Editor’s Note: All shirts were dry cleaned with light starch at an eco-friendly dry cleaner and delivered on a hanger, not folded. The same ties and suit will be worn across the board so that you can compare apples to apples. All images were, to my tremendous humility, posted without a filter so you can see what is.
I present the J. Press White Oxford Dress Shirt. The tasting notes: this is a dress shirt. It collaborates with a tie perfectly. There are shirts that, when engaging a tie, do not move. This shirt is as comfortable with the ties shown as open collar. More about how the J. Press Oxford is one of the crown jewels in a second, but first I have to tell you, this shirt wears as well as any shirt you will ever own. It reads distinction, it looks like you spent money, but what J. Press has done here is create an Oxford that carries itself with as much comfort as the pedigree it represents. I roll my sleeves up almost immediately at work, with this shirt I forgot to. There is no mistaking this shirt as department store, and there is no confusion about its intent. This is a dress shirt that demonstrates formality while the experience of it is informal.
Let’s skip to the end. The J. Press White OCBD (hereafter referred to as the “WOCBD”) was not always the first WOCBD you thought of. But I am looking at a pile of samples here, it is impossible to do a review without a relative comparison, and the J. Press WOCBD has ascended to the throne as it were. This may not be the only choice for everyone, but you cannot build a classic Ivy wardrobe for men without at least one.
The elephant in the room is of course the BB WOCBD. We are only comparing what you can buy new today. Of course, there were decades where the WOCBD ASSUMPTION was BB. But we know what happened. And we as a market have given Brooks a chance to respond, and we have reviewed them, and we have paid homage. It is time to move on.
From the Dalai Lama: Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
The collar roll. Here is the shirt unbuttoned without a tie, so you can see as pure a roll as possible:
So the collar roll is very much perfect. Very much. The shirt come in classic fit, meaning it suits adults who have had bread within the last week. The shirt isn’t listed as non-iron specifically, but the directions are to wash and iron if necessary. 100% cotton of course, but no non-iron sheen to it at all. The shirt FEELS IVY. It moves Ivy. The design of the shirt, you can feel the legacy. There are not ways to substitute this. Eyes have been laid on this shirt, eyes that have also seen the real Ivy League.
Here is the shirt with a tie, so that you can see the spread. I will use the same tie and same four-in-hand throughout the series so you can tell apples to apples. As you can see, the collar length frames the tie with the exact Ivy scale.
That roll is not because I arranged it for the photo, that is how the shirt naturally postures itself.
The bow tie is far from dead, and the J. Press WOCBD is the perfect canvas for it:
Finally, the shirt at the end of the day:
The tails are long enough to stay tucked in all day (mine did a solid 8 hours) but if you want that I-never-completely-dress-down-for-anything jam that I like, leaving it on in the evening untucked is a wonderful presentation to raise a 14 year old daughter who wants to go on her first date with. She went. So did I. Shirt performed perfectly, as did her suitor.
J. Press is REMARKABLY consistent. There were some disturbing inconsistencies in the pairs of shirts that we tested, but J. Press issues the same shirt twice. Thankfully. In terms of value, the shirt retails for $135, and you can order them if you click here. There are places to cut cornerstones, but your dress WOCBD’s are NOT included amongst them. I have sampled every WOCBD I can get my hands on, and some discount and department store lines are somewhat indistinguishable from the blue ribbon. None of them are in this category. This shirt is noticeably superior even to the untrained eye.
The buttons are equidistant, so you can be comfortable with the collar unbuttoned. The shirt is made in the USA. Oh, here’s the back:
Conclusion: The reign of BB and its WOCBD is over. There are equals to the J. Press WOCBD, but there are no shirts better. The shirt is not elitist in price point so beginners can treat themselves to several, and those with a few more years out of school under our belts should consider the J. Press White Oxford and The Fundamental to the Ivy wardrobe now. You need to collect some diverse brands for different uses, but you cannot be authentically Ivy with this shirt.