Immediately following our 2,000th post, Ivy Style reached another milestone: reader comment number 50,000. It was made by a regular — “Old School Tie” — and as a thank-you for his longtime participation, J. Press has kindly offered to present him with a flap-pocket OCBD.
There’s an enormous number of options when it comes to shirts these days, but the one known for the flap-pocket is from J. Press. Though there are fewer men who recognize this tell-tale sign than there were in the Ivy heyday, it’s still a distinguishing mark that fellow trads will notice.
Regarding shirt specs, J. Press tells us:
– Made in USA
– Original unlined collar with perfect roll
– Signature flap pocket
– Available in Classic or Trim fits
– Colors offered – white, blue, pink and yellow
Head over to J. Press’ website to check out the flap-pocket OCBDs, and “Old School Tie” please shoot me an email to claim your prize. — CC
You stole my Threading The Needle column on the same subject @jpressonline several weeks hence. ?
Congratulations on another milestone, Christian, and what a treat for Old School Tie. Nice to know that the Press flap-pocket OCBD still has an unlined collar and costs less than many competing made-in-USA shirts. As I recall, LL Bean’s oxford button downs had a flapped pocket when I was in high school, and I think Ralph Lauren put out a similar version several years ago, but it has always been associated primarily with J. Press where, presumably, it was invented in the 50s or maybe even earlier. I’m looking forward to Mr. Press’s upcoming column on the subject on the J. Press website where, one hopes, all will be revealed.
Yes to J Press generally; no to flap pocket.
If this is a milestone post, 16.5 x 33 yellow please.
I wore those and the point collar forty plus years ago.
Had the shirts tapered then. Great quality and style.
Will check them out the next time I’m in NYC.
How is the sizing on J Press these days, specifically the trim fit? I have a 15″ neck size and even the trim fits measurements seem large (shoulder 18 3/4″ and chest 44″). My true chest size is 37″ and the shoulder width on most of my shirts is 17.5″ tops.
Here’s the link to all of Mr. Press’s “Threading the Needle Columns”:
The old ad demonstrates one of the big differences between the heyday and now. When the J Press OCBDs were $6.50, Arrow shirts sold for about $5.00. Currently Kohl’s is selling Arrows for $24.99. J Press OCBDs cost $125. The premium for going first class has jumped from 30% to 400%.
During the heyday, Arrow and Van Heusen sold 100% cotton broadcloth shirts that left very little, if anything, to be desired.
Now, I need not comment on their quality.
If an Arrow sells for 25 USD, then a J. Press shirt at 5 times the price is well worth it.
@Bailey Hartford, I totally agree. There is a quality chasm in addition to the price chasm.
Back then, I doubt there were many, if any, factories in China that paid slave wages to make shirts as cheaply as possible instead of as good as possible. That’s what you support with your $25.
I’ve been getting flap collars recently on my custom shirts from Michael Spencer and Ratio. I like them and they’re useful for bits and pieces to store so they don’t fall out, but less so for more bulky things like pens and glasses which don’t fit in the pockets well with the flap in the way.
Fantastic! Thanks guys – not seen any of this until now as have been working round the clock.
@Trevor Jones, Interesting observation. In the late 70’s, LL Bean sold OCBDs with a deep pocket for your glasses and a small slit in the flap for your pen.
@whiskeydent, excellent point, but who knows what the shirt companies would have done if there had been cheap Asian labor available in the 60’s. I recall a small manufacturer in my hometown that made very high end private label (e.g. Saks, Neiman Marcus, etc.) shirts. The wages of the seamstresses who worked there didn’t exactly rival the UAW workers in Detroit.
I bet your hometown workers could at least live on the pay. I have no doubt that they wanted and deserved more.
Industrial workers — union and non-union — usually earn much better pay and benefits than unionized workers in clothing factories and grocery stores (the non-union grocery workers usually get crappy pay and I’d imagine it’s the same for the clothing workers).
I don’t know why. I’d think a butcher has to learn more skills than somebody repeatedly screwing in one auto part, though I could obviously be very wrong. Maybe it has something to do with profit margins.
Prices have far out paced wages. It was the heyday in many respects.
J. Press doesn’t offer shirt sizes beyond 17.5X36 regular fit. I wear 18X36. Say what you will about the Brooks; their traditional fit shirts are perfect for me.
My favorite Gant shirt style was the 3 button pop over when growing up; that was back in the early 60s which I paid between 5.50 to 6.50. I had a couple of flap pocket Gants but wasn’t thrilled about that style at the time. Now, I’m considering adding them to my collection.
Update;I’m on my 4th, just ordered number 5.