J. Press And The Universal Elegance Of Ivy League Style

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J. Press has produced a really cool new catalog for summer 2016. Why cool? Because it was produced in Japan and translated into English. That means it really plays up the heritage of the Ivy League Look, as well as offering that ever-curious glimpse into our national style from the point of view of outsiders who’ve done so much to maintain and preserve it.

The catalog also has a contemporary feel that’s neither fashion-victim York Street nor super-stodgy box cut, but rather something in between. Something, in other words, that has a chance to win over new converts while still staying true to the brand’s roots.

The company could not provide a PDF, so here are scans that I hope are legible and not too crooked. You can click on them to enlarge.

The quotes inside are priceless, including “Dressing in J. Press is a way to display one’s personality,” attributed to Irving Press; “Good in the past, good in the present, good in the future,” said by Jay Walter; and the phrase I used for the headline above. — CC

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23 Comments on "J. Press And The Universal Elegance Of Ivy League Style"

  1. How might one request a J. Press print catalogue?

  2. Charlottesville | June 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm |

    Very nice, CC. I’m wearing a J. Press poplin suit today (probably 5 or 6 years old). I think it is a Dacron/cotton blend like the one pictured, but definitely without a buckle in the back of the trousers. I’ll be interested in stopping by the Washington or downtown NY store to see what the now stuff looks like up close.

  3. Jerrysfriend | June 22, 2016 at 6:12 pm |

    Since it pledges to become more authentic, I wonder if Press has plans get rid of suit-maker S, Cohen, which only seems to make jackets with huge shoulder pads and to get Southwick to make fully canvassed for it, like it does for O’Connell’s.

  4. carmelo pugliatti | June 22, 2016 at 6:38 pm |

    I think that the key is that Japanese peoples (as in part the Europeans) have a great respect of traditions and legacy of the past.
    A weakness of Americans is the costant removal of the past in name of modernity,of ever news things,not matter if more ugly that the previous,just that are new.
    If only the majority of Americans would relize how great,wondrous,glorious,extraordinary,bright was their past,how smart and elegant their clothes,architecture,music,way of life,how superb their movies and theater,how wise and far their politic, in the first hal of XX century (until early 60s circa)!
    This fetishism for everything that is new and young is the ruin of America.

  5. Dutch Uncle | June 23, 2016 at 12:48 am |

    CC:
    “Really cool” is putting it far to mildly.
    This catalogue is a masterpiece.

  6. Dutch Uncle | June 23, 2016 at 12:52 am |

    Corrigendum:

    “far too”, not “far to”.

  7. And they’ve ditched the model with the skateboard! That’s a big step in itself.

  8. Incredible. Now, if only Brooks would follow suit.

  9. Haha
    “Follow suit”….Brooks…..good one

  10. I like the way they drive home the “How To,” by spelling it out in a series of looks. Yes, very well done.

  11. Grey Flannels | June 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm |

    I believe that even the English version of the catalog was meant for the Japanese market. That’s why the word “originals” doesn’t appear ın any of J. Press’s American-audience-targeted promotional material. Apparently they feel that the American market wouldn’t appreciate anything of this quality.

  12. When I was last in DC I decided to give J Press a miss. I will not make that mistake again. These items look very promising. I am particularly interested in the poplin suits. Cool indeed.

    Will

  13. I simply can not resist.

    https://youtu.be/rIHWuz7_cJ0

  14. Jerrysfriend is spot on. S. Cohen needs to go. Jackets from J. Press are unwearable at the moment owing to these absurdly over-built shoulders.

    If there is one thing that Ivy and modern fashion trends agree on, it is natural shoulders. I really see no reason to persist with anything else.

  15. Very interesting. But I looked for some of these items on the JPress website, and didn’t find them. The balmacan and the golf jacket, for example. Are all these pieces in the catalog in the stores this summer?

