Barbarians Storm The Gate Of Yale Club


Yesterday the New York Post’s gossip column Page Six reported on the annual meeting of the Yale Club, where some members aren’t too happy about all the tatterdemalions running amok. Writes the paper:

One member wrote in a letter to the club, “A horrifying example of this denouement, this sad decline in the atmosphere and spirit of the club, occurred on September 5 in the men’s locker room. A young man (a Yale law student) was wearing a tee shirt emblazoned in large letters with: ‘F - - k Forever.’ I was shocked and told him that it was offensive and inappropriate; that this was a club for ladies and gentlemen. He smirked. Why was he allowed through the front door? Why did those on duty at the desk at the locker room allow him to enter? Why was he allowed to walk around the club dressed as such? Is there no decency at the club anymore, no class? Will the management be held accountable (and members)?”

Even worse, the barbarians are flooding the club both from within and without. Continues the Post:

The member also states that security is lax and “anyone who wishes may enter the club,” adding that Marvin Berenblum, CEO of National Executive Service Corps, recently had his briefcase stolen in the lounge by “two young, slovenly dressed teenagers in dirty cutoff jeans. Why were they let in downstairs?”

Vanity Fair weighs in on the matter here.

Whether this development is the result of J. Press’ lack of influence has yet to be determined. — CC

51 Comments on "Barbarians Storm The Gate Of Yale Club"

  1. Yale alums dressing like slobs and eschewing proper etiquette?

    I am shocked.

  2. Sad but true. It seems like anyone is allowed to walk in and sit in the lobby and the staff is reluctant to enforce a dress code in the grille room. At times I’ve found myself to be the lone coat and tie wearer.

  3. Charlottesville | June 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm |

    I am not a member, but am occasionally a guest at the Yale Club, and have noted plenty of jeans; probably more jeans than ties at cocktail hour, although jackets are commonly worn. Of course, it’s not my place to comment on another’s club, but I certainly sympathize with the members quoted above, particularly as to the adolescent vulgarity of the T-shirt. This brings up another question. Is there any place where a tie is still required? Certainly not in church or the courtroom unless one is appearing as an attorney, although at least wedding and funeral guests seem to dig out coats and ties for the occasion. A few restaurants require a jacket, particularly at dinner, but I have seen tieless men in traditionally formal places, including The Four Seasons, 21, Jean Georges and Daniel in NY, The Prime Rib in Washington and Galatoire’s in New Orleans, although I think they all still require, or at least request, that men wear coats. I always wear a suit or blazer and tie at any “nice” restaurant, but am sometimes the lone example, especially outside of major cities. I imagine that the jacket requirement will disappear entirely in a few more years, and we will have lost something special. “Comfort” and “self expression” are not the only things that matter, and a sense of occasion is enhanced when one and one’s fellow diners bother to dress.

  4. @Charlottesville Places with a dress code with which I am familiar: Starker’s (Kansas City, MO) and Gaido’s (on the beach drive in Galveston, TX). Oh, yeah, and most U.S. Air Force Officers’ Clubs (you’ll NEVER see a vulgar t-shirt in one of those clubs, I guarantee). And, when we die, our survivors dress us up, probably against our will, but they do it, anyway.

  5. George
    Sadly, Starker’s closed in 2013, great place. Incidentally, Starker’s was probably the only better restaurant in KCMO that didn’t have a dress code. Being on the Country Club Plaza who would dare walk in wearing a tee shirt?

  6. @MAC Thanks, MAC, I was unaware of the closing. Now I’m going to have to host a wake with all the peel-and-eat shrimp you can eat, pitchers of beer, and lots of G&Ts. Another one bites the dust. I’m bummed, all the way out here in California.

  7. Ward Wickers | June 18, 2015 at 6:33 pm |

    The barbarians have been storming the gate for a while now.

    You are right Christian, it’s all because JPress moved from York Street to College Street, off the direct access from campus.

    Frankly, I would be embarrassed to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with “F–ck Forever.” How silly is that? In fact, if I were in any decent public place–let alone the YC, I would feel embarrassment for the person wearing it. I am mystified that someone would actually wear it there.

    I was in Campbell’s Apartment recently (a bar inside Grand Central Station, NYC). Certainly no dress code there, but almost everyone was in shirt & tie. It was full of people enjoying a drink or two. Had anyone walked in wearing that T-shirt, I think it would have immediately stopped everyone dead in their tracks, or at least caused a number of double-takes.

