Tomima Talks: Made in the USA

Tomima Talks Made in the USA

I think all of us understand the value and benefit of buying American-made goods. Back in 2012, I tasked my buying team with finding more “Made in the USA” items to offer on both my sites – at the time, there just weren’t many in our industry. Today, I’m delighted to share with you that we offer more than anyone else online in our category. I was further delighted to learn this week that of the 65 countries making our products, the USA ranks second for making the most.

With the 4th of July holiday fast approaching, and the current uncertainty in our global markets, wearing American-made products are a badge of patriotism more than ever. So, I’d like to highlight the brands we carry that keep their production in the USA. Most are women-owned, some were started by immigrants working to achieve the American Dream, but all have a great start-up story.

American-Made Items at HerRoom 

Panties – Two very popular panty brands were born and raised in America by women.  Though both skyrocketed with their unique thong designs, they are now seasoned manufacturers with large and varied product selections that accommodate most women.

Hanky Panky – In June of 2006, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story claiming to have found the most comfortable thong on the market. It was the Hanky Panky 4811 created by Gail Epstein back in 1986 made with a wide waistband and entirely out of stretch lace. The WSJ article caused an explosion in sales. Today, Hanky Panky, which is still owned and managed by Gail Epstein and Lida Orzeck, makes every panty silhouette in every shape, size, and fabrication. HerRoom carries 99 of their styles, all of which are made in the state of New York and in sizing from O/S to 3X.

Commando – Remember the episode on the TV Show “Friends” where Joey stated he was going commando? Well, that single script line inspired Kerry O’Brien in 2003 to quit her high-profile PR position in Manhattan and head to Vermont to develop her idea of underwear that would really make you look and feel like you’re going commando. Using super stretchy fabric, laser-cut edges, and no seams, her Commando thongs were one of a kind. The Commando thongs meteoric success spawned further invisible panty silhouettes and underpinnings. 27 of the Commando styles we carry are made in the USA – mostly in South Carolina. The remaining items are made with European fabrics and assembled in the USA.  Commando products come in the size range of XS to XL.

Sleepwear – Two very unique sleepwear brands were also started by women and manufactured in the USA.  One has its roots in Hollywood.  The other was helped along by Oprah.

Amanda Rich – It’s original name in the 1950s was Lucie Ann of Beverly Hills. Lucie Ann was the lingerie designer to the stars. Using luxurious sheer fabrics and voluminous designs Lucie Ann created peignoirs, negligees, flowing robes, gowns, and loungewear for the likes of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Loretta Young, and Elizabeth Taylor. In the ’70s, Eva Gabor chose Lucie Ann to dress her in lingerie for the popular “Green Acres” television series.

Lucie Ann’s death closed the company’s doors. But requests for her beautiful lingerie continued. Finally, her heirs re-launched the line, renamed it Amanda Rich, and now manufacture many of Lucie Ann’s famous designs in updated fabrics. From XS to 2X, the entire brand is manufactured in Texas.

PJ Harlow – Tina McMillen is the designer and owner behind the brand PJ Harlow. Six months into her initial product launch with just 10 styles back in 2014, Oprah named the brand one of her “Favorite Things”. This endorsement was a game-changer, catapulting PJ Harlow into the spotlight.

Every product is designed and produced with a woman’s relaxation in mind. PJ Harlow wants women to feel as if they have nothing on, but at the same time are clothed in excellence, and all items are made to mix and match. Entirely manufactured in Orange County, California, the brand’s size range is from XS to 2X.

Hosiery & Legwear – Many may not know that North Carolina was the USA’s center for textiles, and more specifically hosiery, before the off-shore boom in the early 2000s. Some made the risky decision to remain stateside. They not only survived, they continued to flourish against the odds.  We carry two of them.

Berkshire – Founded in 1906 during the era of silk stockings, Berkshire became a national brand in the years following World War II with the introduction of nylon. The company was purchased in 1977 by Meyer Hosiery Company, a family-owned business that still owns it today and manufactures exclusively from North Carolina. Their products range in size from O/S to 4X.

Hue – In 1978, two female artists in NYC bleached traditional black Chinese slippers then dyed them in vibrant colors. They wound up in Henri Bendel and the pages of Vogue. With this initial success, Kathy Moskal and Sandy Chilewich next took on fashion legwear and revolutionized the category. Today, the Hue brand represents fashion-forward legwear and innovative footwear and socks in a rainbow of colors. In 2000, they were bought by Kayser-Roth Corporation of North Carolina where all Hue’s socks and hosiery are currently made.  They range in size from O/S to XL.

Shapewear & Underpinnings – Originally, shapewear was known as “foundations.” And slips and camisoles were called “underpinnings”.  Once again, these two lingerie categories have their roots in the USA, but many have gone offshore. Here are the stories from a few who still manufacture in America.

Rago – In 1945, two Italian immigrants designed a better girdle. One was dating a chain store girdle buyer. He fitted it on her, she loved it, and the item soon after shipped to over 1,000 retailers. Paying close attention to remarks coming from the dressing rooms and soliciting feedback from store owners, changes were made until fit perfection was achieved. It was this obsession with customer feedback that spurred Rago to design outstanding girdle products.

