15 American Brands Still Making Their Jeans In The USA
While it’s harder to find Made in USA jeans now than decades ago, there are still companies taking the time to craft sturdy, hard-working denim in America.
They don’t make ’em like they used to – unless, of course, you count the best made in the USA jeans brands.
Sure, denim might have early roots overseas as a treasured French workwear style, but it’s in the States where the style came to life for the masses, first worn by prospectors and eventually, as an everyday wardrobe essential. It’s only natural, then, that plenty of American companies sprang up making jeans domestically.
While it’s harder to find made-in-US jeans now than decades ago, there are still a number of homegrown brands taking the time to craft sturdy, hardworking denim in America.
What does Made in the USA mean?
Believe it or not, the term ‘made in the USA’ is more strictly regulated than you might think – the Federal Trade Commission protects and certifies the label, after all. Specifically, that means the product must be made “all or virtually all” in the United States.
And when it comes down to the best made in the USA jeans, that’s led some of our favourite companies to take exacting measures – and the jeans are all the better for it.
Materials hailing from the States, be it cotton denim or even the rivets on your prized stonewash, represent a labour of love, which is why made-in-America jeans are more expensive than other pairs of denim. Is that a bad thing? Not if you want to invest in high-quality, long-lasting jeans that get better with age.
Helpfully, your jeans will be labelled accordingly (again, by law) outlining the materials used and the country of production. And yes, it’s possible for jeans to be made in the States using material from elsewhere, like Japanese selvedge denim. But you’ll also find brands that love to tell you how every single thing, even the label – especially the label – is made in the USA.
And that’s great. True made in the USA jeans brands should trumpet their domestic production and materials with pride, so it’s not hard to shop with transparency in mind. After all, they’re made the hard way and often, the better way. Settle for nothing less than the best.
The best men’s Made in the USA jeans brands
Imogene + Willie
Trek down to Nashville to start your search for the best made in America jeans, and be wowed by the old-school quality and craftsmanship built into each pair.
As the brand tells it, the Imogene + Willie story started with a desire to craft what they couldn’t quite find themselves. The end result is small-batch denim sold out of a throwback service station that looks much the same as decades back.
It’s fitting that I+W’s first pairs were based on vintage styles, and today, it offers straight-leg raw denim from premium Vidalia Mills selvedge.
You might not find a company more committed to all-American production at a relatively large scale than American Giant. From T-shirts to canvas pants and its famed hoodies, the brand is all about durable, dependable gear that toes the line between modern and classic.
And the ideal pairing with one of its soft cotton, made-in-America T-shirts? USA-made jeans in either slim or straight cuts and two washes (one pleasingly faded, one a deep, inky blue). They’re made in Texas and they even boast a hint of stretch for all-day comfort.
Flint and Tinder
In the market for the best made in the USA jeans at a reasonable price? For under $160, Flint and Tinder (the in-house brand at rugged gear aficionados Huckberry) has what you seek. These jeans tick all the right boxes: three reliable fits (slim, straight and relaxed), a wide range of inventory and colours to suit every taste, from light-wash fades to crisp dark blue.
Better still is the fact that they’re made with a touch of stretch and produced in the US denim hub of Los Angeles. Combine them with a Flint and Tinder trucker jacket and call it a day.
Raleigh Denim Workshop
If you want to get right to the heart of the made in the USA jeans movement, look no further than Raleigh. Downtown Raleigh is where the aptly named denim maestros at Raleigh Denim Workshop get to business, offering five versatile fits, from thin taper to relaxed.
They’re all done up in handsome, carefully selected fabrics, with a focus on Japanese selvedge in a variety of weights. These luxury jeans are sturdy, exquisitely made and built to last – and the more you wear them, the more they’ll develop unique fades all their own.
Made in the USA jeans are hard to come by for myriad reasons, be it materials or production. And what about customisation? That’s another part of the equation, but one that New Jersey’s Todd Shelton has handily solved. The brand makes crisp, classic jeans from Japanese cotton denim – some of the finest material on the planet.
It also sells ready-to-wear options in two cuts, but it’s that customisation that makes the difference: you can dial in how your jeans fit (for example, a hybrid between relaxed and athletic), select your fly design and even hone the length down to a half-inch.
Even the most devout denimhead will find something to appreciate at Shockoe Atelier, a contemporary Virginia brand bringing a modern edge to the world of sturdy, old-school denim.
Select from stretch or sustainable hemp selvedge for an eco-friendly touch, or else go the long way and break in some beautifully designed Japanese selvedge denim. You’ll also find inky black jeans and slate grey denim, and a pair of inventive, throwback-minded Fatigue Trousers.
For good measure, team your new jeans with one of the brand’s soft, faded tees.
Railcar Fine Goods
The best things in life, like a pair of made in the USA jeans, are worth the wait – which is helpful, because you might have to pre-order a pair of fast-selling jeans from Railcar Fine Goods.
Whether you’re in the market for some rich Japanese selvedge, a classic pair of 13.5oz blue jeans (a reasonable mid-weight) or denim enhanced with Kevlar – seriously – Railcar delivers the goods.
The brand has even managed to get its hands on some exceedingly rare Cone Mills denim, hailing from the famed factory in North Carolina that closed in 2017.
Tellason is rightfully proud of its San Francisco roots – the city is where all-American denim pioneer Levi’s first rose to prominence, after all. Every part of these rugged jeans is precisely sourced from the United States, from the leather patches to the rivets and even the pocketing and thread.
It’s getting harder to find that kind of commitment as far as the best made in the USA jeans are concerned, and the brand take that commitment seriously. Seven fits are on offer, enough to suit every body type, coming in raw selvedge denim as thick as 16.5oz (strong enough nearly to stand up on its own).
