Kevin Danyi has lost more Ivy cred than I ever had. If you are unfamiliar, he was profiled here.
He had an experience with Brooks’ Pink Oxford I thought was valuable to share, and maybe start a conversation about pink in general. The color, not the –
Anyway, Mr. Danyi writes in the FB group:
“Many readers of this page, myself included, have been wearing Brooks Brothers pink OCBDs for decades and appreciate the original pink that BB does so well. I have and wear O’Connell’s and J. Press pink OCBDs, but BB pink has always been my favorite pink OCBD (O’C is a little on the dark pink side, although Press is close). For years, these were available in numerical sizes, e.g., 18.5 X 34, giving a good fit for men who wear them with suits and ties, but with the demise of Brooks Brothers as we knew it, this is no longer the case.
Brooks Brothers recently brought back made-to-measure shirts, so I took the opportunity to get an OCBD, in pink, of course. The new, MTM shirt is on the right and I placed a 2014 BB OCBD on the left in the photo. I was going to put a 1988 BB pink OCBD in the mix, but that particular shirt has been a beach shirt for years and is so worn and faded as to be unsuitable for comparison purposes.
The 2014 shirt ($145) was made in the USA, while the 2023 shirt ($205) was made in Vietnam. The color on both is virtually identical and is the Brooks Brothers pink that I have loved since the 1980s. The material is similar, although I think the 2023 shirt is slightly thinner. The buttons are different, with the MTM version having thicker, mother-of-pearl buttons. The fit on the MTM is perfect: in addition to taking my measurements, the BB staff had me try on several different in-store shirt models in different sizes.
The most noticeable difference is the collar and cuffs, and please note that neither shirt has been ironed: they are both right out of the dryer. Even with some allowance for a nine-year age difference, the 2023 shirt has a much stiffer collar and cuffs. The placket (Evan, is that the correct word?) is of the same material as the collar and cuffs, which is different from the body of the shirt. On the 2014 shirt, the material is all the same, which is clearly shown in the photo.
In summary, I like the new shirt, but I question why Brooks Brothers apparently cannot reproduce, in made-to-measure, exactly the shirt which they invented and sold since the 1950s.”
His post was answered by a Brooks store manager, but since it is a private group I didn’t post the answer here. (I got Kevin, who is a friend, to give me permission to post this).
If you would like to join the FB group, you can “apply” here. As long as you answer the three questions and aren’t an idiot, you are in. 🙂
Michael Bastian discusses pink OCBDs in an interview. He says that the current pink OCBDs are identical to ones from the archives, that the shade of pink that Brooks use is the same as it was in the halcyon days.
Brooks Brothers pink is kind of a trade secret, kind of like Coca Cola’s secret formula locked in a bank vault in Atlanta.
Pink is my favorite OCBD color. It goes with everything and can even enliven a ghostly complexion like mine. I think Brooks has taken to lining the collar, cuffs, and placket of some of their shirts lately, and that’s what I’m guessing I see in the photo, re: the difference in material Mr. Danyi writes about. Looks like a great shirt! And I know it’s MTM, which certainly adds a hefty premium, but could they not find a way to make a near-$200 shirt domestically?
Brooks Brothers actually has this already, it’s $198, numerically sized and in pink too (along with blue and white_)! It’s called the “Regent Regular-Fit American-Made Oxford Cloth Button-Down Dress Shirt”
Too expensive for my tastes , but it was one I saw while looking for shirts recently
A BOCBD is a ten out of ten. A POCBD dials that up to eleven. Why aren’t more guys wearing pink?
The closest pink to the old BB OCBD color and fit is Mercer’s. The MTM looks like they fused the collar. Mercer shirts are a soft non-fused collar and cuffs and made of the same hard as iron material as the old BB. They even have the same old BB yellow color in the OCBD
Great review! But $205.00 – yikes! Pocbd is my favorite shirt as well and Brooks’ is my preferred color. I bought a J Press recently and the pink is a bit paler. My Michael Spencer had a nice heft and really close in color to BB (I greatly miss that company, shirts were incredible quality and value). Even have a BB candy stripe pink and white ocbd which I wish I could get more of. And then there is the grail – the pink and white bold striped ocbd that HTJ posted long ago…
John – I think there is a typo in the first sentence.
Why aren’t more guys wearing pink?
Same reason they are wearing boxer briefs and untukit shirts.
There are a very tiny minority who have complextions that dictate no pink.
When I sold clothing I would offer to buy the pink OCBD back if they promised to wear it once to the office. I never bought one back. All they got were compliments from wives and gals at the office.
I still believe Polo 1970s OCBDs had the best collar roll and colors. BB? I bought my last BB OCBD in around 1968. Since that year, I only bought a pair of cordovan pennys loafers and a ton of women’s BB suits for my ex.
I’m a soft collar guy now, but a little curious as to what options they now offer as compared to way back when. Just not curious enough to go to a mall.
Scared me at first. I thought you were going to tell us about a home-made dye job gone wrong. Then I saw it, the shadow of the camera man.
On my screen, they look like POCBDs, (Purple OCBDs).
No. Just, well…no.
Memories of an old man.
When I was in prep school in the 50s I wore a Gant pink oxford Bd to class every day.
When a guy wore a pink shirt in the 50s it caused some raised eyebrows.
When I joined my dad at Chipp in 1960 the pink oxford BD was what I wore 3 out of 5 days.
I even wore one with my dinner suit.
My father told me that if I wanted to wear pink to black tie functions I should have pink pleated dinner shirts made.
And so the pink dinner shirt was born.
Mr. Winston — It was so good to see your comment. I would love to hear more about your memories of the heyday, both at school and at Chipp. Although I never got to visit the original shop in New York, I have enjoyed wearing your Chipp 2 ties. Perhaps JB might arrange an interview, if you are willing?
Always nice to see a comment from Paul Winston on here!
You’ve got me thinking, what’s wrong with tastefully colored formalwear shirts? I of course don’t mean the gaudy ruffled ones from many a ’70s or ’80s prom or wedding, but something traditional in a subtle hue. It could be a nice way to lend black tie some individuality without going too crazy.
The first OCBD I ever bought was pink. It was 1980 and I was about to be a senior in high school (dress code, jackets and ties). But it wasn’t from BB; we didn’t have one where I grew up, so I didn’t know what that was yet. It was from a department store in Providence called The Outlet Company.
Nice discussion of a classic. I too enjoy wearing pink OCBDs on a regular basis, but at these prices I am thankful that I still have several of the old BB version in the closet.
A also have worn pink BB OCBDs since the 1960s and wore one to the office yesterday – the new office attire is somewhat less formal. I may be the only one old enought to remember the brief pink and gray craze in about 1957 or 1958. No OCBDs, but I recall being outfitted in a pink and grey shirt with gray chukka boots (that we called “fruit boots”).
In 59 I had a gray and pink Bengal striped OCBD. What I call a Bengal stripe is equal stripes at least 1/2 inch wide. I was living in Mississippi at the time.
I’m not quite sure what you were trying to say regarding J. Press’s pink. But it’s a very soft pink. I think I saw it once described as “Mamie Eisenhower pink,” which I liked. But it’s definitely paler than the “Bubble Gum” pink of Brooks (of which I have two). It’s good to have at least one of each.
I took a look in my closet and noticed my variety of pink shirts and their manufacturer, from Sero, Huntington, BB and J Press, all in varying shades and collar styles. Pink is almost as versatile as blue for that upgraded pop of color when the occasion dictates.