Ralph Lauren Fall 2014

Thu 30 Jan 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present,Clothes — Christian
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Ralph Lauren’s fall collection just went up online and is full of the very items we’ve been discussing lately. OK, we haven’t been discussing three-piece suits lately, but we’ve got a piece on vests coming up soon. (Continue)

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A Wing And A Pair: Beckett Simonon’s Budget-Conscious, Welted Longwing

Fri 24 Jan 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present,Clothes — Christian
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We received a message from Beckett Simonon, a shoe company that launched in 2012, touting its new collection of shoes atimed at the budget-conscious guy who still wants quality. The shoes, which are made in India, feature Goodyear-welt construction, a durable manufacturing process associated with shoes priced much higher.

Here’s an extract from the company’s press release:

“We see a huge gap in the men’s footwear market. It’s outrageous that well-made leather shoes retail above $300. We operate without the complex layers of big businesses (no middlemen, no distributors, no expensive physical stores, etc.) so we can offer the same quality products for a much more affordable price,” says Andres Niño, CEO and co-founder of Beckett Simonon. “By selling directly to consumers we bypass the traditional retail markup, around 2.5X, so we are technically selling to consumers at wholesale prices.” Beckett Simonon is the only online footwear company to sell Goodyear Welted construction shoes under $139, setting them apart from competitors with equivalent craftsmanship and materials but retailing above $300.

As the American gold-standard in quality shoe construction, Goodyear Welt construction holds together the sole, insole and upper sole with one thick stitch and a leather welt. Between the insole and outsole is a cork layer that creates a custom-like footbed, which makes the shoe breathable and flexible.

Beckett Simonon’s longwings, pictured above, are just $139. The color is too light for me personally (and I’m not a longwing fan anyway), and I’d recommend swapping out the laces, but they certainly seem to fill an opening in the shoe market. Not every new grad or frugal trad can follow the “Official Preppy Handbook’s” advice and invest a week’s salary in a pair of Church’s shoes. — CC

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News Roundup: WASPs, Prepdom, Maine, And What Yalies Do After Graduation

Mon 20 Jan 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
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We’re finally catching up with some news items of the past few weeks.

First up is, “a marketplace for buying and selling preowned high-end menswear.” It was recently launched by class of 2013 Yale grad Arun Gupta, who tells us he spent much time at J. Press.

In an email Gupta explained the business model:

There are many similar sites that cater towards women and I thought that the menswear community deserved one as well. Our goal is to provide a secondary market for exclusive brands like Visvim and Epaulet. It’s free to use and I’m hoping it will become a positive resource for the male fashion community. There’s a lot of great stuff up there already; a lot of the clothes are new or barely used, so it’s basically just high end fashion at a lower price.


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There’s A Reason They’re Called Loafers

Sun 12 Jan 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
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Why are they called loafers? Obviously because they’re for loafing. It’s not exactly a shoe that screams ruthless ambition, is it?

No wonder they were embraced so wholeheartedly by college students in the days before meritocracy. This is a shoe for guys so lazy they can’t be bothered to tie laces.

The cartoon was recently posted on our Facebook page. To put it in context, below is a 1962 Bass Weejuns ad extolling the virtues of elegant leisure. Sort of brings up that whole issue of business approriateness again, doesn’t it? — CC


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After Century In New York, J. Press To Lay Off Staff, Close Store For One Year

Wed 8 Jan 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
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Onward Kashiyama, owner of the J. Press brand, has informed that it has been unable to find a new Manhattan location for the store currently located at Madison Avenue and 47th Street, and will be closing New York retail operations on January 18.

J. Press will be forced to lay off the sales staff, which includes several veterans, the source told us. Ecommerce will continue from out of the company’s Long Island City warehouse, and Onward Kashiyama will maintain its corporate offices in the Fashion District.

Although it has not lost its current lease, J. Press has been forced to vacate the premises as the building’s owner is planning major renovations.

Although J. Press would reopen sooner if it finds a suitable location, it could be as late as spring 2015 until the company reestablishes a retail presence in Manhattan. “The corporate office has not decided the new location yet,” the source said, “so we will be closed a while. They said we will maybe reopen in spring 2015.”

Founded in New Haven in 1902, the company has operated continuously in New York since 1912.

“I am very saddened at the news and regret the situation,” said Richard Press, former president of J. Press and grandson of the company’s founder. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

Photo via

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Revamped Website For Cable Car Clothiers

Sat 4 Jan 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
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We segue from Charleston’s Ben Silver to another trad outpost far from the Northeast, this time San Francisco’s Cable Car Clothiers.

Founded in 1939, the store has managed to survive the city’s transition from traditional stronghold (in such neighborhoods as Nob Hill and Pacific Heights), to beatnik and hippie haven, and finally dot-com hotbed.

It’s fitting that the independent retailer should survive, despite multiple changes in location: San Francisco has the world’s last surviving manually operated cable car system.

Cable Car Clothiers recently gave its website a much-needed overhaul. Prices, alas, remain just as steep as the hilltop streets. Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco; you might just leave your wallet. — CC

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