Archive for March, 2024

Madras Dump

Madras season is rapidly approaching. Opening day is officially Memorial Day with Easter getting an exemption. While I used to observe this arcane rule (and many others like it) I have since replaced it with a much simpler rule which is if it is hot, wear it. In celebration of the fact that warmer weather is on the horizon and to help me assess my current madras shirt situation here is a dump.

JPress Madras Popover

J.Press Madras Popover

John Simons Madras

John Simons Button Front Madras

Proper Cloth Madras

Ralph Lauren Rugby Madras

Polo Madras

The Flap Pocket OCBD That I’ve Never Seen

Brooks Brothers Flap Pocket OCBD

Anyone who has spent anytime here in Tradsville knows what a flap pocket OCBD is and who makes it. If you are new around here it’s the shirt above with the flap over the chest pocket and it’s made by J.Press. It’s not the only OCBD with a flap pocket, but it is the flap pocket OCBD.

Not too long ago while doing some online vintage shopping at Placid Vintage I spotted a vintage Brooks Brothers OCBD with a flap pocket. I did a double take. I had never heard about a Brooks flap pocket let alone seen one. Sure I had seen flap pocket OCBDs from brands new and old like Ralph Lauren, Michael Spencer, Kamakura, LL Bean, Ratio, Gant, etc., but never Brooks. This OCBD appeared to be a custom makeup, but still I was shocked.

BB Flap Pocket OCBD

Here is why this is so interesting to me. J.Press added the flap pocket during the 1950s to distinguish itself from the competition. What I had always assumed is that the competition was Brooks Brothers. Now here is the competition adding the detail to their shirts that J.Press added to be different. That had to be extremely flattering and a little aggravating or maybe the other way around.

Brooks Brothers Flap Pocket

I thought about this some more. Maybe Brooks wasn’t their competition at this time. There were plenty of other popular OCBDs back then such as Troy Guild, Gant, Sero, and many more. So maybe I am reading more into that than there is to be read. A revisionist history per se. Then I found an old Ivy Style turned J.Press blog post seems to confirm that Brooks was indeed competition. That blog post also contains some interesting OCBD history about how J.Press, Gant, and Sero origins were all intertwined. You can check that post out here. The moral of this story is that yes Brooks Brothers did make a flap pocket OCBD.