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











Any attorney caught in the Norfolk (VA) Courthouse without a coat & tie is in jeopardy of being found in contempt. Keep those ties & letters coming in 2021!

Charles Vogan, Jr.

I am a Physician associate (PA) and wear a tie every day to clinic. It never flops out from my suit jacket, odd jacket or sweater, to get in contact with patients, and is no more infectious than any other item of clothing that clinicians may wear. Patients often mention that it is no longer common to see a clinician “dressed up”, and compliment me on my professional appearance.

James Chrosniak

“Coat and tie” was obligatory attire for dinner at DePauw’s fraternities in the mid-’60s. Waiters in starched white jackets served the meal at each table on real china service, and coffee was served in cups with saucers. The meals were all prepared from scratch by our African-American cook.

Robert W. Emmaus

Gerard, you have touched on two of my pet peeves: two or three days’ facial hair growth is somewhere between raggedy and gross. And, a sport coat or blazer without a tie can look OK, depending on the occasion. But a suit without a tie is always incomplete, wrong, or stupid.


Mr. Press, I have full confidence in a necktie revival. A suit without a tie looks unfinished. As for a sportscoat, it also looks half finished without a splash of silk or wool challis at the collar.

Now is the time to corner the market! Necktie lovers, buy as many as you can!