The Golden Years by Richard Press

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Golden Years: Road Trip To Rahar’s

Rahar’s was a home away from home for me and my pals. The watering hole served as Northampton, Massachusetts headquarters for visiting collegians pursuing female companionship at Smith College. The dilapidated bar and restaurant occupied the ground floor of a post-Civil War Victorian mansion set on a spare hilltop a block off Main Street, just

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Golden Years: Goodbye To All That

The walls are slated to come tumbling down on the J. Press building in New Haven at 262 York Street. The structurally unsound building is scheduled to be razed next month. The J. Press story began the turn of the century, serendipitously around the corner from the current J. Press quarters, on College Street. JC


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Golden Years: The Tables Down At Mory’s

Last week I spoke at “the dear old Temple Bar we love so well.” Mory’s, founded in 1863, moved from “the place where Louis dwelled” of “Whiffenpoof Song” fame to its currently shabby chic colonial quarters on York Street in 1912. Originally a private club, townies were never allowed on the premises unless they were



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Golden Years: An Apologist For Tradition

Ivy Style wraps up its recent series of posts on menswear rules with these thoughts from Richard Press, who is pictured at left with his uncle Irving, circa 1984. * * * How did personal taste and idiosyncrasy fit within J. Press offerings and customer consultations when the business was family owned? Here’s a precis


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Golden Years: A J. Press Tie For Dr. King

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Richard Press shares this memory about the time his father bequeathed to King a small gift. * * * My father Paul Press met Martin Luther King, Jr. at a Reform Jewish Temple in


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Golden Years: A Wonderful LIFE

The laws of acceptance and exclusion were epiphanies I experienced during my days at the prep school Loomis, now known as Loomis Chaffee. My own humble status skyrocketed the day the November 22, 1954 issue of LIFE Magazine came out, which proclaimed the Ivy League Look a national style sweeping the country from its wellspring


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Golden Years: Went To Yale With Boola Boola

The role of Yale in American popular culture and the sartorial legacy of New Haven together comprise the metaphor of my life. Ivy Style jogged my memory a few weeks ago when we posted an ad for Macy’s showroom on York Street from a 1941 edition of the Yale Daily News. “Macy’s Knows Its Yale,”




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Golden Years: Cloning The Golden Fleece

In 1950, when I was 12 years old, Grandpa Press took me to Brooks Brothers for my Bar Mitzvah suit. He brought it back to J. Press for alterations and the first thing he did was rip off the Brooks Brothers label and replace it with one of ours. Grandpa Press’ dismemberment of a Brooks


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Golden Years: Sayonara To Old Nassau

Jacobi Press opened his Princeton branch on Nassau Street in the mid-1930s and assigned my father regular checkups on the store. Lou Prager, founder of Chipp in 1947 with another J. Press alumnus, Sid Winston, was pried away from the New Haven store to become manager of J. Press’ Princeton store. Gregarious and charismatic, he