Earlier this year I made the decision to see it it is possible to actually keep oneself properly wardrobed without buying clothing from countries that have questionable human rights and environmental policies. In doing this I’ve been forced to look closely at store offerings, and I’ve been reading about various industries in other countries.
I’m happy to report that there are more made in the USA items out there than I had thought, and over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about some of what I’ve found that I love.
First up is a very new company, Dobbin Clothing. Dobbin is the creation of friends Jessica Gold Newman and Catherine Doyle. I met Jessica through her excellent blog, Truth Plus, in which she writes about the clothing industry. I was just delighted to learn she was taking the plunge into manufacturing. According to Jessica:
After 11 years in the apparel industry, it just felt like the right time to start something myself. I partnered with my former co-worker, Catherine Doyle, who was the Design Director of Liz Lange Maternity while I was Marketing Director there. I went on to run JG and Co. consulting for young designers and Catherine went on to work for NY and Co. I of course from time to time wrote for Truth Plus, which I will continue to do when I get a moment to breathe!
In any case, we’d been thinking of this idea for many years, and finally made it a reality. We honestly started with the void we saw in the market between the Talbots/Chicos/J.Jills of the world and the Marni/Carolina Herrera/Stella McCartneys. Real women with real bodies (and real ages, not girls) need clothes that fit, that are durable and that are made in great stretch fabrics. So that’s where the idea of Dobbin was born. I don’t want to pin it down and say it’s for a 45 + demographic, but that was our starting point. I’ve been wearing the clothes myself and now really feel like they can be worn and flatter a bevy of women. The cuts are really flattering and the fabrics are the same used by DVF, The Row, Narciso Rodriguez and others. Because we’re selling only online, the prices aren’t low per se, but we’re able to keep them down to what would have been their wholesale prices. Once you get the garments on, it’s pretty easy to see that they’re an excellent value. And of course everything is made here in NYC, and we even used some American fabrics from LA.
After the site went live in April, I placed an order for the Stanton Stretch Pants, shown in the photo above. (You know how I’m always looking for the perfect black slacks!)
Ordering was a snap, and in a few days the UPS man delivered them to my door.
I’ll admit that I’m a real sucker for a pretty presentation, so I was very pleased when I opened the box from Dobbin. The pants were nicely wrapped, and included was a card containing all the fabric samples they are using, along with a hankie-sized swatch of a beautiful Italian cotton they are using in a skirt.
In ordering, I was sort of between sizes, so I bought the larger of the two. When the pants arrived, they were too big, but Dobbin cheerfully accepted the exchange, and even paid for the postage both ways. The new pair arrived in no time, and they were a perfect fit, made even better by a great waistline feature.
Enclosed in the back waistband is a strip of elastic which can be pulled in to make the waist fit more snugly. No more waist gap!
If you decide to place an order, my advice is to pay close attention to the size chart, and to order the size that seems like the closest match. As for the pants, I’m very short (5’2″ on a tall day…) and I hemmed them about an inch. If you are tall, these will fit more like a crop pant would. Also, if you email Dobbin, they will send you a fabric swatch card so you can see before ordering just how nice the fabrics are.
Another note: I washed mine according to directions and they came out looking like new. The last pair of black cotton pants I bought (LL Bean) faded with the very first wash.