What goes into a good shirt?
A handful of our most classic styles have been enshrined in our newly launched Perennials collection – 'here today, here tomorrow' – and as such will always be available. Perhaps foremost amongst these is the oxford cloth button-down shirt (or ‘OCBD’, if you wish). It was one of the first styles we produced, and remains far and away our most popular shirt (among customers and staff alike). Since the early 20th century, the oxford shirt (or ‘polo shirt’, as it was known then – not to be confused with the modern iteration) has been a near ubiquitous piece of menswear, perhaps reaching the peak of its popularity in the midcentury heyday of ivy style. The problem was that by the dawn of the 21st century, the oxford cloth button-down shirt had become a shadow of its former self. Gone were the elegant, rolling collars, heavyweight fabrics and real mother of pearl buttons that typified those commonly seen in the ‘50s and ‘60s. These had been replaced by diminutive collars with fused linings, plastic buttons, and ‘non-iron’ fabrics. Of course, you could still hunt down vintage examples, but locating the genuine article was sometimes like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, and as a renewed interest in ivy style blossomed, prices soared.
This was a problem we sought to address with our first shirts. Our button-downs follow the tried and tested formula of the OCBD golden age, albeit with a slightly more contemporary fit (genuine midcentury versions very much erred on the blousy side). We opted for a hearty oxford cloth woven the old-fashioned way, with plenty of texture and character. The collar points are elongated to achieve that much sought-after roll, and the collar itself has a brushed, floating interlining (as do the cuffs). The buttons are genuine Australian mother of pearl, and the fit has been meticulously refined to create a classic silhouette.
Why buy a Drake’s shirt?
All of this hard work happens in our aforementioned factory in Chard, Somerset, and the resulting level of quality is visible not just in our button-down oxford shirts, but in all our many styles: our chambray shirts, denim shirts, linen shirts – you name it. Many of our highly talented shirtmakers have decades of experience in the business, and that’s all there in the finished product. Against the backdrop of our ailing native textile industry here in the UK, we are proud to be making shirts on single-needle machines in the heart of Somerset.
The shirts you can purchase from us today will no doubt remain in your regular rotation for many years to come. A Drake’s shirt is perhaps the item that best sums up the ethos of our Perennials collection – it’s expertly made, understated, and enduring in its quiet stylishness.