7 Grown-Up Brands that Channel American Apparel

Your basics, replaced for good

By The Editors
October 7, 2015 9:00 am

For a hormonal college student with little lucre, American Apparel offered the full package: affordable basics, made in L.A., all revealingly modeled by lithe and supple store employees.

The goods were similarly sexed up: The V-neck plunged. The shorts were short. Even the socks had a vintage Playboy vibe.

Then you graduated and got a career and paid your rent on time and, hell, even splurged on a pair of patent leather double-monks every from time to time. Looking this good aint’ easy, amirite?

Meanwhile, your old friend American Apparel spent a fifth-year at State. And then a sixth. And then finally, last week, decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tech-savvy brands that still channel American Apparel’s reasonable prices and retro sex appeal. These are they.

When you manscaped, American Apparel’s V-neck exposed your pec cleavage. Now you want your Vs discreet. Everlane’s “Heather V” ($18) is a 100% cotton, slim fit T-shirt that fits the bill.

If you had the balls to wear American Apparel gym shorts (without them falling out the bottom), check out Tracksmith’s retro Van Cortlandt mesh short ($60), with a four-inch inseam and support that “won’t leave you hanging.”

Dyer & Jenkins offers a solid, made-in-DTLA organic cotton crew neck for $18, or $45 for a 3-pack.  

High school gym class was never fun or cool. But American Apparel striped socks were. Wigwam is the 100+ year old American brand that most likely made the originals ($9).


Everyone from Ashton to Zooey wore American Apparel’s hoodies. Newcomer Outdoor Voices’ pullover poly spandex Upstate Hoodie will run you $100, but it’s pretty much unbeatable for comfort and durability.

Chubbies offers loud and patriotic prints such as the ‘Mericas Swim Trunk ($59.50).

Yuasa’s slim-fit brief boxer ($28) is great for sleepovers and comes in a range of colors.

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