Boston Globe On The Andover Shop, A Salon For Jazz Artists And Literati

In the past week, two big newspapers both came out with stories on a pair of the most legendary shops in the history of the Ivy League Look. Yesterday we looked at the New York Times’ piece on Brooks Brothers in the wake of its 200th anniversary, and today we visit a Boston Globe feature on the sale of The Andover Shop.

The store is referred to as “a salon for jazz artists and literati,” and Ivy-Style.com snags a mention:

“There are echoes of your past that you stumble across and you feel a level of comfort. You walk into The Andover Shop and it hasn’t changed,” said Geoffrey Precourt, a longtime editor who frequented Davidson’s salons back in their 1970s heyday. “It’s more than blazers and khakis.”

Check out the story here. Be sure and check out the comments as well.

Fingers crossed the store finds a sympathetic buyer who will keep this singular institution going for decades to come. — CC

18 Comments on "Boston Globe On The Andover Shop, A Salon For Jazz Artists And Literati"

  1. From the get-go, the shopkeepers should have hired a Yale lawyer and a Columbia flack who would have enjoyed beating on Harvard and the city of Cambridge until one of them coughed up the money.

  2. I have to go up to Boston next week. I’ll be sure to head over to J. Press and the Andover Shop.

  3. A Trad Confused | April 24, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Reply

    LL Bean has Bean Boots, Totes… Brooks Brother’s has the OCBD, Sack Suit, etc… Andover Shop has Charlie, but he doesn’t come with the store. They are an iconic shop without an iconic product behind them. What is the brand really worth? Unfortunately, not much.

  4. Vern Trotter | April 24, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Reply

    Any suit against Harvard for expansion in Cambridge or Allston has been a waste of time in the past. On the other hand, Harvard does the right thing and pays the equivalent of what taxes would be if it were not exempt. So over all, most would consider it a good neighbor.

  5. Bernard Faber | April 24, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Reply

    A link to Most Styliah Bostonian 2018 and even going back to 2013- narry a button down or hook event in the entire group!

  6. I definitely miss working at the Andover Shop, as well as the “Saturday Salons” , where I was able to meet some great and incredibly fascinating people. You could barely even move within the store at some points on Saturdays because it was so full of people. Charlie truly is the pope of Harvard Square, and Larry is always a pleasure with his quick wit and dry humor as well.

  7. @A Trad Confused:
    The Andover Shop never needed an iconic product

  8. A Trad Confused | April 25, 2018 at 12:14 am | Reply

    @Starby,

    Sure! Tell me that again in 12 months.

  9. The Andover Shop’s house cut suits & sport coats are iconic products.
    I don’t know of anything more iconic than AS’ two button sack suit, with butter soft shoulders & forward pleat pants. I own several of these suits & are my preferred cuts. Charlie has also been known to further tweak with peak lapels, ticket pocket & side vents for more creative customers.
    The house cut is unique & truly timeless.
    Good luck getting these elsewhere!
    F

  10. Andover Disciple | April 25, 2018 at 2:08 am | Reply

    @Confused
    Perhaps you should change your monicker to A Confused Troll

  11. I though A Trad Confused’s comment was interesting. He certainly made me think deeper about what it takes to run a successful men’s shop in the 21st century. Should you hang your hat on a single item that you can make your name on, or is it enough to provide a variety of classic items without having a signature? Not asking anyone to try and answer that, just thinking out loud.

  12. http://www.ivy-style.com/dateline-1954-the-ivy-league-look-heads-across-the-us.html

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1963/10/4/a-brief-guide-to-mens-fashions/

    Included in the above piece, mention of two of the mid century Grieco Bros./Southwick models. The “Andover” model was The Andover Shop’s creation. The “Warwick” preceded the “Douglas.”

    “There are two distinct models of the natural shoulder with gradations in between. The Warwick model, as one manufacturer calls it, has a high and not overly narrow lapel, a rounded bottom to the jacket, and the first button is set slightly above the pocket.

    On the Andover model the buttons begin lower, the lapel is longer and narrower, and the cut of the bottom of the jacket is squarer, giving a less sporty look than the Warwick suit.

    Both styles omit waist suppression, narrowing the middle by darts over the side pockets. Unpleated trousers are an important concomitant of the natural shoulder look.

    Worn by about nine out of ten Harvard men, the Ivy look is smart and trim. It is supposed to make a man look masculine without the phoniness of padding. However, these effects are attained only by wearing a natural shoulder model which suits you. The Warwick model is slightly clubbier than the Andover model which hints of Madison Avenue. Both are appropriate for almost every occasion the college man encounters.”

  13. A Trad Confused | April 25, 2018 at 9:09 am | Reply

    @ Foghorn, thank you for making my point.. “Charlie tweaks”, my point was that Charlie is the secret sauce that has kept AS alive and kicking (barely). It’s his relationships, knowledge, history, that has kept the doors open.

    I am far from an AS hater, I have at least 15 items in my current wardrobe that I have purchased at the AS, but I am also a realist. The business is hanging on by a thread (no pun intended), if Charlie didn’t own the real estate, the shop would have folded many moons ago.

    The business simply couldn’t afford to pay Cambridge rents, and keep the lights on… now take that scenario and remove Charlie from the equation. Sorry, but the business isn’t going to make it. The only scenario where it would is if some wealthy person subsidized the business.

    Back to my original point, if AS had an iconic product, we’d be having a different conversation here. A unique cut to a custom suit isn’t going to cut it… sorry.

  14. I was recently browsing at Bobby’s from Boston and came across a double breasted seersucker suit carrying the Andover Shop label. The jacket was a great fit, though the double-pleated pants fit something like a circus tent on me. If the worst came to pass and the Andover Shop does close, I’ll take solace that some of will be preserved by Bobby’s, both in-store and likely at their warehouse.

  15. Johnny Bravo | April 25, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Reply

    The AS without CD is like The Chocolate Factory with WW.
    I love how those dusty old hats on the back shelf have not moved since 1965.
    Ebay has a couple of AS patchwork library pillows emblazoned with the AS label that are really cool and $$$.
    Its all about the real estate at this point… maybe the shop’s iconic place in Harvard Square history should survive simply in the minds of those who frequented and loved CD and its four walls.

  16. To confirm:

    If nobody buys, will both Andover Shops (Cambridge and Andover) close?

  17. @Vern Trotter

    A Harvard professor once told me that Harvard is a real estate business with a sideline in education.

  18. Over a period of many years I bought most of my clothes at AS, even after I moved to Boston. I have now moved to Sarasota, FL where the tweeds are too heavy most of the year. When I left, they said “Beacon Hill will never be the same,” which is a tribute to Charlie’s taste in fabrics and their unsurpassable tailoring. The latter was their true product. Literally nowhere else in America compares.

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