Im-Press-ive: Much News At J. Press

J. Press is brimming with new energy. For starters, construction is moving along at the new New York location, and we’ll announce the opening date as soon as we hear it. Next, the company has revamped its website, which is now easier to navigate and features a bunch of live humans wearing the clothing, as opposed to mannequin forms. This should help J. Press resonate better with new customers.

And finally, I paid a recent trip to the former York Street store that still stands in the West Village (and which I understand will close once the main store opens). There were plenty of new fall items from the main J. Press collection (alongside the younger collection, which is entitled Blue), many of which include a much-improved shoulder, thanks to a new manufacturer.

Ivy Style’s erstwhile columnist DCG, who works at the store, added this: “The new ‘modern fit’ Pressidential, made in USA, is cut same as the Southwick Cambridge model. Also, we have some great made-in-USA shawl-collar tuxedos with undarted front and hook vent for the trad that needs to keep orthodox even when he’s partying.” If you have any questions about anything you see on the new website, call the West Village store at 212-255-6151 and ask for Dan (though all the crew there is knowledgable and friendly).

Here’s a look at the new shoulder line:

And here’s how the rest of the shop is looking. Congrats, J. Press, and on behalf of the Ivy Style community, best of luck with your big year! — CC

56 Comments on "Im-Press-ive: Much News At J. Press"

  1. Get a meaningful life without J Press.! Are you a shill for the company!?I just don’t understand how you can so offer so few original ideas or references. Nostalgia is O K but such a puerile focus.

  2. I fear a meaningful life for you is in danger. As that is presumably not your real name, every time you leave a petty anonymous remark on the Internet your unconcious takes note. You will go to sleep tonight believing (at the unconcious level) that you are a bit more of a coward than you were when you got up this morning. Over years this will make you a very bitter and angry person, and probably an alcoholic to boot.

    You’re free to criticize me, but speak your truth and sign your name to it. Otherwise it’s very bad for you psychologically, my friend.

  3. Michael J. Lotus | October 2, 2017 at 3:38 pm |

    Good looking stuff at J. Press. Thanks for the post.

  4. Mitchell S. | October 2, 2017 at 3:45 pm |

    @Christian: Maybe you should delete comments from trolls. I think this is the same guy who said you used to make music zines from your mom’s basement in California. He uses phrases like “eh gad” too. Kinda creepy if you ask me.

  5. The shoulder looks much better. Now, if they will just get the glue out of the jacket fronts and the shirt collars, I would shop there again.

  6. It all looks very nice but the collars on the OCBDs seem a bit stiff. Does anyone now if they are lined?

  7. Rene Lebenthal | October 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm |

    Glad to see how Jpress evolves!!
    Although it is always complicated to buy when you are based in Paris, France. They should improve this point and and inspire themselves from websites like LLBean for instance…
    @Christian: I loved your commentary on this mean message of a strange person…

  8. The unadulterated natural shoulder quest continues. Nothing soft and rounded here. Whoever restores this single most important Ivy element will swiftly pocket my hard-earned.

  9. I am not holding my breath. J Press has spent the better
    part of a decade attempting to achieve a natural shoulder,
    the shoulder that they had for most of the previous century.
    A quick look at their website is not heartening. The Balmacaan
    overcoat featured does not have Raglan sleeves. It looks like
    something produced by People’s Clothing Factory #11 in the
    70s era Soviet Bloc.

  10. Thanks Christian!

    Come in and see for yourselves fellas, if you’re biting witticisms or humorous critiques charm us in person maybe I’ll give you a discount!

    -DCG (on my own behalf)

  11. Richard Meyer | October 2, 2017 at 7:20 pm |

    The repp ties look very nice, as does some of the layered look. to Mr. ‘Faber”- as someone who has criticized CC in the past, hey, his site has advertisements. That’s OK- it’s transparent. Deal with it.

  12. GS

    If you want an unlined OCBD shirt that has the proper roll then you have to go with Mercer & Sons. Yes, they are expensive; but they wear like iron and look great.

  13. Did any one else notice the collar pin in the button down blue strip shirt?

  14. Richard Meyer | October 2, 2017 at 8:05 pm |

    @H. Korn: i second that motion. Mercer is by far the best, and dealing with David Mercer is a real pleasure.

  15. @ Richard Meyer

    I learned about Mercer & Sons from this cite. So much for this fellow Faber’s veiled criticism about advertising.

  16. @roger sack

    I have been waiting for the opportunity to use the line “You couldn’t find ugly at a Radcliff mixer” for years. How long have you been holding the People’s Clothing Factory #11 bit. Incidentally, I think you are way off. I think the clothes look very nice. I particularly like the blue blazer and the olive suit.

