Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
burgess milner OYYE4g I5ZQ unsplash?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
burgess milner OYYE4g I5ZQ unsplash?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
/ Unsplash

7 Closet Staples America Invented

The fashion world is always buzzing with news about the latest European trends, but with Independence Day just around the corner, we’re more than ready to hear about what America’s contributed to the fashion scene. Here at Her Campus, we did some digging to uncover the U.S.’s trendsetting persona that our American history courses have been hiding. We’re sure you already have the perfect patriotic outfit planned for the 4th, and now you can wear it with even more pride—especially if it includes one of these American-made style staples the world couldn’t live without.

1. Jeans

Chances are you’ve heard of Levi Strauss, the the infamous inventor of modern blue jeans who holds a special place in our hearts. What would life be like without our Levi’s cut-offs? Terrible, that’s what.

2. T-Shirts

We can’t even imagine what the world would be without T-shirts. What would we sleep in? How would we flaunt our Greek letters? We are forever grateful to the U.S. Navy for inventing T-shirts in 1913 (and, of course, for everything else they do!). After all, lounging just wouldn’t be the same in anything but an oversized tee.

3. Spandex

Spandex, nylon, neoprene. What do all of these loungewear, swimwear, and sportswear materials have in common? They were all invented in America, which means you can wear those swimsuits, jerseys and leggings with extra pride this 4th. 

4. Baseball Hats

The only thing better than the American invention of baseball (the best of summertime sports)? The accompanying invention of baseball hats. While we’re way past the awkward backwards cap fashion phase, America’s not ready to give up on this classic wardrobe accessory and neither are we. You can catch us wearing our favorite logos at the beach or slipping on a monochrome cap for an incredible street style look—either way, we’ll never be embarassed to flaunt this American-born gem.

5. Shift Dresses

We’d basically have to show up naked to interviews if it weren’t for the popularization of shift dresses. The first was seen on Audrey Hepburn in the American film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and not long after our idol Lilly Pulitzer unleashed her own perfectly patterned shifts.

6. Moto Jackets

Thank you, America, for adding the perfect edge to any outfit with the creation of the leather motercycle jacket. First released by American brand Schott NYC in 1928, the moto style hasn’t dissappeared since. Now made in a huge range of colors and crops, these jackets go with literally anything and we can’t even fathom our closet without one.

7. Pantyhose

In 1953, American garmet-maker Allen Grant made this legendary morph of undies and stockings, which have never failed to keep our legs toasty and our work outfits office appropriate. Thanks, Allen. 

So next time someone says Americans aren’t fashionable, make a point of explaining the history behind the classic tee-and-jeans look they’re wearing. The U.S. has been a global trendsetter, and you’ve got the closet staples to prove it.

Emily Platt is a former National Contributing Writer, Beauty Editor, Career Editor, and Editorial Intern for Her Campus. She studied at Vassar College and held additional internships at Cosmopolitan.com and MarthaStewartWeddings.com. Emily loves emojis, Beach Body workouts, and her cats. She takes pride in her single mysteriously-white eyelash.