Made in Downtown LAVertically Integrated Manufacturing
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Back to Basics
Marcus Jaye
August 2, 2006

Finding affordable basic clothing, such as T-shirts, vests and sweaters that flatter and dont reek of sweatshops can be a tall task. The majority of cheapclothing is run up in dubious Chinese factories that are unconcerned about their wider ethical impact.

A A Meetings
American Apparel is different, as they have something called vertically integrated manufacture. This means everything from cutting and sewing to photography and marketing is done under one roof in downtown LA. As a result, there are no underage children, poor pay or bad working conditions, yet the clothes are competitively priced.

Porn Star Chic
The choice is huge with a massive array of styles, colours and sizes. From plain grey t-shirts to navy hoodies, everything is logo-free. The vibe is grungy Seventies porn star chic, but if you mix the separates with the rest of your wardrobe it all works really well. The LA sizes mean clothes are a snug fit. They also do different fabric mixes depending on what you prefer. I like the short sleeved jersey mélange gym T-shirts in grey or navy.

A A Expansion
They currently have three shops in London (Carnaby Street, Portobello Road and Curtain Road) and there are plans to open many more throughout the country.

Try Before You Buy
I recommend going into one of the shops, and trying on everything to see which styles and sizes suit, which is crucial to get right, and after that you can simply re-order online at every time you need any more.

This Week I'm Loving Diesel's Behave Bag
A weekend away should be a relaxed affair, and your luggage should reflect this. Diesel's new Behave bag is a lightweight mix of nylon and nappa leather with an exterior zip that allows it to be halved or doubled in size. Thus, on your return, your hold-all can be turned into a small messenger bag quicker then you can say "Oh Behave!"