OCBD Quarterly

Just take a look.  There are new entries into the OCBD market (I reviewed one).  A lot of them.  Fashion predictions are like – well you know the saying about everyone having one.  But we can still identify a trend when we see one.

Once a quarter we will do an organized, reader-driven review of any OCBD you want.  You are writing it, so you should pick.  Below, please write down your favorite so we know at least to include those.  If you want to include tasting notes, by all means.  That would be very helpful.

Review is two weeks from today 🙂

Thanks – JB

 

52 Comments on "OCBD Quarterly"

  1. michael powell | August 26, 2021 at 10:04 am |

    OK, I’ll go first. I bought a white Brooks OCBD last week. I liked it so much, I bought another one yesterday. Why not have an OCBD Cage Match? Compare these new entries to the original. Best shirt wins.

    K first, Brooks gets on the board first! THANKS. I was in my daughter’s room the other day, she wears some of my really old ones around in her room, and the floor of her closet actually looked like an OCBD Cage Match. – JB

  2. Lands End Supima Hyde Park. You can scoff at Lands End, but those are really good shirts.

  3. I also have the recent-ish Brooks’ OCBDs (caught some of the last of the Garland run a few months back.)

    Over on Instagram, IvyStyleOnABudget has some interesting developments with LL Bean and Lands End’s Hyde Park OCBD’s – arguably two of the best budget options out there, if not for their short collars and resulting sub-par roll. That’s what he’s after, and he’s got a whole petition going and everything (https://www.change.org/p/l-l-bean-get-l-l-bean-to-extend-their-ocbd-collar-points-to-3-5-inches)

    If either of them follow through, I’d be very curious to hear what folks think of the new and improved offerings!

  4. Recently I purchased a Billy Reid hidden button-down selvedge chambray shirt.

    The shirt is perfect for late autumn because it is lightweight, crisp, and it has a slight sheen. The material is cotton, with 8% linen, and 8% Ramie.

    The only negative I can think of is that the color roll is not the Brooks Brothers elegant S-shaped color roll. It is more of a concave bow-shaped collar.

    https://www.billyreid.com/products/msl-1-pocket-shirt?_pos=1&_sid=b46015257&_ss=r&variant=34307380412460

  5. Sorry, I meant to write COLLAR roll.

  6. I apologize for confusing chambray with oxford cloth. I haven’t had my coffee yet.

    When it comes to oxford cloth button downs, Billy Reid is my favorite. The color, fabrication and materials are second to none. I have one that is striped and made from a mixture of cotton and silk that is my favorite.

  7. There are four (maybe five) top drawer OCBD makers in the U.S.A. right now: New England Shirt, Gitman, Individualized, and Gambert. The latter two, based in New Jersey, are the MTM option that (I’m guessing) most retailers choose. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that J. Press is using New England Shirt for the in-house stock and Gambert for MTM. If so, a wise course of action.

    I suspect Dave Mercer uses his own (small) team of cutters/sewers.

    Individualized has access to the old Troy Shirtmakers Guild patterns, and can/will replicate the Heyday Troy Guild.

    I never liked the Garland-made Brooks shirts, but the old Paterson, NJ Brooks OCBD remains the paragon by which I’ll judge the rest.

    The BEST OCBD I’ve owned/worned–a a circa’ early 2000s Ben Silver “Beefy Oxford.” Plenty of reasons to guess the BS Beef Oxfords were made by Fall River Shirt (the previous incarnation of New England Shirt).

    Hope this helps.
    Happy OCBD hunting/shopping.

  8. I used to buy the Land’s End Hyde Parks, even with the puny collars. They were one of the best values in OCBDs out there. And I appreciated the fact that they were not soaked in non-iron formaldehyde. But it seems the current line now features something called “stain release” fabric, which I can only guess is yet another chemical treatment, perhaps something akin to ScotchGuard. I wish they’d get over their fascination with chemical baths. Until they do, I’ll stick with my longtime real favorites, the BB OCBDs. Budgetary considerations mean I only buy them on sale, and the Brooks website inventory is pretty low right now — just a smattering of sizes left if you still want one with a pocket, which I do.
    It’s very sadly too late for me to try one from Michael Spencer, but I’d love to try the MTO options from Mercer or Junior’s. The offerings from Drake’s look fantastic, as well. …Anybody got any of those to review?

  9. whiskeydent | August 26, 2021 at 12:28 pm |

    Spier and MacKay makes a great OCBD for the price. I frankly think it’s better than the Hyde Park ever was.

