JCPenney – The Fox

In the late 70s and early 80s the “preppy” look started to become all the rage and if you wanted to fit in with the in crowd then you better have yourself a nice polo style shirt. Preferably one with an alligator on it. But, if you were either cheap or just couldn’t afford it you would have to settle for one of the many knock-offs available.

The Fox Shirt by JCPenney 1982
1981 advertisement for The Fox by JCPenney – A good looking shirt that wont cost the shirt off your back.

Enter JCPenney. Who needs an alligator when you can have a fox anyways? At a full five dollars less than a genuine Lacoste one could get the same look, feel, comfort, and quality with The FOX! Offered in both his and hers models, The Fox shirt was available in a variety of bright colors. Paired and tucked into a pair of pleated pants with a nice thin belt and one might look as if they were headed to the yacht club.

I’d like to dedicate this to the well-dressed man.

Truth be told, I really want one of these. A quick check of eBay shows several really nice ones that can be had for less than twenty bucks, which is right around the same price they sold for in the 80s, and that seems like a steal in todays nostalgia crazed fashion market.

See ya later, alligator.

Store Showcase: Foxmoor Casuals

Foxwood Casuals Storefront
Foxwood Casuals, Washington Mall 1968 – Observer Reporter

Foxwood Casuals? Yes, in the beginning, 1963 to be exact, it was Foxwood Casuals, Inc., established in Pittsburgh, PA.

Foxmoor Casuals at Summit Mall, Akron, Ohio - Akron Beacon Journal 1977
Foxmoor Casuals at Summit Mall, Akron, Ohio – Akron Beacon Journal 1977

Foxwood Casuals quickly became the swiningest specialty shop around. It carried everything the “with-it” miss could dream of in clothes and accessories. Within roughly seven to eight years additional stores were opened throughout Pennsylvania and also in surrounding states.

The store itself was relaxed, rustic, and antiquey. With current hits being played in the background, it was a terrific setting to showcase the most up to the minute fashions. Even the salesgirls dressed in their snappiest Foxwood finds. It was once said that Foxwood buyers would visit various fashion capitals in the US and Europe to stay in tune with the fashion trends. Indeed, Miss Mansfield (Ohio) was one of the first employed at Foxmoor Casuals in Richland Mall in 1969.

Image courtesy Bob Connors from the Off the Rack - Retail Past and Present Facebook Group
Image courtesy Bob Connors from the Off the Rack – Retail Past and Present Facebook Group

Foxwood Casuals joined / was acquired by Melville Shoe Corporation in 1968. The brand was relabeled Foxmoor Casuals and seem to be a great fit for Melville, who also held the already successful Chess King. The plan was to have an additional 173 Foxmoor Casuals stores open from one end of the US to the other, in the span of five years. By 1982 there were a total of 588 Foxmoor Casuals retail stores.

Foxmoor Casuals Shopping Bag
Foxmoor Shopping Bag – 70s era

All the while, a company by the name of Dylex Limited was establishing itself as one of the largest specialty retailers in Canada. In the early 80’s they set their sights on the US market and in 1984 Dylex purchased what had grown to be a total of 614 Foxmoor Casuals stores. Focused on freshening up the look of the store as well as the merchandise to once again stay in tune with times, it only took Dylex a year to start seeing an increase in profit. However, this life for Foxmoor Casuals would sadly be much shorter than it’s first, with bankruptcy being the final cause of death.

Foxmoor Storefront at Arsenal Mall - Storefronts & Facades 1986
Foxmoor Storefront at Arsenal Mall – Storefronts & Facades 1986

“Our store is for the young, the mod, the altogether in crowd. We are really the coming scene.” Alex Lapina, Pittsburgh home office (News Journal, Oct 21 1969)

January Clearance – 1976

Check out these cool retro inspired Foxmoor shirts from Untitled Colours