    Cheers,

    Will

  17. i visited the store recently and found many beautiful items, particularly the tweed jackets and butcher stripe shirts. can’t wait to visit the new store

  18. H Korn re OCBD with tie bar. I put that in the same category as braces with a belt…

  19. M Arthur, I would agree if the buttons on the collar were buttoned but they aren’t. I think it’s a cool look.

    Thank you for the tip, Mr. Korn, I’ll have to invest in a Mercer OCBD some day.

  20. @GS yes, it can be cool. Similar to having one of the buttons unbuttoned. Did I write tie bar? Hello collar pin!

  21. That’s alright I knew what you meant. I have seen a picture of Fred Astaire wearing a collar pin with a buttoned OCBD, looked awful.

  22. roger sackj | October 2, 2017 at 11:28 pm |

    “How long have you been holding the People’s Clothing Factory #11 bit?”
    Just came up with it, inspired by the boxy inelegance of that coat. I don’t
    get to J. Press very often because I am In the Bay Area. But nothing I’ve
    seen or tried on the last ten times I visited the store(s) in NYC compared
    favorably to a Press suit which I’ve kept for 3 decades which barely fits.

  23. Bernie,
    I see that you’re still as acid-tongued as you were as an adolescent. Isn’t it time you grew up?

    Uncle Jack

  24. @ H. Korn

    Noticed the collar bar, with the collar buttons unbuttoned, immediately.

    Maybe decades ago, a faux pas, except for Fred Astaire.

    Today, I doubt anyone in the general public will notice, or care for that matter.

    Looks like the tie is a Harvard tie. I have one from the 1960’s, on the narrow side.

    Never wore it, though.

  25. Bernard Faber comes to a site called “Ivy Style” to complain that the editor and readers are too focused on traditional things, and need to ditch the nostalgia for ‘new ideas’?

    Shirts. I’ve recently tried: i) the new, unlined BB OCBD; ii) a Ratio pinpoint oxford; and iii) a Mercer OCBD and a broadcloth. The BB was notable for its beautiful, substantial cloth which mostly closely felt like the shirts from my own personal heyday (80s). Collar and placket were, as advertised, unlined and soft. Ratio pinpoint also had a nice hand to the fabric itself. You had to special-order the unlined ‘Fitzgerald’ collar. Was disappointed when the collar points themselves were unlined, and had a nice length to create a roll, but the collar band itself felt like it was lined with some kind of heavy-duty plastic. The Mercer OCBD and broadcloth collars were clearly the ‘trad’ winner: soft and pliable (even when starched) and look great, with a beautiful roll, buttoned up with a tie or open. And the fabrics were lovely. Be advised, though: the shirt is a big, blousy affair through the body; it’s also a good six weeks from order-to-delivery; and, of course, it’s not for everyone’s budget if your’e going to fill your closet with them. You’re essentially buying a near-custom product, which is neither inexpensive nor quickly-made. But it is very nice.

  26. most closely*

  27. *your…a day later…
    Come see the stuff in person, it’s more fun than shopping online!

  28. Charlottesville | October 3, 2017 at 10:59 am |

    The new Press fall line looks great. The tweed (sported by Christian?) in the third photo down is lovely. Colored over-stripes on a broken herringbone like that were something of a J. Press trademark a couple of decades ago, and I really like that bit of brightness against gray or brown. Like Will, I think the olive flannel suit at the top is terrific too. I can’t wait to see the new shop the next time I am in Manhattan, and hopefully meet DCG, a/k/a Millennial Fogey, who was away when I was last at the downtown store.

    As for shirts, I think the Press shirts all have lined collars, at least in my experience, but I could well be mistaken. I just tried the new/old unlined Brooks OCBD for the first time. I have not worn it yet, except to try it on before sending it to the laundry, but it looks great. However, if I had not gotten 40% off, I would probably have gone with Ratio. I have a Ratio club collar shirt that I like very much. However, so far, I have not tried the Ratio OCBD or the Mercer product. And I agree with Christian and others on what an unpleasant person the unfortunate Faber boy must be.

  29. @Charlottesville: I’ll very much look forward to your review on a Ratio shirt. If they had constructed the collar band the same way they constructed the collar points, it would have been a winner. But the collar liner feels not just like a stiff fabric backing, but actual plastic – ie. almost ‘crunchy’ to the touch.

  30. Oh dear. No comments yet on “Pressidential”? Borderline pompous.

    Love the zip-front jacket.