Detroit Denim Co.
It’s fitting that a city as hardworking as Detroit has its own denim company: the style is tough as nails and made to handle just about anything, and that’s reflected in the design and production of these blue jeans.
Each pair is made to order, which drastically cuts down on wasted fabric, so you’ll typically have to wait four to six weeks for delivery. And yet, as we said before, they’re worth the wait: the brand’s classic cotton jeans, for instance, are made from that same hard-to-find Cone Mills denim.
In a subterranean Williamsburg workshop, Eric John intensively crafts bespoke jeans and handsome ready-to-wear denim the old-school way: fitting and measuring each customer, then handling the cutting and sewing. The process is intricate and – as we keep saying – certainly takes time, but the final product is a pair of jeans fitted exactly to your liking.
Ready-to-wear options are also on hand in richly textured, frankly beautiful fabrics. They’re a perfect pair of timeless jeans that combine very well with a walk on the Brooklyn waterfront (or anywhere else on the planet).
At 3sixteen, you won’t find anything too over the top or polarising when it comes to apparel. The brand deliver crisply cut indigo, black or stone washed selvedge jeans in reliable fits, be that a classic straight fit or a narrow, tapered look that sits nicely atop chunky loafers or moc-toe work boots.
The variety of denim on offer is enough to please the most discerning rivet fan, with rare fabric colourways like deep black overdyed jeans – all the better to break in and develop eye-catching fades.
Plenty of the best made in the USA jeans come from companies that have been doing it for some time (decades, in many cases). And yet, Chicago’s Dearborn Denim is a bit of an outlier, seeing as the company launched relatively recently in 2016.
It’s even more surprising (yet welcome all the same) that the brand designs, cuts, sews and finishes its jeans right in Chicago. Offering six fits and washes, which range from deep blue to a breezy light wash, try teaming them with one of the company’s chambray shirts to round out a rugged ensemble.
Left Field NYC
Simplicity is often the key when working with a classic style like denim – the five-pocket design is timeless for a reason, and Left Field NYC aims to make its richly crafted jeans in just as timeless a fashion. That means using material from spots like Vidalia Mills, which stepped in to try and fill the void left by Cone Mills.
And yet, they also stock rarities from the famed mill (for example, a 1968 Cone Mills denim jean), and it’s even more helpful that this type of fabric ages beautifully. Even more incredibly, most of its handsome made in America jeans go for under $200, which is a downright steal in this day and age.
Stovall & Young
With Stovall & Young simplicity is again an asset, rather than a negative. Choose from just two styles (the Martin and the Young) – each of which is crafted from handsome White Oak Cone Mills denim in deep, inky blue – then take your pick between carefully sewn contrast stitching.
The details separate the best pairs from the rest, and that’s also apparent in the production process. These rugged blue jeans are made in San Francisco using materials like Portland, Oregon leather – made in the USA definitely still means something here.
Sturdy, hardwearing denim that means business is exactly what you’re getting with Freenote Cloth. The fit options, from slim taper to slim straight, are versatile, as are deep colours like black and indigo (selvedge, of course). You’ll also find some of the best, toughest materials on the market – Freenote Cloth offers a beastly 17oz. black selvedge denim, for instance.
These are the kind of jeans designed to be worn for days at a time to break in (be sure to spot clean), so take your time and relish the chance to wear some of the best made in the USA jeans on the market.
Jeans brands no longer Made in the USA
You may have got to this point and scratched your head at some of the seemingly all-American brands missing from this list. There’s no Levi’s or Lee, no Wrangler, Dickies, Gap or American Apparel either.
They are American labels, or at least they were founded in America. They’re also synonymous with denim – but the jeans themselves are now made elsewhere, whatever their red-white-and-blue reputations might hint at.
We’re not taking anything away from the quality of their products, but these global brands outsourced production long ago. They keep prices relatively low by mass-producing jeans in factories all over the world, usually in developing countries.
Your Levi’s are probably made in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam or elsewhere; although some product lines, such as Levi’s Vintage Clothing, are still made in the USA. Wrangler’s Rooted collection is also US-made, even though the majority of its jeans are now constructed abroad.
Does that matter? That’s a call for you to make. But if you truly want to buy American-made jeans, trust us on the list above and always look past the stars-and-stripes logos to read the labels or the brand stories.
Where are Wrangler jeans made?
The majority of Wrangler jeans you’ll now find in department stores are not made in the USA, with manufacturing outsourced primarily to Bangladesh, Mexico, and Nicargua.
The brand does however still offer a limited edition range of jeans which is entirely produced in America, titled the ‘Rooted Collection’. Each pair is cut from 100% American grown cotton milled at the Mount Vernon Mills in Trion, Georgia, then sewn by Excel Manufacturing in El Paso, Texas. The lines often sell out quickly as they are made in small batches, so you need to be quick to get your hands on a pair.
Where are Levi’s jeans made?
Does it get more American than Levi’s? Well, not anymore. Pre-covid the brand decided to outsource almost its entire manufacturing to developing countries overseas, with its jeans now primarily made in factories located in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Levi’s does still offer a handful of made in the USA jeans through its Levi’s Vintage Clothing subline, which is designed to replicate iconic Levi’s archive items, with raw selvedge sourced from the renowned Cone Mills factory in North Carolina. However, expect to pay a heavy premium.
Where are Lee jeans made?
Lee hasn’t manufactured its jeans in America for decades. The company initially decided to move almost the entire production to a number of small factories in Chamarajanagar, India, managed by Arvind Mills.
In 2019, Lee was acquired by Kontoor Brands, a spin-off of VF Corporation’s Jeanswear Division, which decided to expand some of its manufacturing to both Mexico and China. By all accounts, Lee jeans are now produced in these three countries, primarily.