I have all of the classic colors of the OCBD, and perhaps, even too many of them. I have all of the classic solids and stripes. I have ground stripes and checks to last me many years. I suppose now is when I venture into some of the more off-the-beaten path colors. A few weeks ago I ordered a gray OCBD made custom from Ratio Clothing and it just arrived last week. I am a traditionalist and I like the classics, although I don't get too obsessed with the "rules". They are more guidelines anyway. In my opinion, there are good limitations but there is no need to unnecessarily limit yourself with useless limitations. Life and style is supposed to have a music, a life to it. All that being said, when I decided to explore some of the more unique colors I knew I had no real desire to wear anything fashion-forward. I still exist in this traditional orbit. But, I thought and compared, if Mercer and Sons and and M. Spencer both offer a gray OCBD, it can't be too crazy. Gray is a good color to try.
As always, I ordered the shirt with all of the Trad/Ivy/Prep details.
Back Collar Button
Completely Unlined (collar, placket, cuffs, pocket flap)
I also had the 2nd button lowered 1" so that when wearing the shirt without a tie and with the top button unbuttoned, the collar opens just a bit more than is standard today, giving a look more reminiscent of the look more commonly found years ago, with the six button front.
I used to hold by only ordering shirts with a flap pocket from J. Press. They are credited with popularizing the flap pocket. I thought, if I am going to order a flap pocket, I want it from J. Press. This shirt was my first shirt departing from my old tradition of only ordering the flap pocket from J. Press. I certainly don't regret it. The bottom of the pocket has a flat bottom with rounded corners and a diamond flap. This is different than the J. Press flap pocket, as the J. Press flap pocket has both a diamond flap and diamond bottom. The flap pocket on this gray OCBD is fantastic. The size of the pocket is just right and the flap is perfect. The flat bottom combined with the diamond flap is wonderful.
This is a wild shirt. A Gray OCBD with a flap pocket. You don't see it everyday. I don't think it would be easy to find OTR. The gray is really really interesting. This is the only gray shirt I own. It's a very interesting feel, vibe. It's not flashy or bright. It's like a white oxford but a bit "cooler" (?) It has a feeling and mood of it's own. It certainly is unique and really special in that it adds a unique element to an ensemble without being flashy. It's a very cool shirt. It is going to take me a while to get a handle on it and really "get it".
As mentioned above, I had this shirt made by Ratio Clothing. Ratio is not as popular in the Trad/Ivy/Prep world as Mercer and Sons, M. Spencer, Brooks Brothers, J. Press. I absolutely recommend to any man who trends in the Trad/ Ivy/ Prep direction, to give Ratio Clothing a try. I had this shirt made to a very specific set of measurements and requirements. I specified every measurement of this shirt. Bicep width, chest, waist, sleeve taper, length, yoke, button placement, extra space for watch etc... This shirt was made to my exact, specific and very unique measurements that I have developed to help create the aesthetic that I pursue.
This is a fully unlined shirt with all of the Trad/Ivy/Prep bells and whistles and with a great, and really unique collar roll. The collar point is 3.5 and the roll is different than the other big names. The best way I can describe the collar roll is nonchalant, messy and sloppy in the absolute best, most traditional, beautiful meaning of the word. The collar roll feels natural, it actually in certain ways feels almost more "old-school" than some of the other big names that Trad/ Ivy/ Prep guys drift toward. The roll drifts in a bit more of a sprezzatura sympathetic direction, and as someone who is always moving toward a hope of natural elegance, I absolutely love the collar roll on my shits from Ratio. This roll has a natural vibe of it's own.
This isn't my first shirt from Ratio Clothing. I own quite a few others. This gray OCBD is just the most recent addition. I love all my shirts from Ratio. They have always been really helpful in helping to create these beautiful, unique shirts exactly as I specify. On this most recent shirt I wanted to make sure the flap on the pocket was unlined and Evan at Ratio Clothing was so kind to go back and forth with the factory and myself to make sure everything was just right. Next time you are in the market for a new OCBD, or if you have a very specific fit / measurement requirement, I suggest give a thought to Ratio Clothing. I think you will be happy you did.
The necktie worn in this setting is a vintage Polo by Ralph Lauren [for Neiman-Marcus].