Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Jacob Reed man...









My parents came of age on the heels of the previous generation's save everything - waste nothing mentality. Their house, full of endlessly crammed closets & storage spaces, is a true reflection of this. Since my Father passed away, I have taken to trying to sift through one each time I return home. This past weekend I headed north up I-87 on the hunt for Vermont's best micro brew and for Dad's best college digs. I found my fair share of both. Pop's college shop was Jacob Reed's Sons, established in 1824. The building still stands on Chestnut St. in Center City but unfortunately the Clothier is long gone. As the story goes, my Grandmother set up a charge account there without Grandpop's knowledge so that Dad would look his best while he escorted "Candy" Bergen (and later my mother) to date functions at the Beta house...

Jacob Reed carried just what one might expect from an early 60's Ivy League outfitter: private label Gant "Hugger" oxfords, authentic bleeder sack jackets & grey chalkstripe flannel suits with a natural shoulder & a 3/2 roll. Above is a sampling of my father's JRS collection as well as my personal favorite find: His Sox Miller Co. half lined madras blazer. What I love the most about it is that its clear that Pop wore it religiously. Check that fraying around the collar. That's something a man must earn.

12 comments:

The Khaki Crusader said...

Great piece. "As the story goes, my Grandmother set up a charge account there without Grandpop's knowledge so that Dad would look his best while he escorted "Candy" Bergen (and later my mother) to date functions at the Beta house..." --- Pretty fantastic deal for a young man with an appreciation for clothing

egadfly said...

Nice to see JRS getting some attention. My dad, too, was a Reeds' man, and my first good clothes came from the Chestnut Hill outpost. Preppie heaven in those days.

EGF

tintin said...

Great words and images. A shame about Philadelphia and all of the great old stores sent to history. Brooks is now a Staples. Bonwit is Daffys. Boyds is...still around. Isn't it funny how what you don't want to stick around usually does.

Rafe New York said...

I love that you still have these clothes. My grandfather had some amazing pieces as well but sadly they are all gone. I hope these fit you, they look incredible and the best part is they're authentic!
http://rafeloves.rafe.com

Enzo AGC said...

KC - my father was as lucky as I am when it came to his parents. They were the best.

egadfly - I only wished I could have gone there myself. Such is life though.

tintin - from you that means a lot. I do have to say though that there are just as many Boyd's suits in Pop's closet as there are JRS. Our last name is Ciongoli after all...

Rafe - After he passed away I meticulously organized his entire wardrobe. I would never throw away a single garment. The stuff that fits is in my apartment here in the city. The stuff that doesn't was all put back in its proper place.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to your mom,she had good taste and eye for clothing that can stand the test of time. Clothing that still looks great even if its from another time,a great proof is the one I have in my closet. A light brown wool siut that mother bough for my father but I ended up wearing. JRS really knew how to make clothes because i still get compliments about my suit, I just wish that I could find a place to buy more of the same. If anyone knows of a store like that, let me know.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing back memories of taking the the train to Suburban Station in Center City, then going shopping with my mom for the requisite blue blazer at Jacob Reed. That, and a whole host of stores in Philadelphia are long gone, and downtown has suffered for it. Besides Wanamaker's, Strawbridge's, Gimbel's, Lit's and the long-gone Snellenburg's, there was Bonwit Teller, Nan Duskin, The Blum Store, Diamond & Company, and if I recall rightly, a rival to Jacob Reed's called Jackson & Moyer. Brooks Brothers didn't even have a store in Philadelphia then to close!

Eda Celis said...

I knew nothing about Jacob Reed's Sons until I came across this blog. I recently picked up a trench coat at a Good Will in Denver Co. The coat is great, little small so I had some work done on it, but couldn't help but think it may have been a high end label considering it's weight and quality--it's probably 3 pounds. This coat has two labels. On the right, the Jacob Reed's Sons. On the left, a label by Brookmead, "Designed and woven in Great Britain: luxuriously hand detailed, fashioned for elegance." It's 3/4 length, black and grey tweed. There is also a label inside one of the pockets with manufacturing information and indicating it was either inspected by or owned by "Mr. Trainer". I read that Jacob Reed's Sons finally closed its doors in 1983, so the coat is probably at least 30 years old. Would anyone on here have any additional information about this style coat; year made, price, etc.?

Gary said...

My grandfather owned Jackson & Moyer in Philadelphia. It's great to see some of Jackson & Moyer clothing for sale. WOW

Anonymous said...

I just bought a Jackson & Moyer great coat at the Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift Shop for $20. That full length coat might weigh ten pounds. Although the coat might be fifty years old it looks brand new. Your grandfather sold great clothing, Gary. When did Jackson & Moyer go out of business?

Richard M said...

And don't forget Miller/ White, another really good men's shop in Center City. They tried to re-open in Haverford years ago, but failed.

Anonymous said...

i bought a jacob reed´s sons PEA COAT in Toronto at a Second Hand Store. It weight´s at least 2-3 kilograms and is of an astonishing quality. As I found out Reed´s closed in 1983. This quality isn´t produced anymore.

In Argentina the tailors were not able to do some minors repairs because because the material is so strong and even in here in Germany they always say this thing is to be kept as long as possible.

Alberto