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The it list
Portland's best new places: neat, sweet and chic
The Oregonian
Chelsea Cain
January 14, 2005


Are you wearing sweatshop-free underwear? Then you probably already know about American Apparel, the chain that hocks colorful cotton clothing guaranteed "Made in Downtown L.A." If your underwear was made by underpaid Third World workers, you may want to stop by one of Portland's two American Apparel stores (how progressive are we?) and check out the booty.

Located at the gateway of Portland's quaintly dubbed "Vaseline Alley," in a building that used to house a used bookstore, Portland's flagship American Apparel store is chock-full of cotton garments the color of Skittles. From standard-cut T's, bikini briefs and miniskirts, to asymmetrical '80s-rad dresses, every item is oh-so-cotton-soft and priced more or less to move. Some favorites include sweatshop-free baby rib dog T's, and sheer cotton scarves and wraps that you can tie around your body in various knots to make outfits. (They recommend you watch an instructional video.) The store carries men's, women's and some baby and dog apparel. All of it is yoga-ready.

American Apparel is at 1234 S.W. Stark St., 503-721-0700; and at 3412 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-0043.