Mother-Of-Pearl Buttons on a Fitted Men's Dress Shirt

Everything You Need To Know About Mother-of-Pearl Buttons

The earliest buttons on clothing consisted of a decorative flat face that fit into a loop, and were used singly as sartorial flourishes. Ian McNeil writes in An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology that “The button was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening, the earliest known being found at Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley [now Pakistan]. It is made of a curved shell and about 5,000 years old.”

According to Slate’s Visual Button History, “The button became more prominent among the wealthy in the Middle Ages. ‘About the middle of the eleventh century,’ writes Carl Köhler in A History of Costume, ‘clothes began to be made so close-fitting that they followed the lines of the body from shoulders to hips like a glove.’ Buttons helped that snug fit along.

The medieval period was the era when wearing lots of buttons meant big money. Franco Jacassi, reputedly the world’s biggest button-collector, describes this as a time when you could pay off a debt by plucking a precious button from your suit. Italians still describe the rooms where powerful leaders meet as stanze dei bottoni, ‘rooms of the buttons.’

Later, button-making was mercifully accelerated with the Industrial Revolution. An 1852 article from Household Words, a journal edited by Charles Dickens, marvels at the latter-day miracle that was automated button-manufacturing. The writer describes how engravers cut steel dies into the latest fashionable shape, while women and children stamped out pasteboard and cloth to cover the buttons by machine.” During that time Mother-of-Pearl was extremely rare, expensive to obtain, and reserved for royalty.

Mother of pearl buttons did not rise to popularity and become available to the masses until German-born button maker, John Fredrick Boepple immigrated to the United States, according to Burdastyle. “While automation had come to the button making process in Europe in the mid 1800s, the process of stamping buttons from shells required specialized, expensive machinery. Furthermore, the shells Boepple used had to be imported and were subject to an extremely high tariff. With his business failing, John Boepple brought his button stamping machinery to the one place he was sure could supply him an endless supply of shells: the United States and the Mississippi River.

Boepple settled in Muscatine, Iowa at a bend in the river where great amounts of fresh-water clams grew. Thanks to the mighty Mississippi, his mother of pearl button business grew beyond his wildest dreams. By 1900, Boepple expanded his operations to the point that he employed one third of the town of Muscatine, which became known as the ‘Pearl Button Capital of the World,’ out-pacing button factories in Europe.”

Today, we’re thrilled to include this luxurious, classic detail on many of our dress shirts. Made from the inner layer of pearl oysters, our Mother-of-Pearl buttons have a beautiful depth of color, and are virtually indestructible. Furthermore, each button is the creation of a natural product and craftsmanship. After the right shell is selected based on its color, it is cut, sorted, and checked for quality. This is done by hand, before one of two techniques are used to make the holes; with a special tool or with a machine which employs as many as eight different tools at a time. Finally, the buttons are polished to a glossy or matte finish. Explore our selection of dress shirts featuring mother-of-pearl buttons here.

| Posted in Product/Design |
Brickell Dress Shirt

Hello Edition 6: A Cutaway For Collecting

Phone Illustration Remember telephones without caller ID? This series is meant to prompt a bit of curiosity, discovery and excitement. Like our old friend, the landline. A new shirt in focus every Monday to start your week off on the right foot.

The Brickell

Escape to a place where lush tropical foliage provides a charming canopy from an unrelenting sun, as you meander amidst ambitious paintings, sculptures, and photographs from the masters of contemporary arts. Discover the Brickell, part of our luxurious Professionals collection inspired by the unique heritage of historical art neighborhoods in Miami.

What’s unique about this shirt?

Drawing on the famed Art Deco pastel buildings from the 1930s, this dress shirt features a handsome pink and white stripe pattern that will set your mind at ease as soon as you slip into it. Settled in the mid-1800s by early pioneers, Brickell quickly grew to become Miami’s “Millionaire’s Row,” before establishing itself as one of the largest financial districts in the US. Crafted to embody all the wonder and prestige of its namesake, our Brickell showcases our cutaway collar, and a dobby fabric.

