Deadstock Troy Guild Sea Island Buttondowns at O’Connell’s

We always consider it newsy when Ethan up at O’Connell’s digs up some deadstock items that have been buried for decades.

Earlier this summer, in an act of unselfishness, Ethan decided to start sharing his special hoard of Troy Guild shirts from the early ’80s. These aren’t your typical oxford-cloth buttondowns: The shirts are made from luxurious Sea Island cotton and are priced at $245 a pop.

Ethan tells us the following:

Troy Guild made these in Glens Falls, NY. This Sea Island cotton was superior to the stuff that was out there  through the ’90s. It wasn’t regulated, and most of it tended to originate from the Middle East. It was a shorter staple cotton, closer to a thin Egyptian cotton.

The good Sea Island cotton from the early ’80s came from the West Indies and was a much finer and longer staple strain of cotton. It hasn’t been made in Sea Island for around 80 years, give or take.

Anyway, these are really fantastic new old-stock shirts. I’ve known of these for a long time but haven’t dug into them much — except to stock my own closet.

There are about 100 shirts remaining, so grab them while you can. As with most things, they don’t make them like they used to. — CC

9 Comments on "Deadstock Troy Guild Sea Island Buttondowns at O’Connell’s"

  1. Nice, but I’d prefer to be to buy more than a few of these, due to the heavy price tag and end-up wearing them out in no time!

  2. If only they had my size 🙁

  3. What a waste of money. I’d prefer to by a measured one, tailor made. In Germany and Austria visting a bespoke tailor will cost you about € 100 – 150 and those shirts surely fit. So it seems that $250 are way too much.

  4. Button-down Mind Strikes Back | September 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm |


    I agree that the cost is ridiculous. But I might point out that €150 is equal to slightly over $200 anyway. Just sayin’.

  5. Sea Island Advocate | September 24, 2011 at 8:31 am |

    The price invites comparison to bespoke but it is a false comparison due to what I Imagine is the internal driving force behind each purchase. I would argue that the choice of Bespoke vs dead stock is a psychological and emotional one based on personality. Bespoke is about current needs and future aspirations. it involves the individual making choices on fit and fabric(what is currently available to the trade) and meticulously fitting it to create the illusion of modern perfection. It is about control. Buying a dead stock shirt is about giving up control. It is about submitting to the taste and skills of those in the remote past. It asks that you embrace the romance of “Sea Island Cotton” and to give up the current high count numbers obsession. A shirt invested in the talents of the dead, carrying the psychic imprint of another time reverberates with a sublime rage to live and to fulfill its destiny. To accept this invitation is to enter into a bittersweet waltz, with each wearing you are contributing the the fabrics extinction. The true cost of the Sea Island shirt, is a heightened self awareness that comes from recognizing that ones enjoyment is dependent on of wearing a shirt that serves as a constant remembrancer of the ephemerality of life.

  6. Would like to correct, above post should read “contributing to the..” and “..dependent on..” strike the word of

    Thank You

  7. I want to say some final few words. Neither is it my intention to decry a vintage brand nor to pique anyone. My intention was rather an impartial comparison between presented goods and shirts of an equal price. For me, giving up control is not an option, when it comes to clothing. The enjoyment “clothing” for me is about best possible dressing for a reasonable price.

    Please excuse my bad english and I hope you a nice time with your new vintage shirts!

  8. @Korbinian no apology necessary and no umbrage taken. I am sure all perspectives can be shared here.

  9. William Richardson | August 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm |

    I recently popped into an old Ivy Style men’s store in Hampton Virginia called Benton-Knight. The proprietor had removed some old shirts from the windows and was selling them for $10 each. All the shirts were good quality but one shirt spoke to me. A Troy Shirtmakers Guild for Benton-Knight, red and white university stripe oxford button down and it was my size. The greatest shirt I ever owned and I have been wearing traditional clothing since the mid 1980’s. No other shirt I have ever worn had a better collar roll.

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