De-Pressing: Goodbye Gathering For J. Press At Madison & 47th

final

Update: The final hours of J. Press at Madison and 47th were rather subdued, which allowed Richard Press to have a long chat with Onward Kashiyama management.

The company says it is very actively looking for suitable locations both in New York and New Haven, and is acutely aware of the tremendous value of the brand’s heritage, as well as the need to “move forward.”

A longtime salesman also intimated that he planned to be back on the floor just as soon as the new store opens. — CC

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Today J. Press sent out the above in an email blast.

On Saturday at 5 pm, join myself and Ivy-Style.com columnist and Press family royalty Richard Press as Madison Avenue and 47th Street de-Press themselves of this historic American retailer.

We’ll count down the final hours together. Come by to snatch up the last remaining items, rub natural shoulders with fellow trads, pay your respects to the current location, and wish the company a speedy return to the streets of Manhattan. — CC

86 Comments on "De-Pressing: Goodbye Gathering For J. Press At Madison & 47th"

  1. What a great idea! I’m sorry I am not in NY today. Will you sing the Cornell alma mater, as they did in the old Titanic movie as the ship went down?

  2. Richard and I sang “The Whiffenpoof Song” together once at the FIT. No one joined us, though….

  3. Cranky Yankee | January 14, 2014 at 6:59 am |

    Sorry that I can’t join you. I’m heading to New York next week (with a Pressidential blazer and challis), but I’ll be five days late. My grandfather and father were also devoted J. Press customers. Ugh!!!

  4. “Should auld acquaintance be forgot . . . “

  5. Funny, that’s exactly the song I thought should be sung.

  6. Nice. I’ll definitely stop by. Anyone want to do drinks afterwards? let’s get loaded and sing Drake’s “Worst Behavior” outside the store.

  7. Can’t say I’m surprised. I was in a few days before Christmas and they had Rod & Gun embroidered York Street pants 60% off. Unfortunately, they retailed for $295.00, thus were still $118.00 (come on!). Also, I didn’t see any of the old sales associates working. Looked like a bunch of GQ hipster/preps that I would expect to work at the York Street store. The service was pretty bad and not at all what I had experienced in years past.

    “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain

  8. It is of no surprise. The newish ownership has not done a good job in my opinion of carrying on the quality, tradition and name. The quality does not seem as good as it was before the new ownership took over operations. The customer service is awful, with an arrogant attitude supplanting what used to be a friendly experience. There is no longer what is called “customer service” with these people. I hold Richard Press somewhat responsible, at least, for allowing the J. Press name to fall into the wrong hands.

  9. The ownership isn’t ‘newish’. The sale happened in the 1980s. It’s interesting that the Village shop is now the JPress-York Street Flagship store. Mr. Press’ father led the store back thirty years ago. It’s been a fine store for a long time and their has been good stewardship of the brand. The issue may be that Yale and Harvard changed a lot in the 1970s. The last generation that knew these shops as their college stores graduated in the 1960s and early 1970s. They are all retired or about to. They no longer need a lot of suits and jackets. If you keep your size J Press clothes last a long time.

  10. There’s a little too much piling on here. It is what it is, they’ve been trying to appeal to a wider demographic in order to keep the store going into the future, it’s better than letting it fade away. It’s hard to make everyone happy. If you like the traditional items, as I do, vote with your wallet and be positive. This may or may not be a reflection of how they are doing, they may be back in a year as stated. if J. Press were to disappear completely you know you’d be sad, so let’s be glad they are here at all in 2014 and support the other 3 shops. Support the veteran salespeople that know what J Press really means, give them your business.

  11. Well put, eebird.

  12. On another forum Mr. Press said that the long time employees in NYC had been let go over the last year and the long time manager of Washington DC was let go as well. I do urge everyone to take advantage of the sales. The clothes are still classic. Most of the not too expensive basics are sourced from USA and England.

  13. Christian: If this really is the end, maybe there is a spot for a young man well versed in the internet to take up the classic clothes slack. Maybe there is a way to make the economics work.

  14. Has anyone out there ever corresponded with J.Press online and received a reply in comprehensible, let alone grammatical, English?

