Threading The Needle II – Your Questions Please

Editor’s Note: Home From Here is a talk show that is NOT fashion centered, I will get your fashion questions on the Ivy-Style podcast, this show is more about Richard Press “the person.” Any questions you have in that regard are greatly appreciated.

This Friday Richard Press will appear on Home From Here. This is not the Ivy-Style podcast, which will also launch with Richard at an event to be announced.   Home From Here is more of a general talk show that does not focus solely on fashion.   The interview with Richard will be about his life, his thinking, his values, his stories, I am going to try to talk him into singing, and of course we are gonna pitch the book some.

I am really interested in what you would ask.  In the comments, please leave your questions.  Please note that I will attribute them to you unless otherwise directed and read them directly from the site.

Here’s the latest show if you want to get a feel.  It is pretty interesting, the guest is a Folk singer named Tom Heany who lost his wife to a disease so rare that it hadn’t been named when she had it.  The three years of the disease’s course and patient care forced Tom not to be able to work as well as his wife being unable to, and they lost their house and 90% of everything.  Today, Tom has built his life back from a really bad brink, found new love, and is a great storyteller.  If that is your thing.

Ok, Richard Press questions please!

23 Comments on "Threading The Needle II – Your Questions Please"

  1. Question for the estimable Mr. Press:

    Sir, your most famous customer had to have been “Ole Blue Eyes”, “The Chairman of the Board”, Frank Sinatra.

    Frank Sinatra is famous for wearing the trilby, a fedora-style hat. Would you be able to share any stories relating to Frank Sinatra and his stylish headwear?

  2. Frederick J Johnson | November 1, 2022 at 12:59 pm |

    What was/is the traditional width of the J Press trouser cuff – about 17″?
    sorry I missed you in New Haven recently.

  3. Ok, three related questions for Richard: In his eyes, what combination of attire makes a man well-dressed in 2022? What’s his ideal for a pulled together male appearance (specific items, material, weight, color, fit, shoes, and accessories)? Finally, what’s he typically wear at home during the day. . . For real?

    Kind Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke
    (Michigan, USA)

  4. Don Quixote | November 1, 2022 at 7:08 pm |

    I have one:

    Did JPress ever make a two button sack suit (undarted)? I thought I saw your very stylish father and JFK in photos wearing such a jacket. Also, would you ever recommend such a jacket?

  5. I am a fan of OCBDs with unlined collars, which J Press has brought back. Can Mr. Press tell us when such linings appeared in shirts sold by the company? Why was this done, and by which manufacturers? I’d love any history on this topic or on shirts in general in Mr. Press’ past with the company.

  6. Mr. Press,
    Would you please discuss your upbringing in Connecticut and how that has influenced your life? Might you expand on the values of thrift/frugality, value, and the like, especially as they relate to New England and J. Press? Finally: Hull’s Export: Yay or Nay?

  7. whiskeydent | November 2, 2022 at 8:57 am |

    Mr. Press, you’ve been around a long while and seen a lot of changes — good and bad — in the world. Which one of those changes was the most profound? What had the biggest impact?

  8. Mr. Press: you and I have had the same job, albeit at different times – editor of the Loomis Chaffee Log. How did your time at the Log prepare you for a career at the family firm?

    Ne Cede Malis.

  9. Charlottesville | November 2, 2022 at 9:58 am |

    Not really a question, but I would be interested to hear Mr. Press’s recollections of midtown Manhattan in the 1950s and 60s “heyday,” and his reflections on what remains of that era, what may return in some form, and what is likely gone forever. Not limited to clothing, but more broadly.

  10. Malcolm wolcott | November 2, 2022 at 10:50 am |

    Mr. Press
    What was it like growing up in New Heaven with all the tailor shops on York St.

  11. Mr. Press,

    1. What options are available on a mtm sport coat, suit, blazer, etc. Can the button stance, gorge, lapel width, etc., be customized?

