In 1949, E.B. White’s essay entitled ‘Here is New York’ was first published as a small book. It’s a beautiful essay that, while written over 50 years ago, eerily still describes what it feels like to live in New York today.
The entire essay is definitely worth reading, but the section that we reference goes:
“There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last - the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, it’s poetical department, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.” (E.B. White ‘Here is New York’ 1949)
In 2008 I came to New York with the idea of starting a men’s shirt company. I’d never lived here prior. Had no real reason to come here. But something about the city just felt right. The energy. The diversity. The drive. The connection. Five years later, Proper Cloth is a team of five. None of us are original New Yorkers. We’re a part of this third city. We’re all here with some goal in mind. Some “quest”. An idea of what we can become. What we can achieve. And we’re focused on seeing that through. Things are always moving here. We’re always a bit in a hurry. It’s hard to relax. But the energy pushes us to achievements. To realized potential. To creating new things. And for that we’re thankful to be a part of such a great community.
Back to the clothes. This collection is dressed-up-casual. Like a Sunday brunch with clients. An inspirational walk through the library. Afternoon coffee at the Nomad. Casual styles, dressed up. Business styles, relaxed. With the soft spread and button down collars, these shirts work equally well with and without a tie. Bolder plaids in greens and browns are our choice for more casual options. Subtle Thomas Mason lavender tattersalls and light blue stripes lean a bit dressier. For formal occasions, we’ve crafted a soft milano collar tuxedo shirt out of a fine white broadcloth from Canclini… Ultimately, this is a decidedly New York collection. And whether born and raised, a commuter, or a settler with a dream, these shirts are for the man that doesn’t have to dress up – he just wants to.