When J. Press was a family business it was calumny for anyone close to Irving and Paul Press to dare wear an outside brand.
Irving Press broke his own rule with wife and sons spending a long summer vacation on Yale classmate and pal Chasey Kuehn’s 100-acre ranch outside Casper, Wyoming. Kuehn, long time benefactor of the Yale School of Forestry, rancher and devoted patron of the J. Press custom department for years, challenging fitter Felix Samelson to camouflage his 300 lb. frame. Irving and his sons followed Kuehn Ranch protocol wearing Levi’s secured by a Kuehn Ranch brass ring leather belt. Irving appropriated the belt for J. Press where it became a best seller throughout the 1960s and ‘70s.
My own away game from J. Press wardrobe protocol began in the early 1970s on summer jaunts to Nantucket. Nantucket swells knocked off gin and tonics at the Yacht Club flaunting Murray’s Nantucket Reds. I never made it into the Yacht Club, but for years thereafter nobody stopped me from wearing Murray’s Reds in the lowbrow bars I favored with my pals on the island.
Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s clothing manufacturer Gordon-Ford tailored warm weather wear for J. Press. Irving Press implored its co-owner, dynamic mover and shaker, Norbert Ford, to secure the fabric from the mill that produced Murray’s Nantucket Reds. The mill’s loyalty to Murrays proved unbending and Norb Ford was unable to find a resource to replicate the Murray’s fabric. Hence our imperfect “brick red” imitations that more truthfully should have been labelled “Second Hand Rose.”
The wishbone has come full circle. J. Press is pleased to partner with Murray’s Toggery Shop on an exclusive merchandise collection this summer. In addition to the fabled trousers and shorts the assortment includes a signature navy blazer, Island sweater, OCBDs, and seasonal ties, all made in the USA.
Now I can sip dirty Martinis at JG Melons, fading in and fading out after my second cocktail proudly togged in my Murray’s/J. Press Nantucket Reds likewise guaranteed to fade.
I’ve purchased some things over the years. Flannel trousers, shaggy dog sweaters, love them, scarves, twill trousers. I love my blue 3 button blazer, outstanding. Everything I buy there I love, wish I could buy more
I was happy and relieved when J. Press reopened its NYC store. sadly we have recently moved to Williamsburg, VA. All is not lost, J. Press in Washington, DC is less than two hours away, so I can continue outfitting myself in the style I love.
Thank you for maintaining the style and quality that has come to define J. Press.
Working at your NYC store in late 70’s early 80’s was a highlight of my life. Fond memories of you and Irving, Peter, Jerry, Felix, Ken and so many others. I moved to California after leaving J. Press and to this day still order and wear proudly 3 button natural shoulder J. Press Prestige suits.
I wonder what became of all my former colleagues?
Richard- it’s been a while since I’ve been in either the Cambridge or NY store. My first exposure to J Press was with Peter Rossetti when I briefly lived in Indianapolis. He was making the Midwest tour for your shop. Peter was a great one and we were friends for years. I’d go by the shop anytime I was in NY. I live and have lived in SC for many years. If you offer a catalogue please send one. Great store with great service. My address is PO Box 12122, Columbia, SC 29211. Take care. Chip/
In olden days, I didn’t realize I was being unfaithful to J. Press by wearing Nantucket Reds from Murray’s.
Do you have a 43 Short Blue double vent , two button blazer ??
Thanks Ed Carey 516-965-9580
Now if I can only get my hands on one of those sweaters!
It must be comforting to know that your clothing will fade right along with you.