The Golden Years by Richard Press

Goldfinger On Forty-Fourth Street

Yesterday fashion luminary Oscar de la Renta died at age 82 at his home in Kent, Connecticut. The Ivy Style team had been preparing a series of posts on the concept of elegance, and when news broke of de la Renta’s death, Richard Press quickly revised his latest column, once again showing that King Richard


Golden Years: Suiting Up Eli Frosh

Suiting up Eli frosh in the heyday was do or die for New Haven clothiers. Salesmen at J. Press were instructed by my dad Paul Press (front right) to memorize the Yale Freshman Blue Book. He quizzed them daily about dorm addresses, hometowns and secondary schools the book provided. Freshmen lived in seven ancient dormitories


Golden Years: Getting High On Reefer Twill

We continue our exploration of the double-breasted jacket’s place in the Ivy genre with these recollections from King Richard XLIV. * * * The best-selling blazer in J. Press history was gathered by its roots from Aunt Florence. Irving Press’s spouse was a lady who lunched at the fringes of La Cote Basque and other


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


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



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


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


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,”



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


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








Golden Years: Curtain Call In New York

Today former J. Press president Richard Press once again becomes a citizen of Manhattan, leaving the suburbs of Connecticut for an Upper East Side apartment. Evidently life begins (or at least begins again) at seventy. • • • Twenty-five years in the hinterlands is long enough. Today my wife and I move back to New


Golden Years: A Tummler On York Street

A New York Times obit for a recently deceased Borscht Belt social director described his job title, “tummler,” a Yiddish word for someone who stirs up tumult or excitement, a jack of all trades. J. Press salesman George Feen (above left), known around New Haven as “Little Georgie Feen”, was a tummler on York Street


Hot Off The Press: Richard P. On Twitter

If you can’t get enough of our “Golden Years” columnist Richard Press, former president of J. Press and grandson of Jacobi, then you’re in luck. A little coaxing was all it took for him to start tweeting and the septuagenarian says he’s already addicted. Richard will be sharing terse anecdotes, words of wisdom, style tips,


Meet The Press: A Reader Q&A With Richard P.

Richard Press, Ivy Style’s “Golden Years” columnist, former president of J. Press, and grandson of Jacobi, will herein host a virtual question-and-answer session with Ivy-Style.com readers, and the floor is now open. Use the leave comment feature to ask Mr. Press anything you’d like to know about traditional American style, or any other topic on