Broke and Bespoke

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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…

The BB OCBD: Brooks Brothers vs. Brooks Brothers Red Fleece

For those of you who have been faced, as I was not long ago, with the dilemma of finding Brooks Brothers’ Red Fleece OCBDs on sale for about $25 and wondering how their collar rolls are, I give you this.

The collar points on the Red Fleece OCBDs are much shorter than those on regular Brooks Brothers ones. We’re talking 3.25” on the regular BB, and a hair under 3” on the Red Fleece (this is even shorter than the Uniqlo OCBDs collar points, which are right at 3” by my measurement). Though the construction on the Red Fleece is not as nice as on the regular line (I find this is especially so regarding the buttons), it’s perfectly fine, and should hold up to hard and frequent use quite well. 

The Red Fleece shirt is also shorter, which makes it great as a casual OCBD to be worn untucked with jeans or chinos, and without a tie. For ~$25, I’m fine with that as its purpose. They also have the nice added touch of an additional button at the back of the collar.

The fit throughout the body is similar to Brooks’ regular Extra Slim Fit I think, and the Red Fleece size ‘Large’ is a tad tighter throughout the body and neck than a 16.5x34 ESF, so I’d say it’s probably comparable to a 16x34 in the ESF.

Overall, despite the shorter collar points—the roll still has a decent shape to it, it’s just kind of short—I find myself wearing my two Red Fleece OCBDs at least once a week these days. I’ve mostly worn them under a crewneck sweater with some additional outerwear layer, but my look has been quite casual these past few weeks.

Outtake.

Outtake.

Up top. Down low. Blue and green. 

More casual looks from last week.

Uniqlo’s OCBD is on sale for $19.90
Uniqlo’s OCBD is currently on sale for a hair under $20. They’re not the best, and they’re not the worst, and at $20 I think they’re well worth it if: 1) you don’t plan on wearing it with a tie as the collar points are a bit short, and the roll isn’t that great (bow ties are ok in my book, since they cover up a bit of the roll); 2) you fit well into their S, M, L, XL sizing—for what it’s worth the L fits someone who’s a 16/34 quite well, and comes in a bit slimmer and shorter than Brooks Brothers’ Slim Fit OCBD. The latter is a bonus if you ever plan on wearing yours untucked. 
I own several of these OCBDs from over the years (they used to be a fuller cut) and they hold up really well to hard wear and frequent washing (no loose threads or buttons yet). They’re a great affordable, casual beat-around shirt. 

Uniqlo’s OCBD is on sale for $19.90

Uniqlo’s OCBD is currently on sale for a hair under $20. They’re not the best, and they’re not the worst, and at $20 I think they’re well worth it if: 1) you don’t plan on wearing it with a tie as the collar points are a bit short, and the roll isn’t that great (bow ties are ok in my book, since they cover up a bit of the roll); 2) you fit well into their S, M, L, XL sizing—for what it’s worth the L fits someone who’s a 16/34 quite well, and comes in a bit slimmer and shorter than Brooks Brothers’ Slim Fit OCBD. The latter is a bonus if you ever plan on wearing yours untucked. 

I own several of these OCBDs from over the years (they used to be a fuller cut) and they hold up really well to hard wear and frequent washing (no loose threads or buttons yet). They’re a great affordable, casual beat-around shirt. 

The Placketless OCBD Strikes Again

The Placketless OCBD Strikes Again

Lazy Sunday…

Shirt: J. Lawrence Khaki’s Washed OCBD, courtesy of Khaki’s of Carmel

Jeans: J. Crew, clearance $27

Shoes: Allen Edmonds ‘Castine’, thrifted $17

Taka of Liverano made quite a splash the other day with his combination of a red striped shirt, brown linen jacket, and navy grenadine tie which was posted on The Armoury’s tumblr.

I thought I might post a version of this combo that I think is quite versatile season to season, as long as the weight of the fabrics in it are appropriate for the weather. Here’s a fairly casual summery version of it, with a light unlined jacket, some lightweight cotton chinos, and suede longwings.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Jacket: LBM 1911, purchased on Yoox with a VISA gift card (I get a couple of these a year from work, and generally buy something on clearance from Yoox with them)

Shirt: Brooks Brothers University Striped OCBD, thrifted $5

Tie: PRL Navy Grenadine, thrifted $4

Pants: Gant Rugger Chinos, Jeremy’s $11

Shoes: John Doe Suede ‘Connor’ Longwing, courtesy of John Doe Shoes