A couple of nights ago I attended a cozy media event sponsored by Allen Edmonds. Not much news to report, though there may be some coming: I made two suggestions on shoes they should produce.
Afterwards I realized I was just a few blocks away from my favorite source for Levi’s: JC Penney in Herald Square, just down from the famous Macy’s featured in the classic movie “Miracle On 34th Street.”
I wanted to check out the white Levi’s in the 541 cut I wrote about earlier this year. I ended up buying a pair, and wore them last night (with navy polo, green and navy striped belt from J. Press, and bit loafers) for drinks with Al Castiel (of recent Belgian Shoes infamy) and Jack Carlson, author of “Rowing Blazers,” who was wearing a sample from his own forthcoming clothing line. More on that when he’s ready to announce it.
On the way through JCP, something peculiar caught my eye: a rear collar button. That’s right, a group of short-sleeved shirts from the store’s in-house trad collection St. John’s Bay featured buttondown collars with a third button, and were made in India in patterns that are vaguely madras-y. In the New York store they were priced at $20, but online the shirts appear to be $15.
Now these shirts proably aren’t made from real madras fabric and certainly don’t feature bleeding vegetable dyes. But they are made in India and feature the heyday detail of third button, so you broke college guys and frugal trads might want to check them out. I recommend that you do so in person, however, as the website is a bit confusing. The Indian-made shirts have different names, including the “Americana poplin shirt.” The website also has a listing for a madras shirt that I didn’t see in the store. So again you may want to visit your local store where someone can answer any questions.
Finally, as I made my way to the cash register I saw that the shirts were piled everywhere on multiple display racks. In fact, the whole place was overflowing with cheap, heavily discounted rags that nobody really needs. It was one of those examples of capitalist excess that turns your stomach a bit. Piles and piles of what is largely unnecessary junk, and a big corporation trying to squeeze a few pennies of profit from it all.
When the cashier started to ring me up, she asked if I had a Penney’s card and, if not, would I like to open one and receive an extra 45% off. What a business model. — CC