J. Press Spring 2022 Book & Einstein’s Block Theory

“The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”  – Albert Einstein

Einstein and J. Press are both… pretty Ivy.  In his theory of General Relativity Einstein submits that there really is no past, present and future.   J. Press’s Spring Book is an exhibit thereof.   You can check it out here.

If you are looking for a map of where Ivy has been and where it is going, this brochure is cartography.

J. Press isn’t shy about where all this is going.  In the intro by Richard Press, he encourages both the traditional and the creative.  He calls it Ivy Sprezzatura.  I would have called it Degage, but that is really my only criticism of the collection.

In the presentation of Block Theory, this paragraph would have been called the abstract:

The season features classic Poplins, Seersuckers, Chambrays and lots of Madras including some great patch madras anoraks. We’ve also added Batik print fabrics throughout the collection.  We’re introducing updated versions of some J Press favorites from the past. Soft constructed Cool Cloth suits and Crash Linen jackets and trousers.  Some other highlights are: over 20 patterns of OCBDs, Rugby shirts, and cotton sweaters all made in the USA. Also, a  full range of swim shorts and Madras popovers.

They are not kidding about the patterns, which Press integrates seamlessly.  (See what I did there?)

I didn’t go through the whole book just to look for this, but I don’t remember anyone wearing socks. #degage #bravo

I was also really encouraged by Press’s continued outreach to a new market.  Here:

This book does such a fantastic job of opening the door wider. I am working for a world where people my daughter’s age move on from pajama bottoms in the market to madras shorts and a tennis sweater.  Quick side story.  I wore a braided leather choker when I was in high school (Guitar player, don’t judge).  Took a shower with it on, forgetting that leather shrinks as it dries.  This fine young man’s choker seems weatherproof, so that’s good.

And here:

One of the great things to have happened since we took over in the fall is the influx of younger readers interested in experimenting with the style. Here – this is how you do it.

If you are in the FB group (and if you aren’t, by all means you are welcome, it really is a focused and remarkable spot on the internet) you know about my rants for the inclusion of women in Ivy.  And the start of a Women’s section here.  This image made me particularly happy:

Another thing I want to congratulate J. Press on (I still think it should be called degage) is that they have achieved what so few purveyors speaking to this audience fail at – models who look both like models and like the people you would see during your day. That’s no small feat. I am SO knee deep in this demographic right now, it is nice to see some Ivy with its finger on the pulse.

I’m posting another link for you  here.  There is a lot to take in, from the suits to the linens.  Most everything in the book marries the traditional and the degage with an understanding of both.

This is… just the right amount.   And hello, my friends in Darien.

There’s a bit in the catalog where Richard Press interviews Jim Caruso at Birdland.  It’s a good read.  I’ve been going back and forth lately about how important the historical aspect of Ivy is with a few people over at the group.  My thesis (I’ll take the mic now Einstein) is that in order to really sell the Ivy aesthetic across the board, you have to do two things.  First, you have to sell the lifestyle (this is not debatable) but you also have to reinforce the values that stem from the history.  The history and the values guardrail the experimentation.  In other words, you can’t be really degage without doing your homework.  So hat’s off here, J. Press invests time and money in this regard, and is a large part of the rising tide that lifts the Ivy boat.

All in all, the Spring 2022 is a tremendous work.  There is enough of what you want.  There is creativity with respect.

And patterns.

JB

 

 

17 Comments on "J. Press Spring 2022 Book & Einstein’s Block Theory"

  1. Thank goodness for J.
    Press keeping the classics going!

    So many young guys dress like “overgrown 10 year-olds,” to quote Jordan Peterson.

    The classics have stood the test of time. Young people will find out one day that trendy designer duds and athleisure will not hold up well over time.

  2. Thank God! There’s nothing I don’t like..

  3. Looks so good! I went out of my way to walk past J Press a few weeks ago when in the city and was really pleased to see 1) young people in the store, 2) a great window display, 3) the Shaggy Dog dog (that’s what they REALLY need to sell, to be honest–let’s get the youngest generation involved from the beginning!)

  4. Excellent.

  5. Having gone a little overboard with clothing purchases over the past couple of years, I recently decided to try an experiment: Seeing as how I already possess a decent Ivy-ish wardrobe (with some other things thrown in) and don’t really *need* any new clothes, I resolved last month to not spend any more money on sartorial pursuits through the rest of 2022. Thanks a lot, J. Press — you have officially spoiled my plans. Curses!

