The University Flap Pocket

The flap pocket OCBD is a hallmark of the trad and ivy looks. Those in the know tend to know that if you are wearing a flap pocket that you know what you are you doing. We know that the shirt probably comes from J.Press or is a custom OCBD with a wink and nod to Press. I myself am a fan of the flap pocket, but not necessarily on the standard blue OCBD.

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While I own several flap pocket OCBDs there is one that I wear more than any other. That one is a red university striped shirt. There is something very unique about the pairing of the university stripe which is sometimes called a candy stripe with a flap pocket. It can’t put my finger on it, but it just works. While I love my red one I think that it would work well in blue, pink, or any other color that you can get your hands on.


Here is why I don’t love my blue OCBDs with flap pockets. Before I say this please know that is very unique to my specific look and that I have the utmost respect for those in the armed services. I find that these shirts look a little military on me. Again this has to do with the haircut, my build, and potentially something else that I am unaware of and it’s not just me. I have been asked several times while wearing this shirt if I am a military man (often Air Force for some reason?). If you are not as clean cut looking as me this may never ever be an issue for you. In fact if you are not very clean cut the flap pocket will look even cooler on you like I think they do on me when I have my beard.

I picked up my red university stripe OCBD at Michael Spencer. However, I think that you should be able to recreate this shirt at any of the custom spots such as Ratio, Mercer, and probably quite few others that I am leaving out. The funny thing is that while my shirt is definitely a nod to J.Press it is not available there. They only offer their flaps in solid colors.

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

10 Comments on "The University Flap Pocket"

  1. Joel Vau says:

    You are an evangelist of sorts for flap pockets. Never liked them till I read your blog today.

  2. Orange Fiji says:

    I never liked flap pockets before I read your blog today. I still do not.

  3. Tim says:

    Flaps are useful for keeping the contents from falling out of your pocket when you bend over. Period. If you don’t like how they look, tuck the flap in.

  4. Old School says:

    The flap is for decorative purposes and
    renders the pocket unusable. If, like me,
    you use the pocket for pens, sunglasses,
    and miscellaneous receipts, 3×5 index cards, etc.,
    flaps are not for you.

  5. Greg says:

    The pocket flap does look good, but I can’t wear them as I have glasses. I need that pocket for my glasses and the flap would just get in the way.

  6. Charlottesville says:

    Nice shirt, Jerrod, and congratulations on your new job. Perhaps as the weather cools, you may be able to sneak the occasional tweed sport coat into the mix. It seems that even people who don’t ordinarily dress up appreciate the look of tweed in cold weather.

  7. Pat says:

    Thanks for your service. You are protecting a uniquely American sense of style.
    To quote the Air Force Song

    If you’d live to be a grey haired wonder,
    Keep your nose out of the blue! (Out of the blue, boy!)

  8. Jon DiBenedetto says:

    I’ve always liked flap pockets but only on University stripe Oxfords. Somehow they seem, to my eye, to look less appealing on a solid.

  9. Andrew Friedman says:

    J. Press recently announced it is closing its Cambridge store. It reopened in NY after several years, and they still have the stores in New Haven and DC. I would consider exploring their made to measure; their typical style, lined/welded collars/plackets/cuffs don’t suit me, and their cuffs are extremely narrow – can’t wear a dive watch with them. Fabrics and patterns, on the other hand, are fab, love their bengal strips and tattersals.

  10. Andrew says:

    I noticed ratio’s OCBD fabric is single ply, while Mercer’s is double ply. I have no clue on the difference – is one more “wrinkle resistant” or something?

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