  15. Addendum: The last time I visited the flagship store, I though that they had already fired their staff. Then I found them in a corner, having a friendly chat with each other.

  16. though = thought

  17. So what happened to salesmen Ed Evans and Jerry Haber?

  18. James Redhouse | January 15, 2014 at 12:09 am |

    Apparently Gay Ivy has won out over Gray Ivy.

  19. I’m not a journalist, but there’s probably–well, certainly–a story here to be told. I doubt it will be told.

    As recently as ’05, the goods were, well, good. The stock throughout the 90s was terrific. And unique. I still wear Irish Poplin ties nobody else was selling (even in Manhattan) in 1995. Okay, Herzfeld probably had a few. But still.

    Press sourced Shetland tweeds from the best mills and weavers in Scotland. Magee Donegal. They used Vanners silk for their repp ties. West of England flannels, Viyella, and the best lambswool–all the ingredients were there.

    Who engineered the move to Cohen as a maker of the clothing? Talk about a drastic move. Did they think longtime sackmongers would abide the heft at the shoulders?

    I get the move to Madison, but the interior was so, well, J. Crewish. No character.

  20. Cohen…
    …I mean. Cohen.
    ?

    Why?

  21. Eeberd, your sentiments are misplaced. As was discussed in the first post regarding the store closing, J. Press’s main store closing is due in large part to the resources directed at York Street, including an expensive contract with its designers and a very expensive lease on Bleecker–and because York Street is a failure. J. Press has finite resources. Any of those resources directed to follies like York Street necessarily harm the main line.

  22. rupert black | January 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm |

    madaket, to say “J. Press’s main store closing is due in large part to the resources directed at York Street, including an expensive contract with its designers and a very expensive lease on Bleecker–and because York Street is a failure. J. Press has finite resources. Any of those resources directed to follies like York Street necessarily harm the main line” is exactly right. I am a long term “squeeze” man, and have seen this coming for over a year. York Street is the priority, and it is a disaster. As to its design, quality, and sales it’s been an utter and absolute failure.

  23. Aside from the obvious, i.e., Madison Avenue is not pulling its weight, there is a possible, secondary reason for the closure.

    Madison Avenue is a union shop. So are Brooks, Barneys, and Bergdorf Goodman. A source told me that the Japanese owners were not happy about this although the unionized workforce does not seem to be a big deal at the competitors.

    On a side note while some business owners have a peaceful coexistence with the unions, some owners HATE the unions. It was well publicized that Le Cirque left the Helmsley Palace to escape the hotel unions although the family’s most recent restaurant, Sirio, is at the Pierre Hotel.

    Therefore, the possibility of re-opening as a non-union shop may be on the owner’s radar. Whether it is legal or realistic to do this, I cannot comment.

    Mark E. Seitelman
    http://www.seitelman.com

  24. Tom Conroy: That poster on another site [AAAC] is a former longtime salesman, not Richard Press. Check earlier comments made.

    As to the union issue, I must say it did cross my mind. Brooks, Barney’s, and Bergdorf’s are much bigger players than J. Press. I can only say that Mory’s was saddled by union costs and closed, but was resurrected a few years later.

  25. I didn’t realize J. Press were such crap until they shuttered the store and everyone started coming out of the woodwork to gripe about them. Well, at least we won’t have to suffer those big shoulders any longer! To read the comments you’d think the world of Ivy clothing was a better place without J. Press. Reminds me of what Jefferson Davis said about the South: Died of a theory. You all better pray O’Connell’s never closes up shop.

  26. Sartre: Remember AAAC just after the seasonal catalogues arrived? A curmudgeon’s holiday, indeed. Many of the most critical were also proud to say they hadn’t bought anythiing in 20 years.

  27. Ha ha, this shop closing has brought about the most vitriolic mixed feelings in recent memory. Most of the time when a long tenured shop closes people come out of the woodwork to gush about it and say how much they love it. Now everyone is coming out to say how much they hate the ownership for screwing up a beloved thing. While I cannot disagree, I also cannot claim to know all these gossipy things from first hand knowledge and so…I will reserve my judgement for another day. I like J Press, I wish them well, if ownership messed it up, I am sorry for that and I remember my shopping there fondly. I do think the shoulders on the sport coats got a little out of hand, that much I can say from first hand knowledge. I wish there were an actual measurable spec for this, like measuring the angle of the shoulder drop or something. Can someone come up with a way to empirically measure the naturalness of a shoulder?

