National Seersucker Day Is June 11

Fri 6 Jun 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present,Clothes — Christian
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In 1996 Mississippi Senator Trent Lott began an annual tradition in Congress called Seersucker Thursday, a bit of bi-partisan frivolity that paid homage to the pre-air-conditioned days of Capitol Hill. It lasted until 2012, when the idea of politicians remaining cool for one day in the hot summer was deemed frivolous. It returns this year on Wednesday, June 11, under the name National Seersucker Day.

Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA) recently entered a proclamation in the Congressional Record stating, “Seersucker Day was established to honor this unique American fashion. I wish to restart this tradition by designating Wednesday, June 11th as National Seersucker Day. I encourage everyone to wear seersucker to commemorate this iconic American clothing.”

Haspel, not surprising, is all over this, issuing a press release that contains the following:

Seersucker has a long-standing place in the halls of the Capitol. In the days before air conditioning, seersucker was a stylish necessity to battle D.C.’s summer heat—and political hot air. That tradition waned, but in 1996, Mississippi Senator [R] Trent Lott initiated an annual tradition in Washington to honor a simpler time when there was more charm and playfulness in Washington attire. For the better part of two decades, members of the House and Senate dressed in their best and brightest seersucker and gathered for a photo to kick off the summer. That tradition was shelved during the economic downturn but it’s coming back next month when members of the House will once again show up to work in their summery, seersuckery best.

The return of National Seersucker Day couldn’t come at a better time for the iconic American men’s brand, Haspel, who invented the seersucker suit in 1909. The brand recently relaunched for Spring/Summer 2014 by Laurie Haspel Aronson, the founder’s great granddaughter, who is reigniting Haspel for a new generation. Poised for the comeback, she tapped the award-winning design team Shipley & Halmos to create American-made clothing that echoes the legacy of its founder while advancing the style of the Haspel man.

To celebrate National Seersucker Day, Haspel invites you to don your best and brightest seersucker. The brand will be hosting multiple seersucker giveaways via their social media channels in the days leading up to June 11, and they encourage everyone to participate in the summertime sophistication of wearing seersucker.

So get your seersucker cleaned and pressed for next Wednesday. Between now and then we’ll offer plenty of inspiration on how to to style your outfit as we plow through Seersucker Fest 2014. Below is the first suggestion, courtesy of Senator Lott: matching pink tie and socks. — CS & CC


O’Connell’s, Global Purveyor Of Old Time Fashion

Tue 3 Jun 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present,Clothes — Christian
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Last weekend O’Connell’s was profiled in the Buffalo News under the heading “global purveyor of old time fashion.” The article charts the retailer’s embracing of e-commerce and can be read here. There’s also a slideshow that will probably have you reaching for your wallet. — CC


Socks & Shorts: A Trend In The Making

Wed 28 May 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present,Clothes — Christian
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Fashion rolls through time in cycles — while also sliding up and down on a see-saw.

For the last several years the sockless trend has reached the point where it’s now quasi-normal for with-it guys to wear dress shoes, suits and ties without stockings on their feet.

Ivy Style is here to report on the long-overdue backlash, scheduled to take place in the summer of 2014.* Think about it: if a surfeit of guys are wearing suits with no socks, then the logical alternative (actually illogical, but that’s rather the point) is to wear socks with shorts.

Matthew Karl Gale (“Makaga” in the comments section) has depicted what will happen on street corners around the country as the socked and bare-ankled pass each other with each passing the same judgment.

The socks-and-shorts look can be seen in these two photos below, one dating from 1960, the other from the pages of “Take Ivy.” Now go forth, besocked gentlemen, and spread the word.

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* cannot guarantee an actual fashion trend will take place.


Heard On The Street: Has J. Press Reopened?

Wed 21 May 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
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On Sunday I found myself hurriedly marching up Fifth Avenue in order to make a rendez-vous. Sure I stopped a moment to snap the new Polo store under construction, but mostly I was irritably weaving in and out of tourists for 16 blocks.

As I marched the clamor of the city rang in my ears with its usual din (pointless honking is one of my biggest pet peeves about New York), and I passed perhaps a thousand people on the street. The odds, then, of passing a young couple at precisely the moment when the lady asked her beau, “Has J. Press reopened?” and actually registering the words amid the noise are so slim as to be mind-boggling. Then again I’ve been watching a lot of astronomical documentaries lately, so my mind is already pretty boggled.

In fact J. Press has not found a new location, but, I’d just been told a few hours before, is still scouting the dearth of suitable locations in Midtown East. Earlier that day I’d attended a small trade show hosted by Esquire, where Onward Kashiyama was showing the York Street brand. The company’s COO was there and brought me up to speed on company news.

The biggest development is that all of the company’s product lines — J. Press and York Street, the US and Japanese markets — will be brought under one design studio. And no surprise, they’re opting for Tokyo over New York. It’s a Japanese company, after all.

Denizens of Tradsville have previously bantered about J. Press Japan’s offerings, with some saying many of the products look better than US products and why can’t we get them here. We’ll have to wait and see what changes are brought to the brand with Tokyo in charge of design and merchandising.

I’m planning to do a Q&A with the COO to cover all that’s going on with J. Press, so stay tuned. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD


Sly Fox: Country Club Prep Up 600 Percent

Tue 20 May 2014 - Filed under: 1990-present — Christian
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Since this site was launched I’ve had a Google Alert set up for the word “preppy.” Today’s lone result gives great hope for a madras-clad future, as today a deservedly self-congratulatory press release went out on the wires announcing that Country Club Prep is up 600 percent in its second year of business.

Quotes the release:

Fueled by triple digit growth, Country Club Prep is planning further market penetration in its third year. In June, the retailer will open its first brick-and-mortar location in Charlottesville, Va. Further, the brand expects to add 50 new labels to its site by the end of 2014, as well as several new brick and mortar stores.

Yes, they’re an advertiser, but no they didn’t ask me to write this. It’s not like they need publicity. If anything, I should raise their rates.

Congrats guys on showing how preppy can constantly be re-invented, here through the medium of e-commerce. My popped collar salutes you. — CC

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