    There was a thread a year and a half ago about the collar pin with button down debate. Referenced below for your reading pleasure:

    http://www.ivy-style.com/a-pin-too-far.html

  31. Charlottesville | October 3, 2017 at 11:36 am |

    Paul — I don’t recall that feeling about the Ratio collar at all, but I’ll try to remember to check it out and report back.

  32. Vern Trotter | October 3, 2017 at 11:49 am |

    The Press navy blazer now has patch pockets. That is an improvement for them. I shall likely pick one up when they open.

    I also swear by Mr. Mercer. The shirts are to some a little blousey because that is the way the BB were. Before I put on some girth, you just learned the proper side wrap and nobody noticed.

  33. @Cort That’s been the line’s name since the 60s…at least…

    @Paul & Charlottesville As much as I’d love all of you to purchase solely J.PRESS oxford button downs, if you email Ratio I’m sure they’ll help you out, great guys…that said, BUY PRESS!

  34. @DCG Thank you for that information. I did not know that.

  35. Charlottesville | October 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm |

    The Pressidential moniker indeed goes back a few years. I have at least one of the Pressidential suits and some sport coats as well as the (less expensive) Presstige and (still less expensive) Pressclusive lines. Pressidential is their top of the line, somewhat like the Golden Fleece suits used to be at Brooks. I confess that I did not notice the extra “s” in the name until a few years ago. The puns are part of the fun at J. Squeeze.

  36. Kind of stepping on this post with the OCBD talk, but I am wearing a recently-purchased Michael Spencer and it is great. Totally unlined; great soft fabric; great “roll”; highly recommend.

    DCG: I would actually love it if this shirt had a J Press label, but I cannot wear button-flap breast pockets. I take my glasses on and off all day long, and I put them in my breast pocket. The flap gets in the way.

  37. Historical Note: I devised the “Pressidential” monicker in 1988 for the upscale new suit and sport jacket line tailored especially for J.Press by Hickey Freeman, an opening gambit for the new J.Press store in D.C. along with a stars and stripes belt and suspender package I garnered from the Republican National Committee to gift the inaugural celebrations for incoming President George H.W. Bush.

  38. Richard is correct as always, I was confusing the former “Presstablishment” moniker

  39. Lest we forget “Pressclusive” or “Presstige” — another story for another time.

  40. Charlottesville | October 3, 2017 at 3:31 pm |

    Great information, Mr. Press. My acquaintance with the Pressidential label dates to the opening of the Washington store, where I began buying J. Press suits, ties, etc.as a newly minted lawyer. I always enjoy your stories.

  41. DCG: I’m going to pop into my local Press (DC) and grab a pinpoint or tattersall buttondown, and see how it stacks up – the website says they’re made in the USA. I recently got a charcoal Presstige 3/2 suit (fabric by ‘Guabello’?), and like it very much.

  42. Paul try on a tweed and report back on how it fits!

  43. NaturalShoulder | October 3, 2017 at 5:10 pm |

    The tweed in the first two pictures looks great and shoulders appear much improved. Alas, living in Texas does not offer many opportunities to sport tweed so I don’t think I will be adding one. I did see a navy and orange bar stripe tie which I will pick up. I have become a big fan of bar stripe ties and could probably be happy wearing just a handful of them and purging my other ties. I was disappointed in the Press button down collar I purchased several years ago and it does not appear they have improved. I have several Mercer shirts which are excellent but the fit is still a bit voluminous for me even with modifications. i think Ratio is my new go to source for OCBDs. I have tweaked the fit with orders and it is now perfect and the roll with the Fitzgerald collar rivals the Mercer.

  44. Charlottesville | October 3, 2017 at 5:14 pm |

    Natural Shoulder — With the blue and orange bar stripe, you would be right at home in these parts.

  45. DCG,
    Many thanks as always for all you share with us. Good to know you’re there.

    Mr. Press, your contributions are most welcome. Did Hickey Freeman tailor J. Press clothes before 1988? After?

  46. S.E.: ’88 was Hickey’s virgin year at Squeeze, still on the racks at my leave taking in ’91 to head FR Tripler, formerly owned by Hickey Freeman currently owned by Hartmarx but still prime outlet for Hickey Freeman in the U.S.

  47. @Paul, have you tried Kamakura? Mercer is great – if you have 8 weeks and need a tarp.

  48. @Rake: I looked at Kamakura’s website once, and couldn’t seem to find a neck-and-sleeve combination anywhere near my size, and I’m a pretty standard 16/34. I don’t know who they’re sizing for (or whether I’d have a different experience at a retail location, if they have any), but it doesn’t seem to be me.