  28. There it is! Thanks.

  29. Let’s hope J. Press returns as a somewhat different store. I can’t speak to the union issue, but a safe hunch is that they had entered into a contract with S. Cohen and there was no escape. If so, too bad.

    I was happy to buy J. Press clothing. But, to repeat, the Cohen-made stuff was a disaster.

  30. Harvard Square is still open for business, fusty old salesmen and all.

  31. It’s a bit hard for me to understand all this hand wringing about the closing of the J. Press Madison Avenue store. There are still three other J. Press stores in business, at least for now. I spent Christmas in NY, and visited the Madison Avenue store. It always struck me as soulless compared to the old 44th Street location or the York Street, New Haven store. The merchandise was even less inspiring. As far as I’m concerned, the real J. Press died years ago. What I think is truly tragic is the closure of H. Herzfeld, a distinctive men’s store that maintained its integrity to the very end.

  32. RLN: Well, it’s the Flagship on a prominent Madison Avenue corner. This follows on the heels of the demolition announcement in New Haven of the grand old mansion on York Street. It may well be the end of a great institution that influenced postwar cultural history.
    Herzfeld, while distinctive, would be but a minor footnote.

  33. Does anyone happen to know what time period it was that J. Press operated a store out of San Francisco? I found a J. Press blazer on ebay with a SF label in it (good shoulders… H. Freeman made) and am trying to date it.

  34. C. Ray: I think that Press operated the SF store in the mid 80’s – early 90’s or so. I have some ties that belonged to my father from that era which have SF on the tags.

  35. I can tell you what happened to Ed Evans. I quit do to a lot of things first I was harassed by the Manager of the store. It was constant almost daily causing severe headaches. Who needs it I was one of the top salesman and was treated like dirt . I told the CEO and Human Resource Manager they did nothing about it. The Manager lied to his bosses and they believed him. When I left they refused to pay me my vacation pay unless I signed papers regarding company practices. The Union went along with it. I refused to sign anything. My vacation time was earned. So soon I will have my days in court and let the court decide. I have plenty to say in court that will shame this Company not only what they did to staff but how they treated customers.

  36. I wonder if the wailed and gnashed their teeth on the West coast when the shop in Frisco closed.

  37. OMG……

  38. San Francisco: 1964-1980, Jack Kennedy at the helm.

  39. Remember what Dustin Hoffman said in the movie Rain Man about K-Mart . The same can and has been said by both employees and customers.

  40. Cranky Yankee | January 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

    To ‘buddy’ — January 16, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

    I was living in San Francisco (please don’t ever call if Frisco) when J. Press closed that store and don’t remember this degree of wailing or gnashed teeth. But the big difference is that that was 32 years ago when Brooks Bros. was still Brooks Bros. And as pricey as it was (and is) there was also Cable Car Clothier.

  41. I have some J Press shirts, I still wear, that are 20 years old. (wear them casually now). The last two shirts I bought from JP, the cuffs have shrunk so much, I have had to move the buttons. Funny, same cleaners, same size, and my other shirts (even brooks brothers) don’t have that problem. I tend now, to buy more shirts from Mercer.

  42. We always referred to San Francisco as “The City” and gnashed our teeth when Southern Californians referred to it as “Frisco”.

  43. James Redhouse | January 19, 2014 at 6:04 am |

    A label to be treasured, from the days when San Francisco wasn’t the northern version of Los Angeles:

    http://s1101.photobucket.com/user/Typhoid_Jones/media/P1090021.jpg.html

  44. @ Christian/Richard Press/Onward Kashiyama Management

    Why did J. Press ” let go ” ( right before the holidays) their manager (Brian) of 7 years at the store in Washington, DC ? What are their plans for this store?

