1990-present

Hindsight Is 2020: 1950s Collegiate Mural To Be Removed At URI

Yesterday we featured a contemporary artist who takes inspiration from the collegiate fashions of the past. Today, in contrast, we feature original collegiate fashion art from the 1950s which is scheduled to go the way of Columbus statues. Joe College, meet the year 2020. The iconic American figure Joe College is on the chopping block


Buona Notte: Brooks Brothers Officially Sold

Today MR Magazine reported that Brooks Brothers has finalized its sale for $325 million to Authentic Brands Group and SPARC Group. The menswear trade publication writes (emphasis added): Through the transaction, SPARC, the dedicated operating company for ABG-owned brands including Aéropostale, Nautica, and Lucky Brand, assumes the role of core licensee for Brooks Brothers. SPARC




Young Man With A Pipe

Pipe Dreams: It’s the most ancient method of smoking in human history — and, popular perception would have it, the preserve of modern society’s most ancient members. But is pipe smoking overdue a rebranding? By Christian Chensvold The Rake, issue 22 My grandfather smoked a pipe, so like many who grew up with a pipesmoking


Brooks Sells Southwick, Company Sale Goes Before Judge

Today the sale of Brooks Brothers went before a judge, while this evening news broke that Brooks Brothers has sold the Haverhill, MA Southwick factory. CBS Boston reports: Eastern Real Estate will buy the building and 21 acres of the property for $14 million. Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy six weeks ago. Two other firms


Elegance In Black

Although this is somewhat tangential to our subject matter, it is germane to this present moment in American society. I should also be of interest to style omnivores.  As a previously unpublished writer with the paper, I pitched this piece to the LA Times back in 2005 . An editor greenlighted the proposal, and when


The Dye Is Cast

Does anyone remember the movie where a character says to another, “We seem to have passed that point where life stops giving and starts taking away.” In what in the big picture is a necessary cosmic correction for our consumer-based society, two more major retailers with trad connections have filed for bankruptcy. Both of them


The Decline Of Prep?

Back in 2013 I wrote a 9,000-word essay on the Ivy League Look which I’m honored to say Alan Flusser considers “definitive.” As far as meta-analysis goes, I haven’t had much to say since then. However, perhaps the time will soon come for an addendum. In “The Rise And Fall Of The Ivy League Look,”


News Roundup: Brooks Bid, Gitman Shirts, Loafers And Lockdown

Remember how in the ’80s Brooks Brothers was bought by a department store company, beginning its decades of downfall? Well the new owners could be even more odious: a shopping mall company. Reported yesterday and updated this morning, CNBC writes: A company known as Sparc LLC, which is comprised of the U.S. mall owner Simon


Brooks Brothers Obituaries

The past week has seen a slew of features in major publications on the announcement that Brooks Brothers is bankrupt. Many see it as the end of this hallowed American institution and symbolic of a certain period in American life that has reached its end. Here’s a roundup along with some choice passages. Forbes: Brooks Brothers


Pre-Existing Conditions: Brooks Files For Bankrupty, Blaming Coronavirus

Brooks Brothers filed for bankrupty today, a symbolically ominous sign for the brand that did the most to establish the Ivy League Look in the United States. In the excerpt below from the Wall Street Journal’s coverage, president Claudio Del Vecchio blamed the lockdown from coronavirus: Brooks Brothers dressed the American business class in pinstripes


Clearing Up The Details

During the quarantine, I have had a lot of time on my hands, as I’m sure we all have. There have been burst of extreme productiveness – including completing my undergraduate degree cum laude and starting my master’s program – and bursts of equally extreme inactivity, including hours spent loafing around (often in loafers) and


Squeeze Inside: J. Press Reopens Retail Stores

J. Press has reopened its stores after months of lockdown. Says spokesman Robert Squillaro, “We fully respect the guidelines set forth to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but at the same time we are delighted to welcome our customers back into our stores. “While our Web business has been very strong over the past


‘Court Of Appeals: Rancourt Crowdfunds With Wholesale Prices To Avoid Layoffs

It’s been a dismal year for American manufacturing, with the lights going off at the Brooks Brothers shirt factory in Garland, North Carolina; the culling of Southwick in Haverhill, Massachusetts; and the impending shutdown of the original Gitman factory in Ashland, Pennsylvania. Surely even the most cynical trads are hoping that at least one factory will


Alden Of Iniquity

This week saw one of the strangest stories ever to hit Tradsville, something as could only befit the year of our lordless 2020. Alden, maker of ultra-conservative footwear crafted in New England, has filed a lawsuit against its former VP and CFO for allegedly embezzling $27 million from the company, $15 million of which was



Rare Opportunity: Full-Time Openings At The Andover Shop

The Cambridge and Andover locations of The Andover Shop are looking for seasoned full and part-time sales associates. This is a unique opportunity to work for one of America’s oldest and most distinguished haberdashers. With 70 years of history behind it, The Andover Shop has served as a steward of classic American style for generations. Successful candidates