When it comes to dressing himself, Brad Bennett, who's behind the men's eco-fashion site Commerce With a Conscience, admits to being a creature of habit. "I have a penchant for uniforms—outfits I wear over and over—and tend to only buy from the same small handful of brands," the Brooklyn-raised Chicagoan tells Ecouterre. Roughly 70 percent of Bennett's wardrobe is vintage or secondhand. The rest? A mix of custom-made and new off-the-rack pieces. "I'm happiest in oxford cloth shirts, selvedge jeans, waxed-cotton outerwear, and American-made wingtips," he says. "All those things only get better with age."
I prefer vintage over new, as the items tend to be much higher quality than their contemporary equivalents. Also, the vintage version is usually a fraction of the cost.This sweater is vintage, made-in-the-U.S. Pendleton from eBay. The shirt is a custom oxford from The Tailor Store. The tie is blackwatch plaid waxed cotton, made in NYC by new(ish) men's accessory brand The Hill-Side. The belt is from a thrift store in Ohio. And the jeans are from APC, which although not a green or ethical brand, has some of the best, longest-lasting denim you can buy.
My girlfriend calls this my "country dad look." I can't tell if she's being complimentary or not. The vest is vintage Filson from eBay. The shirt is a military surplus henley (cotton/wool blend) from the local Army Navy store.
While I once considered buying custom-made clothing to be a bit "bourgie," I've since discovered a number of ethical and affordable custom options.This jacket is part of a custom suit from A Suit That Fits, an English bespoke label that abides by fair-trade manufacturing standards in Nepal. The shirt is a custom chambray from The Tailor Store, a Swedish company that produces all of its goods in its own private, ethically run factory in Sri Lanka. The bow tie is handmade in Canada by Etsy seller Rufflentuck.
I don't think there's ever an inappropriate time to wear a tie. That said, I do wish I could wear one without being constantly asked why I'm "so dressed up?"I'm wearing more custom shirting from The Tailor Store and another handmade tie from Rufflentuck. Same thrift store belt, and organic khakis from Loomstate that I bought from Gilt.
I'm not really one for full-on casual wear. In fact, I take personal offense to sweat and/or track pants worn outside of the house or gym. But, my little sister got me this sweatshirt from American Apparel, and you can't really go wrong with a raglan heather crew.
I've got a shoe-and-bag fetish to rival that of a dictator's wife. These are one of my many pairs of second-hand Allen Edmonds shoes from eBay. I don't know why I'm partial specifically to AE, but they're probably my favorite American shoe maker.
Here are a pair of organic sneakers from from Autonomie Project, one of the most admirable companies I've ever come across.
These moccasin boots are from Minnesota-based Footskins. Although handmade in the United States, they're well-under $200.
I bought these suede, bench-made desert boots from English brand Grenson on SUPER sale.
These American-made wedge boots by the Wisconsin-based Thorogood are not only union-made with vegetable-tanned leather, but they are also half the price of Red Wings.