How to Prep: The OCBD as Outerwear

I figured that I would write about this while it is still warm enough to wear a polo shirt. I also know that I will probably catch some flack and/or ruffle some feathers with this. I am okay with that. This is stuff that I really do.


OCBDs (oxford cloth buttondown shirts) make great lightweight jackets. However I have found that they really only work over polo shirts (or even t-shirts in a pinch). I have worn them with polo shorts and chinos as well as shorts (and yes gym shorts on occasion).


When does this make sense? This is not a combination that I would wear all day, but more of a short-term solution. A few scenarios might be in the morning when it hasn’t warmed up, the evening when it had cooled off, or in a light rain. I think that accounts for all of my pics


This post reminds me of how preppy people tell me that I look on occasion. This happens a lot when I run to the store in gym shorts and boat shoes because my boat shoes were by the door or when I wear throw on a polo with my athletic shorts. Sometimes preppy just happens. I think that this is an example of that.

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

15 Comments on "How to Prep: The OCBD as Outerwear"

  1. Looking nicer than has become the sad average, even if you are are dropping by the nearest convenience store to fill up the car and grab a gallon of milk on a Saturday evening, is fine in my book. Your photos here show how easy it is (ought to be) for adult males to dress casually and comfortably yet still look pulled together. Well done!

    Best Regards,


  2. Pat says:

    Even unplugged you have panache. Hope you find just as scenic backdrops in your new location.
    And who will be your photographer or do you travel with your own tripod?


  3. oxford cloth button down says:

    Pat – Thanks! The new neighborhood is even more scenic. I just need to digit out how to inlcude. I do all the pics with my iPhone and no tripod. I just use the timer and find a place to as the phone.

    HVB – Thank you!

  4. preppyleo says:

    hey ocbd.

    not related to this article, but look what back in the ralph lauren uk store.
    The ralph lauren wool-cashmere sweater. (now with elbow patch).

    probably soon be in the us.

    thx for the blog/

  5. James says:

    I think this look works for casual. White or light OCBD untucked and unbuttoned is great for the beach too. Much better than the ubiquitous cargo shorts and black T-shirt. Those Patagonia shorts, are they swim trunks or regular shorts? Looks like a great way to add color and an alternative to khaki shorts.

  6. Jason says:

    Quick question but off the topic,

    I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned it before, but it isn’t in your tags. Where do you typically buy khakis? I have a hard time finding khakis that fit well.

  7. oxford cloth button down says:

    Jason – I have been wearing J.Crew Essential chinos in classic fit to work for about 10 years. They have changed the name to 1040 and tweaked the fit. I am currently trying to sort out a few pairs. I wear 770 fit casually. They have also discontinued the Essential style and now only offer the Broken-in style. However, I think that ironed they could be serviceable for work.

    If these new J.Crew ones don’t workout for me I will try Polo next.

    • Philip says:

      Hey OCBD! Could you elaborate a bit on this? What makes you wear 770 fit more casually? Also do you wear regular or stretch chinos? (I suspect the former)


  8. oxford cloth button down says:

    Preppyleo – Excited about that green and yellow!

    • Preppyleo says:

      This green one is different from the green that was 2 years ago.(more earthy tone).

      Btw what do you think about the wine color sweater?

  9. oxford cloth button down says:

    Leo – I like it a lot. I have a very similar one from PRL Rugby that gets a ton of wear. It is a color that I recommend.

  10. oxford cloth button down says:

    James – Sorry, I missed your question about the shorts. They are somewhere in between. They are hiking short, but they are made of something similar to bathing suit material and dry quickly. Patagonia calls them Baggies. I have several colors. I like them for hiking and super hot days.

  11. paper clip says:

    Caution: those sweaters must run very small! : )

    Model is 1.85 cm and wears a size M

  12. paper clip says:

    Please pardon my odd sense of humor, but I read 1.85 cm as “centimeters”. I thought meters would be “m”.

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