The American-made oxford cloth button-down shirt (or the original polo shirt), has been put into peril. Another blow to American-made American style.
But as the old saying goes, “every ending is a new beginning.” Enter Junior’s, the Philadelphia-based, American-made, and Ivy league style-centric company founded by Glenn Au in 2020.
Cutting his teeth at the famous O’Connell’s Clothing and H. Stockton, Au launched Junior’s with the hope of offering classic American style to a new generation of men. Named for his late Uncle Tony (known as Junior to his family), the company is dedicated to supporting American tailoring as well as stylizing, with most of Junior’s products made in the USA (the others being sourced from the United Kingdom or Italy). At the moment, the online store is rather limited in its selection, but Au has hopes to offer suits, sportscoat, shoes, and other fine menswear products in the future. Products such as the Scottish sweaters and English-made ancient madder ties are quickly going out of stock. At the moment, Au has made Junior’s made to measure oxford cloth button down the company’s calling card.
If you only get one chance to make a first impression, Junior’s patriotic ethos and Au’s classic American styling should capture your attention.
The Junior’s MTM OCBD starts at $175 (though some colors are more expensive), not too bad and certainly competitive with other options on the market. The shirts are made in New Jersey from imported cloth. Tempted as I was by the white oxford cloth, I settled on the blue due to its elegant simplicity. Clients can pay an additional $10 for a monogram, which I opted for just to give it even more of a personal touch. Being an MTM shirt, customers can select to display a flap or front pocket or have no pocket at all, they can also choose to have a shirt made with the more contemporary smooth (as I did) or stick with the more traditional box pleat. If customers want to evoke the style of the Yale-influenced Gant, a locker loop option is also available. If you’re looking to really indulge in the luxurious, the plastic buttons can be exchanged for real shell at an additional cost of $12. While the choices aren’t endless, clients looking for that authentic look won’t need any options beyond the ones offered by Junior’s.
As Junior’s is currently a one-man operation, the customer service given by Au is outstanding. Au met with me over Zoom, answering all my questions regarding the production of the shirt. Via the camera, he was able to show me samples of the shirt from his personal wardrobe, which was very helpful in figuring out which color I wanted and what styling options I picked. Additionally, Au’s knowledge about Ivy League style was on full display when he explained to me what styles were more historically rooted, such as the use of the front pocket, and which were trendier. Rather than having me struggle to measure myself (or ask my wife to help me), as I just had a custom shirt made elsewhere, Au told me to put that on for him to inspect. Given how well it fit, Au instructed me to email him the measurements taken and mail him that shirt so he would measure it himself to help get me the best fit possible. Once my Junior’s MTM OCBD was completed, Au sent it along with my custom-made shirt to me. Au took 50% upfront and the remaining sum once the shirt was completed. The whole process from measuring to delivery took one month, which was to be expected as Au informed me the process can take four to six weeks.
Au is more than happy to help clients figure out their correct sizing (though a tape measure for tailoring will be essential). If potential customers already have a shirt, they like the fit of, Au says that sending him a shirt is the best way to ensure a happy measurement. Failing that, clients can also select between Junior’s trim, standard, or full fits. Though the company is focused on online business, for those living in the Philadelphia area Au is happy to meet clients at their work, in their homes, or whatever location works best for them. Regardless, given how devoted he was to my single order, I have no reason to doubt his ability to help anyone interested.
The final product arrived with a lovely handwritten note and a postcard to use featuring the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia (a friendly signal to post-COVID travel perhaps). As promised, all features I have selected were present, from the front pocket to the smooth back as well as the ‘DNG’ monograph on the front in matching stitching. For plastic buttons, I was immediately impressed with their quality, a nice 3mm faux shell which felt durable in the hand. Not one to really care about front pockets, I was also pleased how subtle the front pocket was. Upon trying on the shirt, I was delighted by how well it fit, a sentiment my wife echoed (always a good sign).
Time to order another in white.
by Daniel Gullotta