The Ivy heyday may be long gone, but we’re truly living in a golden age of the oxford-cloth buttondown. There are so many options currently available that all you need to do is set your budget and priorities and there should be plenty to choose from.
For those with bulbous budgets — or collectors willing to scrimp and save to have an oxford from every maker — there’s a new kid on the block. Drake’s, the venerable English maker of fine neckwear, is expanding into a full collection. It also just opened a temporary shop in New York, where you’ll find Belvest-made tweeds, as well as shirts and trousers made in Drake’s own factory in Somerset.
Among those shirt offerings are some oxford-cloth buttondowns priced at $175, or three for $395, which doesn’t sound so bad. They come in three basic flavors — white, blue, and university stripe — but there are some details to geek out over.
For starters, there’s a rear collar button. The collar itself is lined but unfused, and with a measurement of 3.75 inches provided ample roll action when I tried it on both with and without a necktie.
The fabric is mid-weight and leans more toward the luxurious than the beefy. There are two fit options. I tried on the regular and thought it fit and felt fantastic.
A company spokesman told me Drake’s really worked hard on the shirt and went through several versions in an effort to get it right. Here are more details from the company’s website:
• Button down collar
• Brushed interlining on collar and cuffs
• Single, round, one-button cuff
• Pen pocket
• Split yoke, box pleat and loop
• 18L buttons, and 16L on collar
• Self gussett
• 100% Cotton
• Made in England
The company doesn’t look like it’s set up for US e-commerce, so if you’re interested, click on the above link to the New York shop and give them a call. — CC