? Yes. Did I? No. I’m not quite sure how to handle the shoe situation, since finding shoes made in USA are harder at the moment. But thrifting is the biggest basket of shopping you can get – from high to low, you get the choice to choose what you want to buy.

I’m choosing to try my hardest to thrift made in USA clothing right now, not just for new clothes. It’s really hard, and I will feel better if I can keep that up, even if it means buying less! I spent January through May of last year without buying a single article of clothing and was still able to live and still able to blog 🙂 I think a lot of bloggers are fearful to try this or admit it because they want to give the impression that they’re shopping a lot and can stay on top of trends. When in reality, many bloggers are getting things for free (whether they admit it or not is a whole other subject), but it incorrectly projects more bad shopping/consumerist examples to other bloggers and to readers.

I’ve found a few charities that promote workers rights and sweatshop rights across the world – helping those stuck in those working conditions and connecting them to more sustainable jobs is a step in the right direction towards getting garment factory workers the rights to better wages and work in better conditions (if you wouldn’t work in those conditions, why is it okay for someone else to?)

http://www.greenamerica.org/programs/sweatshops/
http://www.sweatfree.org/about_us
http://www.workersrights.org/about/
http://tieasia.org/pages/about-us.php

So a big part of my other post was listing brands that are made in the USA – personally, I wasn’t aware that many of these brands made an effort to keep their business in the USA. But equally surprised about many brands that don’t keep their business in the US! Please check out the previous post again to see the brands I listed already, here are a few more! But also be proactive and check the tags of your clothing!

I foremost must clarify that in the previous post I listed JBrand as made in the USA, but it has now come to my attention that this only applies to the denim line. Their non denim clothing is made in China. And this frequently happens with more and more brands, as to which you pretty much always have to check the tag yourself to see where it was made. So here are some more Made in the USA brands, if you have any other suggestions or even corrections, please let me know.

Edit: as of January 2013, I’ve gathered up all the Made in USA brands together at this page.

3×1
Black Halo
Clover Canyon
Clu
Cynthia Rowley – although I’m not 100% sure if it’s the whole brand, can anyone provide insight?
Enza Costa
Doo Ri
Genetic Denim – seems to only apply to denim
Goldsign – again, only seems to apply to denim
Habitual
Haute Hippie
Hudson
Jen Kao
Kain
Lela Rose
Monrow
Myne
Nation LTD
Norma Kamali – mainline only, check tag
Paige denim
Rich and skinny
Rory Beca
Siwy
Suno
Tucker

Prices typically do end up higher, but you generally get that back in quality. Think of your clothing as an investment – I can buy something cheap and trendy from Forever 21 that falls apart quickly, or I can choose to buy something that spans trends, fits my personal style, and will last me years from another brand. Start out small, and eventually work this whole mantra into your wardrobe.

Now that more light has been given to the subject, are you starting to feel different about how you shop for clothes? I’m finally beginning to read Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline, I’m only one chapter in but can see that even she came to terms with her wasteful fashion consumption, so everyone can! I love that her website has a section called “Ten Simple Tips For a More Ethical & Sustainable Wardrobe” it’s many of the same tips I have provided here, but she has more useful information throughout the website!

tl;dr – shop less, but if you do shop, thrift, get vintage and/or buy made in the USA!