I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but I don’t wear clothing with logos, words, or graphic images. It has been about 10 years since I abandoned logo’d clothing (minus a few pieces of technical outerwear). There are lots of reasons why, but primarily it is because I want to be see as a person and not as a product of a brand, but this week I was tested.
As I was finishing up some Christmas shopping I spotted a great sweater at Ralph Lauren. It was the striped sweater pictured above. I have been looking for a striped sweater for a while now and this one fit the bill. Great colors, perfect scale, and because I was at the Polo outlet I assumed a great price. The icing on the cake was that there was no polo horse.
I rushed over to the sweater only to realize that the iconic polo horse had been tucked away underneath of it. To make things worse the price was $49.99 with 40% off. In the world of Trad clothing that is essentially free. I stood there contemplating how I could make it work. Would it be possible to remove the embroidered logo? Would it be the worst thing if I wore a logo’d sweater outside of the office? Could I make an exception this one time?
Ultimately, I decided to pass on the sweater. Now that I am back home and the decision has been made I am glad that I stuck to my guns. This experience was a good one as it gave me a reason to reevaluate my stance on logos. It also gave me a nice sweater to share with those who don’t have logo issues.
As I am currently assessing my own OCBD needs I thought that this would be the perfect time to put a list of the current OCBD options together. While I like to think that I have my finger on the pulse of the OCBD market this list illustrates that there are a lot of options. In fact, there are so many options that it can almost be overwhelming (and they say that we Trads are always screaming that the sky is falling!).
I would love to hear your feedback on any of the OCBDs listed below, especially the made to order options. I have always found made to order to be a little intimidating as it seems like there is a lot of room for error and a lot of waiting involved. Also, I did not include any alpha sized or non-iron options, but if I left somebody off the please list let me know!
OCBD Options 2016
Gitman Bros: $155 (see here)
O’Connell’s: $145 (see here)
J.Press: $110 (see here)
Brooks Brothers: $95 (see here)
Kamakura: $79 (see here)
Michael Spencer: $135 (see here)
Mercer & Sons: $125 (see here)
Ratio: Start at $98 (see here)
Proper cloth: Starting at $85 (see here)
Luxire: Starting at $69.99 (see here)
I have been ignoring one area of my wardrobe for far too long. It has been living on leftovers from my weekend gear, rarely getting any attention of its own, and because of this it’s severely lacking any personality. Needless to say, it is time to ivy up my athletic gear.
I love sports. While I am not one for watching televised sporting events I will play any game. I run, play basketball, racquetball, lift weights, have been learning tennis, and as I have documented here have been banging my head against the wall that is golf. I spend almost an hour everyday pursuing one of these endeavors or training at the gym. All of this time adds up. I see lots of people during my workouts and I spend a lot of time in these clothes. These are the main reasons that I decided to up my game.
My goal is to create a simplistic uniform that has a classic look. I have the t-shirt part covered. I wear grey Fruit of the Loom pocket tees. I find the heathered grey color to be the ideal color and the simplicity of them is perfect. What I need to add in is something to wear over my t-shirts as the weather turns cold.
It is not much of a surprise, but I will admit that I already knew what I wanted before I started my hunt. I have been seeking a cotton shawl collared sweatshirt for the last 6 months or so. Armed with a list of items to look out for I hit up the local outlet mall. I found a shawl collared sweatshirt at the Gap. I purchased 3. One in navy, one in grey, and a burgundy one. It was a good day.
There are a few things that I like about the shawl collar. It looks a touch more sophisticated than a regular sweatshirt. That sophistication lends it an ivy feel, whether or not they were actually worn during the heyday. Most importantly it injects a little of my personality into my gym kit.
With my top of my gym kit now covered I will be moving onto sweatpants and sneakers. You would think that it would be easy to find these items, but in today’s world of skin tight joggers and technicolor shoes that resemble spaceships I am anticipating a challenge.
I have been living off of a 15 shirt purchase for the past 6-7 years. This is when I saw my go-to shirt, the Lands’ End Original Oxford plummet to $8 a shirt. At the time I thought that they were liquidating old stock, because they were changing factories, colors, or something to that effect. I was wrong. It was the end of my shirt. Now my stock is starting to show their age (See the fraying shirt above.). I am going to need a new shirt.
Here is a good example of the great collar roll that these shirts could produce.
I get quite a few emails asking me for my OCBD recommendations. I always feel bad when responding as I have very limited experience with any OCBD other than my LE Original Oxfords. My total experience consists of 3 shirts, including my LE shirts. In addition to my LE shirts I have one vintage Brooks Brothers OCBD and a new-ish one from J.Press. The Brooks rolls well while the one from J Squeeze has the iconic flap pocket, but lacks the collar roll that I am after.
So dear readers I will tell you what all this means to you. It means that I will be trying out a new shirt here and there trying to find the OCBD for me, which should result in me having some more up to date feedback. I am not too picky when it comes to OCBD. All I want is one that has a collar that rolls. The search begins…