Frugal Trad: The $25 Target OCBD With Rear Collar Button

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A reader recently alerted us to the $25 oxford shirts at Target.  Surprisingly, they feature a rear collar button. And with their tailored fit, low price and apparently smaller collar, they may prove a viable option for impecunious young trads, perhaps of the student variety. Kudos to Target for offering a bit of Main Street Ivy for the masses. — CC

50 Comments on "Frugal Trad: The $25 Target OCBD With Rear Collar Button"

  1. They’ve been on these for a couple years now, and they’re pretty decent. They have good colors – white, pink, university stripe. 100% cotton too. Not trying to sound like an ad, but target’s been on the preppy style w/ other stuff too – duffle coats, bermuda shorts, (fake) suede bucks, etc. I’d rate the shirts at the same level as uniqlo, for what that’s worth –

  2. Mitchell S. | April 30, 2014 at 9:34 am |

    This goes to show that dressing well does not have to cost a lot of money.

    I’m embarrassed to say that I live in Boston, (GQ’s Worst-Dressed City in America) where dressing up is wearing sweatpants, a pizza-stained Red Sox jacket, and sneakers.

    There are so many low-priced, preppy stores to choose from in the area, yet most of the guys in Boston dress like drunken slobs. I think it has something to do with all the universities in the city and guys’ attitudes about dressing here.

  3. I too live in Boston.

    The issue is a combination of 1. Tourists (fanny packs, running shoes, logo t-shirts) 2. College students (constant sweatpants) and 3. Meatheads (all of the above, + tattoos and “Sawx Geah”).

    That said, there are literally dozens of places (and a half dozen neighborhoods) here where all three can be easily avoided. Just stay away from Quincy Market, Fenway/Kenmore, and Allston/Brighton (Boston’s Brooklyn).

    On topic:

    Target’s stuff isn’t bad to look at, but it feels flimsy. Uniqlo is an apt comparison.

  4. I live and work not far outside of Boston (I grew up in Boston). I think the #1 reason for Boston being worst dressed is the “Sports Town” factor. Boston is a major market with teams in all four major sports. Boston has had many years of success, especially since the Patriot’s first Super Bowl win. People literally wear their fandom on their sleeve. I can see wearing a team hat, t-shirt, or hoodie every now and then. But to make a team jersey your every outfit is pretty sad.

    Also, there are a lot of poorly dressed athletes out there. I’m reminded of Chen’s new golf blog and how Joe golfer is taking style cues from men who wear white belts.

  5. May I ask what the significance of the smaller collar is?

  6. I will give these a try. The soft orchid looks to be a nice color. Thank you for the post.

  7. At $25, one could easily sacrifice one shirts for the cloth and have a seamstress replace the collars on quite a few shirts with the cloth from the front, back, and sleeves of the sacrificed shirt. My seamstress does this for the local equivalent of $7.50 per shirt, but I’m not fortunate enough to be living in the States.

  8. The inequities that confound my mind; imported, bizarre collar, & slim fit.
    Please do not become a Target,
    F

  9. Dutch Uncle | April 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm |

    “Tailored fit” is as bad as flipflops, hoodies, and tattoos.

  10. Uncle, what size jacket and trouser do you wear?

  11. foghorn hits it on the head. Chump-wear.

  12. To all the Boston haters: Do I really need to remind you that we’re (yes I live in the area too) home to multiple trad meccas, some of the best thrift shopping in the country, An Affordable Wardrobe & Newton St. Vintage, and have some the best dressed old men walking down the same streets as drunken sports bros?

    That said, Go Sox.

  13. I’m currently wearing that exact shirt. I also own them in white, pink, and a robin’s egg blue.. You can not beat the shirt’s quality in this price range.

  14. I’m so old I remember $25 for an OCBD was outrageous. 😉

  15. I’m a resident of Boston as well. As far as college students go, sweatpants are generally reserved for the athletes (at least where I attend school) and for those who could care less about their appearance, which is thankfully not many. Most students at my university tend to dress well, even if it isn’t necessarily “prep” or “trad” or “ivy”.There are also a good number students who dress in the “prep” or “trad” manner…usually those who came from New England boarding schools or other random prep schools throughout the country (like myself). If you want to see style in Boston, check out the Back Bay and Beacon Hill neighborhoods, especially Newbury street for more stylish young folks. It’s a sea of Gucci loafers, Barbour jackets, oxford shirts, boat shoes, and khakis over here.

    Additionally, it’s a pretty big advantage to have The Andover Shop, J. Press, and a bunch of fantastic thrift/secondhand stores just a couple of miles from my door.

  16. Jordan Gatsby | April 30, 2014 at 7:14 pm |

    Haven’t you guys criticized Polo ad nauseam for doing the same thing? “Watering down” traditional style for the mass market?

