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.
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:
* Sample dispatched to Ivy Style HQ, disclosure required.