Emerald Aisle: Shopping Green Oxford Cloth

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For no discernable reason, I recently developed a mini-obsession with the color green. I picked up some polo shirts, a striped belt from J. Press, and a few other things. Among the purchases was a pair of shorts in mint-green oxford cloth (Polo, natch), which finally brought things to the tipping point and inspired a blog post.

But whether shopping for green oxford clothes or just images on Google, there’s not a lot available (shirt above is by Proper Cloth).

For jazz-Ivy guys, green oxford immediately brings to mind some iconic photos of Miles Davis:

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Not long ago his shirt inspired the launch of a collection called Fitzgerald’s Closet; hard to tell whether it’s still producing shirts:

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Most guys would probably consider green oxford best for a sport shirt:

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That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tuck it in:

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Or leave too many buttons undone:

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On the other hand, this handsome candy-stripe from Kamakura is just asking for a jacket and tie:

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You don’t see buttondown collars these days from Purple Label:



ralph-lauren-purple-label-255-mint-green-oxford-cloth-button-down-shirt-1My shorts are like these. Please ignore the shirt, belt and watch band. You know I prefer to keep things bold and simple.— CC

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22 Comments on "Emerald Aisle: Shopping Green Oxford Cloth"

  1. Bags' Groove | August 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm |

    What I couldn’t do with that Kamakura striped. You see, I’m not a hidebound Trad, so I might not even button any of the collar buttons! How wild and crazy is that?

  2. I have a solid and striped green from Polo that are a very similar shade to that of the shorts shown above. They get a lot of wear in the spring, summer, and early fall, but not much else during the cold months. I’ve found that, on the dressed up end of things, they look great with ties of yellow and navy combinations. They’re particularly fun to wear with brown tweed jackets in the early days of fall as well.

  3. Miles’ shirt is often discussed as being an ‘oxford’. It always looked like a chambray cloth to me.

  4. Really bad collar on the proper cloth shirt. No roll. Poor bell shape.

  5. John Carlos | August 25, 2015 at 10:35 pm |

    MLM, good call.

  6. I wonder when Kamakura Shirt is going to figure out that there is not a one-to-one correlation between neck size and arm length.

  7. Like all Fitzgerald’s shirts, the green OCBD is a thing of beauty, really lovely cloth and collar roll, but unfortunately the company has ceased trading. I think that the owner, Henry, was increasingly busy with other work plus I seem to recall there was some issue with the company who produced his shirts over ownership of the patterns. A shame, as the shirts were terrific (if pricey for anyone living Stateside) and he was a good guy.

  8. Last year I bought one of LL Bean’s university stripe OCBDs in green, and I like it very much – very substantial fabric, although next time I might go for the less full-cut version.

  9. Paul:

    Was it non-iron?

  10. @TripleIvy: it was non-iron, which is not as much a sin for me as it is for some (I have enough needs-ironing OCBDs to keep my laundry lady in Hermes). And my recollection is that Bean makes a needs-ironing version also. Note: these are definitely not year-rounder shirts; in my neck of the woods (MD), they’re fall/winter only bc of their weight.

  11. The shirt is by Fitzgeralds Clothiers, not Fitzgeralds Closet.

  12. LLBean only makes a non-iron OCBD, alas, but the collar roll is great. The cloth is firm but not stiff/scratchy, stays wrinkle free through dozens of washings, and you get neck/sleeve length options.

  13. Charlottesville | August 26, 2015 at 12:55 pm |

    Great post, Christian. I too am a fan of the green stripe, and the color is often overlooked in the Ivy wardrobe. If I remember correctly, the titular shirt in “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt” was green. After a couple of years of searching for a to-be-ironed version, I caved in this spring and went with the LL Bean model. The color is perfect with a navy blazer and khakis. I also have an older Bean university stripe OCBD in olive, which I enjoy through the fall and winter with tweeds. Too bad Bean stopped making the old flap pocket oxford from the ’70s. Faux Press at 1/3 the price was just what I needed in my teens.

  14. William Richardson | August 26, 2015 at 1:03 pm |

    High standards in craftsmanship comes at a cost. The ivy/trad man demands quality and expects to pay for it. I cannot afford to purchase cheap products. I expect to get many years out of a garment. I have Sea Isle Cotton sweaters from the late eighties which are just coming into their own. The same for Harris Tweed jackets.

    Will

  15. Vern Trotter | August 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm |

    All stripes like this at Brooks were called candy stripes. They had a green for several years but, of course, it is long gone. The Proper Cloth shirt is ghastly! Same for the untucked.

  16. As Paul notes above, LL Bean makes a great green university striped shirt. I have one and wear it often.

  17. I have the LL Bean green uni-stripe but find it difficult to match a tie to it. Suggestions are welcome.

  18. It depends on the exact shade of green, MHJ, but navy blue springs to mind as the first option. Perhaps a club tie (i.e, one with a repeating motif, such as wildlife or heraldic symbols)? A complementary shade of brown could also work. Try a knit tie in navy blue, brown, or gray. If not a solid or club tie, then paisley might be another option; many challis and ancient madder ties come in shades and color combinations that would work. If going for stripes, make sure that they are much wider than the shirt’s stripes. In fact, I have such a tie in cocoa, rose brown, and navy blue that might work with just such a shirt….

  19. This post inspired me to reach deep into the closet and pull out an old Land’s End version I have not worn in awhile. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and comfort of the oxford cloth, wearing it today with a dark navy/gold stripe tie and light grey khakis. It’s a nice pop of color.

  20. J. Press had a fabulous Green (as well as Melon) Oxford about 5 years back WITH flap pocket. Only wish they were still available!

  21. /\ Steedappeal, those green and melon flap-pockets from Press were awesome, I bought them both from you, took me a year to realize their greatness but when I went to pick up spares they were gone!

  22. originalhenry | November 4, 2015 at 1:18 pm |

    Based on the comments here, I pulled the trigger and got an L.L. Bean green candy/university stripe shirt. Here’s my review.

    First, the color is great. I have paired it with brown tweed jackets, but I could see it working with a navy blue blazer, too.

    Unfortunately, Bean’s non-iron material is not soft. In fact, it’s plastic-like. I’m hoping that some of that will come off with repeated washings, but the worst part is that the treatment prevents the formation of the puckers that give Oxford cloth its charm. (Maybe putting it in the dryer would help to remove the non-iron finish.)

    Another downside is that the green striped shirt is available only in the Traditional Fit, which is tent-like on my frame. (I also got some Slightly Fitted shirts (blue & blue stripe) that aren’t as loose, but are still generous.) Also, the sizing is a little larger than other manufacturers; I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have sized down.

    Finally, the collars, while not minuscule, are not really long enough, and the overlap at the throat is kind of weird.

    I really, really, want to like these shirts. The colors are great, and the prices are good, especially if you get them on sale. But I’m not sure I would buy L.L. Bean Oxford cloth shirts again.

    P.S.: L.L. Bean is another company whose copy writers don’t know the difference between button-down and button-up shirts.

    Henry Contestwinner

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