Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Reader Question and Murray's Toggery Shop's US Made Nantucket Reds

Nantucket Reds change color with age, salt, and sun.  Women's new canvas Nantucket Reds behind; slightly seasoned Women's poplin Nantucket Reds in front.
"First off, let me start by saying how much I thoroughly enjoy your blog and everything you have to offer your readers across the various forms of social media. Without your guidance, we'd all be somewhat lost. 

I wanted to ask you a brief question and I have checked out the numerous posts on the topic throughout the archives of TDP. Regarding Nantucket Red pants and the information you have given your readers in regards to the change in manufacturing of certain companies and other factors, where would you recommend a guy purchase a new pair? I have bought several pairs from the newer lifestyle brand companies but want something more authentic, with a true Nantucket Red color that I will take to a tailor and get fitted appropriately. Any advice you can offer would be great. I have looked at Nobby, as you recommended and seem to be pleased with what they offer. 

Thank you so much for your insight."

Here is how a member of the Murray family responded to our inquiry about their US made Nantucket Reds M Crest collection:
Our M Crest collection currently only consists mainly of Men's items in Nantucket Red (such as our new slim fit Nantucket Red pants (unfinished only) and shorts (with a 7" inseam)). It also offers Nantucket Red bow ties and neckties, a Nantucket Red bow tie and cummerbund set, Nantucket Red pocket squares, and a Nantucket Red sport jacket. These are all done in collaboration with Corbin and are all Made in America! We make sure that every item in the M Crest collection is Made in America. We also have the M Crest Nantucket Red canvas tote bag with leather handles, made in collaboration with Leatherman/Eliza B.  
The M Crest comes from our Murray family crest, which my grandfather had developed with an artist. The M represents M for Murray of course, and is Red as an ode to Nantucket Red. The lion represents his zodiac sign, the Leo, which truly was a reflection of his outgoing and vivacious personality in life and in business. The scallop shells represent life on Nantucket, and the blue background reflects the ocean that surrounds us here on Nantucket. We make sure to include this M Crest label in each item in the M Crest collection.  
The first items we designed and started selling for the M Crest collection were the slim fit pants and shorts - as a response to our loyal customers asking for Reds with a better fit that were made in America (similar to the very first Reds my grandfather sold). We are very proud of their success, and have enjoyed expanding the line to include more items for men, and eventually ones for women and children. 

28 comments:

WRJ said...

That M Crest collection is...yikes. The men's shorts look like women's Bermudas. (Note to Murray's: Please consider making the non-Crest, non-slim fit shorts in a 7" inseam.) I have no quality complaints about my various Murray's purchases so I'm not sure it's necessary to pay $50 extra for USA production. The fit was bad but that's part of the charm, I think.

Thanks to your link to their site, I've discovered Murray's has discontinued the only shorts of theirs I really liked--I think they were called deck shorts or sailing shorts, or something, but they were a great 7-pocket design. So that's disappointing.

Anonymous said...

So I have been thinking about ordering a new pair of authentic reds ( have had j. crew ones before and they were too pink) for this summer, and after this post I went on Murray's website prepared to order some. They only come in 30 and 32 length . This drives me crazy as I am only 6'-2" ( not freakishly tall). I have found the same thing at Brooks Brothers; their pre finished pants in 34 waist only go to 32 length. Why? Can anyone shed light on this ? I have worn 34x34 pants since I was I college ( 25 years ago) but only recently have had a really hard time finding this size.

Thanks from the coast of Maine.

Wasp Decor said...

I've been asking relatives in my family how they remembered buying Nantucket Reds back in the day, and all the old timers agreed there was a time when the pants were *not* "pre washed". When you bought them, they were stiff as a board and over time they faded to the red everyone loves.
There was a period when they started pre-washing the reds. Was in the late 80's? 90's? when the trend started and *everything* was "prewashed". Ever since then, the Reds have gone downhill. I've stopped buying them. I'm intrigued by the Made In America line, but, still pre washed. I guess I'm old fashioned. I like breaking clothes in. They last longer.
W.

LP said...

Here we go again...so few offerings for women in the traditional, quality apparel world. Why? Why?
I can hear it now, as I have heard so many times before "just buy the men's style and have them altered." No. If you want my consideration and my business, offer women's versions of clothing.

Anonymous said...

LP @6:42, How right you are! Often times when "preppy style" clothing is offered for women, such items are lesser knock offs of the men's version. Cheaper fabric, less detail and stitching.
L.L. Bean khaki's for women are of lesser quality than the men's offerings and Bill's khakis expect us to buy and alter. For one to pay for an item and then pay again for alterations is an aberration to yankee frugality.

John G said...

The decline, like Sandberg's (or Nantucket) fog came in on little cat feet. My 1997 pair made in the US faded well, even though it was pre-washed. The problems with color batches came up more recently.

For those of us who have enjoyed a little too much Straight Wharf Fish Store bluefish pate over the years, I hope the family will make a non-slim fit version in the US. Just please don't put the logo on the outside. I would happily pay the extra $50 for the same thing I was able to purchase in 1997 -- it lasted and so cheaper over time. Surely they still have the plans and the contacts.

To answer the reader's question, it really depends on the use. The Nobby pants (I am guessing made in the US by Berle) are very nice, a little thinner and probably more suited to casual wear and warmer climates than the actual Reds, which despite color problems are more rugged though still a good choice for casual wear in the right environment. So figure out the uses first and then purchase. I'd be reluctant to use the Nobby version for gardening, clamming, golf, etc. Hope this is helpful.


