Nantucket Red – A Timeless Fading Charm
November 10, 2022
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Nantucket is famous for its picturesque postcard views, scenic beaches, lush landscapes, and stunning sunsets. Other than the island’s charm, there’s also Nantucket Reds – a wardrobe staple and iconic mainstay in the fashion world.

Nantucket Reds are the go-to summer clothing for local islanders and preppy enthusiasts on the east coast, including Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Provincetown. The iconic color isn’t quite red or pink but more of a dusty, weathered salmon.

Walking around without spotting someone wearing the popular faded red pants is impossible. It is obvious that the Nantucket Reds have become a mainstay in the global preppy culture.

Have you ever wondered about the history behind Nantucket’s favorite clothing brand? Well, here is a story of its origin.

The Nantucket Reds Brand Story

In the 1960s, Philip C. Murray introduced the iconic Nantucket Reds pants made of canvas and designed to fade over time to a salmon-pink hue. The sun-faded pink fabric has since grown to become Nantucket’s mainstay preppy look.

The brick-red fabric was a remake of their more flamboyant sibling- the famous Breton reds sailing canvas pants originating from the coast of Brittany, France. Yachters adopted Breton red trousers as part of the resort uniform for sailors who frequented the coastal areas of Costa del Sol and the French Riviera.

The Reds fade to a salmon pink when they age and have since been used to make socks, shirts, hats, and sweaters. Considering Nantucket and Martha’s vineyard are go-to destinations for most wealthy northeasterners, Nantucket Reds have since earned a spot in the northeastern coast prep style. Owning a pair of these pants was a badge of honor for the Ivy League chaps.

Nantucket Red pants have earned a spot in the Nantucket legendary paint colors. The virgin red is considered authentic when it fades to a dusty pink with exposure to the sun, rough weather, and wet, salty air.

Nantucket Reds- Murray’s Mainstay Collection

Perched atop the quaint 62 Main Street is the famous Murray’s Toggery Shop, universally recognized for its generation-defining Nantucket Red collection. The fabric oozes a sort of vintage look that’s been coveted over the years.

But before they were even trademarked Nantucket Reds, the summer girls working at Murray’s called them Hulbert Avenue Reds. However, the brand got its name from Murray and has since grown to become a global brand in the preppy fashion scene.

Today, Murray’s offers an innovative line of products, including pants, hats, baseball caps, sports jackets, blazers, and yarmulkes. Through the decades, they have maintained the same pigment-dyeing process that gives the red fabric its built-to-fade charm.

Do You Own A Nantucket Reds?

Murray’s Toggery Shop is the island’s premier outfitter of Nantucket Reds. The retail legend has a Nantucket Reds Collection line featuring women, men, and kids’ merchandise, including shirts, shorts, dresses, footwear, and accessories.

How can you spot a fake Nantucket Reds? Well, the proof is on the label of the clothing. Look out for the “Murray Toggery” logo on the buttons.

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