The Proper Cloth Shirt Fit Post

Proper Cloth Shirts 2023

If you want to give Proper Cloth a try follow the link (Proper Cloth) for 10% off your first purchase.

I’ve always wanted to try out one of the online custom shirt makers. However the process seemed cumbersome and the potential for making expensive mistakes kept me away. It felt easier to simply buy OTR (off the rack) clothing and return what doesn’t work. Fast forward to Proper Cloth reaching out to see if I’d like to try out their shirts.

Back to my fit fears. My biggest fear isn’t making a shirt that doesn’t fit well. My biggest fear is making a shirt that doesn’t fit well and then having to paying for it. My contact over at Proper Cloth pointed out their perfect fit guarantee which is, “If your first shirt isn’t perfect, we’ll remake it—free of charge.”. This guarantee definitely eased my mind a bit.

For sizing I started by using their smart sizes algorithm. I really just wanted to test it out. It was much more accurate than I had expected. They have lots of other ways to measure for shirts including measure a shirt of your own, measure your body, and send us a shirt of yours to measure. I tweaked my smart fit using the measurements of a Michael Spencer OCBD that fits me well. I know how to measure a shirt, but I watched their video tutorials on measuring to make sure I was doing it their way. The videos were short and easy to follow. I was done in under 15 minutes.

My first shirt, true to my moniker was a Light Blue American Pima OCBD. Despite being very close in measurements to the Michael Spencer shirt the fit was a little off. It was tight in the back, shoulder, and arm area. I sent my fit advisor a some pics and he made a couple recommendations. He suggested moving the chest posture back 1″ (this is a standard option in the fit dimensions) and changing the shoulder fit to sloped shoulders due to my physique. He made a few other suggestions, but I was a little concerned that his other ideas would lead to a slimmer shirt than I wanted. I want a fit that is in-between baggy and slim. I’d rather have a shirt that is a little too big instead of a little too small. In addition to the two suggested changes (chest & shoulder) that I detailed above which I will say would have never occurred to me to make I added a quarter inch here and there where it seemed the shirt may have shrunk after washing. I crossed my fingers and sent it off.

When I received the second OCBD the fit was spot on. Now for the details on the shirt. Obviously I went with the soft ivy button down collar. It’s a 3.5″ collar, has a soft interlining, and makes a good roll imho. I chose the soft one button cuff which has the same soft interlining as the collar. I lowered the the top button a 1/2″ to get the 7-button spacing that I was after. I finished it off with a box pleat and locker loop. The result was a classically trad OCBD.

All together I made three shirts. I picked the Light Blue American Pima OCBD, a Burgundy American Pima OCBD, and the Stanton 120s Navy Bengal Stripe Broadcloth shirt. You can see all three below. I will follow up later with a more in-depth review of each shirt. Overall I was very pleased with my experience. My only disappointment is that they don’t have single flap pocket option. I am happy to have my size nailed down. I will be making another shirt at some point for sure. If you want to give Proper Cloth a go follow the link (Proper Cloth) for 10% off your first purchase.

Proper Cloth OCBD
Proper Cloth Light Blue OCBD
Proper Cloth Burgundy OCBD
Red OCBD with Shorts
Proper Cloth Bengal Stripe Shirt
Bengal Stripe with Tie

Beams Plus Sack Blazer at J.Crew

Beams Plus 3/2 Blazer

I just saw this 3-button (plausibly 3/2 roll), triple patch pocket, sack blazer by Beams Plus over at J.Crew (see here). It looks good. Seemed like it was worth a post. It’s always good to see ivy and trad pieces slipping into the mainstream.

If you don’t know Beams Plus (aka Beams+) they are Japanese brand that always puts out some good looking Americana inspired clothing. Even though I’ve never owned any I am a fan. They often put a slight twist on the classics. At other times the slight twist is you trying to get the clothes on. This is my warning that Japanese sizing can be wonky. This blazer is alpha sized and come in just south of $398. It also has working cuffs so adding all the variables together and doing some bad math, it will probably only fit 1/1000 of us.

There are a few other Beams Plus pieces over at J.Crew as well. This ranges from a (now sold out) patchwork corduroy chore coat ala Hunter S. Thompson’s Abercrombie jacket to some milsurp inspired shirts (I like the adventure shirt below, but not the price). None of it is inexpensive, but some of it is pretty good…if it fits. The point of this post if that the clothes we wear might pop-up anywhere. As I always recommend, get while the getting is good.

Beams Plus 3/2 Blazer
Beams Plus 3/2 Blazer on Person
Beams Patchwork Cord Hunter Jacket
Beams Ripstop Adventure Shirt

Praise for J.Press

JPress Shirts

Way back when I used to tweet out links to my latest blog post. In-between those tweets I might tweet about something trad. It was mostly filler and my twitter account has long since been deleted. However, I remember back in 2012 I tweeted something to the effect of, “By the time I can afford to shop at Brooks Brothers & J.Press they won’t sell anything that I want to buy.”. It turns out that I was a lot more right than wrong.

