Archive for February, 2017

The Spring Squeeze

Rarely do I react to promotional emails, but this week I did. It was 70 plus degrees on Friday when I saw an email from J.Press about their Spring 2017 collection. The unseasonably warm weather must have had an effect, because I clicked on through.

It was not just the temps that got to me, but also the memory of a shirt. Two years ago I purchased a short-sleeve patchwork madras button-down shirt from their York St. collection that was an instant classic. I have worn this shirt religiously the last two summers and this summer I would like to pick up another casual short sleeved shirt. Here is the shirt that I am raving about: Patchwork madras shirt

Lucky for me it looks like they are offering quite a few that will fit the bill. There is a muddy patchwork madras and interesting brown garment died shirt (is it an ocbd?) nicely filling the need for summer earth tones. For those who are looking for a little more color in their warm weather clothes there is a green gingham and a pink gingham seersucker shirt. Prices are $125 a pop and the will be available at the end of April.
Before anyone gets up in arms about shopping for the upcoming season let me explain. Yes, you will pay more than if you wait for the end of season sale or simply shop off season. Now that I have gotten that out of the way we are all clear that this is not the most frugal decision. The upside is that the color that you want and your size will be in stock. We all know what it is like to hold out for an item until the price is as low as possible only to wait too long. Head on over the J.Press to look through all of their new offerings and start working on your game plan (J.Press).

Red Stripes

For me it has always been about blue. The blue OCBD worn with a pair khaki chinos is simple perfection. It can be worn anywhere and anytime. If I want to look a little more sophisticated I may sub a blue university striped OCBD for my plain blue OCBD under a blazer. However, when purchasing a new shirt from Michael Spencer I decided to throw a little caution to the wind and opted for a red university stripe or as they call it “Candy Striped.”

I have never owned a red university striped shirt before. I have owned a pink uni stripe which actually inspired this choice. The difference being that the pink shirt was alpha sized and because of that was never paired with a tie. I did however see its potential.

The color and stripes of this shirt can add a little pop to otherwise standard rigs. I have paired my red uni stripe with a winter white Shetland, grey Shetland, and brown Shetland which all worked well. By far the most fun that I have had with this shirt is wearing it with ties. As I have written about before uni stripe shirts are great for wearing regimental ties with (Striped Shirt & Striped Tie). The red color presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

If like me you are a true blue OCBD type of guy I encourage you to give a red university stripe a shot. It will work with everything from grey Shetlands to blue blazers to brown tweeds and more. I will continue to experiment with my red striped shirt as I still need to wear it a few more times before I give the shirt a full review.


Gap: Archive re-issue big oxford shirt

I was alerted that Gap was re-issuing an oxford via an OCBD blog reader (Thank you!). I pondered what ocbd they were re-issuing and what features they would highlight as I waited for the link to render. I was expecting something Take Ivy like, playing up an unlined collar and back-button, but it wasn’t that at all.

Gap’s re-issue is the big oxford shirt (See here). At first I thought that big referred to the collar size until I made it further down the page. They go on to state that,

“We’re throwing it back to the ’90’s with a limited-edition collection of iconic pieces pulled straight from our archives, exactly as you remember them.”

product photo
It seems like the shirt might be more Seinfeld than Take Ivy, but it does have a few things going for it. It is must-iron, has a locker loop, and the the collar size does not look bad. It’s also only $55 at a place that is plagued with sales.  All in all it is good to see a company releasing ocbd’s instead of discontinuing them.

The Natural Sweatshirt

Recently I have been fixated on off-white sweatshirts. When I say natural or off-white I am using it as an umbrella term for white, off-white, tan, etc. You know the type of sweatshirt that makes you think of gym class in the 1950’s. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have relive an awkward gym scene from Wonder Years.
Vintage Converse AdI like natural colored sweatshirts because they are versatile. They work with well with my grey sweatpants allowing me to incorporate a little of my personal style at the gym, an environment dominated by futuristic fabrics. They also work well with a well-aged pair of chinos to tackle yard work, conquer the couch, or even to hang with some friends.

I have often heard people say that a Shetland is the trad’s sweatshirt. While this certainly rings true there are times when you just need a sweatshirt. We know that there were a different set of standards in the heyday, but we also know that they weren’t exercising in 3/2 sacks and penny loafers.

There are lots of places to find this style of sweatshirt. You can pay top dollar for a LVC (There are few on sale at Unionmade right now: here) or Champion collaboration like the ones that I listed below as well as find cheaper options from retailers like J.Crew (The one I am wearing in the top image is the J.Crew sweatshirt listed below). This is also the type of item that you can find at the Gap, Old Navy, or for cheap at your local outlet mall.

1. Levi’s Vintage Clothing (LVC) Bay Meadows Sweatshirt $148

LVC White Sweatshirt

2. Todd Snyder x Champion Reverse Weave Sweatshirt in Natural $148

Reverse Weave Sweatshirt in Natural

3. Wallace & Barnes fleece crewneck sweatshirt $78

Tan Sweatshirt