As the sign and flannel outside would say, Sam's Clothing has been a traditional outfitter of casual and outdoor clothing in Ann Arbor, Michigan since 1946. I've loved this store since I first set foot inside back in 1993. I have bought a lot of clothes there since. Sam's carries the sort of clothes that never go in or out of fashion: wool socks, plain t-shirts, work shirts, sweatshirts, flannels, hats, peacoats, pocket knives, sunglasses, Chuck Taylors, and good old-fashioned blue jeans. Sadly, most of the clothing companies that Sam's has remained loyal to for more than half a century have hardly been loyal to the American worker, so the Lee jeans, Levi's, Dickies, and other brands carried there now are mostly made overseas in countries without fair labor standards. There is a nice selection of American Apparel basics (all of it surprisingly cheaper than at the actual American Apparel store down the block) and a few other domestically-manufactured products (like Stormy Kromer hats). You can hardly hold this against Sam's, where the prices are kept so low you wonder how they survive.

The guy in the framed photo above the sock monkey clinging to the saddle mirror I assume is Sam. The guy in the reflection is me, wearing 514s purchased from Sam's Clothing.

The back of the store is the best part, with the Size 76 Levi's 501s that have been there FOREVER and the colorful Converse display and the equally colorful dressing room doors, above which hangs what must be one of the best collection of vintage Levi's posters anywhere:

The 1972 computer-type poster from Foote, Cone, & Belding in San Francisco is easily my favorite:

The old Sam's bag mounted on the wall is a reminder of the days when all those Ann Arbor hippies bought their bell bottoms here. There's also a really great slide show on the Sam's Clothing web page that shows the store throughout its history. 

Why would you ever want to shop at the mall?


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