Today J. Press (nickname “Squeeze” back in the heyday), unveiled a collaboration with Murray’s Toggery, maker of the iconic Nantucket Reds. “We produced a small group of products that are perfect for Spring/Summer on their own or combined with many of the other warm-weather favorites we both offer,” J. Press executive Robert Squillaro tells Ivy Style. “We’re two classic American retailers who share the same sensibility, and all styles are made in the USA.”
The oxford-cloth sport shirts feature J. Press’ signature flap pocket, a locker loop, and third button on the back of the collar with a red buttonhole as a subtle sign to the cognoscenti. The Nantucket Red sweater is made of chunky cotton. As for the navy blazer, “It is made in our unlined soft make with a butterfly yoke from a breathable all wool hopsack fabric,” says Squillaro. “The undercollar and interior pocket besoms are made with Nantucket Red cotton twill.”
All products in the collaboration are available at J. Press’ New York store, on its website, as well as the store and website of Murray’s Toggery Shop. — CC
I can’t say that I see the appeal of Nantucket Reds. I had a pair as a kid, because my mom made us go to Nantucket in the summer (the dads were working, of course), and part of that was getting a pair of Reds from Murray’s. Again, my mom giving us no choice. They seemed to be a really odd shape. Huge leg opening, etc. Unless they’ve radically changed the cut of the pants, I can’t see wearing them today.
Lwmarti, they do have a slimmer cut (from the “M Crest Collection”—it’s the one the J.Press website has). But being a pant conceived of for an island, and by no means the office, I see no shame in a baggier fit. And since it was inspired by the color of boat sails off the coast of Brittany, I have a romantic notion of them being somewhat roughly hacked together out of sail canvas, so a loose fit is on-brand, you might say. But I can understand your dislike if you were forced!
I’m glad for this collaboration, particularly since it grounds Murray’s in the context of traditional style, where it’s at home. And—some items and many sizes are already out of stock on the J.Press website—I’m glad to see it seems to be succeeding.
Thank you, Christian, for posting this.
On the Murray’s website, the plain-front trousers have a one inch hem while the pleated have a plain hem.
The most popular way to wear Nantucket reds in the summer, however, is to roll up the hem.
I meant to say that the most popular way to wear the eponymous trousers on the island of Nantucket is to roll up the hem.
Iwmarti, whilst not a Yank I have spent time over there back in my youth and had a pair of the aforementioned trousers which, yes, suffered from excess fabric, everywhere other than the waistband, which had no give at all. In those days your waist size required you to be at your maximum slimness or just forget about it. I now have some passable clones from Gap with a bit of elastane in, a slimmer cut and they fit a treat. Garment dyed so the colouration and fading is excellent.
Reds don’t work for me. Been there. Tried that. I can’t blame the manufacturer or designer for me not being the same shape as their fit model. But my observation of hanging around the Grey Lady is that they fit many others poorly too. By the time your get a big enough waist, the legs and seat are voluminous. But since everyone is so eager to rock some red, the island looks infested with males in skirts. Mini skirts. Too funny!
I like reds, although mine are a slightly slimmer version than the classic. But the highlight for me is the all-wool hopsack blazer with a butterfly lining. It looks like the perfect summer blazer in a breathable fabric. Apparently from the website, each one is made to order in the US, and will take about a month or so to arrive. I wonder who is making them, but suspect it might be the H. Freeman factory in Rochester. Does anyone know?
I am pretty well fixed for navy blazers, including one in tropical-weight wool from J. Press that is great in the summer, but am nevertheless tempted. This is one of the few collaborations that really seems to work, unlike the ill-fated Thom Browne venture at BB. I hope we may see more classic pairings, perhaps co-branded with Barbour or Alden.
H. Freeman is made in Westminster Maryland. Your probably thinking of Hickey Freeman
Pocket Square – You are correct! My mistake. I saw that O’Connell’s is having some things made in Rochester and wondered who the maker might be. The owner of a local mens’ store told me that he heard that some of the former Southwick people were talking about doing something in Rochester, but I don’t know whether anything has come of it. I am not sure what US companies are making natural shoulder sack suits, but they must be coming from someplace.
“Ill-fated Thom Browne venture at BB”?
You surely can’t be referring to the Black Fleece line? I think that the BB BF stuff is absolutely the best thing to wear on Friday afternoon when you stop by the club and drink too much. Outside that particular situation, however, I would be hard pressed to recommend it. But it’s certainly better than the Loudmouth Golf stuff that others wear in that particular situation.
Almost 50 years ago, I bought three pair of Reds at Murray’s on the island. Last summer, two pair wore out, almost at once like the One Horse Shay. The third pair looks pretty bad but by the standards of today, not so. I shall stop by the Yale Club and have a look. Otherwise, it will give me an excuse to find my way to Nantucket shortly after Labor Day maybe on the way home from Saratoga, thus taking me to two of my favorite locales anywhere.
lwmarti – Opinions vary on Black Fleece, of course, as on many other things. Looks short and tight to me, but others seem to like it. Wear it in good health.
I just received an order from Squeeze. Shirt sent (flap pocket classic fit OCBD) is the wrong size, but even so I can tell the proportions are just wrong even if it was correct. I ordered the sweater according to the sizing chart and it was way too tight, which means the next size up would probably have ridiculously long arms. However, I am glad that I tried it own instead of agonizing over whether or not I should. I know BB, J. Crew, etc. get a bad rap here, but at least there is consistency, in my experience. Too everyone who reads this fantastic blog that is under age 60, don’t sacrifice fit for brand name cred. CC is the best, and if you’ve been reading his work since day 1, you will know the difference between tribute and costume. Murray’s is costume.
ECMJ–I beg your pardon. Murray’s is a family-run business (since 1945). Have you been in the shop? Have you spoken to them on the ‘phone? How can the real thing be a “tribute” let alone a “costume”? I am just over 60. I don’t know your age or your experience, but calling Murray’s a “costume shop” is mistaken. I have been a Murray’s customer for over 40 years. I despise reducing traditional clothing to fashionable frippery (see my recent comment on the J.Press/Todd Snyder collab.) Nantucket reds speak for themselves. Nobby’s is further evidence that they do not represent some sort of trad-Halloweenitude. What’s more, I’m surprised you’d think an older reader would be more likely to succumb to brand names, the J. Press/Todd Snyder collab surely demonstrates that younger shoppers are the ones more easily seduced.