The first day of fall corresponded with the first Christmas pitch to hit my inbox. It was from the direct-to-consumer needlepoint accessory purveyor Tucker Blair. Their soft-sell advertisement announced that custom monogramed items need to be order by Tuesday, September 30th, for guaranteed holiday delivery.
For those who like to see how things are made, the company has info as well as a video on this page. — CS
I brought my camera to the “Rowing Blazers” party last night at the new Polo flagship on Fifth Avenue, but the event was so packed taking pictures was too much trouble.
That is until a certain bespectacled gentleman passed by, none other than Larry from The Andover Shop, who was down from Cambridge and looking quite natty.
I’ll update with links to party pix as they go online. — CC
I spent a summer at Cal doing a French intensive. It’s the kind of crash-course where you walk in on the first day and don’t hear a word of English eight hours a day for the next 10 weeks (that’s right, they teach you French in French). By the end of the summer you can read a newspaper, or at least a children’s book, and for the rest of your life sound like a pretentious twit whenever you order a croissant.
I don’t remember exactly what I wore that summer some 20 years ago. It certainly wasn’t tie-dye and bellbottoms, but nor was it a bow tie and blazer.
Pictured above is Berkeley student Will Coleman, who, if he isn’t the president of the campus Republicans, must certainly be taken for it. But that didn’t stop the student paper from acknowledging him as one of the school’s best — and certainly unique — dressers. — CC
Today Brooks Brothers is running an online campaign for its buttondown “polo” collar shirts. The tagline is “the shirt that changed history” (it’s also running as “a shirt that changed history”). Introduced in 1896, within a couple of decades it was already the default shirt for style-setting college men in the Northeast, and on places such as Wall Street, where such men went on to work.
But now history itself — namely the future history that is being made right now, if you follow me — is changing the shirt.
Last week a reader informed us that he spoke with Brooks Brothers’ customer service department as was told that traditional-fit shirts would no longer be offered in stores, and could only be purchased through the website. We reached out to a contact at the company to verify. A spokesperson reiterated that Brooks makes four cuts of shirt — traditional, regular, slim and extra-slim — but that traditional needs to be ordered online or in-store, as it’s not stocked on store shelves.
There is simply less demand for the traditional-fit model, whereas sales for the other three fits continue to grow each year. We recognize that that the traditional-fit shirt is important to some customers, therefore we continue to make it available in all the same fabrics.
The key phrase is “less demand.” Don’t blame the retailer, blame your fellow men. — CC
Recently J. Press sent out an email plugging its fall items, so if you haven’t visited the “new looks” page, take a look.
And while you’re there, tell me if things look a bit different compared to seasons past. The mannequin forms, shirt collars, tie choices — something feels like a piano slightly out of tune. (Continue)
We’re long overdue for an update on Kamakura Shirts. A couple months ago I had coffee with the NYC store manager and a a member of the founder’s family visiting from Japan, and they said the New York store is doing just great. In fact, they’re currently scouting for a second NY location, likely in the Financial District.
They were eager to point out that they’re not just about shirts. Their necktie range is expansive, and includes ties in fabrics from England and Italy as well as Japan. You can read about the fabrics and manufacturing here. They’ve also got a wide selection of pocket squares with plenty of trad appeal.
The brand was also recently featured in a Smithsonian Magazine article entitled “How Japan Copied American Culture And Made It Better,” from which the above photo of Kamakura founder Yoshio Sadassue is taken.
Finally, last December the brand held an Ivy party in Tokyo (multiple representatives from Ivy-Style.com, alas, were unable to attend). Head over here for party pix and see how it all went down. — CC
Amid the hoopla of National Underwear Day (yes, there is such a thing), one boxer stands out among the crowd: that of Mercer & Sons.
You can get them in pima oxford cloth by special request, but David Mercer says pinpoint oxford is better, telling us, “As a longtime fan of two-ply pima oxford shirts and boxers, I have decided that pinpoint, which I feel is a poor cousin to oxford and broadcloth for shirts, actually makes a superior boxer. Less bulky and the cloth really gets smooth over time.”
And with undergarments this fine, who’d want to take them off? — CC