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Nantucket Reds: Where Exactly Did These Pants Come From?
February 24, 2023
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You cannot go a day without sporting the popular Nantucket Reds when in Nantucket. These pants have a reddish hue that turns into a salmonish-pink with time.

After seeing them countless times, you may wonder about their origin and how they became so popular. Well, it’s a long story, but we’ll try to make it as concise as possible.

Nantucket Reds’ History

Their origin dates back to the 1960s when a man named Philip. C. Murray introduced it to his retail store Murray’s. The pants were made of red canvas fabric that was intentionally made to fade over time.

According to Murray, he derived his inspiration from the color of the sails that dotted the coast of Brittany, France.

However, word has it that he copied the style from the ‘Breton Reds’ – almost similar pants worn in Northern France. The pants had become a sensation among sailors on the East Coast.

Being the businessman he was, Murray spotted a lucrative opportunity and introduced the pants in his retail store. The move paid off, as the pants quickly became popular in Nantucket.

To prevent other retailers from stealing his idea and making replicas, he trademarked the line in 1980.

He published the book ‘Official Preppy Handbook’ a year later and referred to the pants as the official islander uniform. True to his words, they became so. Consequently, Murray’s became the official island outfitter.

Other business people have since tried to make replicas, but Murray’s dominance has stood the test of time. Their authenticity and original label on the shorts have remained outstanding through the years.

When Philip. C. Murray passed on, he left the business to John and Trish, just like his father had left it to him. The duo has kept the business running successfully, and it still is the main producer and supplier of the iconic Nantucket Reds.

Not only do they sell them to the people on the Island, but they also export them to other parts of the world.

Their Sentimental Value and Cultural Significance

Murray's Reds

Over the years, many businesses and designers have developed brilliant clothing ideas that tend to lose their significance and fashion sense with time. So, you may be wondering what is so special about the Nantucket Reds.

First, they are of great quality and embrace modern, stylish designs.

Second, they remind the locals of the good old days when people would spend summers sipping martinis at the club car, walking eighteen holes at Sankaty Golf Club, and attending weddings at the Nantucket Yacht Club.

Third, Nantucket’s color is listed among the Island’s historic colors. These historic colors are the only approved exterior paint colors set by the Nantucket Historic District Commission.

Do You Want a Pair?

You can get them at Murray’s Toggery Shop in Nantucket.

In the past, Nantucket Reds only included pants, but not anymore. The retail store has since widened its selection to include face masks, hats, socks, Men’s bow ties, Neckties, belts, suit vests, shirts, shorts, et cetera.

While attending to you, the staff will gladly tell you about the history of the Nantucket Reds. That is, if you want to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

The retailer not only sells Nantucket reds; they also stock up on various outfits, including both Men’s and Lady’s wear.

You can, therefore, pay them a visit to shop for all you need under one roof!