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.

A Quick Preview

O'Connell's OCBD

I have been slacking off. That’s not totally true. I have been busy. Just not with the blog. I do have a few things in the works so I thought I’d give you a preview real quick.

Here’s what’s coming. I snagged a J.Press Pennant label tweed from the sales section. It’s hard for me to find RTW sport coats that fit. This line might be the one for me. I have a lightweight unlined OCBD from O’Connell’s for the approaching warm weather and a pair of their chinos on deck. Both look promising. That’s it for now. Reviews to come soon!

J.Press Pennant Label Tweed Sport Coat

O'Connell's OCBD

Classical Proportions

Last post I mentioned how wider pants were back or rather how they have been back. In fact you can see me in a pair of J.Crew 1450 relaxed fit back in 2018 here and here. That pair ended up as shorts (which are great!), but looking at them now they looked pretty good as pants. Back to the post at hand. I snagged a pair of J.Crew Classic fit chinos (here) the other day and here they are.

Yesterday was the first day that I wore them so I don’t have too much feedback yet. Here’s what I do know. They run pretty larger. I typically wear a size 30 waist for more room in the leg, but this requires me to take the waist in a touch. These are a size 29 waist and they will need taken in. I think I could drop down to a size 28 waist without losing too leg volume or much rise. What else? The fabric has a nice weight to it, I don’t care for the flapped back pockets, they call this green color dill and it’s a pretty good green. Overall they are a solid pair of khakis.

I was hoping the classic fit would be a little more I don’t know, classically proportioned. It was clear from the model pics that they were going for a 90s baggy vibe so I shouldn’t be surprised (The giant fit might be the enormous fit on me based on these). I do need to try a size down before I completely write the classic fit off. I should’ve measured these before I washed them, but I didn’t. I am going to try to shrink them a tad more. If they don’t workout as work pants they will make good casual pants to have fun with or another pair of great shorts.

Size 29/30 waist Measurements (Pants have been washed and dried on hot):
Rise: 11″ (It feels higher. See below)
Waist: 15.5″
Knee: 10″
Leg Opening: 8″

These Are The Breaks

For those of us kicking around in the 90s we have seen pant silhouettes swing from wide to slim and back again. In the early part of the 2010s I was chasing that heyday high-rise-full-leg-to-taper-collegiate cut for quite a while (collegiate cut chinos part 1, part 2, part 3, & part 4). Over the last 10 years I have settled on a happy medium. A silhouette that is neither slim nor huge at least when it comes to my work chinos. We all know wider pant widths are here, but lately I have been hearing murmurs of break being back (I’m looking at you Zach).

Pants Break Illustration

This past week the murmurs have manifested into illustrations courtesy of renowned ivy illustrator, cartoonist and all around cool guy Dick Carroll. His latest illustration on the Put This On blog is devoted to the topic. Being on the shorter side of things too much break makes me look like I am wearing my dad’s pants and not in a cool dad fit way. I can do a slight break especially if I am wearing khakis because they will crease to a nice almost no break after sitting at my desk which probably defeats the whole point. If you can’t tell by my previous statement I still don’t know if I am ready to give up my no-break pants quite yet. However when I wear my office pants with almost any shoes, but sneakers I get a little break and it’s not so bad.

What do you think? Is this the break of a new dawn? Have we hit point break? Has the tide turned on high-water hems and the proverbial dam broke? Let me know in the comments!

Not too wide & not too slim pants with a touch of break provided by the wallos.

Zach aka newstonstreetvintage sporting some break on his cords.

Don’t Sweat the Technique

Hiroshi Watatani Upper Pajamas & Polo Coat

Before you get too far into this post please note that if you are the type to shake your fists at the sky bemoaning the lack of sartorial standards in the world today this post may be a bridge too far for you. Take a a little time to compose yourself and see if you can go on. If not that’s ok. If so, I am now going to talk about how the sweatpants and OCBD with a big coat look that we have been seeing a lot of lately is old news. So old even Ronald Reagan was doing it.

9/20/1984 President Reagan wearing sweatpants talking to staff aboard Air Force One on a trip to Iowa

This all may feel a bit too Aime Leon Dore for you (ALD ad above if you don’t know them). Before you dismiss as it some new fangled invention and you need some historical context you can look above to see Ronald Reagan rocking the look on Air Force One. For you ivy style purists students have been doing this since day one. If you’ve been around the ivy internet for a while this post might conjure up images of Hiroshi Watatani’s pajamas and duffle coat illustration above. I think of the old guys that I’d see leaving the YMCA in their sweat suits paired with the same coat they came in wearing over their suits. I used to work in an office building that with quite a few law offices inside. Sadly we’d often all be in our offices early Saturday morning and I saw type of fit there as well. I should have been taking more pics. Hindsight, eh?

Sweatpants & Shetland

Sure this is just another form of athleisure. Is it lazy? I don’t think so. Is it stylish? I think so. I do know that it comes in handy in my toddler-centric lifestyle. I find that it works almost any time where comfort may trump formality ( and a host of other reasons) like walking the dog, meeting friends for early morning coffee, wfh, travel days, most aspects of student life, just sitting around your house, and more occasions in 2024 than I can type. In these situations this style is a go for me. If you follow me on IG you’ve seen me do it a lot.

Here’s how I do it and what I’ve learned. Sweatpants are the central building block. It is best if they are a little baggy. Grey sweatpants are easier to style than navy for me. OCBDs looks great with sweatpants, but don’t tuck them in. Shetlands work over an OCBD or over a long sleeve t-shirt (here’s my long sleeve t-shirt post). Rugby shirts also work well. As far as footwear goes grey New Balance are great, but adding camp mocs, blucher mocs, or loafers is very cool. The baseball cap or beanie (I still call them tobaggaons like a true Midwesterner) is not required and while it is stylish it is key when your hair is a mess. A shortcut is if you have a big coat you can also simply throw it over a full sweat suit and add a scarf.

This post is more solid proof that the old adage “There is nothing new under the sun.” is accurate. However like Nas said on No Idea’s is Original, “It never what your do, but how it’s done.” If you have just scored a big coat this year like a tweed balmalcan, duffle coat, or the current champion of big coats, the polo coat and it’s not getting enough wear, here you go. If you want to one up everyone in their pajamas at Target at 8am on Saturday mornings, done. Me, I’ll be throwing this type of fit on before an early Saturday morning walk with my daughter where I also intend to score a croissant from the French bakery down the street. Maybe this is what they mean by French Ivy?