The fashion industry — more than other industries — is subject to shifting trends. Companies have to remain dynamic to continually adapt to the wants and needs of their customers. What’s “in” one year is “out” the next.
With this in mind, a brand’s longevity is a point of pride, indicative of its value and relevance in the marketplace. A number of U.S. companies have stood the test of time, celebrated and revered for the clothing they create.
Explore why some of the most popular clothiers in the nation enjoy their success.
1. Polo Ralph Lauren
The Polo line by Ralph Lauren combines classic Ivy League styling with urban styles and a decidedly all-American sportswear collection. All items feature the signature polo player’s logo.
This attire looks equally at home on the golf course or out running errands before picking up the kids from soccer practice. You can feel good wearing this brand — the company supports many different causes. In 2019, it launched the Design the Change campaign to accelerate its global citizenry and environmental sustainability work.
2. Levi Strauss and Co.
Levi Straus and Co. had humble beginnings, starting in 1853 in San Francisco. The original Levi Strauss started it as a dry goods business to serve the small general stores dotting the American West.
However, in 1873, the icon created the signature blue jeans with metal rivets. Designed to withstand tough jobs for working men, the brand began its reputation for durability. The company premiered the nation’s first blue jeans for women in 1934. And today, the name “Levis” summons up an image of rugged jeans for men and women alike.
Over the past century and change, Levi Strauss and Co. has become an international brand with several global initiatives you can feel good about supporting through your purchases.
Stepping into Penner’s is like taking a time machine trip to a bygone era. Lose yourself in music from the Beatles while browsing neatly stacked fedoras and trademark “tangerine” orange shoes. You can learn more about the store’s history as you shop by perusing the many newspaper clippings on the walls, showing past owners from the early 1900s.
The company focuses on quality, knowing that buying the best means replacing precious items less frequently. It specializes in made-to-measure clothing, ensuring you an ideal fit every time.
If you’re planning on heading south-of-the-border once restrictions lift, check out the signature Guayabera line. You’ll look stylish while staying cool in the hot Riviera sun.
4. L.L. Bean
When you think of upscale winter wear designed to withstand Maine’s harsh climate, you likely picture L.L. Bean apparel. The company began over 100 years ago with the premiere of its iconic “duck boots.”
As the legend goes, after returning from a hunting trip with wet feet, Leon Leonwood realized he could keep his feet dryer by combining a rubber bottom with a leather upper. However, his project didn’t go smoothly at first. Ninety of the first 100 sales resulted in refunds as the parts would separate.
However, Leonwood didn’t give up, and today, thousands of people are warmer for his efforts. Now it’s an international company focused on environmental sustainability. All new stores go up following stringent LEED standards, representing the highest degree of green building design features.
You’ll find urban skateboarders decked in Dickies in cities everywhere. The company has been in business for nearly a century — with C.N. Williamson and E.E. “Colonel” Dickie opening their doors in 1922.
The company started by selling overalls to labourers. It enjoyed steady growth until the Great Depression, but found renewed life after it was sequestered to produce uniforms for the Armed Forces. By the late 1950s, Dickies returned to making civilian attire and became an international corporation.
6. Brooks Brothers
When you don your best blazer for a job interview, you might just top off your ensemble with a Brooks Brothers dress shirt. With over 200 years in business, this company boasts the distinction of being the nation’s oldest clothier.
Brooks Brothers offer a full line of stylish upscale attire, from suits to ties. Clark Gable wed Lady Sylvia Ashley sporting one of its outfits. If you’re trying to work your way up to a corner-office promotion, dress for the role.
7. Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein has been a big name in the designer world seemingly forever. It’s hard to believe that the company began in 1968, but that’s when the namesake and his partner, Barry Schwartz, opened their doors. Today, it distributes goods to over 110 countries worldwide.
This clothier offers items for men, women and children. It also has a line of undergarments well-known for their comfort and stylish home goods. You can find the ideal gift this holiday season online or at one of its retail locations.
8. The North Face
The North Face takes its name from the coldest, least forgiving side of a mountain, but the brand traces its roots to North Beach, San Francisco.
As the name implies, it began as a manufacturer of high-quality climbing and backpacking equipment, although you’ll see its fashion in many downtown city streets today, given its cult following among athletes. The brand also offers rugged tents and gear for the serious outdoor enthusiast.
This catalogue is in line with its other initiatives. The North Face has sponsored expeditions to some of the most far-flung regions of the world.
Noah is one of the youngest brands on this list, but if you want to be considered “cool,” you need to dress the part. This stylish line of activewear is popular among millennials and Gen-Z. Its fashions marry the vitality of skate, surf and music cultures.
Like many other brands, Noah takes its commitment to give back seriously. In 2019, it joined 1% for the Planet, pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to a network of environmental nonprofits.
10. Ebbets Field Flannels
If you’re a fan of baseball, you might want a wardrobe that reflects it. Though Ebbets Field Flannels opened its doors in 1988, you’ll find the line recreates vintage jerseys and sports memorabilia from days of yore.
As a child, co-founder Jerry Cohen collected baseball cards to see the uniforms and colour changes, not the players. Unsatisfied with modern polyester looks, he tracked down some flannel from the 1940s. Once people started wanting to buy the shirt off his back, he launched the line, which you can now find almost everywhere.
Above the Rest
These diverse designers stood the test of time by finding their signature style and committing to quality. As you consider the next addition to your wardrobe, the celebrated U.S. clothiers above should be at the top of your list.