  45. I think we know what “moving forward” means when J. Press (and Brooks Brothers) management use the expression.

  46. Adolescence is believing that ‘Frisco’ is a racy nickname for a city; senility is automatically saying “Don’t call it Frisco”; maturity is figuring it doesn’t matter all that much. Herb Caen wrote that book back in the Fifties, but many times later he happily laid a claim to Frisco.

    William Saroyan, too. And I like SF ’cause it matches “El Lay.” I know, I know- Frisco reminds San Franciscans of the Barbary Coast (whence the term originated)…and not a few of the whores, sailors, and gold panners who were their great-greats. Not much different today, eh? It’s fun to use Frisco in front of some residents who need reminding that The City is still part of our beautiful California. And not some tight-assed New England watering hole. But I’m more inclined to say San Fran.

    I never lamented when SF Brooks closed/moved the old Post location. What a nasty-tempered bunch of unionized layabouts were there. J. Press San Fran closed in the 1980’s- should I really care about a business that’s been closing down for 30 years? I’ve suits I bought then, but I haven’t patronized even the Press mail order service for 15 years. The last time I was at Cable Car maybe seven years ago, the quite jovial men helping me were nearly my grandfather’s age (and he’s long dead). Doesn’t matter how much Cable Car’s clothes cost if they don’t wake up to demographics; I can just as easily shop at Wilkes Bashford.

    BTW, Brooks re-opened in Downtown Los Angeles in a boutique at Jonathan Club. Should give somebody here a frisson of something or other. I love LA.

  47. Speculating that York St. might be a failed experiment does not support the logical leap that it is to blame for the Madison closing. Has anyone seen J.Press’ financials? Who knows how much time and resources they have allotted to seeing if they can make a go of York St? Companies do this sort of thing all the time, particularly international corporations. Is nobody lending any credibility to Kashiyama’s statement that the store will reopen? Plus, if York St goes bust, wouldn’t that open up the Bleecker st location for mainline Press? I wonder if everyone was in such a rush to get out the violins when Press closed its Frisco location? Or its Princeton location?

  48. Main Line Philly | January 20, 2014 at 11:47 am |

    @Bebe

    The salesmen at any J. Press branch I’ve ever visited have always been a “nasty-tempered bunch of layabouts”.

    If SF today were more like what you termed a “tight-assed New England watering hole” than like LA, it would be a far classier place.

    Wilkes-Bashford? God forbid!

  49. Call San Francisco whatever you wish, but with 2 minutes left and a game winning drive on the line, Montana is who they needed to call!

  50. You can’t blame CK for the interception: that was just good defense combined with a bit of luck. It’s the delay of game on the previous play that ruined things.

    Somehow in her seventies my grandmother, who’d spent her life in SF, became an obsessed Niners fan during the Montana years. It was pretty funny to see an old lady get so worked up over football. An extremely reserved woman, her ability to express contempt when they played poorly was quite amazing.

    Both my parents were born in the city and I was raised in the North Bay, where I was taught from the earliest age never to use the term “Frisco,” though I was never told why.

  51. I didn’t comment on the passing of J Press NYC because my mother always took us to Brooks, Saks, Best & Co. As an undergraduate, it was mostly Brooks with an occasional Irish sweater from F. Tripler. Never went to Chipp either, and found out later I was missing something. In my graduate student days, I bought a few items at the New Haven store — a pair of dark brown cavalry twill pants that fit perfectly, were very warm, and wore like iron; a wonderful shetland sweater; and later, a navy suit for graduation.

    I comment now because I object to Main Line Philly insulting the salesmen. I recall distinctly how knowledgeable and professional the staff were at the New Haven store, even at this distance of time. More recently (a few years ago), I was browsing the Cambridge store, and got into a wonderful conversation with someone (whose name I should remember but can’t, but I saw him in a photo of the F.I.T. symposium) who revealed the secret of the mirror. The mirror across from the front door and slightly to the right makes you look slimmer.

    Shush, don’t tell him I told you.

  52. I think everyone who lives in or near a major city refers to the city in question as “the city.” Or, more charming in the instance of larger cities, “town.”

  53. Cranky Yankee | January 21, 2014 at 4:37 am |

    To ‘RJG': I think you’re referring to Denis Black who is the manager of the Harvard Square store. Really knowledgeable and always very helpful.

