A supply chain tale

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
I have experienced some disruption in the supply chain I thought I'd share because the Trad world is both small and shrinking, and we need to be mindful about how it impacts our purveyors. In late May I ordered a plain white Gitman OCBD in a very common size. The retailer called me soon thereafter to say that they had already charged my card but that they had contacted Gitman and been told the shirt would be ready and ship directly to me from Gitman later in June. When June ended I emailed the retailer who then contacted Gitman (Does this remind you of the A. A. Milne poem about butter for the royal slice of bread?) who told them it was now looking as if the shirt would not be ready until the end of July, and the retailer so advised me. Not wanting the retailer to be financially harmed I asked them if they would cancel the order with Gitman, figuring Gitman is able to sell more shirts than it can make at present, and let me get a different item of comparable value. The retailer obliged.

I found another brand of white OCBD in stock in my size elsewhere, my retailer did not get injured in the mess (other than having to exchange a few emails with me), and I made a different purchase that I was going to make soon anyway. As for Gitman, let's hope that if this was occasioned by an inability to obtain white oxford cloth the supply chain is soon restored! If white OCBDs can become unavailable, it could happen to other things we take for granted!
 

Eligius

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I have experienced some disruption in the supply chain I thought I'd share because the Trad world is both small and shrinking, and we need to be mindful about how it impacts our purveyors. In late May I ordered a plain white Gitman OCBD in a very common size. The retailer called me soon thereafter to say that they had already charged my card but that they had contacted Gitman and been told the shirt would be ready and ship directly to me from Gitman later in June. When June ended I emailed the retailer who then contacted Gitman (Does this remind you of the A. A. Milne poem about butter for the royal slice of bread?) who told them it was now looking as if the shirt would not be ready until the end of July, and the retailer so advised me. Not wanting the retailer to be financially harmed I asked them if they would cancel the order with Gitman, figuring Gitman is able to sell more shirts than it can make at present, and let me get a different item of comparable value. The retailer obliged.

I found another brand of white OCBD in stock in my size elsewhere, my retailer did not get injured in the mess (other than having to exchange a few emails with me), and I made a different purchase that I was going to make soon anyway. As for Gitman, let's hope that if this was occasioned by an inability to obtain white oxford cloth the supply chain is soon restored! If white OCBDs can become unavailable, it could happen to other things we take for granted!
They moved to Tennessee during the pandemic. I wonder if that has caused delays?
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
They moved to Tennessee during the pandemic. I wonder if that has caused delays?
Well something has! I began to suspect when unusual gaps in sizing were showing up in O'Connell's unlined/unfused, which are made by Gitman. I am trying to rebuild my OCBD supply (one each of white, blue, blue university stripe, and pink university stripe. I gave up on ecru. Bad timing on my part!).)
 
Last edited:

never behind

Super Member
This is concerning. I’ve had a couple of items I want to buy from O’Connell’s and can’t as they are out of stock. I was told late spring they would get more linen trousers soon but Ethan told me this week they probably won’t now. :(

I probably should buy a Shetland now before those run out.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
Well something has! I began to suspect when unusual gaps in sizing were showing up in O'Connell's unlined/unfused, which are made by Gitman. I am trying to rebuild my OCBD supply (one each of white, blue, blue university stripe, and pink university stripe. I gave up on ecru. Bad timing on my part!).)
This is concerning. I’ve had a couple of items I want to buy from O’Connell’s and can’t as they are out of stock. I was told late spring they would get more linen trousers soon but Ethan told me this week they probably won’t now. :(

I probably should buy a Shetland now before those run out.

Get it when you can gents, the world is growing dim. :(
 

drpeter

Super Member
Shetland sweaters can still be found in thrift shops. I found a beautiful, mint Lands' End Shetland the other day at a Goodwill shop for $15, a mix of autumn colours that look very nice blended together. Made in the UK, back when LE used to import sweaters from that country. I posted this information in the Brags and Blues thread.

My approach is to keep my eyes open when thrifting, and look for such small treasures. The sweaters are often found on hangers among the shirts, likely because the people who manage the stock at thrifts are not too concerned about sweaters on hangers sagging and losing their shape.
 
