The Necktie Dream

The Necktie Dream

In 2011, long before the COVID pandemic, a doctor’s association in New York supported banning neckties for doctors after a study revealed that the dangling strips of silk can transmit bacteria leading to infection. This would have been devastating news during the Heyday of Ivy Style in the 1950s and beyond when J. Press sold countless caduceus ties in school colors for the Yale, Harvard, and Columbia med school fans. One of our celebrity patrons included New Haven resident and Yale alumnus Dr. Benjamin Spock.

In 1968 more than 10,000 ties were randomly packed in corrugated boxes strewn about the shipping room on the mezzanine of our 44th Street store. Every morning the downstairs crew grabbed handfuls tossing them onto the tie counters surrounding the center stairwell.

They were never imprisoned in glass showcases. Jacquard Macclesfields began the merry followed by Repp stripes, Wool Challis, Ancient Madders, Silk Knits and seasonally appropriate bleeding India Madras. Irving Press, my uncle and boss, habitually strode around the counters messing them up, making them an irresistible petting zoo for customers to stroke, finger and feel.


Grasshopper was our signature emblematic tie in our New Haven campus store. The slim 3” navy ground was emblazoned by thick yellow insects. Gossip on York Street spread the tale of a Smith girl asking her Yalie date if the tie he was wearing signified membership in a club. He responded he was “tapped” by Grasshopper.

The emblematic tie ensemble provided either a jungle or barnyard of pigs, geese, wild turkeys, mallard ducks, tigers, elephants, bulldogs and horses. Adjoining was a silk locker room of squash rackets, golf clubs, and lacrosse sticks. Wall Street was not to be denied a bull and bear. And let’s not leave out beer mugs and martini glasses.

How will it out in the new Year? J. Squeeze dreams the impossible dream of a post-COVID necktie revival. We placed our bet with a full presentation of past favorites, still on top of the counter to touch and feel. 

I tie my tie, you tie your tie











great little article.
I attended Colgate University where I really got to appreciate regimental rep ties.
Since then, I have purchased quite a few from both your store and online.
I always check the internet to see whether you’ve added any additional ones, but so far you haven’t.

Jaime J Borer

I have always been a tie aficionado, and own hundreds upon hundreds of ties purchased over many years. My wife and I always dress in a complementary way for church, and she knows the routine: on Saturday morning, I ask her to select her clothes for the next morning’s service. Then I select a tie that looks great with her clothing, and finally I select the suit (in an appropriate weight) that looks best with the tie (and with her outfit). The pastor is aware of our little sartorial game, and once when my wife wore a bright turquoise dress and I appeared wearing a brown suit the pastor approached me after the service and asked — “What happened???”

Ross Ellison

I sometimes find myself being the only person in the dining room wearing a tie. However, I continue to wear them – I feel undressed without one.

Someone made reference to the prohibitive cost of ties for younger people. Would it be possible to have some kind of a tie promotion program i.e. a lower priced “first time tie wearer” program? Or a shirt plus tie package? Or, “wear a tie on Friday” program?

All the best,
Dick Pinto
Yale, ’48

Richard Pinto

I am as comfortable in a tie and jacket as I am in a a T shirt and jeans. I hope that the style never goes away and that the young men will realize that to be a professional you must dress like a professional (in a jacket and tie).

Gil Kessler

I must have two hundred ties dangling from the tie racks in my closet. How often does one wear a tie any longer? Maybe a dozen times a year, given how tings are today. After all, it’s become impossible to tell the law firm partners from their mail room staff!

Gerald Brecher