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.
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.”
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.
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.
I 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
2. Todd Snyder x Champion Reverse Weave Sweatshirt in Natural $148
3. Wallace & Barnes fleece crewneck sweatshirt $78
I want to get a leather belt that is thinner than 1.25″. The reason why is that I have grown very accustomed to the thinner front of surcingle belts. I don’t want it to be a dress belt as I plan on wearing it with my 5-pocket cords. This search led me to Sid Mashburn. While looking at their selection of 1″ leather belts I noticed a belt (pictured above) that they referred to as a “polo” belt. I had never heard the term and thought nothing of until I saw a post on polo belts on Red Clay Soul.
I’ve been digging on the polo belts lately. I love the idea, as well as the culture from which the polo belts originate. Born in Argentina, they are typically leather belts with color-specific designs woven in to represent a team or a location. While they’ve been around forever, they were made popular, maybe even mainstream, by royalty:
Head over to Red Clay Soul for more examples of the polo belt, where to find them, and a few ideas on how to wear them. Read the full post here: Polo Belts by Red Clay Soul