I didn’t make this post to lament the current state of Brooks Brothers (more on them later). I made this post to celebrate J.Press. It’s one of the few places that I recommend to people when they ask where they can get the type of clothes that I wear. Of course I tell people to check out O’Connell’s as well, but what sets J-Squeeze apart is that they are one of the few places left that almost exclusively sell their own clothing.

Sure their have been changes. I remember back when there was only one fit offered in their shirts (review coming soon!). Yes, they have had years when the jacket shoulders were more natural than others. They also dabble in reaching the younger market with their more fashion forward and slimmer lines, York St. and now their Pennant line, but those lines have strong trad DNA and it was never to the detriment of their main line.

J.Press is a place where you can still go to get all the trad essentials. You don’t even have to use filters to navigate to all-cotton OCBDs and 3/2 roll sport coats when shopping online. If you have the privilege of shopping in-store you could do so blindfolded and still come out looking classically American. It’s what they did back in the day and what they do now. In a space where the sky is always falling and the present is never as good as the past it’s good to be grateful for what we do have, and that is J.Press. The home of the flap-pocket is still here in the USA.

JPress Shirts
JPress Madras

L.L. Bean Boat & Tote Souvenir Bag

I mentioned in my life update post that I have been doing more travelling since I met my wife. I am actually headed out of town tomorrow which prompted this post. As a kid I didn’t really go for souvenirs. I would’ve rather put that money towards new sneakers, but as an adult I am all in. I started picking up patches on our trips with the goal of creating a souvenir something (jacket or bag) in the future. Well the future is here and so is my cool souvenir bag.

At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to make a souvenir styled jacket or a bag. I went with a bag because I thought that I would get more use out of it. I actually picked up this L.L.Bean Boat and Tote at the L.L.Bean Flagship store in Maine while visiting my sister. So it’s kind of a double souvenir bag.

If you are interested in creating something like this I do have a few tips. The first is that if you don’t see a patch you like or any patches at all don’t worry. The internet is your friend. I picked up quite a few of my patches on Ebay and Etsy either while still travelling or after I got back. I typically buy a patch for each state (or country) and then one that’s more specific to what we did there. For example, I have both a Utah patch and a Zion National Park patch.

The second tip is about placement. Before you start ironing or sewing them on do a dry run. By that I mean arrange them a few different ways. I took pictures of several different layouts before selecting what I thought looked the best. I then provided the pictures to my mom (S/O to my mom!) who did a bang up job executing.

I love my souvenir bag. I look at the patches and start thinking about all the good adventures that we have had like my first visit to a rain forest in Puerto Rico, Climbing Mt. Lafayette, or cycling through the country side in Costa Rica. It also gets me excited for all of our future adventures. I’ve included pics of all my patches below. See you all in 2 weeks!

LL Bean Boat & tote Souvenir Bag

Souvenir Bag

My Top 3 thrifts

I used to thrift a lot back in the day. Back then I had more time than money. Fast forward to now and I have very little of either (insert laugh track), but seriously I have started to dabble in thrifting again. This time around it’s just for fun rather than out of necessity. To pump myself up for future thrifts I decided to revisit my top 3 thrift scores. I will also give a few tips that I have learned along the way.

Basket weave Tweed Sport Coat

1. The perfect tweed jacket – If you know anything about me you know that it’s hard for me to find my size in jackets. The best otr reference I have is that a 37S Brooks Brothers Madison jacket fits me pretty well. That’s not a common size btw. About 10 years ago I was headed to an out of town meeting. I left myself plenty of time to stop in a Goodwill not far from where I was headed (Tip #1). After arriving I scanned the sport coat rack looking for jackets with 2-buttons on the cuff (Tip #2). This is not a fail-proof method for finding trad sport coats, but it helps when you want to quickly scan a lot of inventory. I sued this method and found this basket weave Donegal tweed sport coat complete with all the right details (3/2 roll, swelled edges, patch pockets) that fit! It’s still my favorite sport coat to this day.

Kelly Green G9

2. Baracuta G9 jacket – The G9 is a trad’s perfect spring and late summer/early fall jacket. Made cool by the king of cool himself, Steve McQueen. Even if I don’t find Mr. McQueen all that cool myself I do love a harrington jacket. It was back in 2010 that I found a kelly green Baracuta for $1.99 on a typical Saturday morning thrift run. The jacket is from one of the less desirable periods in the 80s when they were made in Hong Kong by Van Heusen instead of being made in England. Nevertheless I was excited. I still get a lot of wear out of this jacket.

3. Ties, ties, & more ties – Ties are the most thriftable item in menswear. This is because outside of width we all wear the same size (Tip #3). I have scored the bulk of my ties this way. However, one particular tie haul stands out from all the rest. I stopped in one of my regular thrift spots and scored a few great ties. Whomever they belonged to had great taste as these were exactly the types of stripes that I would pick. They were also from a few local-ish menswear shop which I thought was extra cool. I went back the next day (Tip #4) in hopes that they may have put out more of this man’s ties and I was not disappointed.

Scores like the ones listed above will keep you going back for more. If you want to be successful going back is the most important part. Like most things in life consistency is key. Thrifting is no different. This time around I am simply out to enjoy the hunt and not the kill. I have no pie in the sky dreams or grails that I am seeking out. Just some good clean affordable fun. Good luck out there!