Yesterday the blog Heavy Tweed Jacket put up an epic post on the history and terminology surrounding striped shirts at Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Chipp and others. Head over here to check it out. — CC
8 Comments on "Eye Candy: HTJ On Candy Stripes, University Stripes, And Every Other Kind"
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I loved his comparison piece that he did earlier on candy stripes. HTJ is the truth and deserves an award of some sort for his efforts.
Is there a difference between university striped and candy striped?…I’m not being snarky, its a serious question…I’ve seen the two terms used interchangably before…I guess university striped might have more subdued stripes, while candy stripe colours may be a little more outre?
I must say I enjoyed HTJ’s scholarship. I still prefer the standard “university stripe” when describing the oxford cloth stripes on HTJ’s blog header, note the white and colored stripes are the same width. I guess it’s just the description I grew up with.
The BB shirts above I would describe as candy striped broadcloth. Also, BB’s crappy catalog artwork is why I never bought any of their goods except at trunk showings.
The great thing other than weight about oxford cloth is that the colors are actually muted by the weaving of white and a darker color thread. One usually doesn’t realize just how vibrant that color is till the shirt frays.
All that said, a great trad/ivy clothing guidance counselor (sales man) can call these stripes and fabrics all kinds of descriptions within parameters as he holds it in his hands showing you and you’ll get it.
I’m old enough to remember that until the 1980s, both Brooks and Press used the term “candy stripe”when referring to oxford cloth woven with what is now more commonly called a “university stripe”.
HTJ quite accurately pointed this out.
One assumes that when Press decided to start using the term “university stripe”, it was probably a marketing technique that they thought would increase the appeal and sales of candy stripe shirts by renaming them with a term that sounded less childish/feminine, dare I say “gay”?
Everytime I’m in our local BB, I see hundreds of shirts I might like. Problem is, they are all made in Malaysia, and have the treated fabric. Their traditional all cotton made in USA shirts are available it seems in 4 or 5 colors, and thats it. Thank goodness I at least have those choices. I do like the treated shirts for travel, but not for every day wear. Oh, btw, I did see they still offer the USA made all cotton University stripe.
No doubt HTJ nails it and we’ve had this discussion here before, but I’m starting to believe the “US” vs “CS” nomenclature was originally a regional or parochial deference. I grew up in the South and Mid-West where it was always called “university stripe”, I began buying my own clothing in round 1963.
I do believe that compared to the “old days” there is a drought of shirting options of what I call “fancies”, BDs other than the standards. Don’t get me wrong, like khakis, one can’t have too many standards.
The 80s BB “wine” striped Oxford cloth shirt is something that should be revived. The darker red color they used back then was much nicer than the pinkish hue they currently use.
As I recall, at Press University Stripe is narrow on oxford cloth, Candy Stripe is narrow on broadcloth, and Butcher Stripe is wider stripe, widely placed on broadcloth.