Anonymous said...

There is a new website called (of all things) The Daily Prep. Could not be further from this site, in content matter, but, the audacity. I was taken completely aback before I realized I should have entered your page from my bookmarks. Ok, crisis averted. You are still here. Chin chin!
Tara

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the answer to the reader's question be to only buy them if he in fact would wear them as intended? Otherwise it is just silly, like wearing Rossignol ski gear to the equator.

Sartre said...

@Anon 7:19 AM: If you order Bills from Hansen's Clothing they hem for free (and do a very good job of it, and do it quickly).

Anonymous said...

I would like to find some authentic firetruck-red pants.

Ergs said...

LP @6:42 - Hear, hear! And when manufacturers do deign to make pants for women, why is the inseam always so short? At 5' 10" I am rarely the tallest woman in the room these days - particularly among younger people, but inseams seem to be stuck at 31" or so. Where are all my fellow Amazons buying their pants? For me, the answer is "in the Men's Department" - sigh! - but perhaps there is some secret "Long Inseam Island" I have overlooked?

Beverly Ausbun said...

I love your blog.! I was just curious ,where do you
Wear the reds? I and in the south I have never seen
Anyone wear them before.

Mary Togen said...

Can You please make a list of preppy essentials for kids. I need something for my kids to wear

Anonymous said...

For some time, I've been buying boys' polos and sweaters at Brooks Brothers for myself, a 40-something female. Also wish they'd sell their girls' items in women's sizes too.

Pants, however, are another story; nice styles and fit are so difficult to find. Every pair I buy has to be altered. I believe Muffy has written about this in previous posts.

Jennings and Gates said...

Such a great post! I agree with Wasp Decor. I remember when Reds were, well, really pretty well red. They faded to that marvelous, soft, pinkish color over time and a hard life. I'm not sure I understand the appeal of pre-abused clothing. I like to do the abusing myself. :) Have a fab weekend! xo. N.G.

Anonymous said...

All the talk about red v pink. Of course they used to sell more red. This is the same conversation in every comments section. "Things used to be different."

Beverly Ausbun, people used to wear them in New England to go sailing or on the cape or what have you. I've seen them in Philadelphia, but my assumption is they were purchased while in Maine etc, probably not at Murray's either.

Trish said...

Please Muffy Read this I am in desprate need of some preppy clothes for my kids too.

Katahdin said...

We always bought our "reds" at the Holmes Store in Northeast and dragged them behind the boat to soften and fade them.

LG said...

Just a little suggestion for kids clothing: Hanna Andersson (play dress/day dress) for play, Little English and The Classic Baby (on etsy) for dress up. Second hand stores, either online or brick and mortar. You can find monogram exchanges online.

Wasp Decor said...

@ anon: 9:15am

Well, that IS the issue, we, waspy-preps don't want the New Improved versions of things. We want to wear the same things because they were, once, well made, and now things are prewashed junk. Yes, of course, I understand companies find the need for change, but , well, then they fall off the radar, or at least *my* radar.
We liked breaking things in. We liked quality. We liked things to fade naturally, not by some machine.

Anonymous said...

Katahdin, it makes sense that you would have gotten them from another store. I never heard of Murray's until I was a little older, I assume because we went to Maine.

Anonymous said...

Muffy, love the blog dear. Thinking perhaps a cheerfully icy note to Murray's might make them turn red again...

Anonymous said...

Also...In response tall I quote our friend:

1. If you are middle-aged; live in New England; have a family; have a legitimate reason or basis to have been to Nantucket more than 200 times previously (as in you actually own a home there and belong to Sankaty (although you never, ever, play golf)); are wicked thin (size 34 waist and below); are handsome in that ‘curly hair around the color, same weight as I was at Groton kind of way’; have an absolute and unforgiving patina of gentle superiority borne from the simple truth that you are, in fact, better; work at a small investment firm in Boston (and by work, one means ‘invest with’); own at least three boats of size (tenders do count); recall occasionally your hockey or lacrosse prowess at Amherst in the 70’s; and are married to an age-appropriate ultra thin blond who wears headbands and size 2 Eye of the Needle blouses effortlessly, then, and only then you would never, ever even think of wearing Reds for the simple reason that Reds have been thoroughly co-opted by pretentious, prosaic, pseudo-Preps with whom you really don’t speak, unless they happen to have been an invited guest at your clubs and you had the tedious task of listening to them for a few moments about their Range Rover.

2. If you, unfortunately, are from anywhere South of East Lyme or West of Litchfield, you might try pairing your Reds with a black leather belt and your black Gucci bit loafers. Alden and A. Edmonds make passable substitutes if you are rags to riches to rags. Finish off the look with a tailored Navy Blazer from Bloomindales, white button down from Vineyard Vines and socks and you have achieved “Suburban Stud Who Wants His Country Club Colleagues To Know He Has Taken The Family To Nantucket Once” status. Congratulations, you have arrived to a place within your own mind and it was some journey, wasn’t it?

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh! A tall drink of Ferd!!!

Sayford Ford said...

amazing pinks!

Bitsy said...

For those looking for well-made, traditional children's clothing: There is a New Hampshire company called The Wooden Soldier that has lovely children's clothing (baby to pre-teen). They are family-owned, and most of their items are made in the U.S.

http://www.woodensoldier.com/category/usa-made-childrens-clothing.html

Anonymous said...

Murray's still sells fire truck reds. You have to go to the store to get them.

Katahdin said...

@Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Well, I am not going to stop wearing perfectly good albeit mended trousers because some parvenu may own a pair, too.