  8. Christian | June 18, 2015 at 7:01 pm |

    I mean lack of a presence around the corner on Madison Avenue!

  9. Ward Wickers | June 18, 2015 at 7:15 pm |

    LOL. Well, they still have Paul Stewart right there and Brooks Bros not too far away…

  10. Christian | June 18, 2015 at 7:20 pm |

    Right, except the quip was based on the long history between Press and Yale, in both New Haven and New York.

  11. In regards to the question raised by VF I vote Tap Room.

  12. The fact that some readers of this blog were disgusted by this development renewed my belief that civilization is not yet dead.

  13. The Maryland Club in Baltimore still enforces the jacket and tie rule.

  14. Faux consternation on the whole. Most establishments will lose codes and standards if those who value them no longer grace the places with their presence.

    Sadly moaning about their demise on line whilst not frequenting a place is the same as wearing the F**k shirt.

  15. Farthingale | June 19, 2015 at 2:12 am |


    Yale students have been dressing like slobs and eschewing proper etiquette for years.
    One can say the same of many young members of the Yale teaching staff, as well.

  16. G Harrell | June 19, 2015 at 2:24 am |

    How right you are!

    Yale students today:

  17. University admission and the college experience itself no longer align with the characteristics traditionally favored for city club membership. This is a problem for those who want University clubs to retain the atmosphere found at other city clubs that premise membership on a specific finding of suitability by the current members, rather than on a college admissions decision made when the prospective member was 17 years old.

  18. In other words, no one is wearing a “F*** Forever” t-shirt at the Racquet or the Knick.

  19. There’s definitely a balance to be struck. I don’t know if the Yale Club has sports facilities but in London plenty of clubs enforce a ‘wear whatever so long as it’s inoffensive’ rule for the sports facilities(unless its squash in which case all white or get out), but the jacket and tie is ruthlessly enforced everywhere outside the sports facilities, as it should be. Jeans also have no place outside the sports facilities either.

  20. Christian: Bill Kristol posted this link on Twitter this morning: It is Harvey Mansfield’s commencement address to the graduating class of a California charter school. The title is: Dressing Up and I think you will agree that it is right on topic. I had never heard of Mr. Mansfield but am going to find out more about his work.

  21. Charlottesville | June 19, 2015 at 10:30 am |

    All of this reminds me that, as much as I love the 3/2 sack, unlined, full-size collared OCBD, mid-width repp tie, moderately tapered trousers and all of the rest that we debate around here, I would be very happy simply to see men return to wearing suits and sport coats, darted, 2-buttoned and dual vented if need be. In better places in Midtown NYC or Washington DC, this is still the case for a majority of men, and I am glad to hear from MAC and George that this seems to hold true in parts of KCMO (as an aside, is the Savoy Grill still going strong in KC?). I hope that Boston is the same, but have not been there in a few years. The T shirt crowd, vulgarly emblazoned or otherwise, seems to rule in most places, and I am an anomaly in my suit and tie.

  22. I intended sarcasm with the “I am shocked” comment. Ivy moved South a long time ago. Frankly we should find relief in the discovery that Ivy League students continue to wear shoes and shirts to class.

  23. Any pics of the Sewanee of NYC or Davidson of NYC clubs turn out for gatherings? Altogether different vibe, we can safely guess.

  24. T. Bearden | June 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm |

    My London club’s dress code requires not only shirt and tie at all times but that the top button of the shirt be buttoned.

  25. Christian | June 19, 2015 at 1:25 pm |

    I’m surprised they let you wear Ivy!

  26. Wayne M. Dzwonchyk | June 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm |

    Mansfield is Willian R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University.

