“My kinda clothes” is a delightful little phrase coined by the legendary Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop. It’s also a regular series here in which men discuss their favorite items of apparel. If you’d like to contribute, please use the contact button above.
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I grew-up in Grosse Pointe, MI and my grandfather and uncle owned a very fine men’s clothing store in Midland, MI. They featured suits by Hickey-Freeman, shirts by Sero and Gant, and even carried Lacoste shirts, then made under license by IZOD. So I was wearing “alligator shirts” from fourth grade onward.
I graduated from the University-Liggett School in Grosse Pointe in 1964. In those long ago days, roughly half of my male classmates (with a total male head-count of 25) left for boarding school in the east. Most went to schools in the New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New Hampshire environs, so they generally passed through NYC or Boston to or from school. They shopped at Brooks, Chipp, J. Press, The Andover Shop, Langrock, and the like.
When they came back to Grosse Pointe, one could not help but notice their taste in clothes: real Bass Weejuns from Wilton, ME, sweaters from Scotland, LL Bean hunting boots, rep ties from England. That is where it all started for me.
My addiction was confirmed by the quarterly arrival, at the Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, of the traveling salesmen from Brooks Brothers with their multiple steamer trunks full of the latest from 346 Madison Avenue. I was hooked. My first charge account (signed by my father), was opened at Brooks in the summer of 1964.
In those days, an account holder at Brooks wasn’t even given a discreet number: your name and home address was good enough at all five Brooks stores to purchase whatever you desired. Those were the days.
Sadly, Brooks lost its way decades ago and my loyalty transferred to J. Press, especially after they opened the store in Washington 30 years ago. I met Richard Press at the opening of the store and his recollections of the early days of his family’s historic business was more than an added bonus. — BILL CANFIELD