OCBD Memories

The Lands’ End Original Oxford was the shirt that got me in the OCBD game. It was affordable at $29.99, 100% cotton, must-iron, and had collar roll that was supported by its 3 1/4″ collar point length. I got my first one in 2008. I scored a bunch more when they were discontinued around 2010. These shirts hold a lot of memories for me.

Sure I had OCBDs before the LE Orginal Oxford. The difference is that back then I wasn’t all that concerned with the details. The truth is that not only was I unconcerned with the details, I was unaware of them at that time. These shirts on the other hand were purchased because they had the right details. I got these as I was leaving college and entering the workforce. These were my first adult OCBDs.

While I was new to OCBDs, I was not new to clothes. So when I saw the price drop to $12 I knew that something was up and whatever it was was most likely was not good. Thanks to my Spidy-senses I bought a few and asked for more for Christmas. I can remember how funny my family thought it was when I opened gift after gift from my grandma and they were all the same blue shirt. I had to assure them that this was exactly what I wanted and not a running joke.

My stock of these shirts is dwindling. I have two that are still fighting the good fight and could be worn in an office setting. I have 5 more with collars and cuffs that are in varying stages of deterioration. Before everyone chimes in, I know about flipping collars. I may flip 1 or 2, but I have a good amount of OCBDs and don’t need these to look especially presentable. I like wearing my well worn OCBDs with blown out collars casually. I know that I am not the only one.

A couple years ago I took a step to preserve one of the shirts. I didn’t flip the collar, but I did have some repair work done. I asked my mom to sew the collar back together in a rustic way using contrasting red thread. Many of you that follow me on Instagram have seen this shirt. It is one of my favorites. I may even do a few more. Thanks, mom!

At times when I wear these shirts memories come flooding back. I think about my first post-college job, I think about my grandmother who has since passed, and when I wear the one with the red collar repair I think about my mom. When these OCBDs are not sending my down memory lane they are comfortable and familiar like an old friend. I will continue to wear them until they are truly unwearable.

If you have clothes memories, whether that’s a fond a memory of a piece of clothing or a piece of clothing that brings back a fond memoryv I’d love to hear them in the comments.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

10 Comments on "OCBD Memories"

  1. Mom says:

    I was reluctant to use red thread on that shirt- so glad you still like it! ❤️

  2. Tie clip says:

    Hi Jerrod, a very nostalgic article! I remember buying a Lands End Hyde Park OCBD about 3 or 4 years ago after reading a blog post of yours about them, and being impressed by how well the shape of the collar looked worn open collar. Great shirts, the fabric wasn’t too soft on mine but the collar shape kept me coming back. Alas the sleeve length was too short so I gave it to my sister as a painting shirt. Great blue colour those shirts had, a bit brighter then Brooks mid blue which was a greyer blue (I think you called it a Lake Blue once), the Lands End OCBD in mid blue reminded me a little of the PRL Yarmouth OCBD mid blue shirts, similar handle to the cloth with almost the same colour.
    There’s just something about a mid blue OCBD isn’t there? I used to love to search for them. Spiers has a decent one but it’s a touch slim (or I’m a bit too fat… Lol).

    What are your thoughts on other colours of OCBD Jerrod? Mid yellow, white, orange, mint green, mid pink? I find the white ones are the easiest to wear now that I’ve moved away from mid blue, and I also don’t mind a mid yellow oxford.

    I sometimes find myself wishing I could re-live the early memories of my first mid blue OCBD shirts and my search for the right pair of khaki chinos etc. Those early years doing Ivy style were some of the best times for me, back when Ivy Style was still run by Chensvold.. I still liking putting on a mid blue OCBD just for the memories, and they still always seem to look pretty good! It’s a testament to their staying power, and also the timelessness of Ivy Style.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Tie clip, those were the Ivy/Trad days. You are spot on about that mid-blue color. It’s not too much but just enough.

      I like all colors of OCBDs. Just not on me. Plus I like to keep my options limited. I do really like a soft pink and soft yellow. I also need to a try a green which I’ve never had. I actually have something yellow in the works. I also picked a burgundy red OCBD that I love not too long ago.

  3. Sean says:

    Love that these well-worn shirts have stories to tell and invoke so many memories – thank you for sharing with your readers. The contrasting red thread is a wonderful detail with lots of charm and individuality.
    I have a trusty green OCBD, thrifted well over a decade ago, that is the unsung hero of my closet (and imo, green is the most underrated OCBD color). I’ve worn it through multiple jobs, moves, and phases of life. When I look at it, I think of where I’ve been in my life so far, and where I might go next. Hardcore OCBD fanatics would probably scoff at it – it’s not 100% cotton, and doesn’t have all the classic details – however, I couldn’t care less. It’s buttery soft from years of service, and I always feel good when wearing it.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Thanks, Sean! I really need to try out a green OCBD. Don’t worry about your shirt not being 100% purist. I have quite a few things that fall in that category that I love. Even a no-iron shirt that I don’t mention lol.

  4. MiamiTrad says:

    Jerrod, I think you are a few years older than me, so by the time I was graduating college and learning about the wonders of OCBDs, this beauty was already discontinued. However, the wondrous Supima Hyde Park lived on for another decade, and I bought MANY (and still have good stock). I am curious as to your thoughts on that shirt as well as its discontinuation.

    Also, thanks for the part about the shirt bringing back memories. Mine do the same. You’ve actually made me a bit sad that I threw the busted ones out after awhile.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      I loved the Hyde Park back then! It was a notch higher than the Original Oxford. I thought it could compete with Brooks and JPress if they hadn’t eventually shrank the collar.

      Don’t be too sad. They wear out quicker than you think!

  5. UVAwingshooting says:

    Hi Jerrod,

    I’ve always loved your blog, and appreciate your contributions to the community. I was a Michael Spencer OCBD devotee. I’ve tried Mercer, BB, custom shirts, and all other flavors trying to find something remotely close. The fit, to me, was exceptional, and wore in so perfectly. Currently, J Press is my go-to; though the fit isn’t similar to Michael Spencer. Any recommendations on shirt makers that are similar to the beloved Michael Spencer? Not only were their shirts the best in my estimation, but the customer service and kindness made it a top-notch shopping experience.


    • oxford cloth button down says:

      UVA, we are in the same boat! Michael Spencer worked very well for me and I agree with you about their customer service/kindness. Currently J.Press is my go to as well. I have had some success with Proper Cloth, but it took a few tweaks. Thanks for the kind words btw. I will let you know if I find something that is close!

  6. Old School says:

    Greetings Jerrod,
    I started wearing Lands’ End OCBDs in the 1960s.
    If they hadn’t shortened the length of the collar points to 3 inches,
    I’d still be buying them today.
    I’m unable to understand why they did so.

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