Return to Content

What is Nantucket Red?

What is Nantucket Red?
2 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (92% score)
Print Friendly

Gray belongs to the island of Nantucket, but Nantucket red, which fades to pink with time, is the color that represents your love for the island.

What is Nantucket Red?
Photo/Art by Heath Robbins
Nantucket Red, in all its faded glory.

Gray belongs to the island of Nantucket — to its Quaker-shingle houses and its fog. But Nantucket red, which fades to pink with time, is the color that represents your love for the island. Philip C. Murray introduced the hue via brick-red sailcloth pants in the 1950s, when he took over The Toggery Shop, at the top of Nantucket’s cobblestone Main Street, from his father.

Influenced by New York Yacht Club uniforms, Nantucket Reds began as insider shorthand for the well-heeled, but casual, Nantucket summer life. As is its nature, the color lost its pristine luster with washing, and clothiers now make shirts, caps, sweatshirts, and any wearable thing in the worn-red hue. Much to the chagrin of stores like J.Crew, which tried to market its own line of similar clothing a few years ago, Murray’s Toggery is legally the only company that can sell official “Nantucket Reds” — which it does now in everything from skirts to shirts to pants.

Today, you’re just as likely to see a titan of industry wearing a pair of proper Nantucket Red pants in Palm Beach as you are to see a Boston-area college student sporting a faded Nantucket Red cap on campus as a souvenir of those perfect summer days on The Faraway Island.

Murray’s Toggery Shop. 62 Main St., Nantucket, MA. 800-368-2134, 508-228-0437;

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Bring New England Home

Subscribe for 1 year for only $19.97!

A 44% saving!


3 Responses to What is Nantucket Red?

  1. Susan Cole July 26, 2008 at 8:03 am #

    OMG…brings back so many great memories of our three visits to Nantucket on our 54 foot motor yacht. I can almost close my eyes and be back having lunch in the Den of Thieves..!! Going to wear my Nantucket red shorts today and (day)dream of Nantucket..!!


  2. Alan Brown July 29, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    Just put Nantucket on my must-visit list.

  3. August 11, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Very nice…awesome staff @ Murray’s!

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

©2016, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111