Last week I met with Robert “Squeeze” Squillaro, the new exec at J. Press, to learn about Richard Press’ new column. After that, talk turned to the new fall collection and where things are going. You could say it’s a story of expansion (“press”-ure, perhaps?), and contraction (that is, squeezing).
As soon as the fall brochure came out, readers hit my inbox with positive messages. Talk in our Facebook group was also bullish on the brand’s direction. Squillaro informed me there are a number of new tweeds, which began selling as soon as they came in, even though weather on the East Coast was still quite warm. Expect this trend to continue, including some exclusive tweeds in partnership with the Magee mill, details of which will come out later this month.
There are also more flannel trouser offerings, including dark blue and a brownish olive, plus a whole kennel of Shaggy Dogs — the most colors in many a year, and available in a slim cut as well as regular, for all you skinny puppies out there.
Spring of next year is when you’ll really see Squillaro’s effect on getting J. Press both back to its roots, as well as giving it more contemporary appeal. The jacket pattern is still getting tweaks to it, such as a modified lapel roll that will show more of the unfastened top button closure. Which leads us to the part about contraction.
Brace yourself, guys, as everything is going to get slightly trimmer, with lapels and necktie widths harmonizing at 3.25 inches. Three and a half is the industry standard, but some J. Press sportcoats over recent years have had lapels more in the 3 5/8 range, which can quickly start looking like 3 7/8, which is ’70s territory. J. Crew over recent years has been too slim at 2 7/8 or even less, while much of Polo has been at 3 inches. Personally 3-3.25 is just right for me, but that’s personal taste. You can see that the ties on the top of this page are listed as 3.25, whereas older ones are 3.5.
Think of it as a lean in the direction of the heyday. And speaking of lean, maybe it’s time for you to get your measurements in line with the new J. Press. — CC