Last edited:

drpeter

Super Member
Tom, have you thought of alternatives like venetian blinds -- just to tide you over until the fabric arrives? LOL, blinds are better than sheets, I should think.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
Tom, have you thought of alternatives like venetian blinds -- just to tide you over until the fabric arrives? LOL, blinds are better than sheets, I should think.
It'll be just a while longer and
Tom, have you thought of alternatives like venetian blinds -- just to tide you over until the fabric arrives? LOL, blinds are better than sheets, I should think.
Actually, with the time it would take to get an installer and a short time till the drapes are finished, it would not be a good option. All good.
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
The saga continues. The "other retailer" I found who confirmed they had what I wanted (white OCBD in 15/33) in stock sent me an email when I placed my order that another email would issue when it shipped. Over a week later this has not occurred, and I have had no response to a followup email. This other retailer seems to have a reputation of being great to deal with and offering great shirts. I am not a happy camper. If something does not happen soon I shall begin efforts to let others know who they are and how they have performed.
 

drpeter

Super Member
This story is sad. A good quality white OCBD should be available in plenty in the land that pretty much invented them! And yet, such a shirt seems difficult to obtain.

My own solution for shirts and some other items is to relax my standards a bit. This past year, through thrifting, I have picked up Brooks Brothers' OCBDs made in Malaysia. I have a soft spot for the country since it is the country of my birth, although Colonial Malaya was dramatically different from modern-day Malaysia. Nevertheless, I find these BB shirts to be of pretty decent quality. I have not checked recently, but I think the collars are unlined and of reasonable length. They provide a good roll as well. Some of them require ironing, others do not -- I mention this because many in this forum have strong feelings about this aspect of the shirts.

I must also add that OCBDs do not form the backbone of my shirt collection. I do have many of them, but I also have many shirts wih short and long point collars in broadcloth, and even a moderately spread collar or two.

I have also found Malaysian-made BB khakis and poplin trousers to be of fine quality. They are of lighter-weight cloth than their Bill's counterparts, and therefore quite suitable for warm weather. Their finish is also slightly smoother -- they look great when dressed up with a navy blazer or a silk/wool sportcoat.
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
Hopefully it is all nearing a satisfactory conclusion. The first retailer, Hunter and Coggins, did not have it in stock. So they ordered it through Gitman. They advised me that Gitman had said it would be the end of June. When the end of June rolled around with no word I reached out to Jim Hunter who pinged Gitman and gave me the word it had been pushed to the end of July. I asked him to cancel the order, but I didn't want him to get hurt in the deal. I found a light coral cotton V neck sweater he offered that was the same retail price, and I had been wanting a cotton sweater. The sweater has arrived, and I very much like it. In the meantime I finally decided I'd give Mercer a try. They offer a first time buyer discount. I ordered on July 1, and hopefully it will arrive soon.

I am interested in seeing firsthand how Mercer stacks up against the unlined and unfused OCBDs from O'Connell's. One of the benefits of maintaining a very small wardrobe is being able to get really nice stuff. The O'Connell's shirts are pretty darned perfect, but Mercer offers a few things O'Connell's does not. Once my shirt wardrobe has both blue and white OCBDs I want two more shirts. Mercer offers a pink I like better. I am still undecided on the fourth shirt. A pink tape stripe broadcloth is a possibility, as is a blue end on end. I have given up on ecru.
 
Last edited:

never behind

Super Member
Hopefully it is all nearing a satisfactory conclusion. The first retailer, Hunter and Coggins, did not have it in stock. So they ordered it through Gitman. They advised me that Gitman had said it would be the end of June. When the end of June rolled around with no word I reached out to Jim Hunter who pinged Gitman and gave me the word it had been pushed to the end of July. I asked him to cancel the order, but I didn't want him to get hurt in the deal. I found a light coral cotton V neck sweater he offered that was the same retail price, and I had been wanting a cotton sweater. The sweater has arrived, and I very much like it. In the meantime I finally decided I'd give Mercer a try. They offer a first time buyer discount. I ordered on July 1, and hopefully it will arrive soon.

I am interested in seeing firsthand how Mercer stacks up against the unlined and unfused OCBDs from O'Connell's. One of the benefits of maintaining a very small wardrobe is being able to get really nice stuff. The O'Connell's shirts are pretty darned perfect, but Mercer offers a few things O'Connell's does not. Once my shirt wardrobe has both blue and white OCBDs I want two more shirts. Mercer offers a pink I like better. I am still undecided on the fourth shirt. A pink tape stripe broadcloth is a possibility, as is a blue end on end. I have given up on ecru.
Interested in hearing your thoughts on Mercer. I too have been considering a pink US with the first time buyer.
 

katon

Super Member
Manufacturing being strained during COVID might be surprising, but with a bit of thought I think most people can understand why there could be difficulties. Hopefully they will be able to effectively adjust. The things we enjoy are made by particular people after all, so it is important to allow for changes that keep them safe.
 
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.

IMPORTANT: BEFORE POSTING PLEASE CHECK THE DATE OF THE LAST POST OF THIS THREAD. IF IT'S VERY OLD, PLEASE CONSIDER REGISTERING FIRST, AND STARTING A NEW THREAD ABOUT THIS TOPIC.

Deals/Steals

Trad Store Exchange