  54. @ Cranky Yankee

    Yes, that’s his name. Thanks!

  55. Yes, I’ve had good dealings with Denis at the Cambridge store. I have a good memory of being out on a date and running in to buy a shaggy dog from him that I couldn’t really afford at the time in order to ward off an unexpected late august chill (I was wearing shorts and a polo). Really, all the sales guys I’ve dealt with in Cam/DC/NYC have all been great.

  56. I recall going to J. Press/Cambridge several times while I was in college, and their staff was quite helpful. Unfortunately, I found the building in need of renewal, and the displays somewhat disorganized with things piled up on tables and stuffed in bookcase-like shelving. I fully understood New England’s pretense of shabby-gentility and the deleterious effects of harsh weather, but thought a coat of paint and a dust rag hardly letting the side down. In fairness, my tastes were changing- I was realizing that I could I expand my education without interfering with my schooling, and have fun, too. From the Brooks on Newbury where my good parents let me charge my sweaters, winter coats, and corduroys, I espied Louis Boston over on Boylston. I’m sure Main Line Philly abhorred Louis since it was far too much like Wilkes Bashford. Still, I was introduced to Murray Pearlstein once there, and for some reason known only to him, if he saw me in the store, thereafter he would actually take the time to say hello, ask about my studies, and tell me some new men’s fashion information. He was terribly kind to this lowly college student. One could scoff, and say he was practising good salesmanship, but Mr. Pearlstein could have easily ignored me as there were far more interesting customers at his store. I certainly didn’t stop picking up sweaters and jackets at J. Press or The Andover Shop in Cambridge (much less Brooks), but their staffs were never as solicitous as Mr. Pearlstein. I saw he died last year, but I’ll remember his personal rapport towards me much longer than any tie I got at Langrock’s, sweater at Press, or tweed jacket at Andover.

  57. Richard Meyer | January 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm |

    I believe that the DC manager quit, was not fired. Agree about Herzfeld-the closest thing to the dear and departed Dunhill Tailors (not to be confused with Albert dunhill).

  58. @ Christian

    Thanks for the links to the Denis Black interview — really good stuff.

  59. (Washington store) Brian was fired he was shocked. I spoke with him three times. New York store I was forced out by daily bulling by the Manager I quit for health reason due to bad treatment 15 YEARS of SERVICE. Jerry was as I understand shoved by the Manager he left that day never to return 50 YEARS of SERVICE. Mark Clark was fired TWICE in two months by same Manager SIX plus YEARS of SERVICE. Two other salespeople in New York left within a year because of same MANAGER. One quit the other fired. New Haven JAMES salesman fired over a year ago at least 8 years of SERVICE. Does anyone see a pattern.

  60. I won’t assume anybody at the current J. Press has much vision for the future. That’d be assuming too much, I think. If they did, they’d quickly open their eyes to see what we can suppose the Prenners saw: the healthiest and most promising market for classic, traditional clothing is very likely the South. More particularly, the wealthier Southern suburbs and college towns.

    Paul Winston once remarked that he had long regarded graduates of UVA and Princeton to be the best dressed. Thinking of the former, I wonder what would happen if J. Press opened up a small but well stocked shop at the Barracks Road shopping center. Or Myers Park, just outside of Charlotte. Or Atlanta’s Buckhead. The South’s ongoing formality would support the suitings, and the outdoorsy Southern preppies would delight in the tweeds. Compared with the sartorial habits of modern-day Ivy alums, the receipts would shock.

    But this won’t happen.

  61. The owners are ONWARD and it would fail as did everything they ever touched. They are also rude and non caring of their customers. Southerners have manners and are a delight to work with
    .

  62. There are pockets of preppy/trad/Ivy in the city and the surrounding suburbs, but Manhattan is, for the most part, a sartorial cesspool. Relatively speaking, of course.

  63. A.E.W. Mason | January 24, 2014 at 1:14 am |

    @ S.E.

