I've been really down on Politico, the publication where insiders interview each other, lately, but I really enjoyed this report on the judicial robe factory. It's cute and interesting! It's just one of those "I never thought of that" kinda things:
“The J-71 is the J-71, and it’s been the J-71 since long before we acquired Bentley and Simon,” said Hodges. “The gown often outlasts the judge.”
Since its start in 1912, Bentley and Simon has robed an ever-increasing number of Supreme Court justices. Thurgood Marshall wore a Bentley and Simon robe, as did Potter Stewart. And Sotomayor herself purchased a J-71 back in 1998, when President Bill Clinton nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
At 11 years old, that gown is likely in need of refurbishing, the company says; the sleeves are usually the first to go. And Sotomayor’s J-71 probably isn’t her only robe; judges often have several — including lightweight summer gowns made of tropical wool and heavier ones for winter and special occasions