News Roundup: Rowing Blazers, J. Press, Tailor Caid, And That Other Shop In Harvard Square

Last night Jack Carlson hosted another packed party at the Rowing Blazers pop-up shop in downtown Manhattan. The occasion was the introduction of the brand’s latest collaboration, which is with Murray’s Toggery Shop. Why work out in basic gray fleece when you can do it in Nantucket Red? 

Just the day before Rowing Blazers was featured in the New York Times under the headline, “Prep Is Everything at Rowing Blazers, But Is Prep Alone Enough?” Here’s a snippet:

… men’s wear has turned into a pachinko game. Where the ball lands, who can say? Or control?

But one place it most assuredly is not landing is in the prep arena. Prep is proper. Prep is polished. Prep is a rigid framework. It feels like a relic, not just of the 1980s, or the 1950s, but also of the 2000s, when men on the internet were first gathering around ideas about how to present themselves.

Coincidentally, last week I was interviewed by WWD apropos of RB, a new cycle of neo-prep, and even you guys in Tradsville. Will be sure and let you know right away when and if something comes of it.

I spent much of the evening catching up with neighbor, old pal, and former Ivy Style columnist DCG, aka The Millennial Fogey. We were our usual contrast of classic Ivy and Ivy Chic. It was a summer scorcher, and Dan was in short-sleeve madras shirt, khaki shorts, engine-turned belt, and penny loafers. I was dressed in [TRIGGER WARNING] bit loafers, white Levi’s cutoffs, navy linen buttondown, and skull-and-bones belt. The big news here is that Dan has left J. Press. The company was very sorry to see him go, and he’d like to return some day. But he’s happily moved on to The Armoury, which means he’ll be able to help you with all your queries about Tailor Caid, the Japanese Ivy tailor who works with the shop.

Dan says that this fall will show great improvement at J. Press, with some wonderful fresh tweeds, and next spring will be even better. Much of it is because of the new exec “Squeeze” Squillaro, who launched his career at Brooks Brothers in the twilight of its golden age.

Finally, there was a rumor going around the Rowing Blazers party that while J. Press is leaving Harvard Square, another iconic shop has found a new owner to continue the tradition. I’m in the process of seeking out the details.

Have a sun-and-fun-filled weekend. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

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21 Comments on "News Roundup: Rowing Blazers, J. Press, Tailor Caid, And That Other Shop In Harvard Square"

  1. Caustic Man | August 10, 2018 at 4:03 pm |

    Congrats to DCG. He was a great help in my dive back into J. Press clothing providing measurements not listed on the website and generally giving me a nuanced view of sizing and fit. Wishing much success to him at The Armoury.

  2. I noticed a few Rowing Blazers items there when I was visiting last month.

  3. Sorry to see him leave. Staff in that store seems to be turning over pretty quickly.

  4. “…another iconic shop has found a new owner to continue the tradition.”


  5. Just Sayin' | August 10, 2018 at 10:20 pm |

    S.E. – the Andover Shop in Cambridge, surely. Since it was reported here not too long ago that it was struggling to stay afloat.

  6. I do hope that J. Press will open another store in Cambridge soon, if only to keep the city’s name on their label.

  7. Dutch Uncle | August 11, 2018 at 4:26 am |

    When I saw the words “That Other Shop”, I was expecting some kind words about Leavitt & Peirce.

  8. Vern Trotter | August 11, 2018 at 8:42 am |

    Employee turnover. Always a bad sign. Especially when there are not many employees.

  9. Richard Meyer | August 11, 2018 at 11:50 am |

    The NY Times piece was by Gangsta Rap aficionado and slob, Jon Caramanica, who is totally clueless about ‘prep’, and much else.

  10. Richard Meyer | August 11, 2018 at 11:53 am |

    @ S.E: There is no “Chipp” anymore except for on line accessories and bespoke clothing. Paul works alone with old customers for limited work. Retail shop went out a long time ago.

  11. @Richard Meyer
    Yeah, that piece was confusing. Does this guy have some sort of quota of how many trendy names he has to drop in each piece? Prep as a “fashion gateway drug”?

  12. Richard Meyer | August 11, 2018 at 1:18 pm |

    @NCJack: As I said, his main beat is gushing over obscene rap lyrics. He is in real life an unkempt slob.

  13. Scott Sandler | August 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm |

    @Dutch Uncle:
    Leavitt & Peirce was never “that other shop”, it was “the shop” in Harvard Square.

  14. Paul Winston’s assistance was most appreciated a few years ago. He and I agreed that a particular 14 oz. English woollen flannel by Minnis would be perfect for a blazer. Patch pockets, hook vent, antique buttons. I look forward to wearing it next January, Feb., and March.

    I would recommend it but the superb Minnis 305 is no more. More of a French navy. All gone. True of most of the flannel in that (great) book. aside: best I recall minnis 305 was Paul’s favorite English flannel for blazers.

    • Richard Meyer | August 11, 2018 at 3:07 pm |

      Chipp/ Winston Tailors has been my tailors since the early 1980s. Paul is a great man.

  15. @Richard Meyer: had anything made by Paul (Winston/Chipp) recently?

    Back to the article: Christian has done us a favor. We now have the beginnings of a language to describe at least one among the many distinctions: “Classic Ivy” vs. “Ivy Chic.” Is “Ivy Chic” similar to “Neo Prep”?

    I like the phrase “Classic Ivy.”

  16. @SE

    There are posts about both here on the site! Use the search window.


  17. Found it!

    Which is better– “Chic Ivy” or “Ivy Chic”? I think I may favor the latter. But I prefer “Classic Ivy” to “Ivy Classic.”

    I think I get the look now. The Dicky Greenleaf reference helped.

  18. This summer I’ve been playing with Hippie Ivy Palm Beach Chic.

    Which means bright polos and sweaters with white jeans and shorts, and my couple of paisley buttondowns.

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