It is not as often as I would like that I get to meet someone like Paul Winston. But when I do I view it as both a pleasure and an honor. You see, Paul Winston is the son of Sidney Winston, the founder of Chipp Clothiers, which was one of the foremost American clothiers of the mid 20th century. In 1961 Paul began working for the family business and although the business is now different than what it was Mr. Winston has not stopped. Sadly, the Chipp of the days of old is no longer around, but its legacy shall live on indefinitely. His depth of knowledge on American menswear and experience in the field is something of envy for people like me. Among other things, Chipp will be forever known as John F. Kennedy’s tailor (NOT Brooks Brothers). And anytime anyone dons anything of patchwork madras they have Chipp to thank, as it was Chipp who first produced and sold patchwork madras (but more on the story another time). Oh, and there is Winston Tailors and Chipp2.
Winston Tailors is one of the last producers of the true ‘Ivy’ style of jacket, the sack suit (no darts, hook vent, no shoulder padding, soft chest, two spaced buttons at the cuffs, no pleats and cuffs). All suits and jackets are either made to measure or bespoke. And as Mr. Winston openly admits, most men should be able to be completely satisfied by a made to measure suit. But we can focus on the suits another time. The focus of my visit this time was to see the ties and talk about his time in menswear. Like Winston Tailors’ suits we can discuss Mr. Winston’s stories and experience later on, and trust me, this is stuff you will not want to miss. We talked about patchwork madras, Abercrombie & Fitch (the original, not the modern day mishap), mass transit problems and of course the current state of menswear. But for now I want to focus on the ties.
Chipp2 was started by Paul Winston over 50 years ago and has centered its business on ties, it used to be called Chipmunk, actually. These days, Chipp2 focuses mainly on dog breed ties, suspenders, hats and watches. At least that is what is on the website. But for those lucky enough to venture into the shop at 28 west 44th st the holy grail can be seen. One will find motif ties that Vineyard Vines could only dream of branding, a few wool challis and a few silk grenadine ties. Chipp2 ties are done the right way, as some may argue. That is, not by printing as is the case with Vineyard Vines and Hermes but by embroidery. The result is a much more classic, conservative and formal tie. The quality is spot on and the price is well, nearly unbelievable at $35-50. In addition to the photos below check out the post from yesterday. But there is more to life than ties and what we wear, most importantly what you will find on a visit to the Chipp2/Winston Tailors shop is the experience of a menswear legend. And that my loyal readers is something that cannot be bought.