We just got a note from Kamakura Shirts saying that it has just launched an oxford campaign in celebration of its newly operational e-commerce store, as well as its fully stocked oxford-cloth buttondown collection.
Says our contact, “Unfortunately we did not have enough of them for a long time, and we are afraid if we made people disappointed. But now we have new colors in all the fits, such as NY Classic, NY Slim, Tokyo Classic and Tokyo Slim.”
Proclaiming “The Ivy League style is in our soul. Japanese craftsmanship is at our heart,” the full oxford collection can be seen here. All the shirts are must-iron, feature natural shell buttons, and have a collar carefully engineered (some might say forced) to roll.
In addition to solids and checks, there are a number of university stripes that might entice you, including pink:
The shirts are also available in Kamakura’s only US store, on Madison Avenue a block from J. Press. The website includes a description of the different cuts, and while the collar and cuff measurements have been converted from the metric system, I think you’ll be able to find one that works for you. Just call or email them if you need help. — c C m
Love it….must iron!
Another OCBD with a lined collar. OCBD manufacturers just can’t help themselves, can they. God bless David Mercer!
For the record, the collar is cotton-lined but unfused. Definitely thicker than Mercer’s, though.
What’s up with the sleeve lengths?
The New York Classic is showing a 35.5 inch sleeve on a 16 inch collar. That seems excessively long on the sleeves.
Am I missing something?
Biff, not if you wear a 16/36 it’s not.
And yes, you are missing something. Long arms.
Also, just read this on the Style Guide page:
“To compensate for shrinkage after the first few washes, the actual collar measurement for a new shirt will be 1/3 inch larger, and sleeve measurement 1/2 inch larger than the indicated size on the label. “
Oh, well. Given the lack of sizing that would work for me, I’ll stick with my unlined Brooks Makers and Mercers.
The green candy stripe was tempting.
Very nice! Now if he will just get some sizes for us guys with stumpier arms or thick necks – depending on how you look at it. 17-35
Those are some great colors! How unfortunate that the sizes are so limited. I hope that they enjoy enough success to offer more sizes.
I own too many OCBDs. My Kamakura oxfords are (easily) my favorites. I have no idea how they engineered the collar to roll as it does. It’s a great shirt. Considering the price, exceptional.
I prefer the Classic New York fit to my Mercers.
Kamakura offers a variety of Oxford cloths–wights, weaves, colors.
My favorite is the blue 40(2PLY)×20(COMPACT YARN). Beefy. I hope they offer this in white.
Will try the NY Classic, but will have to have the sleeves shortened by my alterations guy.
What makes the fine folks at Kamakura think that Caucasians have abnormally-long arms?
Which one of the 4 styles (NY Classic, NY Slim, Tokyo Classic and Tokyo Slim) corresponds dimensionally with Brooks Brothers regular (traditional) cut?
New York Classic.
Any which size corresponds with BB’s extra slim fit? NY Slim Fit?
I just received my first Kamakura shirt (New York Classic Fit, 16.5 x 35.5) in the mail last week. It has yet to see substantial wear or the wash, but my initial impressions are very positive. I have been a devotee of Brooks’ slim fit for years and I have done a side by side comparison with a similar BB OCBD (Slim Fit, 16.5 x 35) I had yet to unwrap. The Kamakura’s stitching, buttons, and overall finishing look superior. I thought the collar roll to be impeccable and I did not notice the extra 1/2″ on the sleeve. The fabric, an advertised 100(2 ply) × 20(2 ply), also wins versus the BB when it comes to touch. There was even a hand-written note thanking me for my purchase in the box.
As much as I love “Made in the USA” and consider myself rather patriotic (Active Duty military) I am going to find it difficult to stay devoted to Brooks. Perhaps there are Mercers in my distant future, but for now I will be giving Kamakura more of my business.
I second Eric E’s question. Any thoughts on which Kamakura is closest to the BB extra slim fit?
For Eric E and Hayes, I would say the New York Slim Fit is the closest to Brooks’ Extra Slim Fit with the disclaimer that I have only tried the New York Classic Fit and found it to be comparable to Brooks’ Slim Fit.
Their Tokyo Classic Fit is absolutely perfect for my stumpy-armed, beer-bellied body. I’m finally lucky to be a 16.5/33. I just received my 3rd batch (just got University stripes in my size) and couldn’t be happier. I receive many compliments on these shirts and love saying “you gotta go to Tokyo to get THIS shirt.”
I have now been to the Kamakura store on Madison Ave in Manhattan twice and bought 7 shirts. I can’t help you out with the sizing issues of the standard oxford cloth button downs because it’s the cotton pique knit button downs that I purchased. I realize that for some (most?) of you since there is no precedent for a knit button down, these shirts will be of no interest. Personally, I found them to be the smartest, most ingenious and wittiest development of the OCBD in years. I am aware that the “development” of a classic isn’t something everyone here appreciates or wants- so my apologies in advance. However, seen as an homage- and an exquisitely constructed one at that- they are, in my opinion, a classic in the making.
As for the store and its future, I was informed that they are well aware of the sizing issues and are already planning changes to their fit and the way it is marked. I plan to continue to patronize this store. The salespeople were charming, the service was superb and the care with which they construct their garments was startling (especially given the schlock one can find up and down that street right now.)
Button collar knit shirts are nothing new, what ever rocks your boat.
I’ve seen button collar knit shirts as well- but not like the Kamakura shirt. The ones I’ve seen in the past have had short sleeves, the knit was a flat, plain, ‘tennis shirt’ weave, and in general the shirts seemed like odd one-offs being tested by a company for one year’s summer.
The Kamakura is quite different. The cotton is woven into a tight pique and imitates very closely an oxford cloth. Rather than seeming like a weird, second cousin to the oxford cloth button down- it replicates each of its details so that from a few feet away it is its simulacrum. French seams and shell buttons on a knit shirt are also far from common and new to me.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
No need to “develop” classics, sir.
While I understand, I think probably no one would mind some tinkering and/or experimentation if the originals – in their classic form- were readily available.
Thanks for providing your take on the shirt. I think that the knit shirts look like a nice casual shirt to wear in warmer weather. However, I will probably start with their ocbd when I do patronize them.