  17. I saw these a couple of weeks ago. Though I prefer a trimmer fit through the body, a small collar has bcome a dealbreaker for me as of late, impecunious or not.

  18. I can vouch for this shirt, as I am the one who emailed Christian about it. The cut may be “trim” but I haven’t found it to be constricting like other slim-fit-type shirts. The collar is on the smaller side which does make it awkward looking with a tie. But the shirt is solid. In addition to the rear button it also has a locker loop, a trad staple. I have it in lavender and it looks great.

    Obviously some will turn their noses up at it, but if you’re in the market for a cheap OCBD I think this is a no brainer.

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  20. Something about this post seems a bit product placed…looks like Target is paying the electric bill this week.

  21. Target Trad again… I seem to remember running up to Target a year or two ago to buy up the argyle socks that were mentioned on this very blog… Perhaps a regular stroll thru the clothing department is in order… With my bad luck, white OCBD shirts are almost one time use, so a few at $25 wouldn’t hurt for the summer!

  22. Like Mason, I will no longer buy or wear shirts with collars too small to properly accommodate a tie. (Alex, a collar that’s too small has too little space for a tie, and looks odd when worn with one.)

    GetTickets, criticism is not equivalent to hatred. People are criticizing the dearth of nicely dressed Bostonians; that is not hate. Please don’t confuse or conflate the two.

    Randy, Target used to have pretty decent socks. Now, most of them are plasticy and not worth buying. They might still have some OK three-packs in basic colors and simple patterns (made of bamboo rayon, as I recall), and they stay up well, too. However, they’re so thin that they wear out quickly.

  23. @Dutch Uncle
    Are you fat?

  24. Dutch Uncle | May 1, 2014 at 5:15 am |

    @Christian
    @LOL

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with my measurements: It’s a matter of principle

  25. So much fat boy hate!

    Here’s a tribute to all that can wear or get a fork to their mouths wearing a “slim fit” or “custom fit” shirt.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoskDZRLOCs&feature=kp

  26. Several years ago at Target I bought some washable linen traditionnal style full cut shirts with great looking flapped bellows pockets. They looked great before washing but after washing they looked terrible and unwearable. So at Target buy one & wash it a few times before judging it. I will not ever buy any clothing at Target again. Plus, if you watch for sales & coupons you can buy a RL factory outlet oxford cloth shirt for a sale price of $40 less 20 or 25% depending on the coupon if you are on the RL mailing & email list.

  27. JWK
    Macy & Dillard’s has RL on sale for 75% off twice a year. The trick is to get a heads up phone call from inside the orgs.

    Linen rule #1: dry clean! It’s a bitch to iron. 😉

  28. Nothing, even dry cleaning washable linen shirts would have helped make those Target shirts be worth buying. End of season sales of RL are a great way to get quality RL mdse.

  29. Southern Loafer | May 2, 2014 at 7:05 am |

    My wife bought a few of these for herself to wear when she’s bumping around the house, piddling in the garden, and the like. They are perfect for that. Not much else.

  30. Since when is a rear collar button and/or a locker loop a “trad staple”? I have a closet full of old and newer OCBDs (Brooks, O’Connell’s, Press, Bean, RL, and so on) and almost none of them have either of these features.

    It’s annoying when these affectations are fetishized for their perceived ‘purity’ when the reality is that both of these ad ons do more to scream ‘neo prep’ than they do ‘trad’…..

  31. Minimalist Trad | May 2, 2014 at 9:19 am |

    @AEV:

    I’m quite sure that I remember rear collar buttons and locker loops as standard details of OCBDs in the 1960s.
    I never mourned their passing.

  32. I also recall oxford shirts with a button in the back of the collar. Also, khakis with a belt-like contraption set in the back between the waist and the back pockets, allegedly for tightening. It wasn’t every shirt or pair of khakis, but these things existed and were part of the scene way before the concept “neo prep” came into existence.

  33. That’s an itsy bitsy collar. Kind of puny looking, really.

  34. In the 1960s Gant Shirtmakers of New Haven had “locker loops” at their back box pleat and back of collar buttons on all their button down collar shirts. Gant called the model “The Hugger” because they were tapered shirts, unlike the balloon shirts sold by Brooks.. Somehow family related shirtmaker Sero Shirtmakers of New Haven made a shirt of similar quality to Gant which were fuller cut without a “locker loop” but with a wider back box pleat than Gant ,and I seem to recall without a back of collar button, that Sero called “The Purist”. Gant was run by the Gant brothers, Marty, now deceased, & Elliott, who I think lives still in NE. Sero was run by Seymour Shapiro, a relative of the Gant family, also I think still living in NE. Both shirts were excellent and were sold first under store names like Brooks, Paul Stuart, then also under their own names. Alas, they were so popular that these companies had trouble manufacturing enough to meet the demand which ultimately caused them big problems. If you are on I95 North you will see on the left The New Haven Register Building which was originally built as a new Gant factory replacing the old Gant factory nearby to the Wooster Square area in the City of New Haven. Also interesting is that Gant also had a line of similar shirts for women that was established by a Gant relative who later went on to be known as Anne Klein.

