The Secret Vice

Tom Wolfe, white-suited chronicler of American culture, disclosed The Secret Vice in a 1966 essay published in The New York Herald Tribune.

“At Yale and Harvard,” he noted, “sex is not taboo. But when the catalogue comes from Brooks Brothers and J. Press, that’s something they whip out only in private. And they can hardly wait. They’re in the old room there poring over all that tweedy thatchy language about ‘Our Exclusive Shirtings’ the ‘Finest Lairdsmoor Heather Hopsacking,’ ‘Clearspun Rocking Druid Worsteds’ and searching like detectives, the shirt with the flap over the breast pocket (J. Press)…”

To read this story and many more, purchase the Threading the Needle book by Richard Press.

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