Safety ‘Net

The Internet has allowed America’s last remaining traditional-clothing retailers — such as O’Connell’s, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year — to stay afloat and even grow, despite minimal novelty factor in their wares. “We’ve carried the same seersucker and patch-madras shorts since 1959,” says O’Connell’s owner Ethan Huber.

On assignment for trade publication Apparel, Ivy-Style founder Christian Chensvold spoke with the heads of O’Connell’s (whose American-made, $350 blazer is pictured), Ben Silver, Eddie Jacobs and Cable Car Clothiers.

Of course, not all of them are embracing the idea of selling traditional clothing through the non-traditional medium of e-commerce.

Although The Andover Shop maintains a website, 82-year-old owner Charlie Davidson puts minimal effort into it, saying, “I can’t believe that someone with taste would buy something over the Internet.”

4 Comments on "Safety ‘Net"

  1. I hope the Argyle shop makes it with that attitude.

    Does he believe this his customers are as computer illiterate as he is? With the Andover shop catering to a very specific niche, his store would benefit from a full bore approach more than all the J Crews of the world.

  2. Wonderful article, CC. I quite like where you’re going with this.

  3. I love the Andover Shops attitude.

    We often talk about the old days, when rich men would wear frayed old clothes to tell the world they were above caring about things like that. Its kind of the same thing with Andover’s

    Besides, that store is 90% filled with cloth, not clothes. Last time I checked, you can’t be measured online.

  4. Charlie Davidson sounds like the man who owned a horseshoe store in 1900. Perhaps the next generation will show a little more intelligence.

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