We continue today with four more reviews of oxford cloth button downs. Again, basic features and measurements are given, so you can more objectively compare these shirts against each other. You can check part III of this series for our first set of reviews.
Size: 15 x 32
Retail price: $49
Features: Curved chest pocket; split yoke; seven-button front; box pleat at the back with a locker loop; collar made with a lightweight floating interlining
Measurements: Chest 20.75”; Waist 19”; Shoulders 18.25”; Length 32”; Collar tip 6.75cm
Impressions: Lands’ End’s clothes are often described on the menswear blogosphere as very full fitting and needing a lot of alterations. That hasn’t been my experience. At least for their “tailored fits,” I’ve found that their shirts and pants fit pretty slim. They’re not as slim as fashion-forward brands, but when you compare them to classic silhouettes, they’re decidedly slim nonetheless.
Their tailored fit oxfords are no different. The body measurements compare well to yesterday’s slim fitting Kamakura, but here the armholes are a bit bigger. The collar tips are also shorter – too short to produce any roll, unfortunately, even when the collar is worn without a necktie. Additionally, while the oxford cloth they use is quite soft, it’s a bit flat and boring in its color, and less nubby in texture. If Lands’ End produced something with a more traditionally sized collar and used a fabric with more contrasting weft and warp yarns (to produce a bit more visual depth), I’d be a bigger fan. Still, $49 isn’t bad as a price, and aside from the bigger armholes, the body itself fits pretty well. Something to consider if you’re on a budget and don’t plan to wear this with a tie.
Retail price: $125
Features: No chest pocket; seven-button front; slightly lowered second button on the placket; side pleats on the back; off-centered button on the sleeve cuff; collar made with a lightweight fused interlining
Measurements: Chest 21”; Waist 20.25”; Shoulders 18”; Length 31.5”; Collar tip 7.5cm
Impressions: Our advertiser Ledbury also makes an OCBD, but theirs is a much different animal than the others we’re reviewing. To start, they’re using an oxford cloth from Thomas Mason. It has a very slight, almost imperceptible sheen, and feels much dressier than other oxfords. It somewhat reminds me of Royal Oxford, which is an oxford cloth you commonly see in Italy, but Ledbury’s is more subdued. Their design also doesn’t have a chest pocket at the front or box pleat at the back. All in all, it just feels like a much dressier oxford cloth button down. If you want something dressier and a touch more modern, Ledbury would be a good option. The one they sent me is in the classic fit, but they have a slimmer fitting version as well.
Size: Blue sized small; green sized 36
Retail price: £100-£124 for non-EU customers (~$150-189)
Features: On the blue, there’s a six-button front; box pleat and locker loop at the back; button at the back of the collar; no sleeve gauntlet buttons, and no chest pocket. On the green, there’s a seven-button front; box pleat with no locker loop at the back; button at the back of the collar; a flapped chest pocket at the front; and no sleeve gauntlet buttons.
Measurements: On the blue: Chest 20.25”; Waist 18.25”; Shoulders 17.5”; Length 30”; Collar tip 7.5cm. On the green: Chest 20”; Waist 18.25”; Shoulders 16.5”; Length 30”; Collar tip 7.5cm
Impressions: UK-based Harry Stedman sent me two of their oxfords to review. The green oxford is sized by chest, and fits slimmer than the alpha sized blue oxford. Both fit very slim, however.
Each shirt has a hodgepodge of classic American details – flapped chest pockets (J. Press), locker loops (Gant), and yes, even a fully unlined collars (Brooks Brothers). I favor unlined collars – as they can be more carefree and comfortable – but Harry Stedman’s is perhaps a bit too short to take advantage of their construction. Unlike Mercer & Son’s, who has a much fuller collar, Harry Stedman’s collar leafs measure 7.5cm. It’s enough to produce a bit of a roll, but is still perhaps best worn without a tie.
I do wish these had more traditional proportions and came sized by collar and sleeve, but if you want a more fashion forward shirt, and have the money to spend, Harry Stedman’s would be something to consider.
Retail price: $30
Features: Curved chest pocket; seven-button front; collar constructed with a lightweight floating interlining
Measurements: Chest 20.25”; Waist 18.25”; Shoulders 17”; Length 29”; Collar tip 6.5cm
Impressions: Uniqlo’s OCBD has the hallmarks of fast fashion. The fabric isn’t that great, the stitching is a bit rough, and the silhouette is very trendy. The shirt hugs close to the body (so much so that it feels like second skin) and it’s too short to properly tuck. The collar is also the shortest we’ve come across, so when you button it down, you get something closer to this instead of this.
Still, it’s $30, and currently on sale for $20. If you’re a student, on a tight budget, and are around people who wear trendier clothes, this could be the right buy for the time being. The shirt is difficult to tuck in and the collar is too skimpy to wear with a tie, but you may be unlikely to do either anyway. If these seem right or you, consider Lands’ End Canvas. A few years ago, those used to be discounted to ~$17 on clearance, which is about how much I think they’re worth, but I’m unsure if that’s still the case.
On Monday, we’ll review our last set of shirts, which of course will include Brooks Brothers’ contemporary line.