Luxire: Dialing in the Perfect OCBD
Frequent and astute readers of this blog will no doubt have noticed a trend on here of late. I have been wearing OCBDs almost exclusively for several months now. There’s something about a great collar roll that conditioned my return to the classic style. And the preponderance of great pictures on the internet of beautiful collar rolls by Kamakura and Barba hasn’t hurt either.
Early on in my days of dressing in shirt, tie, and sport coat (long before this blog existed), OCBDs were my shirt of choice. As I dove deeper into the world of #menswear I, like many others, began to favor the more Italian look of the soft, wide spread and cutaway collars that were ubiquitous on tumblr’s menswear tag for a couple of years.
Lately, as my own style has grown more staid, I’ve once again come to favor the OCBD. Until recently, my favorites have been by Brooks Brothers in their Slim and Extra Slim fits. Unfortunately, I don’t find them in wearable condition in the thrift shops that much. That, coupled with the declining frequency with which I’ve been going thrifting, left ebay as the most solid affordable option. But even on ebay prices for a good specimen can command $20-30, and there aren’t that many regularly available in my size. Faced with the relative drought of great BB OCBDs in the used market, I toyed with going retail.
At peak sale price, the USA-made non-non-iron ones at Brooks Brothers can be had new for about $50, and even then, one is limited to about 3 or 4 fabric choices. At that price, I figured I might as well look into Kamakura too, since they seem to be ‘out-Brooksing Brooks’ in the OCBD department these days. But I found the Kamakura sizing to be strange, and after asking around a bit determined that their shirts probably wouldn’t fit me very well. In order to fit my neck, the sleeves would have been way too long.
Given the aforementioned constraints regarding the Brooks Brothers OCBD—and the fact that if I had my druthers, I would change the measurements a little—I began thinking about going custom. The brand that popped immediately to mind was Luxire (I reviewed a shirt from them a while back which you can read here). I already knew their quality and value were top-notch, and a quick perusal of their affiliate thread on StyleForvm illustrated that there is no customization request or micromeasurement they won’t/can’t tweak for their customers. Dreams of the perfect OCBD began keeping me awake at night.
A return visit to the Luxire website confirmed for me that some of their least expensive oxford cloths cost significantly less than a Kamakura shirt at retail, and pushed me over the edge in my decision to order some custom OCBDs for myself. I dove in with gusto and placed an order for 4 shirts (you’ve been seeing them pictured on here in the last couple of weeks), specifying nothing more than 3.5” collar points and one button barrel cuffs, both of which were to be unlined. I also attached a couple of sample photos of great OCBDs to my order as a reference for how I wanted the finished product to look (btw, this is something that Luxire is very good at accommodating, and not just with shirts, but pants and jackets as well).
Several weeks later my shirts arrived, and I was not disappointed at all. Compared to some of the Luxire-heads over on The StyleForvm, my order requests were fairly small (for instance, you can request the taper of the neckband from back to front, something which hadn’t even occurred to me), but I was very happy with my shirts nevertheless. I was most impressed with the details that came standard, including thick mother of pearl buttons that are attached very firmly with a thick shank, and a bar tack at the bottom of the side seams.
Needless to say, I’ve caught the fever, and just dropped a mint on a second large order of spring and summer weight shirts. This time, since some of the fabrics are much lighter weight than the robust oxfords in my first order, I opted for a light unfused interlining in the collars, neckbands, and cuffs. I’ll report back with pics once those arrive.
In the meantime, I can’t recommend highly enough giving Luxire a try if you’re looking for an OCBD made to your exact specifications (e.g., locker loop, back collar button, flapped chest pocket, etc.). The ‘Classic Blue Oxford’ is just $59 shipped, which is quite a bit cheaper than either Brooks or Kamakura OCBDs at full retail, and just about $10 more than BB’s on deepest sale. I’ve heard that turnaround at Luxire can be as fast as 10 days. My order took several weeks to arrive, but that was plenty fast enough for me and the results were more than worth the wait.
* Fabrics used in the photos clockwise from top left: Blue University Stripes Oxford (by Brembana, $79) , Blueish Green University Stripes Oxford (by Brembana, $79), Classic Grey Oxford ($69), and Pale Pink Classic Oxford ($79).