This post has nothing to do with woodworking. But it has everything to do with the way that I approach life. So if you are one of the people who appreciated “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” read on. Otherwise, there’s nothing to see here.
I don’t buy a lot of stuff. Basically, I wear stuff until it falls off of me or breaks. I still have sweatshirts, jackets and vests from high school – and I graduated in 1986. So durability is important to me. Here are some of the things I really like.
Pointer Jeans: I wear blue jeans every day. I hope to be buried in them. While there are lots of stupidly expensive domestic blue jeans out there, you can’t beat Pointer jeans. This company is almost 100 years old, operates out of Tennessee and produces outstanding jeans at the same price as the imported stuff.
I have their slim cut jeans and carpenter’s jeans. Awesome stuff. Fits great. Looks great. Wears like iron.
Red Wing shoes: You can still get good shoes that are made in the United States and are designed for real work. I have a pair of Red Wing boots that are simply awesome. The Maine company has a less-expensive Chinese line of shoes, but those don’t interest me.
American Apparel: For me, this is the Lie-Nielsen of the T-shirt world. This California company defies every stereotypical business model and produces fantastic clothing at reasonable prices. Half of my clothing – T-shirts, sweatshirts, underwear – is American Apparel. We have a retail store here in Cincinnati, and it amuses me greatly to shop there. All the employees and customers are college hipsters, except me. I don’t care. It’s comfortable, made well and well-priced.
Orient watches: Confession time. I’m a watch whore. I love mechanical watches, as opposed to the quartz battery-powered stuff. I have some old 1960s-era Hamilton watches that I love, but nothing – nothing – beats an Orient watch. These Japanese-made mechanical watches are durable, priced well and beat the pants off all the European stuff. I think they are better than the Swiss movements. Orient has a long history of making mechanical movements, and the company weathered the quartz movement while other makers shuttered their doors or switched to making digital crap.
Saddleback Leather: Pretty much everything I want in a commercial good is embodied by the Saddleback Leather company. This family-run operation makes incredible leather goods of the highest quality and at reasonable prices. My wallet, shoulder bag, laptop case and suitcase are all Saddleback. They know how to make stuff. They know how to treat customers. Enough said.
— Christopher Schwarz