The Oxford Cloth Button Down

a view of a marsh
mens oxford button down shirt

Style icons dress like who they are rather than who they want to be.
They’re more preoccupied by their work than what others think. Some make movies. Others make music. Some make history.

Our inspiration at OOBE BRAND goes back to the 50’s, when true American ivy style was born. At the center of it all was the Oxford Cloth Button Down shirt. The Kennedy’s wore it, Newman wore it, Hemingway wore it out. Long days, longer nights, even a few bar fights.

picture of JFK and jackie kennedy

We all grew up wearing the Oxford Cloth Button Down shirt.
It wasn’t broken in until the collar was tattered and frayed, which looked cool until it didn’t. A quick trip to the tailor took care of that - just remove, reverse and reattach the collar with the back side facing out. Good as new. Along with a pair of Duck Heads and navy blazer, that was our uniform.

Around here we call it the OCBD.
We talk about it a lot, so the code comes in handy. We’re inspired by the Reagan-era Brooks Brothers’ oxford, with dense cotton cloth, generous fit and fluid collar roll. It was the gold standard. J. Press had a strong contender too. But eventually, things changed. Maybe the factory changed, sales changed, or styles changed; or all three. Suddenly the shirt we swore by didn’t feel the same, look the same or fit the same. We were S.O.L.

There’s nothing basic about designing basics, especially when it’s a building block of American style. The first thing we asked ourselves is how we could make the OCBD better. We started with the cloth. We get ours from the renowned Italian mill Albiate. Ironically, they call it “American Oxford.” Consider that a strong endorsement. Next came the fit. Trimmed up from what your dad wore. We worked hard to fine tune the collar without losing the nuance of the roll. It took several fit sessions to nail down the perfect length to tuck-in or wear out. Details like a third rear collar button, locker loop, personal ID tag and single piece set-on front button placket weren’t lost on us for those of you paying close attention.

It’s no secret, we love to wear what we make and we wear our OXBD everywhere. It’s a 14 hour day work shirt that always shows up ready for anything, tucked in and buttoned up, or sleeves rolled and shirt tail out. No shirt on the face of the planet can take you from the boardroom to the barroom to the beach.

There’s no shortage of oxford cloth button down shirts out there, just a shortage of really good ones. Challenge accepted.

close up of a mens button down shirt

Reading next

low country restaurant on the marsh
pictures of the coast near Charleston, SC

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.