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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all. I'm Harris--not to be confused with "A Harris," whom I believe has been a forum member for some time.

I live in the Northeastern U.S. and tend toward the American Look. Or trad or whatever you wish to call it. Sack suits, tassel loafers, shetland crewnecks, Harris Tweeds, madras, etc.

I am interested in knowing how many forum members have stuck with this look--the J. Press-Brooks-Andover Shop crowd.

Harris
 

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I probably lean more toward this than any other defineable 'look'. I like to bring in an English influence as well (still consistent with Brooks/RL Anglophilia).

But here's the question: Do you wear bow ties?

________________________
'Snobbery, after all, is nothing but bad manners trying to pass itself off as good taste.' --Taki
 

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Yeah, that's pretty much me, too. At least one of our neighbors referred to me as "Captain Preppie" (although I don't know how much resemblance I bear to the vain and fatuous character in the "Crock" comic strip. I once told my old boss that I was Captain Preppie to his Col. Crock, whom he did very much resemble in looks and character!)Oh, and I do wear bow ties on occasion!
 

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I am a religious wearer of the "American traditional" look. All I have is sack suits/sports jackets, plain front trousers, and Alden slip-ons. And those great narrow J. Press ties and bowties.

And apparently there are a lot of other devotees to this style, because everytime I order from J. Press, I only receive about half of my order since everything else is out of stock. I just received two point collar dress shirts I ordered in June.

BTW, has anyone received their fall/winter J. Press catalog yet? Mine has never arrived.:(

J. Press - I'd pay them rent if they'd only let me move in.
 

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Hello, other than Brooks, J Press and The Andover Shop what are some good sources of this style. Thanks.

Lance
 

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I haven't seen my fall/winter catalogue from J. Press yet, but I've already decided that I need a pair of black gloves with cashmere lining and some Fair Isle socks, at the very least.

I ordered a short sleeve madras shirt from J. Press in June, along with some other shirts, but when I received the order a month later I found that the madras shirt I wanted was out of stock. When I called to find out which plaids were still available in my size, all they had left was the one that I (and apparently everyone else) thought was too ugly to wear. But my brother went to the Manhattan store and sent me one of the long sleeve madras shirts for my birthday last month. I like short sleeve best for riding my horses in the shade in the summer, but long sleeve to keep my arms from burning if I'm going to be in direct sunlight.

There's an interesting article by Michael Press Jr. (great-grandson of J. Press) about the American Traditional style here:
 

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quote:Originally posted by Lance

Hello, other than Brooks, J Press and The Andover Shop what are some good sources of this style. Thanks.

Lance
Depending on the articles that you're seeking, you might consider the offerings of Ben Silver, Cable Car Clothiers, Jos. Bank, Lands' End, Mercer & Son Shirts, Murray's Toggery Shop, and Orvis.

Some of the Jos. Bank merchandise is too trendy to fit into a traditional wardrobe and the suit jackets are said to be heavily fused, but if you're a student or recent graduate on a budget and need a three-button blazer or suit to wear for the next couple of years it's hard to beat the sale prices.

I used to have some shirts from Huntington Clothiers that I liked and they used to put out a dandy catalogue, but I can't find them anymore. Are they still in business?

I never cared for Ralph Lauren and I don't patronize his stores, but that is another label sometimes mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I second the mention of Ben Silver. The fall catalog is overhwelming. Alden shell cordovan, Harris tweeds, regimental repp, and on and on. The Prenner family do justice to the American look, even if everything is a tad pricey. The "Factory Outlet" on the website is worth a look.

As for J. Press, the fall catalog offers a good selection--including that smart Glen Plaid suit on page one. I live about thirty minutes from the NYC store, so I typically drop by for a look once every few weeks. Strange that they're not offering the camel hair polo coat this year. Nor is Brooks.

Harris
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I'm glad to see there are a few devotees of the Trad look. The American style takes something of a beating these days, but there are still a few of us around.

As to the question about bowties: yes, I wear them. Not every day, but occasionally. More than half the time. I have gotten into the habit of wearing grosgrain watchbands and belts with everything, including the most formal of suits and sportcoat-trouser combinations.

Harris
 

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I just received the F/W J. Press catalog and it indeed looks good. I may just have to wander over one of these days.


Rojo-- I also remember Huntington Clothiers out of Columbus, Ohio. They were essentially a Midwest version of J. Press. Very well priced. They somehow got wrapped up in the Custom Shop bankruptcy and apparently ceased to be in 01 or 02.
 

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Another great shop, IMO, is Paul Stuart just a block or so away from J. Press. A majority of their merchandise is way overpriced relative to its quality, but it definitely possesses the traditional, American qualities which you describe. Despite the price, if I see something different, I won't hesitate to purchase it.

I'm also a big fan of their basic piqued polos. This is one item which I've found to be a bargain. Quality surpasses polo's and matches lacoste's for 15 dollars less/shirt. Plus, one can get em without a logo.

As for tailored clothing, I cannot comment, as I only purchase sportswear from them.

Aside from the fact that the salespeople are intrusive, I really like the atmosphere and decor of the shop. Surprised no one else mentioned PS in this thread.
 

