The Shmooze

'Think Yiddish, Dress British'

By Anne Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share

It’s too bad Hanukkah and Christmas don’t coincide this year, because we’ve found the ultimate gift.

Swiss Stays, a company that makes adjustable collar stays for men — yes, those things that come in the inside of your shirt collars — has teamed up with Saks Fifth Avenue to launch a special collection — “Think Yiddish, Dress British.”

The concept? Each stay, or tab, is engraved with a word in Yiddish, with the English translation listed under it. Tuck it into your collar, and voila: You’re Jewish from the inside out.

David Schottenstein

Company head David Schottenstein came up with this homage to the Jewish roots of the garment industry when talking to the national accessories director for Saks about developing an exclusive line.

A stainless steel pair will set you back $30, while brass and titanium cost $40 and $50, respectively.

The idea for Swiss Stays, Schottenstein explained came from a typical ‘guy problem’:

“I became frustrated that every time I went to put on a collared shirt I had to change the collar stay, and I was spending unnecessary time hunting in my drawer for the right size. I got to the point of cutting the collar stays or bending them in order to fit. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if there were a one size fits all collar stay? They say the best inventions come from necessity.”

Schottenstein’s previous schmatta project was Astor & Black, a custom bespoke clothing business that he started when he was 21 years old. According to him, the only thing that gets in the way of young innovation is lack of confidence:

“People have great ideas all the time but find all the reasons not to do it,” he said in an interview with Inc. “You have to be fearless and do not internalize rejection.”

That’s been no problem for Schottenstein, who started his first business at the age 12. After noticing that businessmen visiting his father — Thomas Schottenstein of Arshot Investment Corp. — had a certain affinity for cigars, he started his own cigar business on the low down. It ran for two years, until daddy found out and shut it down.

Now that’s chutzpah — or, “utter nerve; effrontery.”

Take your pick from the following words next time you need a straight collar:

-Bubkes
-Chutzpa
-Mensch
-Meshugnah
-Mish mosh
-Schnorrer
-Shvitzer
-Kibosh
-Kvetch
-Luftmensch
-Zafty
-Shekel
-Schlep
-Shlimazel
-Schloch
-Schmaltzy


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: yiddish, swiss stays, saks fifth avenue, fashion, david schottenstein, collar, astor and black

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.