J. Press LIFE Magazine Photo Roll, 1954


We continue our series of related posts with these images by Nina Deen, the photographer who shot the 1954 LIFE Magazine article “The Ivy Look Heads Across US.” These photos, which didn’t make the print edition, surfaced several years ago when LIFE put its archives on Google, and were taken in J. Press’ New Haven shop.






21 Comments on "J. Press LIFE Magazine Photo Roll, 1954"

  1. The J. Press lineup in group picture: back l to r: George Feen, Sam Kroop, Gabe Giaquinto, Herman Racow. Front l to r: Irving Press, Paul Press. Looking at ties: Phil Tarasovic, Yale football captain.

  2. Classic photos. As you know this historic building continues to decay and is not being conserved. The wrecking ball is certain to swing this fall if nothing is done. Is there something we can do to help save this place?

  3. Ironchefsakai | July 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm |

    I believe J. Press already moved to another location down the street.

  4. A.E.W. Mason | July 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm |

    These are wonderful pictures; surely they evoke, as they should, many happy memories for Mr. Press. Though I’ve seen them before, some new if random thoughts occur to me:

    1st picture: I’d probably sell my soul for a three-patch-pocket odd jacket with a button stance and lapel roll like that.

    2d picture: I’m struck by the low roll of the lapels worn by the assemblage, especially Messrs. Press & Press in the front row, who look to be wearing what we might have associated in 1954 with a more modern two-button stance. I like the look, provided, of course, the rest of the coat is softly draped. It works especially well, too, with the square-folded (as opposed to points) pocket squares they are wearing.

    4th picture: I note the white French cuff shirt in the display case just to the left of the young man. Question: Do French cuff shirts have a place in Ivy world? Personally, I think so. In fact, a nicely starched, white broadcloth, French cuff shirt would be the perfect compliment to the suits worn by Messrs. Press & Press as noted above. For accompanying neckwear, I’d choose a muted foulard or ancient madder tie. Six-eyelet lace-ups, of course.

    Last picture: Perfect length. The trouser should just kiss the top of the shoe or sport a slight break at the most. But why do tailors always want to give us puddle pants? Cases in point? Just about every male actor who walks the red carpet at the Academy Awards ceremony.

    Great photos. Thanks!

  5. Another detail worthy of attention: the length of the button down collars. Longer.

    Here’s another angle:


    Four inches? Okay, maybe not. But at least 3 5/8″ and I’m guessing closer to 3 3/4″. Like the old Troys.

  6. 3 3/4 collars and they were made by Tyson Shirts. Troy came on the scene when Tyson expired.

  7. The break and accompanying shoes are a home run!

  8. I am inspired.

  9. What a joy it is to see the real thing.

  10. fred astaire | August 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

    great pics. classic style.

  11. New Haven store relocated to 976 Chapel Street at the top of the Green. I passed by the York Street building just after Memorial Day, and renovations had yet to begin.

  12. Who is the owner of the J Press York Street building? Does Yale own it?

  13. I cannot get enough of pic 1 or 3. Top notch stuff.

  14. I read that the Japanese owner of J Press also owns the building which includes the smaller shop to the left of the entrance that has a connecting door inside to the J Press store. I was told that at one time J Press sold shoes in the smaller shop.

  15. The small shop was the original home of Barrie Ltd shoe store.

  16. So much to note. The suit jacket shoulders are narrow and natural, but not–how to put this?–lacking in structure.

    Squeeze, I’d be interested in knowing which manufacturers were making suits and jackets for Press at this moment in time. They look great.

    The plain toe bluchers. Of course.

  17. @Squeeze: was Barrie Ltd independent of J Press? Back in the day, did J Press sell Gant or Sero shirts?

  18. Chipp used Linett and NH for off the rack clothing.

    Press has used HSF and Grieco Bros. and, more recently, S. Cohen.

    Again, I’m curious. One of the more interesting aspects of Ivy Heyday style (narrowly, ’61 to ’68) is that nearly all the shops had access to the same manufacturers (save a few examples, most notably Brooks and Chipp). The idea that a Max’s Men’s Store jacket was (nearly) identical model being sold at Press or The Andover Shop can serve to bridge any divides.

    Whatever one says about PoloRL, they source cloth and use makers to which few others have access. The men’s retail shop business is dominated by a small handful of manufacturers who supply (basically) the same stuff. Hickey, Samuelsohn, Bills Khakis, Southwick, Alden, Hertling for pants, Pantherella, Robert Talbott, Alan Paine.

  19. David Wilder | August 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm |

    Very sad that none of the men in the staff group photo are with us today. I remember Gabe as such a character!

  20. Dutch Uncle | August 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

    I still wear plain-toe bluchers, except when I feel daring and wear wingtips.

  21. Yale does not own the York Street building. Yale does own the Chapel Street building where Press relocated.

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