    The roll is right and the fabric is substantial. They also make a less-beefy version that’s wearable in the heat.

    However, their body and arms are cut pretty slim, very similar to Proper Cloth if you have tried them.

  10. Another guy | August 26, 2021 at 2:37 pm |

    My first Mercer order came in recently and the shirts are gorgeous. I’m slim so I simply ordered my neck size on the correct body size for my narrow shoulders. the shirts fit perfectly. I imagine they will be getting most of my business going forward. Like Nevada I am also interested in Drake’s, mainly because I am supposed to be moving to the United Kingdom any day now…

  11. Charlottesville | August 26, 2021 at 2:47 pm |

    I would like to add Ratio to the mix. I have had good results and excellent service. One can let their algorithm fit you, or make whatever adjustments you want to a variety of sleeve, neck, chest, waist and cuff measurements and styles, and they offer a choice of collar lengths in both lined and unlined versions and have a large selection of oxford cloth solids and stripes.

    I have also enjoyed the new “unlined” collar (actually 3 unfused layers of oxford cloth instead of two) OCBD from J. Press. The collar rolls well for me, and does not seem bulky.

  12. Junior’s is a great source. They now offer an unlined unfused option for their button down collar. Further, it’s a one man shop delivering your shirt in a reasonable amount of time…

  13. Ahh. I see a review for Juniors has been done. Apologies.

  14. William Brauer | August 26, 2021 at 5:45 pm |

    Does anyone have a Proper Cloth experience. Also, Hamilton Shirts, down the street from me in Houston has done a pretty good job of copying shirts that I’ve brought in. I wouldn’t say they have a house style but they faithfully copied shirts my father wore with detachable collars. Seemed to stretch their capabilities, but they accomplished the deed.

  15. Don’t sleep on these new Rowing Blazers button-downs. I actually haven’t bought any but I like the cut of their jib–er, collar–you know what I mean.

    https://rowingblazers.com/collections/made-to-order-shirts/products/made-to-order-broadcloth-shirt?primary=whats-new&variant=39338697097250

  16. Lands End Sail Rigger – Alpha sized, but the fabric is nice and sturdy. 100% Cotton with no added “stretch” or chemicals. It has a back collar button and a locker loop. I just held one up to a recent Brooks OCBD, and the collar points are the exact same length. $55 list price, but Lands End is constantly running sales with sizable discounts.

    All of my OCBD’s are either Brooks or LE Sail Rigger. Sail Rigger is more casual and well suited to weekend wear or under a sweater. But if you are on a budget it would be fine with a blazer, if you dont mind a very faint outline of their name on the buttons.

  17. Graham Beduze | August 26, 2021 at 6:51 pm |

    I heard Lands End discontinued the HYDE Park so now we are only left with the sail rigger Oxford for non iron. So a sail rigger Oxford would be great to review.

  18. Vern Trotter | August 26, 2021 at 7:33 pm |

    There is Mercer and all the rest.

  19. Mercer, J. Press, Kamakura, and Proper Cloth spring immediately to mind. As does to venerable Land’s End ‘Orginal’ oxford, which used to sell for a ridiculously low price back before everything became non-iron. Less than US$20? I still have and wear a few, but should have ordered more in light blue when I still had the chance. They haven’t sold them in years.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

  20. Charlottesville, I heartily agree about Ratio. I wear a 15.5 collar and 37.5 sleeve. I buy their OCBD unfused with the Fitzgerald collar in The Campus and Medium. Very happy with them. I have a Mercy too, but am more selective when I wear it.

  21. Peter Scarcello | August 26, 2021 at 9:46 pm |

    Mercer. Hands down.

  22. “I have also enjoyed the new “unlined” collar (actually 3 unfused layers of oxford cloth instead of two) OCBD from J. Press. The collar rolls well for me, and does not seem bulky.”

    C-Ville, they’re (almost certainly) New England Shirt Co.— the best value around, especially the three-for deal.

  23. Peter Scarcello | August 26, 2021 at 10:04 pm |

    Started with Gant in the 8th grade and gradually moved to Hathaway via Dunham’s of Maine. Over time went to Gitman Brother’s and then to Troy Shirtmaker’s Guild. Talbott was my shirt of choice for a number of years but the collar and buttons went cattawampus. I discovered Mercer and Sons and have remained with David and Serena for over 20 years now. Just received a new order and the shirts are absolutely perfect. Some of my shirts are 15 years old and look like they just came out of the package. I can not tell you how many compliments I’ve received from fashion conscious people who recognize quality when they see it.

