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Abstract J-Press-ionism.

I thoroughly enjoy going to the J. Press shop on L Street. It's not just that I like slightly overbearing, chummy service from the career salesmen. I like the stubborn anachronicity of the store. It's a medium-sized shop selling almost all house-label stuff. There's four shops in the world. I'm not saying it's awesomely rare and exclusive (it's not), it's just weird that that business model is sustainable these days (maybe it's not). I also like that, although the merch is pretty seasonal, it doesn't change a whole lot year to year. So maybe they just put madras shirts out for spring 2010. But some of them have tags from spring 2008! They have sales, but never true clearance, and the stuff is so staid, they can just put out 3- and 4-year-old product and it's never out of place. I'm not an evangelist for "timeless" style, but that's still kind of rad. I stopped in Friday afternoon and was intrigued by a few things.

1. A good deal of waxed cotton. J. Press-label luggage/bags, Barbour coats. The oversize tote below was cool. Can't find it on their site.

2. Madras shorts. These aren't the rarity they were maybe 10 years ago, when J. Press was one of the only sources. Theirs are lined in white cotton. I have an old Brooks Brothers pair like that, and it always seemed odd. If they're for the hottest hottest heat, then why add more fabric? If it's to stop them from bleeding onto your skin, then it's been superfluous for a while, as most modern madras (including theirs) is colorfast. I dunno.

3. An unstructured linen jacket. This piece could have none more lack of structure. It's like a jacket-shaped shirt. Seems nice, but a little un-Press; more Nordstrom-y Tommy Bahamish. Still, you could argue there's a hint of Daiki Suzuki's unlined Bedford jacket to it.

4. Armor Lux breton shirts. Seriously. SAILOR SHIRTS ARE EVERYWHERE. None of the traditional makers are super hip, which seems to make them a more logical fit for J. Press than Selectism. St. James seems a little hipper than Armor Lux, but these are nice and legitly French as well. Boat necks don't suit me, so not for me. Also probably not for you, but give it a shot if you want. Side note, Armor Lux seems to make other pieces, like a fisherman's smock, that seem ripe for interpretation/coopting by the Albams of the world.

I picked up a new hat to embarrass my wife.

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