American Made Gift Guide for Guys: Holidays 2014 | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

December 2, 2014

American Made Gift Guide for Guys: Holidays 2014

I have a special holiday post for you! And if you are struggling over what holiday gifts to get for the important guys in your life, then get a pen and paper and pay attention.

You'll want to take copious notes.

Buying American-made products has been an increasingly important movement in this country. I've always been aware of it, but my husband has taken quite a passion for supporting American-made products. He's put quite a lot of research into small, American businesses and has sought to purchase quality items from these purveyors whenever he can.

If you are looking for a genuine, quality gift for some of the guys in your life, I have a great gift guide for you today. Hubby has put together a great list of American Made Items for Guys to consider this holiday season. 

Without further ado, meet Bill.


Hi! I'll be brief: I'm pretty quickly being won over by the American made movement. Globalization has stretched supply lines all over the planet, and we've become even more alienated from our stuff than we were after the Industrial Revolution. 

[Pedantic clearing of the throat, the kind teachers do before giving speeches which are decidedly not brief.]

No really, I'll be brief. 

The American made stuff I've come to talk about today is:

  • Made of higher quality materials, with higher quality techniques, than the mass-produced stuff we import from elsewhere.
  • Manufactured by first-world workers, being paid first-world wages, in first-world working conditions. Unless you're into making your own stuff from scratch (which is cool!), American made stuff is often our most conscionable option.
  • Oh-so dope. 
So without further ado, I'd like to walk you through some of my favorite American made items:

Pointer Chore Coat – Bristol, TN

I bought my first Pointer Chore Coat (made by L.C. King Manufacturing Company) a year ago, and it immediately became my after-work/ all-weekend jacket. Because it's unlined, it works well over a t-shirt in warmer weather, flannel and sweatshirts as Fall progresses, and under a down vest when it really cools off. All that wear hasn't taken its toll on the coat at all; the fabric is tough, and the craftsmanship is sturdy.

Recently, Pointer teamed up with Cone Denim (Greensboro, NC) to create a chore coat in Raw White Oak denim. I've enjoyed cycling it into my coat rotation, and I look forward to seeing it develop its own distinctive fades.

(Connect with L.C. King Manufacturing Co. on the web, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)

Tellason Ladbroke Grove – San Francisco, CA

I won't try to offer a primer on raw, selvedge denim. Art of Manliness does a great job, though I'll summarize by saying that we're talking old-school denim. It's often made on original looms, cut and sewn using classic techniques, and designed to last years rather than months.

There are two things you should know about Tellason: 1) They've got personality (spot their repeated, subtle nods to the only band that mattered), and 2) their jeans are of a quality you don't even know exists yet.

If you've never paid more than $50 for a pair of jeans, consider that, practically speaking, a pair of Tellasons will easily last you four times longer than “fast fashion” denim. My pair is made of denim that's more than 30% thicker than your average jean, and the construction is, from hems to beltloops, absolutely tough as nails.

(Connect with Tellason on the webFacebook, Twitter and Instagram)

Darn Tough Socks – Northfield, VT

Speaking of “tough as nails,” I've also found the last pair of socks I'll ever buy. I've worn some comfortable socks in my day, but never for more than a year. Having come to accept heel and toe blowouts as part of life, I was initially skeptical at Darn Tough's “guaranteed for life” claim: if you wear through a pair, they'll either give you a new pair, or your money back.

I've been wearing Darn Tough socks exclusively for a year now, and I have the growing hunch that they must not need to replace a lot of socks. They look, feel, and fit essentially like they did when I first bought them. I've added pairs, knocking crummy old cotton socks out of the rotation, and new pairs are indistinguishable from old pairs.

(Connect with Darn Tough Socks on the web, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)

Ebbets Field Flannels – Seattle, WA

Ebbets Field makes faithful reproductions of jerseys, ballcaps, jackets, and other sportswear, and they do it carefully, and they do it very, very well. Looking for a 1928 Duluth Eskimos jersey? Or the blue cap Fidel Castro wore on the pitcher's mound back in 1959, pitching for the Barbudos? Ebbets researches and recreates these athletic treasures with painstaking detail, and – this is becoming a pattern here – they build them with high quality materials and methods.

(Connect with Ebbets Field on the web, FacebookTwitter and Instagram)

Red Wing Shoes – Red Wing, MN

Red Wing
probably doesn't need as much of an introduction as some of the smaller, newer organizations in this post, but here goes. The company was founded over a century ago by a fellow named Charles Beckman, who sold heavy duty boots to miners, loggers, and railroad workers. Their Heritage Line
is still made in the US, using leather from tanneries older than your great grandpa. 

(Connect with Red Wing on the webFacebook, Twitter and Instagram)

Maine Handsewns – Lewison, ME; Perry, ME; Brewer, ME

This reddit post is a pretty thorough rundown on Maine handsewns. The short version is this; Maine is host to one of the oldest shoe traditions in the country, and the industry involves generations of families, all of whom know each other and have been collectively building this culture of excellence over decades and decades.

Mine are Sebago Made in Maine Campsides moccasins, and I'm looking forward to trying out Rancourt, Quoddy, and a few of the other companies that continue the legacy. 

If you're a fan of good, American-tanned leathers like Horween's Chromexcel or (I have not yet ventured into this world) Shell Cordovan, if you like the idea of customizing your own pair of shoes, and if you like a shoe that marries the often mutually exclusive priorities of comfort and fashion, this is certainly a rabbit- hole worth exploring.

What are your favorite American-made businesses? 

What American-made products are on YOUR holiday wish list?

Disclosure: We received products from some of the businesses listed in this post. We were in no other way compensated. As always, our opinions are our own!

For more gift ideas, check out my other Gift Guides:

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