Why should I care?

A pink dress shirt is a staple in a modern man’s wardrobe, and a must-have during summer months. Great for softening the dark hues of navy, charcoal, and black, a pink shirt can easily bring balance to your outfit, and provide a slimming shape. Furthermore, our Brickell’s thin stripes pattern provides a stylistically modern and masculine look simultaneously.

How should I wear it?

Pinks pairs well with just about every color — from khaki to cream, and black. Though it looks particularly sophisticated with our navy or charcoal Seneca. Pink is also good for wearing with traditionally masculine accessories including suspenders, a vest, or a medium gray tie.

When should I wear it?

Don’t be afraid of wearing bright colors this summer. You’ll find this shirt provides the perfect pop of color to accompany navy slacks during the work week, as well as to wear with dark denim for weekend brewery tours, antiquing, and more.

Explore our limited run Brickell, and set aside moments for discovery every day. Or get started by finding your custom fit.

Discover other posts in our Hello? series here.

| Posted in Hello? |
Arboretum Pocket Square and Blueberry Rum Fizz

Arboretum & Blueberry Rum Fizz: Pocket Cocktail

The Pocket Cocktail

In this series, we pair one of our one-of-a-kind print pocket squares with a delicious cocktail. One starts a conversation, the other keeps it going. Today’s edition is a great way to indulge in the gorgeous spring weather this weekend. It was created by Morgan of The Drink Blog.

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The Blueberry Rum Fizz

[inspired by our Arboretum pocket square]

Create a blueberry liqueur springtime elixir, and kick up your feet.

  • 2 oz.white rum
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. blueberry liqueur
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • club soda
  • blueberries

Take some blueberries (let’s say a half handful) and put them in your cocktail shaker with sugar. Muddle them together to create your blueberry syrup. Add rum, lemon juice and blueberry liqueur to your blueberry syrup. Then, add some ice, and shake it. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice, and pour your cocktail into your glass, before topping it with club soda. Garnish with blueberries.

Notes: The richness that rum gets from the sugarcane plays fantastically with blueberries.

::

Who might you enjoy this cocktail with?

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Drink Blog.

| Posted in Pocket Cocktail |

The History of Menswear Told Through NYPL’s Digital Collection: Part 3

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them. Discover part three below, and find part one here, and part two here, in case you missed them.

A Startling Novelty In Shirts by artist John Leech in 1854.

Novelty in dress shirts

This cartoon from nearly two hundred years ago shows that men’s fashion was already a big part of culture. Back around this time, the type of shirt you wore depended mostly on what you did for a living. Suits and white shirts of finer materials were mostly worn by business men, while day laborers wore colored shirts in a much sturdier fabric to hide stains and dirt. Even back then, a gentleman had many shirt patterns and colors available to choose from, including polka dots, double and single stripes, and even plaids.

In this scene, a wife is aghast at the dress shirt featuring skeletons that her husband is wearing. Perhaps she’s most upset that he’s suffering from a case of dress shirt muffin top. When a men’s dress shirt isn’t tailored properly through the torso and is then tucked in, all that extra fabric puffs out around the waist creating what most closely resembles the top of a muffin. This is the most prevalent—and in our opinion, the least pardonable—fit problem. That’s why we addressed it with our 12 new-to-world sizes, so you can enjoy a better fit off the rack.

While we might find ourselves a bit scared by this shirt’s skeleton pattern too, we are in full support of playful patterns, such as those in our popovers which bring the perfect amount of edge to any gentleman’s outfit.

What similarities with today’s menswear do you see in this cartoon?

| Posted in News |

#GoodPeople: Drew Reynolds

#GoodPeople
Our customers are extraordinary people. Here are their stories.

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A bull was the first thing that came to mind when we asked Drew Reynolds which animal most represents how he sees himself in the world. “I’m a Taurus, I have a bull symbol tattooed on my back, and I have run with the bulls in Pamplona Spain twice. And, you can’t be a small animal while wearing the largest size that Hugh & Crye carries! I’m a TallBroad,” he elaborated.