  27. Reggie Darling | June 19, 2015 at 4:30 pm |

    I quit my membership at the Yale Club a decade or so ago because I couldn’t stand the place anymore. What had once been a lovely club had become over crowded with badly-dressed, loud-talking boors and the interiors had been degraded by renovations and redecorations that increasingly made James Gamble Rogers’ masterpiece of a clubhouse look more and more like a Home Depot outfitted Westin Hotel in one of America’s lesser cities. The last straw was when they introduced polyester blend napkins in the main dining room. I happily decamped to a club that still required jackets and ties on men, where dress and conduct codes are observed and enforced, and where one could dine in dignity with all cotton napkins! In the few times I’ve found myself back at the Yale Club since I quit I’ve been appalled to see how much worse it’s become. What has been done to the once marvelous Tap Room is an abomination! Reggie — Yale Class of 1979

  28. That’s what happens when Democrats run your club. Union League Club Chicago, NY, and Philly all require jackets and do not allow jeans. Ties are required in most rooms, and if you even think of wearing a polo during the week you get kicked out. All of my other country clubs or social clubs adhere to the same strict rules. I guess when you actually stick to your men of character admission policies you do not get scum, such as at the Yale Club and NYAC.

  29. @T. Bearden Which club in London? One of my clubs has a sister club in the home land and have had the opportunity to visit a few times. I would say London social clubs are what NY clubs wish they still were. Then again i notice as NY becomes more and more disgusting and hipster London has kept its class and old hierarchy in place. I guess a perk of having pride in etiquette, which the US surely has lost.

  30. Charlottesville: I like my father, grandfather, and great grandfather are frequenters of the 21 Club, and while I have noticed some people going tie less, I would say it is more focused around restaurant week. When I go for lunch, dinner, or drinks usually everyone is in a tie, likely because they just got off work. But even on the weekends, I see ties as a large part of the diners and drinkers. Those without ties tend to be the ones who are there taking selfies.That being said, I recognize your trend almost everywhere else in the city. Luckily I have shifted to the suburbs and spend most of my time now at the club avoiding the realities of the sweatpant generation. However there will always be hope in London…

  31. Well done Mr. Darling.

  32. Charlottesville

    The Savoy Hotel & Grill, est, 1888, closed in Oct. 2014 due to a kitchen fire, in Dec. 21c Museum Hotels, a hotel company based in Louisville, Ky bought it and plans to restore it. It was my favorite places here in KC, I pray they leave it old school. For those not familiar with the Savoy, it was a location for the Newman-Woodward movie “Mr. & Mrs. Bridges”. One seldom saw a non coat & tie at the Savoy main room, I think they scurry the nonconformist tourist to the back room.

  33. Just popped over for lunch at the Travellers Club in London; they very much require a jacket and tie. D.P.S.IV is correct in that the London clubs are still old school as compared to their New York stepchildren.

    “I’ll have the trifle, thank you very much.”

    Great way to end a meal.

  34. Ward Wickers | June 20, 2015 at 10:08 am |

    Definitely no Democrats to run a proper club! Crikey, are you mad?! Tories only, please.

  35. Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis still has a dress code.

  36. Wright Hall | June 20, 2015 at 1:01 pm |

    Ha ha chill out you guys! You’re all invited to the roof for cocktails tonight on me! Overreaction to one moron’s tasteless t-shirt is overreaction and everybody knows the law students aren’t really Yalies … by the way the last person I heard speaking too loudly and not using his indoor voice was John Kerry … P.S. most of the real bad troublemakers in the place are the Virginia and Dartmouth alums, they need a club of their own! Anyway, I do love the interest you commenters take in matters pertaining to Yale, it’s poignant, touching.

    P.P.S. Reggie: Get involved with the club and make it better, we need more aficionados of Alden tassel and full-strap loafers in the place! (That was my fave post from your blog!)

  37. I was in the Cornell Club, around the corner, that day out of dress code! I usually am in suit and tie though and generally follow club rules. If I move to the city, I will make use of the Yale Club squash courts and won’t wear an offensive t-shirt.

  38. A slight correction to Ward Wickers’ comment about Campbell Apartment. They do have a dress code of “Absolutely no Athletic Shoes, T‑shirts, Sweatshirts, Baseball Caps, Shorts or Torn Jeans”. I was, however, able to sneak in and out – a Prohibition Punch or two discreetly consumed during my skullduggery – wearing navy Supergas.

  39. Hmmm. I have basically no interest in matters pertaining to Yale. What’s “poignant” (for some) about Yale has more to do with a romanticized notion of it was a long, long time ago.

    Natural shoulder clothing was being made and worn before Arthur Rosenberg’s New Haven-style appropriation, and it persists in obscure corners long after it (mostly) fled the boundaries of Ivy League campuses. So be it.

