Those lamenting that there’s no longer a J. Press store in New York will need to rethink that, starting with me. I hadn’t been to Press’ York Street store in quite some time. After all, it was always a little heartbreaking not to have the Madison Avenue store anymore, and who wants to check out all that Ovadia & Sons-designed stuff anyway?
Well much has changed. For one thing, the Ovadia stuff is no longer there, because the brothers no longer design for J. Press; meanwhile, there’s quite a bit of stock from the main J. Press collection in the York Street store. The shop’s props and decor make for a very cool atmosphere, and one other thing: our very own Millennial Fogey columnist Daniel Greenwood is now working at the shop in between singing engagements.
The result might just be the coolest midcentury Ivy shop currently in existence. J. Press York Street boasts a combination of traditional and contemporary items, is packed with midcentury jazz memorabilia, plays space-age bachelor pad music on the stereo, and is located in Greenwich Village, traditional home of New York’s famous jazz clubs and ’50s literati.
As Ivy Style reported not long ago, the York Street label has been replaced by a new collection called Blue. The items and their cuts are less extreme than their predecessors, and look like a much smarter way for the company to attract younger customers while staying true to trad style. Items from the Blue collection are mixed in with others from the main J. Press collection, and the combination is much more harmonious than the previous stuff designed by the Ovadia brothers.
Here I am trying on a blazer from the Blue collection, combined with my Bass tassel moccasins, argyles, O’Connell’s charcoal worsteds, Brooks blue buttondown, RL club tie, and RL cable cashmere sweater:
Next, DCG shoved me into this lightweight summer jacket, which was in a textured seersucker-like cotton. I’d need a long rather than regular, but the fit and styling should appeal to a broader base than the York Street stuff:
The decor of the shop, which DCG says was inspired by Blue Note-era jazz, blends ’50s jazz with collegiate Ivy in a way that was right up my alley. Look down and you’ll see a table lined with oxford-cloth buttondowns:
Then look up and you’ll see John Coltrane (the song “Moment’s Notice” from this album is one of my favorite jazz tunes):
Glance left and you’ll find a preppy classic such as patch-madras shorts, here accented with polka dots:
Then glance right and it’s Dave Brubeck:
And if that’s too hip, there’s The Four Preps:
Of course I noticed this pinned club collar:
Here’s another, with Yale on the cuff:
Some ties and accessories:
The infamous Chuck Bass scarf:
This pebble-grain longwing is an Allen Edmonds exclusive for J. Press (though don’t ask me how it differs from the regular AE shoe):
Alas Ivy-Style.com isn’t quite this old…
A book on display open to this page. It’s called “Atomic Cocktails,” and I had it years ago. Check out the outfit on the guy on the right. Red shawl-collared party jacket combined with white buttondown and black knit tie:
Finally, you probably want to know what the service was like. DCG certain looked like a J. Press salesman:
As for his salesmanship, he managed to talk me into one item on the clearance table. There in Greenwich Village, surrounded by jazz albums and old copies of Playboy and Mad Magazine, he suckered me into a navy turtleneck that made me feel like a beatnik poet:
It also made me feel like a cat burglar. I should have tested Daniel’s loss-prevention skills. There was certainly enough worth taking. — CC