  35. I own a new Gant oxford with a locker loop and a new Brooks oxford with a rear collar button. The collar on the Brooks OCBD is similar to the Target shirt above; tried wearing it with a tie and it looked ridiculous. Ironically enough, I own a vintage Brooks oxford with a smaller collar as well. I’m assuming some were made to be worn with ties and others weren’t? Were there separate dressier/more casual oxfords back in the day based on collar length?

  36. While the collar is smaller than what is probably considered traditional, I will say that it is not as small as the collar on the J. Press x Urban Outfitter OCBD.

  37. ArtVandalay | May 3, 2014 at 11:55 am |

    Target’s socks were brought up earlier and were described as “plasticky.” Just as a PSA, their Merona brand “Targyles” are now back to a mostly-cotton blend after being 97% polyester for the last couple of years.

  38. Back in the day, it was Adler and Byford socks. For some reason, in my minds eye, Burlington bought Adler.

    Locker loops demise was welcome, it became a sport to call them “fruit loops” and be ripped off the shirt by morons.

    Back collar button, ended with wider ties.I have some RL shirts with them, I don’t bother buttoning when wearing a tie.

  39. Boston Bean | May 4, 2014 at 8:46 am |

    @MAC

    I remember them being called “fairy loops” in New England.

  40. Boston Bean
    Your morons had more imagination than mine. 😉

  41. Dirk Pitt JR | May 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm |

    Here or elsewhere somebody put out there that JC Penney had a frugal OCBD for 16 a pop, but having checked it out I can say that the shirt wasn’t very good. Now target’s brand, Merona, actually makes a solid product much of the time. I like their pajamas. But you have to check these things out for yourself first. Don’t just go blazing away on the internet boys!

  42. Vern Trotter | May 6, 2014 at 10:09 am |

    The best place to find well dressed “old tweeds” in Boston was always Locke-Ober, sadly now gone. Not to worry, there is still the Somerset Club, Tavern Club, Union Club, Harvard Club, Trinity Church and any Republican get together.

    In Harvard Square there is the Hasty Pudding Club, J.Press, Harvard Stadium if you can avoid the drunks. In the suburbs The Country Club, the Myopia Hunt Club, the Belmont Country Club and the Winchester Country Club, the original home of the Myopia Club. Duxbury and Beverly Farms as well. Even Quincy has the Neighborhood Club.

    I still consider Boston the best dressed city in the US.

  43. Vern Trotter | May 6, 2014 at 10:28 am |

    I forgot one of my favorite places, The Atheneum.

  44. Mitchell S. | May 6, 2014 at 11:26 am |

    @Vern Trotter, @A1: All of the examples you cite are exceptions to the rule; pockets of privilege and affluence in the putrid back-water of sartorial decadence that goes by the name of Boston. Harvard Square, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay are some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in New England and their residents do not represent the typical Bostonian.

    Despite the plethora of thrift stores, outlet stores, and sales at Trad staples like J. Press and Brooks Brothers, most of the residents of Boston dress like inmates at an insane asylum.

    People will argue that because of the high cost of housing, there is little money left over to spend on clothes. But as “An Affordable Wardrobe” likes to point out, “Penury is not an excuse.”

  45. Christian | June 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm |

    What is the purpose of the rear collar button? I got a Land End’s oxford shirt for my birthday. It’s just like any other oxford shirt except for the rear collar button. I can’t quite figure what it’s for. It’s a really nice shirt but unfortunately I cannot use a tie with this shirt.

  46. Christian | June 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm |

    ^ different Christian — CC

  47. @Christian
    Unlined collars that were cut higher sometimes rolled up around the back of the neck because of their softness. Certain jackets would exacerbate the phenomenon. The back button was devised as a solution. Boom era fashion latched on and it became a fetish detail. Your modern LE will have a much lower cut around the neck, lined or fused collar short in point-length and your tie most likely too wide. Third button therefore obsolete as a practical device, though some appreciate it as a stylistic quirk.

  48. Christian | June 5, 2014 at 8:47 am |

    Dear CeeEm,

    Thank you so much for the quick response! I learn something new everyday.

    And you’re right! My tie is kind of wide. Nevertheless I think I will return my oxford shirt with the rear collar button and get one without it. When I ordered the oxford shirt, I didn’t know that it had the rear collar button. I guess I’m not really into this style nuance.

    Thanks again!

    Christian

  49. It would make life easier for readers if Christian the Second would modify his nom de plume to something like Christian2 so that we’d know if it was Chens or the other gent.

  50. Christian A | June 6, 2014 at 6:26 am |

    Oops! I didn’t know that there was another Christian in this note thread. This is Christian A

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