Customer Drew Reynolds

We were curious if that also meant Pitbull is Drew’s favorite music. Turns out that it’s not, but it’s close: “Every morning on my drive into work, I play old school hip-hop to help me wake up and get going,” shared Drew. “I have to show my ID to armed police officers in order to gain access onto the work grounds. The officers get to know you and your car after a while, so the process of showing your ID and saying ‘good morning’ is pretty quick. But for me, with my morning music, it’s become a daily source of humor for them when I come through dancing to anything from NWA and Sugar Hill Gang to Tupac and Biggy.”

Based on that, we needed to know more about Drew’s style. We learned he’s a huge supporter of where he grew up in Detroit, and he gushed about how his city is having a really cool resurgence in style, art, food and drink, and fashion right now. As a result, anytime he sees something that is made in Detroit, he’s all over it, and he also collects watches. Combining these two things leads to his most prized clothing item: a Shinola watch.

Speaking of prizes, if Drew were to get a blue ribbon this week, it would most likely be because he just mowed the yard. But he let us know he’d take a PBR instead, because it’s crazy refreshing, and now that he does adult things including mowing his yard, cracking open a cold beer afterwards seems like a fitting reward.

A tradition that brought cavemen together thousands of years ago still works better than anything today.

Speaking of doing grown up things, the love of grilling and smoking meat brought together Drew and his newest friends: his two neighbors. Any night of the week you can smell the beautiful aroma of burnt meat and smoky goodness coming from behind any of their houses he claims. Plus, it sounds like it has become a bit of a friendly competition. They often find themselves passing drinks and samples of amazing food back and forth over the fence to one another. “A tradition that brought cavemen together thousands of years ago still works better than anything today,” proclaimed Drew.

Andrew wearing Hugh & Crye

Drew wearing his Shinola watch and Hugh & Crye’s Biscayne shirt.

If Drew could give a gift to anyone, he’d want to give everyone at Hugh & Crye the gift of infinite success. And, he wasn’t just saying that to suck up to us in hopes of getting invited to another baseball game, or so he claims.

His first experience with Hugh & Crye was on his brother-in-law Jake’s birthday. They were set up with our Customer Experience Lead, James, for a day of fittings with a bottle of bourbon to enjoy during the process. It was basically the male equivalent of shopping for a wedding dress while sipping champagne. But in his case, the wedding dress was replaced with perfectly fitting shirts and blazers, and the Veuve Clicquot was replaced by Pappy VanWinkle. After that day, Jake and Drew’s families would regularly visit the store whenever family or friends from out of town came to visit in DC; it became their regular meeting spot in Georgetown.

A few years later, Jake passed away tragically in a bike accident at a charity event. Drew was out of town working for a few weeks when he heard the news, and in rushing to catch the next plane home, he stuffed all of his work clothes into his suitcase. Shortly after arriving home, Drew’s family was invited to the White House where Jake had worked for the visitation of the Dalai Lama. With all of his wrinkled clothes at the dry cleaners, he quickly needed to find a shirt that he felt was “White House presentable.” Long story short, James picked out a shirt for him, freshly steamed and pressed it, and had an incredible colleague drive the shirt to Drew that night.

That kind of service and care for people has made James not just a good friend, but the rest of the Hugh & Crye team a very special part of my family.

“Days later at the memorial service, amongst the crowd of people, there was James. Taking time out of his day to come pay respects to our family,” reflected Drew. “That kind of service and care for people has made James not just a good friend, but the rest of the Hugh & Crye team a very special part of my family. So, if I could give the gift of extreme success, I think it’s the least that I could do in return for them,” he concluded. We can’t really put into words how much that means to us, and we’re so happy Drew is a life changing part of our family, too.

Get to know more about Drew, and keep in touch with him on Twitter.

Ready for more goodness? Explore our other #goodpeople profiles.

| Posted in #goodpeople |
Stevenson Men's Better Fitting Dress Shirt

Hello Edition 5: A Purple Striped Shirt For Setting Your Course

Phone Illustration Remember telephones without caller ID? This series is meant to prompt a bit of curiosity, discovery and excitement. Like our old friend, the landline. A new shirt in focus every Monday to start your week off on the right foot.

