TNSIL | A Continuous Lean.

The North Shore Sporting Set

May 26th, 2011 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Sport, TNSIL | by Jared Paul Stern

“A Small Patch of Long Island Houses the Rich and Great of New York” Life announced in 1946 in a cover story on the North Shore photographed by Nina Leen, focusing on the sporting set. “It requires little more than an hour to drive from the sweltering summer heat of Manhattan to the cool comfort of the Piping Rock Club” in Locust Valley, the magazine noted. “But it can take a lifetime, if not several generations, of financial and social success to become one of its 700 members.” Nonetheless in the land of Gatsby they discovered there “a pattern of life that is ordered, gracious, and, amid great luxury, basically simple,” not to mention damned stylish.

A Final Plunge at the Harvard Club

Apr 13th, 2011 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, New York City, TNSIL | by Jared Paul Stern

May 1940. Germany has just invaded France. Neville Chamberlain resigns as British Prime Minister. The country is poised on the brink of war. The burning question – how are they coping at the Harvard Club?! Something like that must have been behind Life’s decision to dispatch photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt to 27 West 44th St. in New York, just as the Germans captured Paris causing the U.S. Navy to augment its ranks – including several able-bodied Harvard men.

Others however were content to whittle away the hours in the stately confines of the Harvard Club, centered on a three-story red brick neo-Georgian building by McKim, Mead & White constructed in 1894. Within its richly-paneled walls was everything a gentleman could require: good food, plentiful cocktails, a vast library, a barber, a smoking room, an indoor swimming pool, squash courts and a fully-stocked wine cellar, all far from the fields of battle.

J. Press & the Original Ivy Invasion

Mar 3rd, 2011 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Menswear, New Haven, TNSIL | by Jared Paul Stern

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on this wacky new Ivy League Look that’s sweeping the nation, radiating out from New Haven, the center of the “Ivy Style” universe. Now, where have we heard that before? Ah yes – Life, November 1954. “The Ivy Look Heads Across U.S.” the magazine proclaimed in an anthropological examination of the natural-shouldered suit and its sartorial brethren. They sent photographer Nina Leen to J. Press in New Haven, dubbing it the birthplace of the “Ivy League Look” when it opened back in 1902, to see the original in action outfitting Yale men. There she located the founder’s sons, Irving (Yale ’26) and Paul Press (seated left to right, below) presiding soberly over the premises. We have some outtakes that never saw print.

Schoolboy Scarves and Sack Suits

Sep 20th, 2010 | Categories: Made in the USA, Menswear, New York City, TNSIL | by Michael Williams

Wandering up Madison Avenue last week I popped into J.Press to see what was new and chat with the salesmen. The fall merchandise was out on display and I perused the schoolboy scarves and the knit wool-hats in their full Ivy colored goodness. I really love the cold weather accoutrement that Press sells. I also like the oxford shirts and sack suits. Jay Walter (who we’ve seen on this page before) took some time to show me his nice new autumn suit program.

On the New Haven Line

Aug 26th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Men's Stores, New Haven, TNSIL | by Michael Williams

Take the train from Grand Central to New Haven and go straight to J. Press at 262 York Street. A few years ago I had the great pleasure of working for the company (sort of a dream come true at the time) and I would occasionally make the trip up to New Haven or Cambridge for business. When we went to Yale we would go by the Yankee Doodle and have hamburgers. The great part of the J. Press store in New Haven was the fact that it still exists. The New York store sort of moved around and never felt perfect (even when it was around the corner from 346 on 44th Street), but New Haven always felt right. In the store there would be nary a student in sight — save maybe someone on an errand for a school boy scarf during the colder months or a guy in need of a repp tie.

The clientele has aged with the company, but the bones of the brand are still there. And never call it preppy. J. Press is “Ivy League style,” because this isn’t prep school. The sack suit is like acid in the eyes of “the kids,” a name my friends and I have for the younger style-set that don’t necessarily get J. Press.  I’m not yet an old man, but I have a certain fondness for the sack — even if it is unflattering. I like the natural shoulder too, because that’s about as American as it gets. Like most things, many feel that J. Press isn’t the same chap he was 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago — though some still swear by it. Likely, more the former than the latter. The Japanese have owned it for years and years, but still Press carries on. You can’t say that about a lot of companies or clothing lines. When you think about it, many a mighty brand have fallen and disappeared during Press’s watch. Even the Doodle is gone, as is Mory’s…yet Press persists.

J. Press founder Jacobi Press in New Haven, Conn.

Trad Men in The New York Observer

Sep 8th, 2009 | Categories: Men's wear, Suiting, TNSIL | by Michael Williams

With New York fashion week within arm’s reach, The Observer’s Joe Pompeo reports on the decidedly non trendy trend of Trad. The article gets some great analysis from two very honorable gentlemen, namely John Tinseth from The Trad (which is one of my favorite reads; Tinseth has amazing taste and is a helluva story teller) and David Wilder of J. Press. I have had the pleasure of talking shop over spirits with both gents on several occasions and can say without reservation that few do it better. When I worked with David at Press I would joke that he was sent from central casting. David possesses an insane knowledge about Ivy League style and WASP culture. Many thanks to Joe for including me — this is the kind of style coverage that I love. Read the article here.


J. Press suit and Blackwatch sport coat. Photos by Lee Clower.

No Obselesence at J. Press.

Jun 9th, 2008 | Categories: Made in the USA, Men's Stores, Men's wear, New York City, Style, Suiting, TNSIL | by Michael Williams

Looking through these catalogs from 1958-1963 it is easy to see that not much has changed at J. Press. Back in 1958 a cotton Seersucker sportcoat was a good deal at $59.50. That very same sportcoat (or a similar style) is still offered today from J. Press for $395.00 ($296.25 if you factor in the sale that is currently going on). Now, if you adjust the 1958 price of $59.50 for inflation, the seersucker jacket would cost $433.62 in todays money. So the J. Press seersucker is beating inflation — sounds like a good investment to me.

It is interesting to see all of the two-button models that were offered way back when. Most people like to think that J. Press only sells Sack suits, but it is clear from these pictures that that is simply not the case.

All of the scans link to Flickr, once there click “all sizes” to see the hi-res versions.

Cool Cloth J. Press Suits