WSJ on Nantucket Reds

drpeter

Super Member
Well, just for a lark, I checked the O'Connell's Breton Reds shown on their website (I posted an image earlier in this thread). The price has gone down, from $135 to $108. That was inducement enough for yours truly! I ordered a pair, and they had all my measurements and preferences, including the 1-3/4" cuffs, from my stone blue flannels ordered a couple of months ago. I will get this parcel within the week by UPS. I think it is an excellent price for a pair of O'Connell's trousers.

They are classically cut and have English-style forward pleats and on-seam pockets, plus a watch pocket. They also have suspender buttons and a split waistband. The cloth is 100% 8.4 oz. cotton twill. I think it is a good purchase at the reduced price.

By the way, several of their poplins and khakis have been reduced in price. This may be a good time for those in need to stock up. Myself, I have enough khakis to last me if I live to be a hundred, LOL.
 
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drpeter

Super Member
I suppose we can call it A Tale of Two Breton Reds.

This morning I received the pair of Breton Reds I had ordered from O'Connell's. They were great except for one thing: I had ordered the pair with forward, English-style pleats (I did not even know there were flat front versions), but they sent me a pair with a flat front!

So I called them and let them know about the mistake. They were apologetic and said they would send out a new pair right away, with pleats. Then I had an idea: Why not keep the flat fronts and also get the pleated version? We agreed on this, and they knocked off a small sum from the cost for the second pair, just to make good for the error. So now, I'll have two pairs of Breton Reds for a pretty decent sale price, and will never need another pair of O'Connell's Breton Reds ever again!
 

DCR

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
How do you like the shade of the OC's? They seem a bit brighter than those from Murrays, although it's probably just the photos.
 

drpeter

Super Member
How do you like the shade of the OC's? They seem a bit brighter than those from Murrays, although it's probably just the photos.
Looking at them side by side, the O'Connell's pair is darker than the Murray's -- quite the opposite of what you saw in the pictures. Of course, as they fade, the colours may become more like one another. Hard to say now.
 

katon

Super Member
The illustrations are very interesting! A group wearing faded Nantucket Reds with loafers, short untucked shirts, and blue blazers. Untucked shirts are fine, but normally they have a flat hem. People wear a lot of things on boats, but usually the concession is a boat-sole. I'm guessing for the author, these are the poseurs. The guy in the Hawaiian shirt, baseball cap, and canvas shoes (with a proper sole) I suppose is supposed to be his "real deal".

On the other hand, this seems unkind to Southerners. The poseurs are channeling Southern style, other than a few mistakes, and Southerners carried the look when New Englanders lost interest in it. Are you still a poseur if there's no original left? Or if the original gave up, did something else, came back, and was inspired by what you were doing the whole time, even when it wasn't cool?

I think a good way to think of Nantucket Reds is as "nautical blaze orange". If you try to dress it up, it's going to have to be for a laugh.
 

drpeter

Super Member
A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the first episode of The White Lotus, the new comedy/drama series on HBO set in Hawaii. The action takes place in and around a resort hotel in Maui, which is run by a slightly feckless manager named Armond. He is dressed in what looks like a cotton suit that is pretty much Nantucket or Breton red. That's the first time I have seen a suit in this colour.
 

drpeter

Super Member
Here's a still of Armond, in his Breton Red suit:
 

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drpeter

Super Member
Just received my second pair of Breton Reds from O'Connell's. Everything is perfect and this time, I have forward pleats! They charged me $95 all told, and gave me free shipping, to make up for the initial mistake when they sent me flat fronts. I like both styles and I will definitely wear both into early Fall, or even a bit later. I don't think I will need another pair of O'Connell's Bretons in my life again.

I do find very good Nantucket/Breton Reds (knockoffs, not the Murray originals) when thrift shopping. The biggest drawback compared to O'Connell's Reds is in the cloth: The other makers often use thinner twills, and their Reds do not look as elegant as the O'Connell version. The cut too is different, with the latter version being more comfortable and draping better than the cheaper brands.
 
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