Tom Davis To Run MTM Shirt Program At New J. Press Store

Tom Davis, one of the few octogenarian haberdashers who has worked since the heyday of the Ivy League Look, will be joining J. Press at its new New York location, which is scheduled to open within the next few weeks.

Mr. Davis spent some four decades running the made-to-measure shirt program at Brooks Brothers’ Madison Avenue flagship. He was recently offered retirement along with many other veteran salespeople at the location. During his tenure he made shirts for many famous men. I’ve spoken with him several times — including about the practice of wearing a collar pin with a fastened buttondown — but have never formally interviewed him. I shall attempt to arrange that now.

He will be in the same role he was at Brooks, making made-to-measure shirts, and will be in the store on a part-time basis. Stay tuned for more reports about the new J. Press store, including when you can make an appointment with Tom Davis. — CC

28 Comments on "Tom Davis To Run MTM Shirt Program At New J. Press Store"

  1. Tom Davis, Jay Walter, and perhaps even more legends to come….

  2. Charlottesville | October 17, 2017 at 12:56 pm |

    What great news. Mr. Davis is one of the best. As I recall, his business card used to say that he had worked at Brooks since 1967. Most of my club collar shirts were purchased from him. I cannot believe he is 80; he looks decades younger. Best wishes to him in his new spot on East 44th Street. I have cut way back on my shirt expenditures in recent years, but I will need to pay a visit.

  3. Over 80, I believe. Will find out soon enough.

  4. Charlottesville– My Grandmother lived to the ripe age of 97, she was a beautiful lady (both inside and out) and she would often reply to folks who were always amazed by how much younger she appeared……”honey, black don’t crack!” Love and miss her and her infinite wisdom!

  5. The entire idea of this just makes me smile.

  6. Charlottesville | October 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm |

    Nice story, Ryan. My father made it to 95, and I hope to at least match him, but unfortunately I do not expect to look even one day younger than my age. I think hotel and store clerks started asking me whether I wanted the senior citizen discount around my 40th birthday.

  7. Best wishes to Mr. Davis! Yet another reason to drop by the J Press store next time in NYC…

  8. Richard Meyer | October 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm |

    Most excellent news! Press’s gain is BB’s loss.

  9. Yet another example of Press retaining the best of Ivy.

  10. Grey Flannels | October 18, 2017 at 12:47 am |

    This is the kind of post that makes this blog the best.

  11. As I ponder my impending retirement, I look at guys like this and think, what am I doing? I like my work. Good to see that Mr. Davis has found a new home at J. Press. One wonders what in the hell BB is doing these days. It sure ain’t the company of yore.

  12. Always good to have someone around who can say “I don’t need to Google it, kid, I was there.”

  13. Charlottesville | October 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm |

    Christian — Do you know if Jay Walter will be back in residence doing custom tailoring at J. Press when the new store opens? My custom suit days are probably behind me, but that would be a terrific resource for commenters (including me on occasion) who lament their inability to find some special garment, fabric or heyday detail.

  14. Oh, my gosh! I did a double take when seeing Mr. Tom Davis’s photo. I thought it was one of my favorite professors — Reverend Doctor Peter J. Gomes of Harvard. Sadly, Professor Gomes died in 2011. He, like Mr.Davis, was the epitome of Ivy Style.

  15. Vern Trotter | October 18, 2017 at 10:50 pm |


    I recall Peter Gomes as shorter and heavier than Mr Davis but there is a facial resemblance. The Reverend Gomes came to visit us many times at Trinity Church Boston. Seeing Mr. Davis on the floor at 346, I can say he is a taller man.

  16. Minimalist Trad | October 19, 2017 at 12:27 am |

    It is unfortunate that most students today spend four years at most American universities without ever seeing even one professor dressed like Mr. Davis.

  17. Looking forward to the interview with Mr. Davis.
    This has whet my appetite:

  18. Cville, yes I believe Jay will move back into the store.

  19. Minimalist Trad | October 21, 2017 at 1:56 am |

    My guess is that Mr. Davis doesn’t trust anybody to iron his shirts. It would be interesting to learn what his ironing tips are.

  20. Charlottesville | October 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm |

    Thanks, Christian. That’s good news.

    Old School — What a great mini-interview with Tom Davis. Looks like it was from a Brooks Brothers publication. According to the date cited for his move to the 5th floor, I must have ordered my last batch of shirts from him in 2008 or earlier, which sounds about right.

    Minimalist — You could be right. I remember noticing the crispness of his shirts, at least one of which had mitered cuffs, as I recall. He was always very well dressed, whether wearing a coat or in shirtsleeves, For better or worse, I send mine to the cleaners, but generally need to touch up the collar and cuffs of whatever I am wearing on a particular morning.

  21. Charlottesville: The mini-interview was from the book True Prep (2010) by Birnbach and Kidd.


  22. Articles like this are why this site is the absolute best. I read that blurb about him in True Prep. Thanks for sharing Old School.

  23. I wonder if he will have to buy and wear J. Press pieces or if he will continue to wear his Brooks clothes that he has been wearing for years? Maybe he’ll just wear J. Press MTM shirts and ties? Its an interesting quandary because he seems to be too practical to purchase a whole new wardrobe just because he has moved to a new employer, but isn’t it awkward when people compliment and inquire about the clothes that he is wearing and they’re all from Brooks Brothers?

  24. Would you ask an 84-year-old legend that you honored to have working for you rather than out fishing get a new wardrobe?

  25. Does anyone know what happened to Jerry that was on the floor of J Press for many years? I think he was still there when the store closed.

  26. Jeffrey Shawn Haber | November 25, 2017 at 11:30 am |

    Hello Robert,
    Although we have not met, I am Jeffrey Haber (the son of Jerry Haber) and of course my father did work on the floor of J. Press in New York for many years (first from 1958-1960 and then from 1971 until 2013). Dad retired in November of 2013 and sadly passed away on September 7, 2015. My family and I are extremely grateful for your thoughtful inquiry about my late father Jerry Haber. Appreciatively, Jeffrey Haber

    • Jeffrey:
      Thanks for your kind remarks. I am sad to learn of your fathers passing. He was a fine gentleman. I always enjoyed visiting with him over the years when I would drop by the store on my visits from Texas. He was helpful and knowledgeable. Press was indeed fortunate to have such a likeable front man. As the years passed and I would drop by the Madison Avenue store I would always ask about Jerry and they would assure me it was just his day off ond he would be there next time. Will miss him when I visit the new store.

  27. I worked with Tom when I was 17 years old at the Madison Avenue Brooks Brothers store. We were both in the Special Order Department. Just this past week, I had learned that he went over to J. Press but he was not there. I left my business card with one of the salesladies there. Hope to hear from him. Such a sweet man.

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