The Dignity of Proper Dress

J. Press survives the current menswear mayhem as an island of good taste. Let’s play make believe allowing my old role as prelapsarian (look it up) advisor on the sales floor when customers asked my advice what to wear and how to wear it.

Certain public events require sartorial dignity. Imagine Justice Roberts with a hoodie and Grandpa jeans peeking out beneath his judicial robe. It will be interesting to see if victory elevates Pennsylvania candidate John Fetterman out of cargo shorts and into a suit and tie on the senate floor. Dare we forget Congressman Gym Jordan habitually disemboweling his suit jacket. If Jack and Jackie were still around, I doubt if their Newport wedding attire would be Bermudas.

A couple of years ago I spoke before Prof. Jay Gitlin’s history course Yale and America. My ticket was J. Press’ contribution to Yale and Ivy League culture. One of the students queried me, “Mr. Press, when I graduate in a couple of months and go for a job interview, I expect to wear a suit. I’ve never owned one and have no idea how to dress it up. What do I do?”

Needless to say, I directed him to J. Squeeze and offer the following git-go to negligent Millennials, Gen Zs or Boomers.

Get thee a dark grey mid-weight worsted suit. My personal preference is a muted pin or chalk stripe. Button the three-button natural shoulder jacket over a white Oxford button-down shirt paired with an Irish Poplin dark blue regimental stripe tie, lace-up cordovan shoes and a matching plain leather belt. Ought to work for most occasions whereas a blue suit requires black shoes and belt are outré for daytime wear.

Never, I repeat never ever, wear a suit without a necktie. You can never be too rich, too thin, or too well dressed. No tie, you ain’t turned out According to Hoyle.

Following the Yale class lecture that evening the erudite and well-attired Professor Gitlin introduced me to a booze-filled spiel at the elegant Elizabethan Club before a very tweedy J. Press crowd.

A good time was had by all with no torn jeans in the room.




All undeniably true; however, I hope you will entertain the possibility of wearing brown shoes with a blue suit. I don’t believe that is excessively outré.

David Wlody July 25, 2022

Bravo Richard!

Jay July 25, 2022

Thank you for your acknowledgment of the total disrespect for oneself . Let’s hope that we get the greatest times in America back. Enough is enough. You left out the folks that adorn pajama wear for every a cation . Thank you for your truthfulness. J. H. K. JR.

Jimmy Kepley July 25, 2022

Thank you! Perfect perspective! I’m still a traditionalist and all I wear are 3 rolled to 2 button suits, blazers, and sport coats, along with OCBDC shirts. Covid 19 forced me into retirement, but I still dress Ivy every day!!! I love J Press, so please continue offering traditional men’s wear!!!

Marshall Hall July 25, 2022

Just out of curiosity I’ve been told by several of my adult offspring that a pair of raggedy designer jeans retail for as much as $300 a pair. That’s US, not Canadian, dollars. A decent suit today would be around $850. My first real grownup suit I bought for high school graduation in 1960 was around $75, as I recall. A pair of Levis – which was the uniform of the day back then -was about $7. That was back in the Jurassic era before raggedy jeans were invented by some clever ad agency. Long live J. Press and the Ivy League classic look!

Richard Landerman July 25, 2022

Good morning to all , So hard for me to believe so many educated people do not know how to dress .I was in the business for 35 years . It always made me feel good to help the novice customer get his wardrobe .

Michael Murphy July 25, 2022

What excellent advice, Mr. Press. I could not agree more and am thankful that J. Press continues to offer proper and stylish clothing in this postlapsarian world.

Charlottesville July 25, 2022

As usual, excellent advice. Not wishing to seem too puritanical, I would avoid a booze filled anything. Nothing detracts more from sartorial elegance than drunken and boorish antics. Moderation in all things is the best policy. Nevertheless, a wonderful and helpful article-I would expect nothing less.

Gary Glazer July 25, 2022

I Agee with you,. I continually wonder how people interview, especially those that are always gym ready?

J Kevin Moran July 25, 2022

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