Broke and Bespoke

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The Classic Blue OCBD

I’ve been wearing a lot of blue OCBDs casually this summer as I go on hikes and to the dog park with my new dog, Clio. OCBDs are famous for their ability to be dressed up or down (much has been written on this elsewhere and I won’t bore you with my derivative version here), and these days my favorite one is the Classic Blue Oxford from Luxire.

There are a few reasons I think it’s great. One is the collar roll. Since Luxire makes custom shirts, you can specify every detail of the collar to best reproduce the classic OCBD collar rolls of mid-century Brooks Brothers, contemporary Mercer & Sons, or something more Italian a la Barba, etc. I’ve dialed in a collar that I’m pretty happy with worn buttoned or unbuttoned.

At $59 for the Classic Blue Oxford, Luxire’s price is very competitive. It’s not the cheapest you’ll find—I think Target sells a nice OCBD through its Merona line, and Uniqlo also has a solid one which I’ve written about before. What you don’t get from those less expensive options however, is a collar with a great roll. If that’s not a huge concern of yours, and money is, then by all means I think Target and Uniqlo offer great options. If a great roll is your end game though, I think it’s probably hard to beat Luxire.

Prior to getting some custom OCBDs made up by Luxire, I often scoured thrifts, ebay, and various menswear classified boards for new or gently used Brooks Brothers Made in USA Supima Cotton OCBDs in their slim and extra slim fits. Those collars have a very good roll to them, and were very nicely made to boot. Colors were limited however, and even for a nice used specimen prices started climbing over the $20 mark.

So I ultimately settled on ordering some shirts from Luxire. There are plenty of oxford cottons priced at $60, and the ability to specify every dimension of a shirt at that cost seemed a bargain—especially compared to Brooks’ retail prices, and even compared to their several annual sale prices.

In any case…since I’m not editing this, and to forestall a descent into some tangential bloviating about nothing new (menswear blogging is fast becoming a paradigmatic example of ‘repetition with a difference’), I just wanted to post today about the fabric on Luxire’s Classic Blue Oxford, and say a few things about it that I prefer to Brooks Brothers’ Supima USA-made OCBDs that I hope you may find of use.

The Luxire oxford is made in Italy by Brembana, and is thinner than the Brooks Brothers Supima. I prefer this, as the BB one can feel a bit thick at times (though I admit there are situations when the heavier BB one is nice, i.e., on a cool day under a sweater, etc.). The lighter fabric makes it better for wearing under summer-weight sport coats, but is not too delicate to be worn with heavy tweed in the winter. The Luxire cloth is very soft, though in a different way than the BB. I imagine that neither one will feel ‘rough’ to the touch or against the skin. Though they both take an iron well, I prefer to hang mine up right out of the dryer and to wear them au naturel. To be sure, they’re both great shirts, but if you’ve got $60 to spend on an OCBD I think you’ll have a lot more fun with the Luxire.

Shirt: Luxire Classic Blue Oxford, $59

Tie: Ben Silver, thrifted $2

OCBD.

Casual

Jacket: J. Crew, thrifted $17

Shirt: Luxire MTM OCBD, $69

Jeans: Red Cotton Denim, c/o RCD 

Shoes: Walk-Over Chocolate Suede Derbys, thrifted $17

Everyone needs a white OCBD. This one’s from Luxire in their ‘White Warzone Oxford' cloth. Though I'm not so long-in-the-tooth, I can well imagine that this is the kind of robust cotton oxford that your typical collegiate store might sell their OCBDs in back in the Ivy heyday.

Everyone needs a white OCBD. This one’s from Luxire in their ‘White Warzone Oxford' cloth. Though I'm not so long-in-the-tooth, I can well imagine that this is the kind of robust cotton oxford that your typical collegiate store might sell their OCBDs in back in the Ivy heyday.

Jacket: Borrelli, thrifted $50

Shirt: Luxire OCBD, $79

Tie: Vintage for George G. Good, Berkeley, CA., thrifted .50

Pocket Square: Drake’s, J. Crew ~$45

Classic: OCBD and Rep Stripe

Classic: OCBD and Rep Stripe

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). 

Repp Stripes and Collar Rolls

If it hasn’t been clear over the last week of posts, I bought some new OCBDs recently from Luxire (more on this to come)…

This is the ‘Classic Grey Oxford’. It’s a pretty thick fabric, and I think that helps give this unlined collar a bit more structure than the slightly lighter weight ‘Blueish Green University Stripe’ and ‘Pale Pink Classic Oxford’ shirts I posted previously. The vintage tie was, of course, thrifted.

Trad
Jacket: Vintage Brooks Bros. Cashmere Blazer, thrifted $20
Shirt: Luxire Blue University Stripe OCBD, $79
Tie: Vintage Robert Talbott for J. Coop Oakland, thrifted $2
Pocket Square: White Irish Linen, c/o Solosso

Trad

Jacket: Vintage Brooks Bros. Cashmere Blazer, thrifted $20

Shirt: Luxire Blue University Stripe OCBD, $79

Tie: Vintage Robert Talbott for J. Coop Oakland, thrifted $2

Pocket Square: White Irish Linen, c/o Solosso

Another sweet Luxire OCBD collar roll, this time in the Pale Pink Classic Oxford.

bloodnblue asked: Hi, that Luxire shirt looks awesome. How did you specify the collar and is the fabric Brembana's blue uni-stripe oxford?

I’ve received a number of questions asking about the collar dimensions and construction on the Luxire OCBD I’ve been posting pictures of the past couple of days. I thought it might be easiest to just publish the answer here for the sake of efficiency. 

I asked for an unlined collar with 3.5” collar points and a nice collar roll. I also sent along a couple of pictures of collar rolls I wanted roughly replicated with my order. I think the unlined collar works well with heavier fabrics like an oxford cloth, but if you wanted something lighter like a poplin or an end-on-end I think a light unfused lining might be preferable. You would still get a nice roll and it would likely loan the collar a bit more structural integrity, especially on hotter and/or more humid days.

The fabric used is the Brembana ‘Blueish Green University Stripe.’ The Blue University Stripe has a lighter blue stripe against a brighter white background. The ‘Blueish Green University Stripe’ has a slightly more vintage appeal to my eye.

For reference, here’s another picture of the collar in question:

image

Thanks, as always, for reading the blog, and I hope this answers your questions!

Jason

The Luxire OCBD: Another View

The Luxire OCBD: Another View

The Luxire OCBD Collar Roll. More on this to come…