  24. I’m surprised Jake’s London hasn’t been mentioned yet. That British-made Button-Down has been making waves throughout the the Covid period. I’d wanna see a ‘cross-the-pond Derby against Mercer on how they match up.

  25. Philly Trad | August 27, 2021 at 4:59 am |

    BB: Often imitated, never surpassed.

  26. I am surprised that no one has mentioned O’Connell’s. I have never owned any, but they have one listed as ‘Unlined & Unfused Oxford Cloth Button Down Shirt’ which seems to address the most important details, “A longer collar (points measures 3 3/8″) provides a relaxed full collar roll….” And Ethan is intent on keeping the Trad/Ivy look just right. I have a good supply of their 3-button sack tweeds.

    A few years ago, Brooks brought out the $140, no pocket, thin version and put heavy discounts ($69) on their older stock. I bought as much as I could find in my size. Even if they are not the best example of the classic, the price was right and, at my age, I am set for life.

  27. I like the Gold Label line from Roundtree & York, which can be found at Dillards and the Saddlebred line at Belks

  28. Ezra Cornell | August 27, 2021 at 6:40 am |

    I’d definitely like to see Mercer’s in the mix. Hands-down my favorite, though not a cheap option, but I’d love to hear about other options as well. This is a terrific idea!

  29. Sorry to hear LE discontinued Hyde Park. Luckily I bought a slew of blue/white university stripe, whites and a blue on line about four years ago for $20 each. Best fabric. Great fit. I get a great collar roll with a properly synched four in hand. Shirts still look like new.

    Will

  30. René Lebenthal | August 27, 2021 at 9:27 am |

    There is also John Simons from London missing who brought a new OCBD to the market recently

  31. I have looked at RY oxfords at Dillards but have not purchased yet.
    The fabric and buttons did look good. I did not unfold the shirt for a full inspection. The shirts can be had for $14-$22 depending on the sale and sizes available. Dillards has cut their extra 30%-40% off to twice a year but they still mark down to 65% off on a regular basis.

  32. Whenever I find secondhand women’s OCBDs from Rugby Ralph Lauren online, I snap them up. Haven’t found another brand that fits me as well before or since that line shut down. One day the well will run dry and I’ll have to spring for made-to-order, but not yet.

  33. I saw the RY at Dillards today. Standard blue OCDD with a nice fabric and decent roll marked down to 22.50.

  34. The last I saw- a couple of weeks ago- LE still had the Hyde Park, but in limited colors, no university stripes, and you could no longer order them by neck and sleeve size.

  35. Father Brown | August 27, 2021 at 11:42 pm |

    @Philly Trad
    In fact, BB’s OCBD has never been duplicated, let alone surpassed.

  36. I find Proper Cloth to have a respectable OCBD product – I know the shirts aren’t made in the U.S., but their oxford cloth options have a nice weight and hand feel (and improve with wearing), the unlined collar roll is legitimate, they’ve recently expanded their style options to include trad locker loops, and their size customization is hard to beat, especially if you prefer a trad-cut shirt (read: less fitted) or have a half-size sleeve (I wear a 34.5).

  37. @Jim K

    The collar on the O’C OCBD is as good as advertised. The body, though, fits surprisingly short and narrow. O’Connell’s describes the shirt as “full cut.” It’s anything but. A Mercer & Sons OCBD costs only a few bucks more. Unless you need an OCBD in a couple of days instead of eight to nine weeks, I strongly suggest that you choose Mercer. Sadly, O’C trousers, described on the site as “regular cut,” are instead cut tight and slim. https://putthison.com/style-fashion-drawings-expectation-vs-reality/

  38. @J.G. – That is surprising and disappointing. Thanks for the heads-up.

  39. The recent Lands’ End Sail Riggers have disappointing cloth. Not heavyweight, imperfections galore in the weaving: broken thread, little knots, small weaving mistakes. Overall fine product on sale, the colors and stripes are classic (minus that thin blue line on the inside of collars), but buyer beware on the quality of the fabric.

  40. Boston Bean | August 29, 2021 at 11:36 am |

    JG and Jim K:
    Apparently O’Connell’s has decided to sell slim-cut goods masquerading as Trad/Ivy

  41. Over the last few years, I took advantage of BB’s many sales and bought a wide variety of the old USA made OCBD shirts that retailed for $92 if memory serves. This was shortly before they brought out the new pocketless design. I don’t think I paid more than $50 a shirt for any of the old style and ended up with 2-3 of the pocketless design due to returning a couple of shirts with defects and BB being out of my size. They also had some lovely button down linen shirts at that time.