    Great observations, as usual. Your comment about J. Press moving South hits the nail on the head. And you’re right: it won’t happen. Your comment also implicates a host of other cultural shifts that will never be reversed. Someone commented a while back that J. Press had been irrelevant for years. Probably true. Many things have gone that way: restraint, subtlety, self-discipline, balance, proportionality, civility . . . . It’s remarkable that J. Press has lasted as long as it has (it’s not quite dead yet, right?). After all, why would anyone expect that very particular style of dress–which was the natural reflection of a cultural preference for restraint over excess–to thrive or even survive in an age of spectacle.

  64. Why J. Press has lasted until now has nothing to do with ONWARD. It has to do with gentlemen looking for a Traditional store to shop in. J.Press is over as you and I know it. They have screw customers over for too long. Let me tell you a little known fact. There could be two people buying the same item at the same time with two different salesmen one would get a sale price the other would not. It could have cost hundreds of dollars to the person who didn’t get the sale. Our Manager would say things like if he doesn’t know there’s a sale or if he’s from out of town or out of the country don’t give it to him. Shame this happened all the time. A.E.W. Mason you write really nice you must be an Ivy Man : ).

  65. James Redhouse | January 24, 2014 at 9:05 am |

    @A.E.W. Mason

    Re: ” Many things have gone that way: restraint, subtlety, self-discipline, balance, proportionality, civility . . . .”

    I suppose that we should be thankful that there are still people who value these qualities.

  66. “…cultural shifts that will never be reversed. Someone commented a while back that J. Press had been irrelevant for years. Probably true. Many things have gone that way: restraint, subtlety, self-discipline, balance, proportionality, civility . . . . It’s remarkable that J. Press has lasted as long as it has (it’s not quite dead yet, right?). After all, why would anyone expect that very particular style of dress–which was the natural reflection of a cultural preference for restraint over excess–to thrive or even survive in an age of spectacle.”–A.E.W. Mason

    Well stated.

    Although, having said that, my favorite tweed is an obnoxious Prince of Wales (Glen) district check. Enormous, in-your-face pattern. My defense: it’s strictly weekend wear.

  67. Something just came to mind.

    What if Ralph Lauren or Claudio made a bid for J. Press?

    Let’s all imagine where each would take the store. The former is finally returning to more American made goods, right? And since the latter owns Southwick (and Garland shirts, as well?), that’d be fun to watch.

    The dream scenario is that a trad-leaning venture capital guy decides to go for it. He might buy the Hertling factory and keep the workers, expanding to jackets as well as (the consistently excellent) pants. That becomes home base for the clothing. All well made but reasonably priced. Keep the connections with the makers in England, Scotland and Ireland, including but not limited to Atkinsons, Magee, Robert Noble, Vanners, and Mackintosh. Shirts by Gambert.

    One can dream.

  68. I would like to see an Ivy man or an individual buy it . Let an American run it for him club house style. Ban IPads, IPhones, customers would come in to shop not kill time after they picked up there starbuck buck coffee. You see some of the blame has to be put on rude customers also. I worked for 40 years dressing gentlemen. Most better stores the salesmen work on straight commission. That’s right no salary straight commission against a draw that has to be taken out of your commission. So it is rude to go into a store to read your emails or make phone calls or as one guy told me I should leave him alone because he’s working. People come in stores to get out of the cold,heat or noise outside or they take a break from work to buy coffee also food and eat it in a store. NOW that is rude.

  69. Does anyone realize J.Press opening price suits are made in China at. $800.00 a pop. LOL

  70. More to come it gets better !

  71. Ed, back in the day, who were your favorite vendors and manufacturers? Just a few days ago I wrote that, as recently as 2005/06, the stock was really top drawer.

    Did Hertling ever make suits and jackets for J. Press?

  72. Magee was our best sport coat, Julie Hertling & Major made our slacks, Hart/Marx made most of the suits. Now way back when I was at F.R. Tripler Hickey Freeman was the best,Troy Guild for shirts.

