Fall News Roundup

Here are some news tidbits as well as things that have caught my eye recently.

I recently visited the remodeled Ralph Lauren Rhinelander mansion and no surprise the elegance and style are absolutely suffocating (above photo by Michael Williams; check out the rest of his shots here). What a tactile experience: I don’t think there’s another retail palace in the world that makes you want to touch everything. Endless fabrics and textures, and leathers that scream to be picked up and examined.

The “updated sack suits” were there — very lovely and very pricey.

Also, sales clerks must now wear a uniform, a very Black Label-looking outfit consisting of, as I recall, a black pinstripe suit, cutaway collar shirt, and small dot tie. A clerk I spoke to said it had been in effect for the past couple of months, and that Lauren got the idea while traveling in Europe, perhaps for the opening of his new Paris flagship. The clerk was also not too happy about it, as he now has a closet full of fine clothes that aren’t getting worn.

Finally, my favorite new pair of socks are these wool cable-knit ones in “flannel heather.”

J. Press has introduced six three-inch ties, and a source there says it is considering a narrow lapel option. The emphasis here is on considering, kind of like Brooks Brothers considering a restaurant. Of course Press’ new collaboration with Urban Outfitters suggests maybe it is interested in returning, at least partially, to what it once was: a young gentleman’s haberdasher, in the words of Cambridge store manager Denis Black.

Brooks Brothers’ winter catalog is now online, though it looks a lot like fall. New this season is a flannel trouser in the Milano fit.

For another slim-cut flannel trouser — and one of the few out there priced less than $200 and in light gray — check out the Searsport Flannel Pant by LL Bean Signature. It’s priced at $109 and comes in this great shade:

Also new at Signature is this brushed lambswool crewneck.* Shaggy sweaters are popping up this season, in the J. Press x Urban Outfitters collection and at Ralph Lauren ($165 and made in Scotland). Bean’s is neither as fuzzy as a J. Press Shaggy Dog, nor is it made of Shetland wool. But it’s also half the price, chunky and not as fitted as one might expect from Bean’s generally slim Signature line.

And lastly with Bean, I recently got one of its crewneck sweatshirts, with the option to wear as a sweater (over an oxford shirt), inspired by Greensleeves to a Ground blogger Francis Cazal, in turn inspired by “Tea and Sympathy.” According to LL Bean, the V at the neck is a historical detail that allowed the sweatshirt to stretch to accommodate football players’ shoulder pads. The sweatshirt also comes with an inside locker loop and a distinctive double-layer reinforcement at the back of the neck. It resists shrinking and also comes in tall sizes with longer sleeves. Wear under a tweed jacket.

Nick Hilton has redesigned his website, which now features detailed descriptions of the Norman Hilton Ivy-style sportcoats we wrote about previously.

The William J. Mills company has created a new collection of bags made from a tough acrylic that simulates seersucker.

Lands’ End’s saddle-shouldered Drifter Crewneck has been around for decades, but new this season is a wool v-neck with “saddle sleeves.” It also features elbow patches in the same, not contrasting, fabric:

In trend news, we’ve previously decreed that “Ivy is the new preppy.” In fact, “collegiate” may be the new preppy. Here Timex uses the quaint term in regards to womenswear. — CC

* Sample dispatched to Ivy Style HQ, disclosure required.

11 Comments on "Fall News Roundup"

  1. If you put a wasp-waist on a sack suit, it is hardly “updated”; it simply is no longer a sack suit.

  2. Hahaha! Thanks Christian (and John Kerr!). I see that the crewneck sweatshirt is now part of your wardrobe! You’re right, great with a tweed jacket.
    Btw, great information about the inverted V at the neck.


  3. The jacket’s misnomer aside, it’s a nice one.

    I don’t know why I said the V was inverted on the sweatshirt. Fixed.

  4. I bought the Searsport Flannel Blazer in Gray Heather. What is your opinion of this piece?

    Thanks, I will consider the matching trousers.

  5. Nice color, nice pant. Not a good cut for me, though. I actually had to walk into Paul Winston’s and say, “Does this make my ass look big?”

    He was like, “I wouldn’t have noticed, but now that you mention it…”

  6. Bill Stephenson | November 11, 2010 at 9:35 am |

    For those that seek the “Original Ivy” the sweat shirt depicted, is probably the hardest to find. After looking at sources in the US, and throughout the world, this one is the real deal, most of the rest aren’t. It does indeed work well over an OCBD or under a Harris tweed jacket. Totally unique.

    If you can find a college year book from the ’50s, you will see this exact shirt. These started out as standard issue to athletic teams. They then migrated to every day campus wear.

    For the purpose originally intended, they were totally impractical. However, this was in the days before synthetic fabric that wicked away perspiration. At the end of a track workout, this shirt was totally soaked with perspiration, and a cool wind cut through to the bone. Leave in in a tub of water, and you will see what it was like to wear, during the later stages of a workout. Heavy, and cold. That is why this item disappeared, as an item of athletic apparel.

    Which brings us to the present time. When you seek the original, the deal breakers available today are the ones with team logos on the front, or manufacturers logos elsewhere.

    LLB offers many colors. The only one that is ‘Ivy”, is the one shown. There must be many like us that seek this out, because they usually have this color on back order.

    The V thingy at the throat, and the saddle shoulders do indeed accommodate shoulder pads.

    Finding this shirt is like meeting an old friend

  7. Vern Trotter | November 11, 2010 at 1:18 pm |

    I eschew anything v-neck, remembering that Paul Fussell deemed these strictly middle class or even high prole. Persons were even known to tuck them into their trousers!

    The sweatshirt looks fine but I cannot imagine wearing a necktie beneath it when one can wear a fine Shaggy Dog.

  8. Any Major Dude | November 12, 2010 at 8:45 am |

    Thanks! I just ordered those wool pants from LL Bean.

  9. Thanks for suggesting the Signature lambswool crewneck, I bought one in “Deep Forest”. I also picked up a Shaggy Dog during the sale. What is your assessment of the Press Shetland for the price?

  10. Any comment on the fit of the L.L Bean sweatshirt? Is it closer fitting? Loose? The comments on Bean’s website don’t shed much light. Thanks!

  11. Depends on how you want it to fit. I’m a size 40 and ordered a small, which I think is just right.

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