    2. What percentage of your clients actually fit the off the rack proportions?

    3. Do you recommend mtm as a solution to any of your clients, or do you prefer to move what’s in stock?

  12. Mitchell Barnes | November 2, 2022 at 12:51 pm |

    Good questions!
    Looking forward to the interview.
    This may be the Ivy event of the year.

  13. If I’m not too late getting a question topic in, I’m very interested to hear about Mr. Press’s background in theater and what it was like performing Off-Broadway. Hearing any amusing or interesting theatre anecdotes from those days, naming names or not, would be delightful.

  14. More questions for Mr. Press:

    Do consumers and retailers have a say in what cloth the mills produce, and the cloth merchants provide to the manufacturers before it gets to the retailer? Or do designers just take it upon themselves to determine what we wear for years to come? Based solely upon their own personal creative tastes, or sophisticated market research? Is this like the perfume industry, where every 15 years or so a scent is reissued under a new name and in a trendy new bottle?

    There are thousands of swatches viewable on the internet, maybe 1% of which appear to be wearable, but I cannot just dial ’em up and order up 2.5 yards. And even if I could, who could/would tailor it? It seems to be futile. Maybe this is why everybody switched to jeans and t-shirts?

    Please give us a tutorial on how the industry works, and recommendations as to how we might influence it.

    Follow-up comments (fwiw):

    There happens to be several cool tweeds on the Press site this fall. I like the vertical stripe “Donegal Mist” look as well as the Harris tweeds.

    The MAGEE BEIGE WITH BLUE STRIPE SPORT COAT- at $895.00 looks terrific! and is not available in my size. Available MTM?. We keep dropping quarters into a coke machine with no cokes in it.

    • I cannot just dial ’em up and order up 2.5 yards. And even if I could, who could/would tailor it? It seems to be futile.

      – Not Mr. Press, but yes, you can dial ’em up. Or most of them, anyway. Styleforum, London Lounge Cloth Club, and others are good places to start for lengths of cloth aside from the usual makers.

      CMT Tailors are also readily available. Not sure where you are located, but many traditional men’s shops can accommodate MTM with your cloth via their existing producers – for a fee.

      • Thanks for the tip. LLCC must be on Facebook? There are no links to the legacy site on Google. I found one, but it’s not active.

        I’ve never heard of CMT before. Thanks. I’ll look into that.

        I think I’m on the wrong continent. It’s easier to buy crack than tweed. Oh, well. Gotta give the people what they want.

        • Believe they are on FB and Instagram now. It’s really not difficult to buy tweed – just that you’ve been looking in the wrong places, unfortunately. Hope this gets you on the path.

          Similarly, yes to most fabrics OTR being available in nearly all better MTM, and yes to button stance, gorge height, lapel width etc. being customizable for MTM – these are table stakes questions. That said, J. Press offers a classic style, so I can understand the “stick to the house style” commentary. Hickey Freeman, Oxxford, Flusser, etc all offer nearly infinite combinations of gorge, button stance, lapel and pocket styles.

  15. Another question for Mr. Press. Tight-fitting shirts have been fashionable for quite some time and seem immune to trends. Is it possible the shirt makers — particularly the mass market ones — persist in making such shirts because they require less cloth to make and thus cost less? Could the same be true for suits?

  16. Frederick J Johnson | November 4, 2022 at 11:58 am |

    When can we tune in to the broadcast?

  17. Mr. Press,

    If you would, please shed more light, so to speak, on “Reefer Twill.” Large, robust serges and twills have made a bit of a comeback in the custom/bespoke blazer universe (yes, a relatively small one).

    Who made this cloth for J. Press — and what it so distinctive?

  18. Carlton Chiswick | November 4, 2022 at 11:30 pm |

    Found it impossible to access the broadcast.
    Did others have the same experience?
    Will it possible be posted on this site?

  19. What manufacturers made J Press suits & jackets (esp presidential) during your tenure?

Comments are closed.