Red Bluff: It’s Put Up Or Shut Up With Nantucket Reds


We bring our Nantucket Reds weekend to a close with an important message from  The Onion, who tells us there’s no bluffing when it comes to go-to-hell pants: You’ve either got the stones inside or you don’t. There’s no dipping your toe in the pool, no test drive. You’re either a pirate-pant wearing swashbuckler or just a pretender. “Hey, all I can say is I hope this guy is prepared to go all-in here,” a witness to a red-pants purchase told The Onion, “because once he buys these pants and puts them on there’s no going back.” And pants are just the ante. Continues The Onion:

“Let me tell you, if this fucker’s not planning on going balls-to-the-wall with a white polo, navy blazer, and a pair of brown loafers with no socks, he better just put those pants back where found ’em, settle on some classic cords, and just move on already. This is the big leagues we’re talking about here.”

If you’re man enough to wear red pants — the kind of big hitter who can navigate the seven seas of multiple metaphors and still keep his poker face — Castaway Clothing has revamped its website. There’s a ton of new fun pants, and all sorts of social media options for you to share your trouser chutzpah. Likewise, those who prefer to keep their preppy go-to-hellness hidden up their sleeve, so to speak, can just opt for critter emblazoned boxer shorts

21 Comments on "Red Bluff: It’s Put Up Or Shut Up With Nantucket Reds"

  1. Mitchell S. | April 28, 2013 at 10:46 am |

    It takes a real man to wear what are essentially PINK pants. The original, from Murray’s Toggery Shop of Nantucket, are described as “dusty rose,” “salmon,” “tomato soup,” or “boiled lobster” in color. This is all clever marketing-euphemisms for pink.

    The pants in the Onion photo, from Banana Republic, are not actual “Nantucket reds.” They are more of a cross between bright red and orange.

  2. If they are not from Murray’s, they are not Nantucket Reds. ‘Nuff Said.

  3. Gornergrot | April 29, 2013 at 5:11 am |

    The cut of those “fun pants” look like pajama bottoms.

  4. Well, the Onion is nearly always hilarious…..and they certainly do a good job skewering those among us who are under the false belief that wearing critter pants makes some sort of meaningful fashion statement or requires a gutsy sense of style. While I have a baseline level of appreciation ofr Castaway, once a style is hawked by the likes of J. Crew and American Eagle, it’s kicked….or, at least, needs a long, long break.

    I would add: Castaway needs a new stylist…..this pic – and the ones on their site – are terrible. Nothing fits right (including their pants, which are not only boxy, but have clearly been temporarily hemmed up with safety pins for the pictures…), terrible belts, and shirts that appear 3 sizes too big…..immediate turn off.

  5. If they are from Murray’s they are not reds? Please. Murray’s chinese crap can be relinquished to the rubbish bin where it belongs. Get some stones and buy the origianl Breton Reds and fade them yourself. Bills has several great made in the US of A pairs. Or just pop into Murray’s and pose.

    Who wears this crap aside from hipsters?

  6. Mitchell S. | April 29, 2013 at 6:15 am |

    @Dave: I wholeheartedly agree with your comment. Any mention of Nantucket reds without paying homage to Murray’s Toggery Shop is like visiting Rome without seeing the Pope.

    Of course, the original weathered-red canvas pants came from Brittany. French sailors wore red, cotton canvas pants that changed from bright red to salmon pink after being exposed to the Atlantic’s bright sun and salty seawater. Sailors in the New World adopted the rugged, faded pants and they became an American classic.

  7. Have to agree with “E”. “Reds” are thoroughly co-opted at this point. They are more of a generalized youth-hipster piece at this point. The fact that they are a target of The Onion is telling.

    And the Toggery is passe. I’ll bet if I cared to I would find 5 different reds that are of better quality these days. But I definitely do not care.

    And “reds” were never go-to-hell.

  8. Okay, Breton Reds are fine. Just the same as Nantucket Reds, red/pink cotton/canvas pants that take cojones to wear.

  9. Critter pants = chick repellant

  10. Orgastic future | April 29, 2013 at 9:39 am |

    Please….Nantucket reds are the minor leagues of Go-to-hellageism. As a card carrying member of the national board, I must say you are not in the pros until you grace the scene with Lily Pulitzer telling everyone promptly where they can go.

  11. I was wearing my critter shorts on Saturday during the day. My favorite go to hell pants is a blue pattern Toile de Jouy linen.

  12. I imagine those pants are sufficiently hideous, K. Well done.

  13. D'Invilliers | April 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |

    Do any clothiers make firetruck red pants anymore?

  14. NO WAY! Ladies, this one included, love critter pants.

  15. “Loud” is a term my parents and maternal grandparents might have used for garments like these. Not exactly used car salesman or Herb Tarlek (WKRP in Cincinatti) territory, but in that general direction.

    That said, I own and occasionally wear a now very faded pair of Nantucket red shorts in the summertime. I know. I know. In my own feeble defense, these are sans critters and usually paired with a plain navy or black short-sleeved polo shirt while out mowing the lawn in the early evenings.

    Best Regards,


  16. I harbour serious doubts about the prowess of anyone who thinks in terms of, let alone types out “chick repellant”.

    I am sure that some women will like them adn some won’t. What all humans find charismatic is not having the sort of hang-ups such as: “will the chicks dig it, if I wear XYZ”…

  17. Poison Ivy Leaguer | April 26, 2021 at 12:05 pm |

    Remember “Items From Our Catalog”? I thought the name they gave to go-to-hell pants was apt. They called them jackass pants.

  18. Old School Tie | April 26, 2021 at 12:46 pm |

    I imagine the use of “chick repellant (sic)” is a reference to the website and IG account “man repeller”….I imagine.

  19. Jackass pants — Priceless!

    Best Regards,


  20. My daughter was a devotee of the Man Repeller site but, happily, has entered adulthood with a new perspective. By the way, check out my old post on go-to-hell pants.

  21. Vern Trotter | April 26, 2021 at 7:16 pm |

    As a follow up on your recent post about JPress selling Murray’s Reds, a quick glance at their site tell me that JP is selling them for $50 more than Murray. Can this be correct? Or is it somehow due to my unsteady hand.

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