The British polo players invented it, with the help of their shirtmakers. Clothing invented for sports and the military always has a place in any stylish man’s closet. John Brooks, one of the brothers, brought it to America and perfected it, and a century later the company changed something about the formula. The Polo collar is its official, trademarked name. You know it as the OCBD, or oxford cloth button down shirt. It has been the favorite shirt for the casually elegant man since its inception.
Astaire wore his with a double-breasted flannel suit for the ultimate in nonchalance.
Cary Grant’s were the only shirts that he would buy off-the-rack. He even wore one at the end of “North By Northwest”,considered by many to be one of the most stylish films of all time.
One of the best-dressed men of all time, Gianni Agnelli, il avvocato of Fiat fame, didn’t bother to button his collar buttons, practically inventing the Italian concept of sprezzatura. Certainly embodying it better than almost anyone before or since.
The cut is full, roomy, designed with only comfort in mind*. The 3 1/2″ collar is soft, completely unlined, falling to the correctly placed buttons to create the perfect collar roll. The front placket has eight buttons, the second of which is positioned to open just enough when left unbuttoned at the weekend. We make our button downs with one button barrel cuffs and no sleeve placket button and, like the original, we prefer ours without a chest pocket. Who needed one while wearing a three piece suit? This is the two- ply oxford shirt** that you remember gets better and better with age.
Available in all the traditional colors of pink, white and light blue. We also recommend our fancy checks for a distinctive look. (Click to enlarge swatch.)
Prices range from $115 for solids, to $165 for the checks.
* For those of you who prefer a slightly less baggy cut, we are a full made-to-measure shirtmaker and can make your shirt to your specifications.
** For those who prefer a lighter fabric, we also offer our button down in a range of fabrics from Irish linen to Sea Island cotton to pinpoint oxford. With exceptionally light fabrics we recommend a floating lining be placed in the collar to help give it enough body to roll nicely.