31 August 2010

Blind Oxford Tasting

Stay tuned for the lowdown on the button down and the identity of the judge who warned, "Lets not encourage the world - which is already lost - to call any shirt with a button front a button down."

19 comments:

Death Bredon said...

I eagerly await the results.

Greg said...

This should be interesting if it's similar to the "Blind Chino Taste Test." I always tell people the quality will lead you to the brand, and then the brand will lead you to the quality.

Hilton said...

I'm really looking forward to this one. The Oxford has been somewhat of an obsession of mine for the past couple months. Thanks in advance.

La Maison Fou said...

There used to be a little store; eons ago. In keeping with the 80's their mens clothing was fab. A entire store of mens clothing only, a local icon Orbach's.
Sadly, it left when oyr local indoor old mall turned into a newly proposed and planned outdoor shopping center.
The oxford was prominently displayed with the changing of the seasons.
I was but a teenage girl, who passed by on my way to the fad shoe store, but there was something about those freshly starched shirts, crisp sleeves and hues of whichever season was prominent at the time.
Looking forward to this........
L.

Charlie said...

Wouldn't a Gitman TTX (Andover Shop for example) sized to the neck and sleeve make a bette competitor with the above brands than an alpha sized Gitman?

tintin said...

Charlie- The Gitman Oxford from Andover runs $82.50 and does come with neck/sleeve sizes while the alpha sized Orvis Gitman is $149.

Odd that.

Bill Smith said...

This should be interesting, over the past few months I picked up traditional fit white, blue and blue university striped oxford cloth button downs from Brooks Brothers and I have been very happy with them.

Makaga said...

Rad test. Eagerly awaiting the results

David V said...

"Lets not encourage the world - which is already lost - to call any shirt with a button front a button down."

I wasn't aware there were such people.

Main Line Sportsman said...

No L.L. Bean in the final heat? I am surprised...they wear so well and have a sharp classic fit.

Charlie said...

I see your point but I think the $82 oxfords are by Andover Shop's previous supplier, which also might deserve a starting block whoever they are. The Gitman oxfords they have now are over $100.

tintin said...

Charlie - I called the store and was told the Gitman TTX, both pipoint and oxford, were $82.

Main Line- There are a ton of shirts I would like to have judged but I kept the field small due to the judges actually wearing them this time. I included Lands' End due to the return of the Hyde Park after a considerable absence. By the way, which LL Bean OCBD are you talking about? There are a number of models. And thanks for the Schweppe's Bitter Lemon. How did you do it?

Hilton said...

I find the LL Bean Wrinkle-Resistant Classic Oxford Cloth Shirt to be rather uncomfortable, but the Pinpoint Oxford Cloth Shirt is much more tolerable.

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/34442?parentCategory=505536&feat=505536-tn&cat4=504190

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/56686?parentCategory=505536&feat=505536-tn&cat4=504190

Sorry, I forgot to ask if you would explain the absence of a gauntlet button on the sleeve of a Brooks Brothers Oxford, Mr. Tintin. Is this in keeping with tradition for BB? What are your thoughts on the matter? Thanks again.

tintin said...

Hilton- Gauntlet button is personal preference. I spent years at a desk writing and the gauntlet button annoyed me to no end. It's usually the first button to come loose or crack. Sometimes it dangles by a thread.

An annoyance whose original purpose - not to expose skin - is by today's standards pretty silly. No button also takes a step out of the rolling up of sleeves.

Frank, atChicago's only bespoke shirt maker, Riddle McIntyre, always told me the sign of a good shirt was a gauntlet that stayed closed without aid of a button.

Anonymous said...

Encouraged by you blogging blokeys, I bought a couple of OCBDs from O'Connells and Mercers on a trip to Washington DC last weekend (where, by the way, I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to a delightful tea party - I didn't know you did those. This one was orchestrated by the great English rock guitarist, Jeff Beck, apparently, who is now an 'anchorman' on your fox radio or television. And there was also a vicar, the Rev Al (Alexander? Alastair? Albert?) Sharpton, who didn't approve).

I am very impressed with the quality of these shirts, while stuff I have bought from Brooks Brothers recently has had a poor finish, even the quite hard to find 'made in USA'.

Over the years, actually, LL Bean has been of excellent quality, by comparison, but a bit unforgiving (robocotton, and why never pink and white, or even red and white university stripe? And 'ou sont les candy stripes d'antan?'

Agog,

Fatfriend.

Anonymous said...

Re: The gauntlet button

Based largely on my recent favorable experience with one of the competitors (whom I'll be rooting for), I've concluded that if the sleeve and cuff are properly sized then the gauntlet button is totally superfluous. Agreed it's likely to break in the laundry and rarely gets buttoned if you're wearing a jacket. LE's catalog used to tout the gauntlet button as a feature that would prevent unsightly "gapping".

Hilton said...

Thanks again, Mr. Tintin. As I have already mentioned, been a bit obsessed with the OCBD for the past few months. I've been trying to determine the best quality for a good price. I'm very much looking forward to your post.

Brummagem Joe said...

Sacrilege maybe Tintin but I've never been able to summon up much enthusiasm for the button down although I'll agree the perfect specimen with the "roll" is not unattractive but the good "roll" is so seldom achieved.

Wharf Rat said...

Great thread. One vitally important addendum, however.

Over the years, it is true that Mercer had button holes that were very poorly made.

However, within the past 12 months, Dave Mercer has responded to complaints, and this problem has been cured. I have purchased 6 Mercers within the past year, and the button holes are now as good as any.

FWIW, after you get used to OCBD, like Mercer sans gauntlet button, you develop the conviction that it is just one more thing to get broken in the laundry, and does nothing for the appearance, or comfort of the shirt.

The only justification that I have ever seen is that it prevents you skin from appearing in the gauntlet. This doesn't happen with a well made shirt, such as a Mercer, IMO.