  6. Agreed. There is not really anything I “need” in my M-F (or special occasion) wardrobe at this point, but lots of nice looking items here in any case.

    Sartorial Regards,

    H-U

  7. 500 bucks for a wool tennis sweater? Who do they think I am, Scrooge McDuck?

  8. Frederick J Johnson | March 3, 2022 at 1:44 pm | Reply

    I too really do not need any more stuff, but I plan on getting another pair of tan poplin trousers and their new green university stripe OCBD which I have wanted for years.

  9. J. Press, Cable Car Clothiers, The Andover Shop, Ben Silver, and O’ Connell’s are the five American stores that, still alive and kicking, have been consistently tacking Ivy for a while now: bucking the trends, standing athwart history yelling “Stop!” and all that.

    If there’s a seventh, I’ll be pleased to stand corrected. To the best of my knowledge, the remainder of traditional clothing stores have transitioned to Updated Traditional.

    In a sea of Updated Traditional and Pitti Uomo, the Big Five’s TRADitionalist inventories stand out. Let’s support them.

    I bought some J. Press this past year. I’ll buy some J. Press this year.

    Agreed. Mercer maybe? There are also a lot of smaller lines that are starting to pick up some of the heavy lifting. But totally agree, we should support them! – JB

  10. @ S.E.

    One might add Eddie Jacobs of Baltimore, Maryland to the list. They sell 3/2 sack sport coats, MIUSA OCBDs, repp striped ties, etc.

    https://eddiejacobsltd.com/sport-coats/

  11. Looks great if you want to look like you’re wearing your little brother’s clothes. Coats and pants are too short and tight. Is everybody, at least so far, too afraid to say what is all too obvious? And what the hell is going on with the doofus with the mint green coat and dock line holding up his pants? Like the university stripe shirts and the olive tennis sweater though.

    Cheers,

    Will

  12. @Taliesin and S.E. — Those top 5 are right on the money and have national profiles (and beyond), but I sure appreciate hearing about clothiers like Eddie Jacobs in Baltimore that are still kicking and doing it well. Portland has John Helmer, now operating in its 101st year of business. https://www.johnhelmer.com

  13. Old Bostonian | March 4, 2022 at 12:28 am | Reply

    JB,
    Very charitable of you to expend all that time and energy to try and find find nice things to say about the clothes and combinations. All I can say as a long-time customer is that I feel sorry for J. Press struggling to look cool and up-to-date. I wish them all the luck in the world, but to me this looks like a last-ditch attempt to survive: a swansong in the guise of a colorful carnival. I truly hope that J. Press comes to its senses: I really don’t want to mourn its demise. (I could go on about those too short, too tight jackets, and those kids dressed in outfits they’d never wear in real life, but I have too much respect for J. Press and what it once was).

  14. Eddie Jacobs is the last of the ivy haberdashers in the Baltimore metro area. Eddie is a wonderful gentleman and his knowledge, customer service, and product lines are the very best.

  15. “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past. WE all labor in designs of OCBDs and GTH pants designed and spun long before we were born.” Faulkner, re-purposed about Ivy clothing.

    Anyone who can repurpose Faulkner is a friend of mine. – JB

  16. I’m a long-time reader and visitor to Ivy Style, and a sentiment I repeatedly see in the comments is a weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth over the perceived horror of [insert clothier of choice here]’s new clothes. While I’m sure most of the people leaving the comments mean well, I’ve gone from amused to annoyed. Do people expect clothing to become museum pieces, forever dated and of their era? Is it wrong for clothing companies to respond to changes in style and fashion? During the heyday, slim clothing was in. Slim lapels on suits to match slim to skinny ties. Slim collars to match the slim ties. Yet I also see comments here bemoaning slim ties, often made by those who allegedly love the heyday. It all makes me wonder just what are people ACTUALLY upset about, because all I see is hypocrisy. I think J Press’s clothing here is incredible, and my girlfriend and my friends agree. We’re all 30 and below, and we think J Press is doing a phenomenal job.

  17. Totally agree with you Tarik and I am 70 and above. You write with great wisdom. I was in J.Press in New York this past weekend. The service was great, the displays were stylish and the clothing was incredible. I don’t need as much as I once did but I did take notice of their casual items-pants and polos and purchased accordingly. J. Press is doing a phenomenal job in adapting-the world is constantly changing and you either adapt or fail. Keep up the good thoughts Tarik-you are clearly wise beyond your years!!!!

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