  16. “Since it pledges to become more authentic, I wonder if Press has plans get rid of suit-maker S, Cohen, which only seems to make jackets with huge shoulder pads and to get Southwick to make fully canvassed for it, like it does for O’Connell’s.”
    -Jerrysfriend

    This is the most important (IMVHO) Ivy Style post in months.

    J. Press higher-ups, are you reading? Of course you are. Please do whatever you have to do to get out the contract with S. Cohen (assuming there is one). Those jackets were/are hideous, and they’ve besmirched the brand.

    J. Press, Be J. Press again. In a world of too-short, shrunken jackets (thanks, millennial hipsters) and high shouldered, overly fused monstrosities, we need the sack jacket.

  17. Marc Chevalier | June 25, 2016 at 2:10 am |

    And sack suits with vests.

  18. member of the commentariat | June 25, 2016 at 7:15 pm |

    These are not S. Cohen products pictured here. They are for the J. Press Blue line, York Street’s successor, which you can find here http://www.jpressonline.com/j-press-blue-2/. The products mostly say “imported.” From conversations with the people there, I think that mostly means China. That may bother some, but reports seem to indicate that the shoulders are appropriately soft.

  19. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppin_Merino

    Essentially a (super) 80’s plain weave. Sturdy and porous.

    http://www.jpressonline.com/new-authentic-school-blazer-navy/

    http://www.jpressonline.com/pressclusive-suit-australian-worsted-wool-charcoal-imported/

    “slimmer than”
    Of course. Ugh.

    So it’s “fashion victim York Street” re-packaged?

  20. @SE

    The fit is different than York Street, at least in the jackets. I tried one of the poplin jackets in size 46. (I typically wear a 44R). Fit-wise, it was comparable to a Southwick Douglas in 44R. In other words, it was a little on the long side. The jacket actually measured 32″ in length, although the chest measured 46″ exactly. The shoulders were very nicely constructed.

    In the end, I decided against it, as the Empire Owen and J. Press’s modified Douglas (both an inch shorter than the standard Douglas) fit me better. That said, the J. Press Blue line isn’t nearly as bad as the York Street Line.

  21. L-Feld, many thanks for your feedback.

    So, heeding your observations, the counsel offered on the website is spot on: Move up one size, i.e. if a gent typically reaches for a 44, he’ll want to go with a 46.
    Again, thanks.

    J. Press Blue looked promising for a number of reasons–jacket length and lapel width among the more notable.

    Oh, by the way–
    How would you describe the fit of the Empire “Owen”?

  22. Happened to look at the site stats today and hadn’t noticed that this post went viral (by Tradsville standards) for a few days. Glad to see J. Press and trad style still have the power to spread across the web.

  23. @SE

    The Empire “Owen” has a full chest and large armholes. The chest on a 44R measures closer to 47″. The shoulders are very sloped and minimally padded, comparable to the Southwick. The waist has minimal shaping and the length is slightly shorter, similar to Press’s modified Douglas. A normal Douglas in size 44R is about 32″, whereas the Owen and Press’s modified Douglas are about 31″.

    I actually fit best in a 43R in the Owen, but a 44R is perfectly fine with a small amount of tailoring. Out of all the available RTW sacks, the Owen is probably my favorite. I really like the shoulder construction and the lapel roll has a little more bloom to it, similar to recent Southwick, as opposed to the Cohens and Freemans, which look more like 2 button jackets that happen to have a buttonhole on the lapel.

    It’s tough to tell via the website which jackets are made by Empire. I do know that this one is: http://www.jpressonline.com/pressidential-sport-coat-brown-with-blue-white-windowpane/

    Empire has another sack model (I can’t remember the name) that is a slightly trimmer, unconstructed model. O’Connell’s has done a number of jackets with it, such as this one: http://www.oconnellsclothing.com/O-Connell-s-Soft-Shouldered-Wool-Travel-Blazer-Blue.html

    I’ve done MTO’s at Eddie Jacobs with both models and they have come out beautifully. J. Press, unfortunately, doesn’t do MTO with Empire, only Southwick.

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