  73. Did Magee make the jackets or just weave the tweed?

  74. Magee did only the weaving.

  75. elliott bossin | January 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm |

    j press has been in decline almost ever since it moved to madison ave. unfortunately, many in the business were not able to see what ralph lauren was doing. they did not have to follow, but they could have learned. almost everything that lauren did came from an old brooks bros catalog. since i am old and fat, i switched to pleated pants. same natural shoulder coat, same fabrics. press was unwilling to integrate pleated trousers (forward or reverse) into the mix. from carroll & co on the west coast to stockton in atlanta to ben silver in charleston to oconnells in buffalo, traditional shops need to evaluate the appropriate mix. i still think there is a market, albeit a smaller one than 30 years ago. small tweaks should be allowable. for example it is clear that most younger men want a darted, rather than a sack, coat. i do not believe there has to be rigidity. i hope the look does not disappear, although it has obviously lost momentum. it is actually difficult to find narrow and wide shoe widths in the u.s., even though it is clear that a “medium” does not fit at least 35% of our feet. maybe the same people will own brooks for a few years, so that it gain regain its footing. i certainly never thought they would drift so far. such is life.

  76. S.E. Put it the best. Jackets that are two short make men look like boys.

  77. I also love the comment J.Press went from Grey Ivy to Gay Ivy !

  78. Richard had a great article about his father Paul Press meeting Martin Luther King. Too bad after all these years of civil rights . Minorities are still watched when they go shopping. Shame,Shame, Shame.
    I had a really nice young black man that I waited on for a couple of years. He came in early in the mornings a few times a month. He spent about a hundred dollars on his visits. We talked and I advised him on how to dress. One day I asked him what he did for a living he told me he was a messenger. He said he would spend more if he had more. I told him he was a great customer and it was a pleasure to be of help. One day I was the only salesmen working the morning shift. I had to go to the basement of the store to find an item that he wanted to buy. When I started to go downstairs I met the manger running up the stairs he asked me where I was going. I told him I had to go to the basement for a customer. He told me he was watching me on his camera in the basement. He told me I should not leave this young black man unattended. I ask him why. I told him he was a great customer. He told me he didn’t care what I thought I should call him up to watch him. He said he didn’t trust him. SHAME shame!shame. I still feel bad this happened over a year ago.

  79. Re: “cultural shifts” — Don’t forget to include “fun” and “not taking oneself too seriously.”

  80. Elliott Bossin’s comment has it about right about RL v the others; I only wear RL forward pleated pants, dress or casual, since the early 1970s, and find almost nothing worth buying in Brooks or J Press, though I was once a Brooks customer. I don’t wear suits much anymore but select from the RL offerings my bow ties & all my other clothing including shirts, pants, sweaters, sweater vests, socks, casual jackets, etc. I buy at the 2 Polo shops when I visit NYC or Greenwich/New Canaan CT, where no one pressures me to buy anything & sometrimes at Macy’s, or at http://www.polo.com . I enjoyed seeing the NYC J Press & Brooks stores, particularly the window displays, but found the staff unpleasant at both; The old New Haven J Press store was more enjoyable to visit & the staff was more friendly & I liked the old fashioned window displays, and the Yale Residential scarves which I bought for my daughters when they graduated. My only complaint about RL is that they have shortened the rise & slimmed the fit in RL pants & the current versions don’t fit me very well nor do the “custom fit” shirts.

  81. I also agree with Elliott about narrow shoe sizes which used to be more available but now it’t Allen Edmonds old styles or nothing.

  82. Paul Reardon | February 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm |

    Ed,
    Are you back in the business. My son needs another suit. I follow you. You are the best. Sorry for your trouble. Let me know where you are.
    Paul

  83. Hi Paul
    You can contact me at edtiques@aol.com.
    Thank you for being a friend.
    Warmest Regards,
    Ed

  84. Howard Wyonrib | April 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm |

    I was very sad to see the demise of the New York Store, I remember fondly chatting to the mostly elderly salesmen on my many visits to NY over the years but I particularly remember a young Irish guy that worked there whom I found to be extremely intelligent and somewhat out of place. I recall on one occasion we had a lengthy conversation on particle physics and quantum mechanics which he was appeared to be an expert. He always stuck in my mind for some reason and even to this day I can recall a special sense of being about him. Unfortunately his name eludes me. J.Press was a great store and it was an end of an era in my eyes when we lost it.

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