The Stevenson

 

Meet a shirt that goes the extra mile, just like you. We’re thrilled to introduce our Stevenson — a luxurious shirt inspired by impactful expressways in Chicago; those that have reshaped the region perhaps more than any other twentieth-century force. No matter where the road takes you this summer, you’ll want to bring this handsome pop of color along.

What’s unique about this shirt?

Influenced by the six-lane Stevenson Interstate built in 1964, this men’s dress shirt features a smart vertical purple, white, and blue stripes pattern. Its unique design details include our button down collar (not too big, not too small), our signature convertible cuffs, mother-of-pearl buttons, and a silky smooth 120s poplin fabric.

Why should I care?

Stripes are all the rage during the summer months! The Stevenson’s thin stripes convey a sense of business, while its bright color makes it versatile enough to wear all day long. Furthermore, since the time of ancient Greek civilization, purple has conveyed a sense of royalty.

How should I wear it?

Thin striped shirts are a perfect match for larger patterned ties or solid ties, including our District 3 in black. We recommend pairing this shirt with our Seneca blazer in charcoal or navy, in order to anchor the purple. And you can easily complete the look with some dark denim or dark tan khakis.

When should I wear it?

A natural fit for wearing around your urban playground during the workweek, or for a sunny Saturday rooftop get together with friends, the Stevenson showcases classic American style.

Explore the Stevenson today, and look and feel great when you hit the open road. Or get started by finding your custom fit. If you already own the Stevenson, take a photo when you wear it and tag #hughandcrye. We’ll randomly select a winner for a fun surprise.

Discover other posts in our Hello? series here.

| Posted in Hello? |
Negroni Pocket Cocktail

R. Ward & Negroni: Pocket Cocktail

The Pocket Cocktail

In this series, we pair one of unique print pocket squares with a delicious cocktail. One starts a conversation, the other keeps it going. Today’s edition is shared with us by TuxedoNo2, and is probably your local bartender’s drink of choice: the bitter Negroni.

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Negroni

[inspired by our R. Ward pocket square]

It’s a dynamic sip, with fruitiness from the campari, sweetness from the vermouth, and botanicals from the gin. Perhaps most impressively, it’s darn easy to make.

  • 1oz gin
  • 1oz campari
  • 1oz sweet vermouth
  • grapefruit peel or orange peel for garnish

Combine all ingredients with ice and stir. Then, strain into an old fashioned over ice, and garnish with the citrus peel.

Notes: It’s bitter, making it both challenging to beginners and endlessly drinkable to fans.

Who will you enjoy this cocktail with this evening?

Recipe and photo courtesy of TuxedoNo2.

| Posted in Pocket Cocktail |

#GoodPeople: Chris Svetlik

#GoodPeople
Our customers are extraordinary people. Here are their stories.

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“I have developed a weird obsession for designing and formatting amazing spreadsheets. Which, as it turns out, are unexpectedly graceful tools for making all kinds of decisions intelligently,” shared Republic Kolache founder Chris Svetlik, when we asked about something that’s made him think about something differently recently.

He admits it’s an incredibly dorky answer, but he would put the tabular spreadsheet down as one of the all-time greatest products ever designed. An interesting statement from someone who plays Shutterbugg by Big Boi, to dance when no one is watching.

Chris Svetlik

The last time Chris smiled so big it hurt was, unexpectedly, when seeing an amazing performance by Zenen Zeferino, the great maestro of Son Jarocho music. “Never will you hear a louder, more robust singing voice from such a petite man,” said Chris.

While Chris used to play music a lot more seriously himself, he’s been fairly dormant recently in terms of playing in front of people, and finishing songs. So he’s trying to push himself to get back to it, as he grapples with devoting time to his business. It’s one of the things he’s most afraid of not getting the chance to do.

It’s one of those situations where the cost to the giver is quite low, relative to the value for the receiver, and I do my best to try to pay it back where it’s helpful.

