I have now had my Michael Spencer OCBDs for two months. This has given me the chance to wear them each shirt several times. I wanted to do this because too often I am still in the honeymoon phase of a purchase. However, I will not you hold you in suspense any longer. I love them.
I had heard a lot about Michael Spencer before I ever tried one of their shirts. Opening up shop around the time that all of the sub-$100 OCBDs with any type of legitimate collar roll began to disappear these shirts were a natural-fit for the trad market. Forgive the pun, but with the unlined 3.5″ collar the buzz in the trad world was strong.
Lined collar at top and Unlined collar underneath
Michael Spencer offers multiple fits and multiple collar types. The fits are Vintage, Classic, Modern Slim, and Extra Slim. There are also multiple collar types available, but for this post the only one that matter is the Legacy Button Down Collar which can be made lined or unlined. The Legacy collar has 3.5″ collar points, a 3.25″ spread, and 0.5″ tie space.
Of course I went with the Legacy collar, but I selected one lined collar and the other unlined in the Classic fit. I have never owned an unlined collar before. My knowledge of them was all second hand and it is primarily from the waxing poetics of Ivy Style purists that I learned of their fetished uncontrollable rolls and unmatched comfort. After wearing the unlined collar a few times I soon understood the appeal. The comfort was unmatched. The collar was not uncontrollable, but I could not always get the collar roll that I wanted to stick like I could with the lined shirt. This may be one area where I am not a purist. I actually preferred the lined collar, because it provided a more structured roll.
The pros far outweighed the cons for me. The only two cons that I could come up with are price and the wait. The shirts are $135, but at this time this is market price. I may not love it, but the fact that it is consistent among Brooks Brothers, Mercer, and J.Press makes me okay with it. As far as the wait goes I learned that I have been conditioned with OTR (off the rack) clothing to expect instant gratification. Ordering a shirt takes a little longer, but the wait was worth it and since the need for a shirt is seldom an emergency this is not a big deal.
If you have been holding out on trying a Michael Spencer I say give it a go. They have a great product, they are great to deal with, and you can count on a great roll. On top of that you can deck it out with all of the bells (locker loops) and whistles (flap pockets) that you want. It is great to have add another trustworthy source for OCBDs to the list.