  49. @Rake: your question prompted me to go back and check out the Kamakura website, and nothing seems to have changed: I couldn’t find my size. Additionally, I noticed this little gem of a guide to choosing how to order one of their shirts:

    “For the most comfortable fit, we recommend a shirt size that is 5 to 8 inch (approx.)es greater than your actual chest and waist measurements. To compensate for shrinkage after the first few washes, the actual collar measurement for a new shirt will be 1/3 inch (approx.) larger, and sleeve measurement 1/2 inch (approx.) larger than the indicated size on the label.”

    Can you imagine? Salesman: “Good morning, sir; what size suit are you please?” Me: “Oh, I don’t know; somewhere between a 38 and a 46, I guess.”

    Reading all of that, I put the chances that one of their shirts will fit me at about 1-in-10. No thanks.

  50. Wore a Kamakura shirt yesterday. Fit is great, collar engineered to roll. You’d need to get fit in person.

  51. As one of the younger readers, I’ve never been able to authentically lament the fall of the BB OCBD, as I never lived pre-fall. That said, you can now add my name to the long list of old men decrying the fallen BB oxford.

    I recently was fortunate enough to find a circa 1970 OCBD on ebay for $6 ($10 with shipping). Being a slender guy, I wasn’t sure how the rumors of billowy fit would play out, once I actually put the thing on. I’m very pleased to say that the old fit, while generous, has an incredible drape that keeps the extra fabric out of view. Moreover, the collar roll was unlike any shirt, new or old, that I’d ever purchased. I have a Harvard coop shirt from the 80’s, a Gant non-iron from 1961, and a LL Bean shirt from the 1960/70’s. All of these shirts are unique and have interesting hey-day elements, but none come close to the authentic article.

    A few notes I’d like to add that seem to go overlooked or misunderstood in this forum:
    1. The fabric is considerably lighter weight than modern OCBD’s – brooks or otherwise. Put This On’s series on OCBDs seems to back this up – today’s BB offering is the heaviest it has ever been.
    2. The buttons are a pearlized plastic – not shell, MOP, or chalk. They’re thicker and more transparent than today’s buttons.
    3. My shirt does not have side gussets – this is one way I was able to determine it’s age as a product of the 1970s – rather than 60’s.
    4. There is absolutely zero lining in the collar and cuffs, making it feel like pinpoint oxford. However, there is considerable lining in the placket. I did not expect this.
    5. Brook’s famous 6-pleat shirring is closer to 3 or 4 pleat.

    Overall, it is a truly wonderful shirt. I have a 1980’s era (pre-fall from what I can tell) BB OCBD with the tags still attached on its way in the mail. I’m eager to see the changes, if any, that occurred in the late 70’s-early 80’s.

  52. Paul,

    I agree that the lining is too stiff. If you order from Ratio again, ask for the shirt to be completely unlined. They’ll do that for any of their shirts, not just oxfords…your wish is their command, and you won’t be disappointed.

  53. Charlottesville | October 4, 2017 at 12:02 pm |

    Paul — I checked out my Ratio shirt and the collar band is very soft. I had spoken to one of their sales staff on the phone when I placed my order to make sure that the collar would be unlined. I don’t recall mentioning the band specifically, but it arrived soft and supple like the collar.

    JDD – I can verify that my oldest BB OCBDs, which date from the 80s, are in a thinner fabric than the current model, and of course are very roomy and have unlined collars. I actually like both the thinner and the thicker fabrics, depending on the season. I think that Ratio offers a lightweight “summer oxford,” and maybe Mercer does as well, but I have never tried them.

  54. I own a late 60’s NOS Brooks OCBD and compared to the new/old US-made one (which I tried on in store) the fabric felt the same. Maybe I just didn’t pay attention to the weight but I didn’t notice a considerable difference. They both feel kind of rough at first and are lighter than Polo’s OCBDs.

    I wear OCBDs year round in all colors. I just assumed they were all year round, medium weight. Too many options, weights, etc. make my head spin. Give me the simple life…

  55. NaturalShoulder | October 5, 2017 at 11:12 pm |

    Charlottesville/JDD – I just received a summer oxford from Ratio about two weeks ago. Fabric is noticeably lighter weight than my other Ratio OCBD. The fabric is quite soft and feels like a cross between a pinpoint and an OCBD.

  56. Charlottesville | October 6, 2017 at 9:46 am |

    NaturalShoulder. Thanks for the tip. I may try a summer-weight shirt from Ratio next spring.

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