  40. Boston Bream | June 22, 2015 at 3:13 am |


    Far from appropriation, I daresay.
    Rosenberg helped preserve and popularize the look.

  41. Ward Wickers | June 22, 2015 at 10:11 am |

    When first starting out, I couldn’t really afford a lot of clothes at J Press. A Rosenberg was a perfect alternative for me. I bought several great suits and sports coats there. I don’t know (or care, frankly) whether A Rosenberg was an “appropriator” or not, but I am glad they sold the “New Haven-style.” Shopping used to be easy: J Press, Barrie Ltd and A Rosenberg all on the same corner at York & Elm Streets.

  42. Pick the word–appropriate, modify, adapt, tweak, refine…

    The history isn’t mine to tell. I refer to the observation that Rosenberg’s take on the old Brooks no. 1 sack took hold and inspired neighboring tailors to ‘follow suit.’

  43. Charlottesville | June 22, 2015 at 11:57 am |

    D.P.S.IV – I too have found that the majority at 21 still wear a tie, even though it is no longer required, and I am glad to hear that this hold true on weekends. My wife and I shall be among those gathering around the red checked tablecloths for dinner, properly attired, this Saturday. If you happen to be there as well, waive at the guy in the J. Press 3/2 sack sitting at a banquette beside his lovely lady. La Grenouille is another spot where it seems that most men, but sadly not all, remember what a tie is, and that is at least one of my reasons for scheduling a lunch there next week. You are right about Restaurant Week pretty much everywhere. Like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, it is a time when restaurants are best avoided, or at least one’s expectations need be lowered.

    MAC – Sorry to hear about the Savoy. I have not spent a lot of time in Kansas City, but it was a delightful place. I join you in hoping the new owners treat it with respect, by which I mean restoring it to what it was and then leaving it alone.

  44. You’ll never get laid using words such as “tatterdemalions”. What’s next, “popinjays”?

    That dries ’em right out.

    (Yer mum.)

  45. Earlier this past year I stayed at the Yale Club for a long weekend in the city, which I set up through a reciprocal deal with my city club. I found it to be a nice Club and I didn’t personally see anything along the lines of what was described in the article (or the comments above). I think it is highly unrealistic to expect to see men of all ages wearing “3/2 sack, unlined, full-size collared OCBD, mid-width repp tie, moderately tapered trousers” hanging out in the lobby of the Yale Club at any given moment. However, what is ironic about the comments above is that if the commentors don’t realize that some of the last places men actually wear the previously quoted type of outfit – in a non-costumed or ironic way – are City Clubs.

  46. Charlottesville | June 23, 2015 at 11:30 am |

    Good point, Seve, regarding the fact that city clubs may be one of the last redoubts of Ivy style. However, my comment about the preference for sack coats, etc. that unites many of us on this site was merely a preface to my wish that more men wore ties and coats of any sort, “darted, 2-buttoned and dual vented if need be.” It was not a lament that the Yale Club in particular was not a hotbed of heyday haberdashery. I even confess to having some darted suits myself. And, like you, I have seen no obscene T-shirts during my visits to the Yale Club, but I did see lots of denim, very few ties and I gladly admit that I wish it were otherwise at clubs, restaurants and generally in life. Unrealistic? Perhaps, but we can dream. And maybe even set an example. If nothing else, I take pleasure in being reasonably well dressed myself, whether working or dining, and have never found it an impediment to getting a good table, good service or reciprocal politeness from others, at least in the places on the east coast and in the south where I tend to spend most of my time these days.

  47. Charlottesville,

    Understood. I only used your quoted outfit as an example in the general context of the discussion, not as a direct response to you. I should of made that more clear in my post. And I agree with you…no one is going to turn you away (from anywhere) if you are wearing a jacket and tie, regardless of their respective make, model, and style. That’s a better position to be in than to be the guy with an offensive t-shirt on!

  48. Charlottesville | June 23, 2015 at 1:54 pm |

    Thanks, Seve. My neither of us ever be seen in a F— Forevr T-shirt.

  49. Charlottesville | June 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm |

    Make that “May neither of us … .”

  50. Pale Male | June 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm |

    Press should move into the Yale Club retail space in 44th Street.

  51. I hope the club members will be okay.
    -The Tradly Jazz Man, 1962.

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