As a university stripe addict I have a compulsion, an obligation to buy any rare university stripe OCBD that I come across. Recently I discovered that Brooks Brothers released what they call an aqua university stripe. As per my addiction, I was obligated to grab one. I also picked up one of their lavender university stripes (which I will write about in the future) and it seems as though they have lengthened the shirts, which is a very good thing. I don't know if it is only on these new colors, I don't know if I just got a strange batch, but these that I have are a longer length than the prior (re)releases in the autumn. I was happy to see that, maybe they are lengthening all of their new OCBDs. The other length was fine, but this length is actually great.
I wouldn't actually characterize this color as aqua. I would say it is mint. I actually wonder if this is the mint university stripe fabric that Michael Spencer shirts used to offer. I have a light wondering-theory that it may be just that. Michael Spencer shirts used to make a mint university stripe in a color that looked incredibly similar to this. The owner of Michael Spencer shirts, Spencer Bennett passed away last year and so they shut down operations. I have wondered where that mint university stripe fabric was. I wondered where it came from, if anyone else had access to it. It is a fairly rare fabric to come by. I was planning on ordering a mint university stripe from Michael Spencer back in 2020 but the pandemic happened which forced them to suspend operations and then Spencer Bennett passed away in early 2021. I wonder if this is the same fabric.
It is a beautiful fabric. It is incredibly vibrant and alive. I didn't enhance the colors in these photos, this is exactly how bold and electric this mint is. If anything, I actually lightened up on the saturation, lessening the contrast helping along an early 90s, late 80s look. With this level of electricity, much responsibility is required. It is hard to pair a tie with this shirt. The easy and direct choice is to go simple with a blue knit tie, which works just fine. I will most certainly wear that pairing later this spring or summer. But today, keeping in line with exuberant early spring energy, I decided to run toward the boldness.
In this outfit I went with a vintage, pale yellow, ancient madder tie. As you can see this tie has blue highlights and also some very light pink as well. It is very nuanced and it is a delicate balance, but it works wonderfully for this season. You could never wear this in the winter. If I was to wear one of my very saturated, heavy yellows it wouldn't work. It would be too much. It has to be pale, chalky almost. It has to run the other direction yet not feel as if it is in competition with the electric nature of the mint. You either go with the grain, cool colors, or you go against the grain. If you go against the grain anything you do is already going to be so shocking, you want to ease up a bit in a case like this.
This is a bold outfit. I think it is a beautiful outfit, perfect for spring and with some 1990s energy, which I love. Nevertheless, it is bold. Of course forgoing a tie brings everything down a bit and is a natural, easy choice. It is a beautiful shirt and with no tie, looks wonderful with light chinos and a navy blazer. I am so happy with this mint university stripe. It is another spring and summer shirt bursting with energy a beautiful collar, a full fit and a classic yet bold look. If you are thinking about picking up one of these but were concerned about the length in the prior (re)release, I can give you one other clue as to what to look for - these two new shirts I bought have a button on the sleeve placket. The prior versions from the autumn (shorter length) had no button on the sleeve placket. Perhaps, the button on the sleeve placket can be your cue, what to look for.