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Tucker: Thanks for an interesting and an oddly encouraging read. While it's reassuring to read of the resurgence of TRAD, it is ironic that this resurgence seems so clearly tied to the realities of e-commerce! It's hard to imagine our father's fathers buying their OCBD's, sack suits and penny loafers from an Internet source. ;)
 

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Tucker: Thanks for an interesting and an oddly encouraging read. While it's reassuring to read of the resurgence of TRAD, it is ironic that this resurgence seems so clearly tied to the realities of e-commerce! It's hard to imagine our father's fathers buying their OCBD's, sack suits and penny loafers from an Internet source. ;)
Whoa there, sonny! A more finely tuned proposition would be imagining your grandparents -- who for all I know are closer to my age than to yours -- buying them over the mail. And why not? Mail order worked well in an America -- one big country -- where there were no retail outlets for the goods folk wanted, except in the big cities. And this is precisely what has happened today, ironically in the age of total market penetration. Where is the trad -- we called it Ivy League in my day -- shop in your town? Reading here it seems like there are only two, plus J Press (alas, poor Brooks Brothers) in the whole country. Thus, the Internet, our contemporary mail-order medium.
In my high school and college years the three best men's stores in my home city, one of them quite big, carried almost nothing but sack suits, OCBD's, repp ties, Weejuns, etc. While the big state-wide department store had plenty of trad. Indeed, traditional American style is practically all men wore, except the few vanguardists who favored Continental. All gone decades ago, so on to the Internet!
But life is long. Internet sales of American style -- which sounds better to me than "trad" -- may prompt retailers to go that route. I may yet to see Brooks Brothers carry sack suits at the mall.
As for thrift shops, they get combed by pros -- who then sell online. I grow wistful at the memory of a Harris Tweed jacket I bought at one such store in 1970s Vermont at a half-price sale. I paid $10. A bit short, which today would make it trendy. It fit the skinny dude I was quite nicely.
 

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saved by the internet

Tucker: Thanks for an interesting and an oddly encouraging read. While it's reassuring to read of the resurgence of TRAD, it is ironic that this resurgence seems so clearly tied to the realities of e-commerce! It's hard to imagine our father's fathers buying their OCBD's, sack suits and penny loafers from an Internet source. ;)
Eagle-- I believe that many of these shops will be saved by the internet. With Traditional Style being such a small part of the total sartorial picture, many of us would not even know of the continuing availability of items, were it not for web sites and e-commerce. I know that there has been a discussion in the past year, lamenting the passing of many of these shops. Most of the ones I'm aware of went down before the internet became as ubiquitous as it is.
Thank God for Al Gore!
Tom
 

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God Bless Al Gore...

and the true Inventors of the Internet! And bless those delivery services, catalogue retailers, and small ads in "The New Yorker". Don't know the numbers for Press, but the few surviving real hat shops have quadrupled, quintupled their business from on-line ordering. Loyal Customers, Repeat Business, Great Customer Service -- different than the Old Days but perhaps better. You had to order from a catalogue, or wait for something in your size to come in, or do made-to-measure and wait for that. It's just that the actual store was nearby.
 

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Tucker, thanks for posting this. To be given hope for traditionalist clothing! A really nice thing to run a cross on a Monday.

It was especially nice to read of the progressive attitudes from the family stores in attracting new business, some of which I'm proud to say has been mine.

All very encouraging. :icon_smile:
 

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I agree with your thoughts here--the internet is today's mail order catalog. No one here would think twice about LL Bean's catalog business.

But I don't think I'd call Eagle "sonny"--given the times he's talked about his own grandchildern, he's probably from your generation, Perdido.

Whoa there, sonny! A more finely tuned proposition would be imagining your grandparents -- who for all I know are closer to my age than to yours -- buying them over the mail. And why not? Mail order worked well in an America -- one big country -- where there were no retail outlets for the goods folk wanted, except in the big cities. And this is precisely what has happened today, ironically in the age of total market penetration. Where is the trad -- we called it Ivy League in my day -- shop in your town? Reading here it seems like there are only two, plus J Press (alas, poor Brooks Brothers) in the whole country. Thus, the Internet, our contemporary mail-order medium.
In my high school and college years the three best men's stores in my home city, one of them quite big, carried almost nothing but sack suits, OCBD's, repp ties, Weejuns, etc. While the big state-wide department store had plenty of trad. Indeed, traditional American style is practically all men wore, except the few vanguardists who favored Continental. All gone decades ago, so on to the Internet!
But life is long. Internet sales of American style -- which sounds better to me than "trad" -- may prompt retailers to go that route. I may yet to see Brooks Brothers carry sack suits at the mall.
As for thrift shops, they get combed by pros -- who then sell online. I grow wistful at the memory of a Harris Tweed jacket I bought at one such store in 1970s Vermont at a half-price sale. I paid $10. A bit short, which today would make it trendy. It fit the skinny dude I was quite nicely.
 

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Growth is exactly what store manager Maurice Himy has in mind for Cable Car Clothiers (cablecarclothiers.com), San Francisco's retailer of traditional clothing since 1939. New to the company, Himy plans to use the Internet to build sales and cut costs.
Boy, if they really want to see sales go up they might consider using all those savings to cut retail costs, rather than just overhead. Because I don't care if it's over the internet or right there in the store- if I can get a better price from J. Press or O'Connells, that's where my money goes.
 

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I'm glad you posted that article, Tucker, since it confirms the 10% number. Which sounds like a lot, except when you realize that OLC makes 90% of their sales in-store.
 

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Thanks Tucker, Perdido, et al. I, too, thought the Apparel article was both interesting and heartening. If anyone sees Charlie Davidson (one of the finest guys I know) anytime soon, beg him to upgrade the website as a service to those of us who are good customers of his but simply don't get to Cambridge often enough. I agree that, all else being equal, I wouldn't buy a lot of clothing on the internet, BUT . . . all things aren't equal. I know Charlie, the rest of the staff, and I know their manufacturers, etc. well from years and years of shopping at the Andover Shop (particularly in the Cambridge store). So I would have no hesitation to call them for details/advice if I saw something on the website that caught my fancy. Unless or until the catalog shows more close-ups and more merchandise I will continue to be less inclined to buy from them long-distance. And unless they can manufacture more and better excuses for me to get to Boston, they lose likely sales and I lose extra chances to spend more money on clothes than I should.
 
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