If Chris could give a gift to anyone, he would give advice to someone just getting started out in food, design, photography, or running a business. He’s had a couple dramatic career shifts, and at every turn he has a big debt of gratitude to the industry folks who have been willing to sit down to provide a lay of the land, poke holes in his blustering confidence, and generally point him in the right direction. “It’s one of those situations where the cost to the giver is quite low, relative to the value for the receiver, and I do my best to try to pay it back where it’s helpful,” he elaborated.

When it comes to his business, Chris is pretty pleased so far with the rollout of his new Pulled Pork Kolache online, so that’s what he’d get a blue ribbon for this week. Because he gets to practice design and photography much less these days, product launches are always a treat for stretching those muscles again. “And, all the better if done though producing content that makes people hungry for BBQ,” he stated.

So, it’s no surprise that food is what brought Chris and one of his newest friends together. “I’ve met a ton of great people since being somewhat randomly thrust into this industry last year, and a good meal is absolutely a lingua franca,” he shared.

A good meal is absolutely a lingua franca.

We were curious what Chris was wearing to all these meals: “My approach to style has definitely moved more in the direction of clothes that are fine if they get stained,” said Chris. But he bought a watch from VOID last year that, after a long search, is finally the one he was looking for. It’s truly beautifully designed and classic, without being pretentiously so, making it his most prized clothing item. And, so it seems that Chris has found himself surrounded by good eats, good people, and good accessories. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Keep in touch with Chris on Twitter, and join him for Kolache Saturday to experience the national pastry of Texas.

Ready for more goodness? Explore our other #goodpeople profiles.

| Posted in #goodpeople |

The History of Menswear Told Through NYPL’s Digital Collection: Part 2

Earlier this year the New York Public Library shared 180,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, and much more in a digital public domain collection for the very first time. In it, we unearthed menswear ads from over one hundred years ago. In this series, we explore them. Discover part two below, and find part one here in case you missed it.

Arrow collars & shirts, Saturday evening post 1917.

 

Men's dress shirt collars

These men’s styles were created specifically for summer nearly one hundred years ago, and still remain popular today. This ad further cements the company’s color palette, by carrying on the muted reds, blacks, and grays – colors that indicate passion, strength, importance, power and elegance – introduced in the first ad. And, a trio of friends and companions, and sports props continue to be used to fill out each lifestyle scene, evoking a sense of well-lived lives.

In this ad, Arrow Collars introduced a collar that’s “high enough in the back for good appearance, and low enough in the front for comfort,” similar to our club collar. Meanwhile Cluett promises a ready-made shirt that “you can wear without a coat, and yet know and feel that you do not appear at a disadvantage.” We’d like to think we’ve taken that one step further with our Wesley, which you can wear not only without a coat, but also without a tie, and yet know that you do not appear at a disadvantage.

Our washed Chalky contrast cutaway club will accomplish much of the same, enabling you to impress the lady and the Lassie by your side. You might also notice our Foxhall white club collar makes a repeat appearance this week. While golf clubs aren’t required to sport our timeless shirt, it does stand as a good excuse to get together with friends you haven’t caught up with in a while.

These gents are also sporting handsome, skinny square-end ties, reminiscent of ours, such as the black District 3. Our new ties are a remake of the vintage ones we used to collect. We’ve added our own modern twist to those vintage styles by showcasing brighter colors and patterns.

What do you find surprising about this ad?

| Posted in News, Style |
Hugh & Crye's denim men's dress shirts on Karmalifee

Hugh & Crye Denim Shirts Featured On Karmalifee

Guess what we were thrilled to spot on Karmalifee? Our Navy Yard inspired denim dress shirt collection! “Relaxed yet cool and sharp, Hugh & Crye’s version of the menswear staple is reminiscent of the military uniforms of yesteryear. With their careful execution and attention to details, they have created a classic that can be dressed up with a tie and slacks, or dressed down with khakis and desert boots,” writes Thomas Osam. Check out the lookbook and article here.

| Posted in Press |