"Every man should have at least one ecru shirt in his closet." So said the men at Herzfeld. If you want a shopping experience close to what it must have been like in the glory days of the 1930s then Herzfeld may be the only place left. At least in NYC.
I haven't owned an ecru shirt since I worked at Brooks Brothers in the 80s. It was a "Makers" button down and it paired well with a wool tie of hunter green mixed with red and yellow pheasant or horse and rider. It was quiet and elegant and looked good on anyone.
This Hausammann + Moos double cuff shirt is too formal for a wool club tie but the ecru still works understatement by calming down what would be too much contrast with a white shirt. I like to think of this as Trad Italian since the jacket and tie are both from Italy. Many of you know that pocket squares bother me but since this is an Italian effort... Well, when in Rome.
I was thinking about the old J Crew catalogs from the early 90s and how each one seemed to tell a story. Lots of normal looking kids huddled around a beat up Land Cruiser with a Wire Fox Terrier in the foreground and grey haired parents in the background with a beautiful vacation pile on a pine tree encircled lake in Maine. Maybe it was Wisconsin. They kinda look the same.
J Crew isn't going away. Herzfeld might. So I had this idea of J Crew creating a new brand of top shelf apparel. Stuff made in France, Italy, England and the US with a focus on quality but at a not too dear price negotiated by J Crew's huge orders. I'd call it E. Crew, short for Ed, who was the dad in those catalogs years ago. The dad who lost the squared inseam / waist 15 years ago but knows quality and value when he sees it.
E. Crew would offer side vent jackets made from butter-like wool from Italy. Thick English silk ties with matching boxers instead of matching pocket squares. French gloves in gold calf with cashmere linings in Tiffany blue. Maine button downs with unlined collars and 12 oz khakis made in Brooklyn. Heirloom goods that speak to the elegance of the past and worn with the comfortable thought that this stuff may very well out live you. E. Crew. That's my fantasy store.