Lately there has been more talk than normal about Brooks Brothers OCBD. This is because Brooks recently made some significant changes to a shirt that many have come to know and love. Some of these changes such as the removing of the collar lining have collar roll enthusiast salivating while the price jump ($90 to $140) has prevented some from taking the plunge.
I have not purchased one of the new shirts for myself so I can’t speak to the specific pros and cons, but Ask Andy Trad member Fading Fast has and can. I offer up Fading Fast’s take on the shirt, because over time he has shown that he possesses a great temperament for such endeavors.
Thoughts from Fading Fast
My $140 list (paid $105) BB OCBD came and my early thought are:
Positives: Great feel to the material and the unlined collar and cuffs are spot on – what an OCBD should have. Nobody has a more definitive Oxford blue color than BB (which might be tautological) – it is the perfect tone. The mother-of-pearl buttons add to its understated quality.
Negatives: For me (and there is no right or wrong), the perfect OCBD needs a back-of-the-collar button, breast pocket, a locker loop and (less important) a sleeve placket button. Without the first three, the shirt feels more formal than it should, almost as if it is confused.
Overall, the material, unlined collar and cuffs, MOP buttons make it wonderful shirt, the lack of classic OCBD details as noted make it not perfect and, for me, not worth the price.
Last snarky comment. In the little insert that came with the shirt, BB says “…More than a century after its introduction, the classic returns with authentic details. The cuffs and button-down collar are as soft as always and featured genuine mother-of-pearl buttons…” How can it both “return” and be “as always….” If they had “as always” kept the details, the shirt wouldn’t have had to “return.”