    The other day, I counted the BB shirts I had (it was somewhere between 40-50 of currently worn and unopened shirts). As I’m now 70 and soon to celebrate another birthday, I think I’m done buying BB shirts. But I loved them in the old days (70’s, into the early 80’s) but felt their quality dropped with each price increase.

  42. Many of the usual suspects have been discussed in detail – for variety’s sake the Simons shirt would be interesting.

    Also interesting to me is the reflexive hatred of all “slim fit” shirts. I totally understand frustration with receiving a slim fit shirt unexpectedly, but what’s trad about a tent-like fit for those of us with slim/ athletic builds, anymore than a too-tight fit for those without?

    Heck, our new leader sports an OCBD with a pocket situated almost at navel level in the “From the Editor” column. Perhaps a slim fit would have been in order!

  43. @Father Brown
    “In fact, BB’s OCBD has never been duplicated, let alone surpassed.“

    True. Not even Mercer is capable of improving upon the old Paterson, NJ OCBD. Individualized can probably replicate it you send a shirt to them.

  44. Old Bostonian | August 30, 2021 at 1:56 am |

    Sad that only 29 people have signed the petition referred to by Ryan above, particularly since LL Bean’s Oxford cloth was my favorite for years. I stopped buying them when they shortened the collar points. The collar now looks absurd with a necktie, as do Lands End collarpoints.

  45. Charlottesville | August 30, 2021 at 3:31 pm |

    Reynolds – Glad that you have also had a good experience with Ratio. And at less than $100, the price is quite good for a well-fitting unlined OCBD.

    S.E. – Thanks for the tip. I will have to explore the New England Shirt Co. site.

  46. @Jim K & Boston Bean

    Plenty of other great stuff at O’Connell’s, of course. As far as I know their Shetland sweaters still fit as they did in the good old days.

  47. I have had trouble with shrinkage of my Individualized shirts and switched to Measure Up a couple years ago. Since switching to Measure Up, I am very satisfied with the quality and fit and I don’t have the shrinkage problems I had with Individualized.

  48. Hey everyone, I’ve seen that my petition was referenced a couple of times. I’m realizing that my Instagram reach may not be as broad as it needs to be. Once again, I will reference the aforementioned petition; it can be found here: (https://www.change.org/p/l-l-bean-get-l-l-bean-to-extend-their-ocbd-collar-points-to-3-5-inches?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_30298219_en-US%3A7&recruiter=1220298150&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=tap_basic_share). Sign away and share it. I have seemingly made *some* end roads with the team at Land’s End and am pestering LL Bean. The more traction we get, the better off all of us will be.

  49. NaturalShoulder | August 31, 2021 at 8:06 pm |

    @J.G. I am surprised that you find the O’Connells trousers to be slim and tight. The long rise O’Connells trouser has become a favorite of mine and I fin them to be a nice comfortable fit. One of the drawbacks to ordering online is the inability to actually try an item in person.

  50. Hello,

    Long-time lurker here, from the UK. I wanted to add some to the list that haven’t been mentioned above. There is a great selection of brands and makers in UK/Europe that are continuing the tradition of the OCBD.

    Drake’s – https://www.drakes.com/shirts/oxford-shirts
    John Simons – https://johnsimons.co.uk/product/ivy-oxford-shirt-blue/
    Jakes – https://www.jakesldn.com/store
    Rubato – https://www.atemporubato.com/collections/shirts/products/rubato-campus-shirt-shirt
    Brycelands – https://www.brycelandsco.com/collections/shirts-1/products/brycelandsperfectocbdshirt
    Berg & Berg – https://bergbergstore.com/products/ferdinand-button-down-shirt-ivory-1

    And a few that I’d describe as more of an as more of an ‘Italian’ spin on the OCBD (collar buttons wider apart, slimmer cut and collar roll larger and more exaggerated);

    Anglo-Italian – https://angloitalian.com/collections/shirting/products/ocbd-shirt-blue-oxford
    Natalino – https://natalino.co/collections/shirting/products/button-down-shirt-white-oxford-1

    Hope that helps

  51. Signed the LL Bean petition.

    Anyone who wants me to spend $200 for one lousy shirt should be advertising in GQ, not on a trad blog.

  52. I have a few of Kamakura’s New York Classic fit OCBD (structured collar and cuffs) and a few of their Vintage Ivy OCBDs (unstructured collar and cuffs, locker loop, button in back of the collar, slightly longer in the back than front), and think well of both. I’m a 17×35½ in both and the latter run a little trimmer, but not modern slim fit.

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