Let It Roll: O’Connell’s New O’CBD


Last week O’Connell’s unveiled a new unlined and unfused oxford-cloth buttondown, dubbed the O’C OCBD, or just O’CBD for short. “I’ve been working on this baby for about a year,” owner Ethan Huber tells Ivy Style. “Wanted to emulate some of my personal 30-year-old Brooks Brothers shirts.”

Huber developed the shirt, including fit and cut, with Gitman Borthers, which manufactures about half of O’Connell’s shirts to the shop’s specifications. The new shirt is another speciality cut with O’Connell’s characteristic fullness in the body. Collar points have been extended t0 3 3/8 inches, and the buttons have been placed “to provide an ideal spread.” All linings and fusings have been removed from collar, cuffs and placket.

Huber tried about six different fabrics from makers such as Acorn and Threadtex.  “I was looking for a darker shade of blue,” says Huber, “with more contrast between weft and warp.  I was also looking for a cloth that wasn’t super thick, but was robust enough to separate itself from a pinpoint. When I found the right fabric, I put a bunch of them through the process of wearing, tossing on the floor, washing, laundering, ironing, not ironing, etc.”

While currently available only in blue and priced at $145, pink and white are up next Huber says. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

28 Comments on "Let It Roll: O’Connell’s New O’CBD"

  1. Love that they’re doing this. If only it had a six-button front!

  2. I love everything about this, too—except for the full cut. I simply look stupid in any full cut shirt, even an OCBD. If they offer these MTO/M, I’ll be first in line!

  3. Ratio Clothing does a full roll unlined OCBD in a very familiar feeling fabric made in a very familiar factory MTO for $100.

  4. I believe O’Connell’s shirts have an eighth front button.

    why would you prefer 6?

  5. I just received mine this week. In short the shirt comes as advertised. This is my first foray with an unlined shirt collar. Although I cannot say it feels more comfortable, it certainly looks great and rolls properly. The slightly lighter fabric gives the shirt a more formal appearance as well. The fit is similar to BB’s Regular. Oh, and it does have an eight-button front.

  6. Looks good.

    So, did they go with TTX or Acorn?

  7. The TTX blue-white (university) stripe Oxford cloth is the best I’ve felt, worn, or seen. Ever. What Gitman uses. I’m not sure which mills Mercer, Gambert, and New England Shirt use. Alumo?

    Adjusted for inflation, a Troy Guild shirt would cost (today) well over $100 and likely around $130. So, good value, if…

    …the buttons are mother of pearl.

  8. It’s funny talking about the #menswear roll on a Brooks Brothers copy. Boyer’s article had a much better description referring to it as Brooksey. The collar did what it did. That was part of the charm. Chances are if you are going on and on about the roll you never walked into a BB of old and bought the real deal. The collars did what they did. That’s what made them great. Now everyone is myopic about the exact opposite, the perfect roll. Easy to tell who the rookies are at least – they are the ones waxing poetic about the #menswear roll. I’d rather have the old Brooksey charm myself, not some artifical copy of it. Sanitized to perfrom the perfect collar trick.

  9. Nice shirts. Kamakura does nice shirts, too, as does Gitman, NESC, etc, all beautiful shirts.

    Still…Brooks are still under $60 on sale, a value that simply cannot be beaten in my book. Could the current BB collar be a hair longer? Sure. Could the lining be taken out? Why not, it doesn’t bother me but maybe it would be better without. Are the combined details worth another $75? Depends on the wearer I suppose, but compared to O’Connell’s sweaters (which are an incredible value), tailored garments, ties, all very reasonably priced, their house-label shirts are just a hair too rich for my blood.

  10. @DCG

    Just the nature of the game when a single store has shirts especially made to their very specific requests.

  11. While Ethan Huber is in the business and has to earn a profit, I would have to think that producing such a shirt is done primarily as a labor of love and a service to his customers. I’m glad there are still people who go the extra mile to do such things.

  12. Gitman is charging them roughly $12 a shirt more for production runs. That seems about right, new pattern, change in normal production runs. I still believe Gitman makes an almost indestructible shirt and the detail is always perfect..

  13. Vern Trotter | December 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm |

    Not that many years ago, it seems, I switched from Brooks to Mercer after 50-60 years. I cannot take it any more! Such trauma! One divorce in a lifetime is enough. I shall stick with Mercer.

  14. Am I the only reader who moves the buttons to eliminate the unsightly collar roll of OCBD shirts?

  15. JRF and Mac,

    I agree with you both. Ethan’s passion is inspiring.

  16. Like I need another blue OCBD.

    What the hell. I plan to buy a half a dozen.

    Bring the blue-white u-stripe! And use the Gitman TTX ! Just like the stock 119BSU 40 shirt.

    I think I just geeked out–Ivy style.

  17. I’ve bought shirts, both OCBDs and patterned broadcloths, of which they have a nice selection, from O’C in the past. You have to factor in the extra cost of getting them tailored. They’re cut to accommodate the gargantuanly obese.

  18. Ethan Huber says ETA for pink and white is about a month.

  19. While i’m sure these are very nice, are they $20 nicer than Mercer? They sound very similar.

    Has anyone tried the Gustin OCBD? A little slim for some here I’m sure, but they sound good quality, American made, etc.

  20. I love my Gustin gingham shirt, if the OCBD is similar it should be a no-brainer.

  21. Robert, how’s the collar roll on the Gustin? I just ordered an OCBD so I’ll see soon. Looks decent online.

  22. @Vern

    Stick w/ Mercer: points are 1/16 inch longer!

  23. The collar on the Gustin shirts is a bit on the skimpy side. And their cut is the reverse of the O’C cut. While O’C seem to expect their customers to be obese, Gustin seem to expect their customers to be extremely narrow-shouldered.

  24. Bags' Groove | December 12, 2014 at 4:34 am |

    @ Dutch Uncle

    G the Bruce doesn’t button his BDs. Follow the master.

  25. I just got my O’CBD. Great fit. Love the collar, and the roll is good, but it is a little too “pinpointish” for me. I love Mercer’s cut as well but find that one too far to the other extreme (at least in blue – pink and yellow are just about perfect in my opinion). Who am I Goldilocks? Actually, have liked the “new” Brooks Brothers OCBD, Classic Cut, USA Made the best I think. Was hoping to find my new standard and buy a bunch, but will have to give them some time.

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