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I, too, am an adherent of the Anglo-Ivy school. Monitoring this forum for only a few weeks now, I was worried that a phallanx of Italo-philes were in control. It's a relief to find some like-minder dressers.

My fall Press and Silver catalogues are in hand, and I have a few questions about them. I welcome Press' inclusion of country of origin notices and I thank them for concentrating so much of their business in North America and Britain. Silver, on the other hand, is tight-lipped about where many of their items are made. While the selection of goods in the Silver book has improved markedly over the past couple years, the quality of the copy remains abyssmal and ignorant. Perhaps the lack of information about country of origin is only another symptom similar to neglecting to mention whether a shirt is exact-sized or smlx, whether socks shown rolled are short or over-the-calf, and so on. In the fall catalogue, Silver reveals the "return of Norman Hilton." What manufacturer is making the new Norman Hilton? Is it an extension of Nicky Hilton's Italian-made line? Is it the old Oakloom shop at Hartz? For that matter, who is the Canadian maker of Press' clothing? Peerless? Coppley? Victor?
RG
 

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What's wrong with Polo? They've kept the preppy look alive, while slightly updating to appeal to today's generation.

And, sure, they are expensive. But, their shirts are single needle stitched. And, perhaps, this does not justify their price. But, most of the other brands are overpriced too, like Paul Stewart.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Thom

What's wrong with Polo?
Because I brought it up, and because you asked: I've just never cared to own or wear any Polo articles myself. When I was in prep school in the early 1980s, I noticed other students wearing what looked like oxford cloth dress shirts, except that there was a polo player logo embroidered on the chest. Wearing dress shirts with logos on them is just not my taste. I decided right then that I didn't care for a company that would produce dress shirts with such prominent advertising. I also noticed that the students who favored Polo tended to be from the newer families in town. I don't know of anything wrong with Polo. It's just not my style. I prefer other clothiers.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Thom

What's wrong with Polo? They've kept the preppy look alive, while slightly updating to appeal to today's generation.

And, sure, they are expensive. But, their shirts are single needle stitched. And, perhaps, this does not justify their price. But, most of the other brands are overpriced too, like Paul Stewart.
Keeping the preppy look alive is about the only thing we can all agree Polo has going for it. While some items, such as the Blue Label suits, are quality and well made, Polo now survives as a marketing behemoth riding on the strength of outlet sales (based on lower-quality goods purpose-made for the outlets). Polo's licensing has also slid (although it may be improving slightly). I don't know if the shirts still are single-needle tailored -- last time I saw that, the shirts were also made in the US and had mother-of-pearl buttons, and that was 14 years ago. Unlike the majority of the makers listed in this thread, Polo charges high prices for goods that are mostly made in the Third World. I don't care to pay for Ralph Lauren's gigantic markup and subsidize his own WASP fantasies. And charging $600 for normal-grade Crockett and Jones shoes is criminal. Charging $200 for bad-quality shoes made in China (likely in some prison camp) is unspeakable. Of course, at a lower price, Polo goods become more attractive -- I picked up a cashmere polo-collared Polo sweater for $30, marked down from $400. I can safely say that for a sweater of that quality, I would not have paid more than $50. That would not be the case at Paul Stuart, for example.
 

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I received my J. Press and Ben Silver catalogs today. I was impressed with both. The J. Press catalog blew my mind . . . it almost seems like their prices went down! What an absolutely amazing group of human beings that have kept that venerable old store going after all of these years (and trends). I will probably buy somewhere around 50% of their offerings before the season is over, that is how impressed I was. Also, I've noticed that they've begun to put the actual words "natural shoulder" back in, which is important, because rojo (I believe that is who I have discussed this with via e-mail) and I have both had bad experiences with blazers that had gargantuan shoulders on them. I've also noticed that J. Press has changed their supplier for this season - all of the tailored clothing is coming from Canada. It looks better than ever, so all I can say is Viva Canada!

As for Ben Silver, it, too, was impressive. But as usual, overpriced. There's no excuse for pricing a regimental striped bow tie at $60, which is nearly $20 more than any other reputable maker (and I'm sure Silver doesn't make their own). I love that they carry a full selection of regimental stripe four-in-hands, but I can get one from J. Press (albeit a much, much smaller selection) for half the price, and made in England to boot. Some of their plaid sports jackets are absolutely beautiful. FYI, Norman Hilton is indeed being made by Oakloom (Hartz) these days. I haven't seen any of their new stuff, but it looks well-made. Overall, Ben Silver just seems priced too high for what you receive. I'd rather just wear Oxxford Clothes for a bit more than go the Ben Silver route. But beautiful stuff, nonetheless.

J. Press - I'd pay them rent if they'd only let me move in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
kidkim2, you can find well made 5/8" grosgrain ribbon watchbands at the Griffin & Cooke website (www.griffinandcooke.com).

Also, don't hesitate to call the Leatherman Ltd. people (www.leathermanlimited.com). If/when you do, ask for Rebecca, who provides exceptional service. A minority of Leatherman's huge selection of grosgrain patterns is featured on their website, so don't hesitate to ask Rebecca about patterns you want (such as pink-green-yellow or pink-navy). The "Eliza B" label goods are made by the Leatherman folks.

I hope this provides a good starting point.

Harris
 
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