Unlike most of today’s shapewear that is tubular knit, Rago has continued to make products with shaping characteristics that contain a woman’s figure while remaining comfortable.  All their products are made in Astoria, New York, and have a size range from S to 11X.

Only Hearts – Helena Stuart opened her Only Hearts boutique in 1978 on Columbus Avenue in New York City. In the spirit of being sensual, everything in the original boutique was made in the shape of hearts. Her success came with her idea of turning lingerie pieces into inner/outwear fashion – many of her items could be worn alone or under clothing as underpinnings. Women could work through the day in their camisole then come home to lounge in that same cami without feeling uncomfortable. So, Helena is truly the creator of wearing innerwear as outerwear.

Only Hearts has been worn by many celebrities including Bella Hadid, Hailey Beiber, Charlize Theron, Kendall Jenner, and Emma Roberts. It is featured in many magazines including In Shape and Fashion. All items are designed and made in Manhattan with a size range from XS to XL.

Activewear – Yes, it is possible to find workout clothes that are made in the USA.  And, HerRoom has two brands founded by women.

Beyond Yoga – Created as a line devoted to making chic, transitional pieces for every body type, Beyond Yoga was founded in 2006 by Jodi Guber and Michelle Wahler. Their products wick away moisture and no elastic is left uncovered.  Their fabric choices are always soft and must feel like a second skin. Going above and beyond to enhance your performance is what Beyond Yoga is all about.  Designed in LA and made in California, their size range is S to XL.

Hard Tail – Dick and Patty Cantrell along with their three daughters are the inspiration behind the Hard Tail brand. Their brand wishes to empower women with a “girls rule” spirit and defy old feminine stereotypes. Their sleek activewear is comfortable with a little “street” and a whole lot of spunk. Made exclusively in the USA (mostly California), their size range is XS to XL.

T-Shirts – They may not officially be classified as lingerie, but many of you know that we carry an amazing collection of t-shirts which many of you also sleep in.  Again, several of our T-shirt brands are American-made. Here are two real success stories.

LA Made – A shining example of immigrants achieving the American dream.  Jack and Georgia Chang left Taiwan in the 1970s, came to LA, and started making children’s clothing.  LA Made now designs and makes premium quality women’s basic tops in tissue jersey and thermal knits which are all locally sourced, ethically made, and have a great price point. Exclusively made in Los Angeles, California, their size range is S to XL.

Michael Stars – Founded in Los Angeles in 1992 by Michael Cohen – and immigrant from South Africa, Michael Stars brand was the first to recognize that a woman’s t-shirt didn’t have to be boxy, ordinary and bland. He designed a fitted and flattering t-shirt meant to showcase and celebrate a woman’s shape. Today, their t-shirts come in all shapes and colors and are a staple in many celebrity closets and drawers. The brand is made entirely in California with a size range O/S to 14.

My highlighted brands in this talk represent only a fraction of the American-made products we offer at HerRoom – we carry almost 600 “Made in the USA” items. To see all the Made in the USA items at HerRoom, you can click here.  There are also three ways to find these items on my sites:

1. Type “Made in the USA” in our search window.

2. Look in our “Fabric Info” section where “USA” is stated as the product’s “Country of Origin.”

3. Look in our “Details” tab for this icon prominently displayed on any American-made product:

Can you fill your lingerie drawer with only American-made products? Unfortunately, not yet.  Almost all bras – but for some bralette styles – are foreign made. This is because making a bra still requires the use of labor and a sewing machine.  Until this process is mechanized, American-made bras will remain elusive.  You have probably noticed an increase in bralette offerings with no seams. They are not pretty, but they use less labor and little if any sewing.  They are made using technology that bonds seams and edges rather than sewing.  Other styles are made on knitting machines that knit “tubes” that ultimately become the bras you slip on over your head.  All this said the manufacturing of these bra styles have yet to be imported to the USA.

A Final Thought… 

I know that many of you wish to know exactly which country makes the products before you purchase.  Right now, we only distinguish between “foreign” and “USA” made. There are a few reasons why we cannot provide you with this information.  Several of our manufacturers make the same product in multiple countries.  We, therefore, cannot guarantee where the product we ship you was made because the manufacturer can send us a mix.  Manufacturers frequently move their production to different countries for a number of reasons.  Again, this can cause a single item to be made in more than one country. We do not want to disappoint you by displaying a country of origin only to learn that what we published is no longer accurate or you receive a product with an origin different from what is currently displayed on our site.  One observation I can share is that I’ve seen a dramatic move of lingerie production away from China over the last few years. More and more of our products have country codes from countries in and around the Americas.

Wishing you and your friends and family a very happy 4th of July.

Fondly,

Tomima Founder & CEO

HerRoom.com

#Americanmade #MadeintheUSA #Tomima

Recent Posts

See All

“Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo…” And I say it’s all right… as long as we’re wearing lingerie that can take the heat. Here’s a quick rundown of summer solutions to help keep you cool and dry as y

I still remember the first piece of Aubade lingerie I bought for myself. It was the Bahia & Moi Half Cup Bra in white. I remember instantly wanting it the second I saw it. And guess what? Twenty years