26 March 2011

J. Press Warehouse Sale Report

Back from New York, and with a full nights sleep under my belt, I now feel prepared to proffer my personal report on the J. Press warehouse sale.
Held on the 29th floor in a building on 7th Ave. that houses a myriad of clothing companies offices, in the heart of the old New York Garment District (not far from the giant needle and button)...

...in a plain white room that reminds me eerily of the corner of my basement where the Affordable Wardrobe Shop lives, only infinitely better lit, and about ten times as warm. Seen in the distance are Tin Tin (with his back to us) speaking with Sugi, the kindly young Japanese gent from Onward Retail who saw fit to extend and invitation to your humble author. (Thanks, Sugi. Much obliged)
Lots of shirts made by Troy Shirt Makers Guild. Alas, none in my size. This number here was particularly nice, white with blue pencil stripe and a white club collar, for less than $20. I have fond memories of Troy Shirt Makers. Ages ago, when the real Filene's Basement still existed, I sometimes found these shirts for throwaway prices, which enable me to own them at the tender age of 16. I can remember one in white herringbone with a spread collar and double cuffs was a particular favorite. Later, when I worked at Simon's Copley Square (R.I.P.), the boys would get all atwitter when we would get the chance to have Troy do up a run of shirts for us...the good old days.
Plaid of every kind abounded in this hot little room, much of it fit for Summer, but not all of it...
While it's true, this suit in oversized black/white/red plaid is fully ridiculous, it is also undeniably brilliant. Don't worry, I didn't bite. I really wanted too, but I didn't. I have a hard enough time justifying ownership of my navy blue and grey chalk stripe suits, let alone most of the rest of my wardrobe. Even I can exercise restraint when it comes to outlandish plaid suits. Still, I've been thinking about it ever since.

I also didn't bite on this blue and white batik masterpiece, but only because it was too big. Laugh all you want, I'd have killed you all in this thing with Nantucket reds and a white tennis shirt, you know it.

Glorious real tweed was certainly well represented too, as seen in this piece rendered in butter soft wool courtesy of Hanly of Ireland. Really, this sort of thing is why J. Press continues to matter, because even Brooks doesn't deliver the tweed like this anymore. Charlie does, but not Brooks.

Afterwards, we visited some fabric shops nearby, just to ogle, really. That there is all silk tie cloth. Seeing things like this really puts the provenance of one's clothing in sharp perspective. Do you want a skilled human to cut and sew this fine cloth for you, or a machine?

With warmer temperatures on my mind, this fine Italian cotton caught my eye. I'll have a pair of flat front chinos, with side tabs, slightly tapered legs, and two inch cuffs in each color, please.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. So, what about my haul? Thankfully, I didn't acquire much, but what I did nab was a select group of winners, not all of it clothes:

An excellent wool driving cap in vibrant plaid, $59, less 70%, $17.70.
Incredibly, "Made in USA" does still exist. Not so much at Brooks Brothers, but all over the place at J. Press.

And what do I need less that a third (you read me right) pair of patch madras pants? Pipe down, I was in a spendy mood. $105 less 70%, $31.50. A steal, if you ask me. Remember what I paid for Ralphie's?

This pair is built more like proper trousers, and fully lined in cotton gauze. Once again, homemade, by which I mean made at home.
The day before, Tin Tin took me to this crazy record and book store run by an old rock dude with long, frizzy grey hair, crammed willy-nilly into what was once an apartment on the West side.He was giving a hapless customer a dissertation on John Williams and the Boston Pops (of all things). A ten spot nabbed me a vinyl copy of  Out There by Eric Dolphy, a slab I've been after for years. Look for it in an installment of "The Jams" later this week.
As a parting gift, my gracious host sent me home with a copy of Flusser's near Biblical Clothes and the Man. Flipping through it on the bus ride home, I realized that it was from my Dad's copy of this book that I learned to tie a bow tie.

This particular copy is even dedicated to me, in 1988, when I was 12 years old.  Huzzah!

I may like to be a provincial Bostonian where the topic of New York City is concerned, but I'll admit that one of the nice things about Boston is the ability to soak up 24 hours of New York whenever you like. All in all, a successful jaunt.


David M. said...

I love the second photo with the double racks; talk about sensory overload. Boston is in a great spot. NYC is a "short" drive and we have The Cape and islands and the other NE states close by to visit. Heck, even Canada is close.

Young Fogey said...

That "outlandish" plaid suit is the true Prince of Wales check. Larger than its predecessor, the Glen Urquhart check, it most commonly has a red overcheck like the one in this fine example.

Oh, and that's not a batik jacket. That is made out of reverse print cloth, most commonly used for aloha (i.e., Hawaiian) shirts. In fact, that particular pattern is quite popular.

Reverse print cloth is made by overdyeing the cloth so that the pigment seeps through to the reverse side. That reverse side is then used as the outside of the shirt, making it look (to the untrained eye) as though the shirt were sewn inside-out. Reverse-print shirts are more popular with Hawaii residents than their louder, "normal print" counterparts.

It's too bad that jacket was too big. You and ADG are about the only guys on the planet who could pull off something that over-the-top.

Jho78 said...

I laughed out loud at the "I'd have killed you all in this thing..." line. If anyone could pull this off, it'd be you.

G.Bo said...

Daaamn! Great things... Tell me how i could go there for sales 2?
BTW know that style and ..Jazz are linked.
Great job,
Peace. Sly.

G.Bo said...

Look @this: http://www.therakeonline.com/article_milesdavis.html

Young Fogey said...

The more I think about it, the more I think you should get that "outlandish" suit. Why don't you call the fine gents at J. Press and see if they won't let you have it at the sale price anyway? They just want to get it out of their hair.

I'm very happy for you that you have yet another pair of small animal-stunning pants. Wear them in good health!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had known about this. I might have driven out to N.Y. from the Midwest for it. What was the selection like and how often are these sales? I'm a 40-short.