Rereading The Guns Of August, Barbara Tuchman’s 1962 bestselling treatise of the events leading to World War caused my hair to stand on end. The Tuchman critique of prewar opéra bouffe French army uniform mirrored her unrelenting take of turn of the century Europe.
“Not to excuse the British Empire adopting khaki after the Boer War,” Tuchman notes, “Germans were about to make the change from Prussian blue to field-gray. But in 1912 French soldiers still wore the same blue coats, red kepi, and red trousers they had worn in 1830.”
Le pantilon rouge c’est la France!
The Battle of the Marne cancelled that slogan. The outfits in the French trenches changed to meet current needs. It doesn’t take a History PhD to identify the quantity and quality of American change. Camel cigarettes and three-piece suits at the office? Assuming there’s still an office. The British army adopted khaki to meet the mark and J. Press follows the changing of the guard with Churchillian vigor. Here is a personal example.
Samuel Press Goodkind, great-great grandson of J. Press founder Jacobi Press provides a Press family perspective. Sam has immersed his J. Press wardrobe respecting what’s what of the past with his own trademark. He’s an executive search real estate headhunter who currently resides in a booming Brooklyn quarter, partially shedding his Greenwich, CT roots with an NYU degree and additional post-suburban street smarts.
Occasionally a suit requirement is called for. Sam meets the challenge with his J. Squeeze off-the-rack 9 oz. 100% Fox of England mid-weight worsted. Shirt and tie don’t sport Grandpa’s label. I surrender dear.
For walking my granddog Rolo (not pictured) or regular winter neighborhood jaunts, he often passes Brooklyn Bridge Park bundled in his superior Tweed herringbone topcoat, fabric woven by Magee of Ireland.
Blood runs deep in the Press family. Genes regenerate. Grandson Sam adheres to a top tier template bearing a personal wardrobe that displays unstinting workmanship of unerring good taste— template for today’s man.