Paul Stuart in the '80's.

Flanderian

Connoisseur
“I abhor dullness and resist flamboyance,” Mr. Grodd told The New York Times in 1985. “That’s a hard line to walk — to be distinctive, subtle, disciplined, with a sense of humor.”

What a perfect encapsulation of the Paul Stuart style. One can always tell when a company or firm is driven by one persons vision vs. a corporate monolith that staggers forward, carried only by momentum.

Very insightful.

I've had the pleasure of having dealt with literally thousands of businesses during my time in the saddle, and I've always been most intrigued studying those which were, to one degree or another, family businesses. And while my familiarity with Paul Stuart has been solely as a customer, it was always clear to me Cliff Grodd and other members of his family was what gave this retailer its consistency, its flavor and its sure sense of style.

Funny thing about family businesses; they are rarly mediocre, either very good, or very bad. But it's hard to keep them going into a third generation. The first generation starts them, the second grows them, and the third often sells them.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
I was surprised to read in that NYT piece that Paul Stuart was originally intended as a budget destination compared to Brooks Brothers.

I know online Paul Stuart seems to offer some pretty wild stuff, but as a long time customer (not as long as Flanderian of course) I don’t think they’ve strayed much.

I think part of it is their they only have a handful of locations. They are only in 3 cities in the US and Tokyo. For those who have never stepped foot in a Paul Stuart shop and only know them through their print and online presence, I would urge you to one of these cities.
 

EclecticSr.

Elite Member
Started with Paul Stuart back in the 60s, currently have several trousers, a couple of suits, SC, shirts, ties and some footwear. Their aesthetics always appealed to me as well as did many other establishments of that period. Alas, many long since gone. I am always drawn back to a favorite small shop located on 6th Avenue in Manhattan called Mr. Guy that employed an excellent tailor who could transform an OTR suit suit into something approaching bespoke.

In terms of haberdashery, I do miss the good old days.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I was surprised to read in that NYT piece that Paul Stuart was originally intended as a budget destination compared to Brooks Brothers.

I know online Paul Stuart seems to offer some pretty wild stuff, but as a long time customer (not as long as Flanderian of course) I don’t think they’ve strayed much.

I think part of it is their they only have a handful of locations. They are only in 3 cities in the US and Tokyo. For those who have never stepped foot in a Paul Stuart shop and only know them through their print and online presence, I would urge you to one of these cities.

Barneys - the, now, very fancy and expensive "boutique" department store - if memory serves, had even more humble beginnings than PS as a true discounter (warehouse style location, racks of last year's clothes, etc.). I just remember the old version before it became high end in (again, from a vague memory) the '80s.

I agree with your PS observations and would add, even its approach to sales is unique (or, really, old school). It has two a year (post Christmas and a smaller one post Father's Day) - that are very good value, but that's it. Buy then, or you pay full price, which is how it used to be in most stores.
 

wildcat1976

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
FF,
Your memory is accurate regarding Barney's.
"7th Avenue and 17th Street" according to the radio advertisements.
Then the store moved uptown to Madison Ave. and the rest is history so to speak.
 

peterc

Super Member
Again, amazing comments in this thread. I was privileged enough to be allowed to order a Garrick Anderson suit at Barney's for my law school graduation in 1988. Of course, it doesn't fit anymore, but it still hangs in my closet and there it will stay, for so many reasons. I met Mr. Anderson as well, as he was there when I ordered the suit during the MTM event.

More recently, in 2011, at Paul Stuart, I tried on a stunning Phineas Cole suit. The salesman saw how much I liked it, and so he said "why don't we chalk it up for you and you can think about it for a few days and let us know." I returned back to SF, thought it about 1 more day and purchased the suit. It arrived in a long, suit box (i.e., NOT folded in half!) and the alterations were flawless. If you find (online) the photo of Michael Caine in Get Carter wearing the blue double-breasted suit holding a weapon, you will see what the suit looks like. Like I said before, Paul Stuart is a national treasure.

P.S. MC's suit in GC is single breasted while my PS suit is double breasted, but it is the vibe that I am talking about.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
FF,
Your memory is accurate regarding Barney's.
"7th Avenue and 17th Street" according to the radio advertisements.
Then the store moved uptown to Madison Ave. and the rest is history so to speak.

The original Barney's was marvelous before it became an uptown chain. Their claim to fame was Oxxford clothing at roughly 2/3 to 1/2 of full retail!
 

EclecticSr.

Elite Member
FF,
Your memory is accurate regarding Barney's.
"7th Avenue and 17th Street" according to the radio advertisements.
Then the store moved uptown to Madison Ave. and the rest is history so to speak.

Geez. Recall buying a suit there, let me see, about ugh, okay forget how long ago it was.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
From time to time mention is made here to the effect that the '70's was all tie-dyed bell bottoms, and the '80's all Miami Vice and Armani. While such styles may dominate the public imagination, and old TV shows, they largely weren't main stream, and clothing that was both more traditional and quite handsome could still be found. This was particularly true among better Manhattan retailers such as Brooks, Press, Chipp, F. R. Tripler and Paul Stuart. All having varying degrees of TNSIL (Ivy/Trad) antecedents.

Paul Stuart's early roots were as more adventurous Ivy clothing, and when I purchased my first suit there in 1971, this was still true, and this influence continued until comparatively recently. The last decade, or so.

My Internet wandering last evening yielded an unexpected reward; a high quality, large format photo from either a very late '70's or very early '80's fall and winter catalog. I still have the catalog around somewhere, but am too lazy to look for it. :D

But I'm offering it here for any whom it might interest, and as evidence that it wasn't all bell bottoms and Miami Vice.


the-monsieur-and-paul-stuart-guide-to-dressing-with-colour-1.jpeg

Found the catalog! It's the fall/winter 1978 edition.

Lovely memories, lovely prices! The check jacket is English tweed by Samuelsohn, $285. The Scottish herringbone by Southwick, $195. The camel hair vest worn with it, $75. The corduroy trousers, $40, the flannel, $50.

And I had the tie on the right! :D It was silk and wool in plum, the color created by weaving alternate threads of black and wine, with a small paisley woven in and scattered sparsely. Very understated, very rich.
 

peterc

Super Member
I wish I still had the Fall 1985 Saks Folio catalogue. The mens Saks branded clothing there would the members here in tears. I still have one tie from that year's catalogue - a silk madder paisley. Price: $27.50.
 
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