Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
Recently I sold my unworn must-iron BB OCBDs to a guy in Europe since I never wore them and they were taking up space. Great shirts and I still have a couple that I did wear, but they are a bit too billowy and I have found with the traditional fit that the collars are too small and the torsos too big; I have found the same prob with other traditional cut American brand shirts such as Bean and Orvis. Since then I tried on the BB Black Fleece OCBDs and find the fit to be perfect and the detailing much more interesting than the regular BB OCBDs and won't be going back to them, so to speak. For those of you who are a slimmer fit I strongly suggest you try them out.

Below are some photos comparing a traditional cut must-iron BB OCBD and a new must-iron BBBF OCBD. The BB shirt looks grey in the photos because it has been washed a million times and I assume the colour has faded slightly; also the camera is not expensive.

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Collars: collars are the same size



Cuffs: the BBBF shirt has longer sleeve plackets(?) plus a button, cuffs are longer too



Yoke: the BBBF shirt has a wider yoke made of two pieces, plus the locker loop



Pockets: chest pockets are roughly the same size



Front Placket / Skirts: the BBBF shirt has a square of fabric around the bottom button and the placket ends above the bottom of the shirt, also and the skirts overlap; the BB shirt has a full-length placket



Side Gusset: the BBBF shirt has side gusset reinforcements

 

hookem12387

Elite Member
I love my only BBF shirt, unfortunately I'm about to have to sell it. The BB3 fits everywhere but the neck, which is huge on me. Shame because they're really cool shirts IMO
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
Exactly. If you have an 18 neck, you're SOL. Same thing with Press. Might as well be the same with LE, which inexplicably jacks the price hugely when the size goes from 17.5 to 18. If Mr. Browne would care to explain why his sizing system is the cat's pajamas, I would love to hear the rationale.

BB OCBD rules.

That's the problem with Black Fleece shirts, not enough sizes available.
 

Jovan

Honors Member
For $150, why not proper neck and sleeve measures? This makes them good for little else than expensive sport shirts unless you happen to fit into their crazy sizing.
 

The Rambler

Honors Member
There's no accounting for taste, but the plainer style of the regular BB is what I like, the shorter cuff and placket w/o button, one piece yoke, without locker loop - it's hard to find these things on a good shirt!
 

Steve Smith

Super Member
The color of the blue fabric used in the blue BBBF shirts is different from the blue BB Supima. While DD's Supima may have faded a tiny bit, most of the color difference is due to starting out as a different shade.

The BBBF shirts are made in the same factory (Garland) as the BB Supima shirts. Certain details (neck & pocket stitching, for example) are identical in the two shirts.
 

Jovan

Honors Member
Good point, Flanderian. Who makes a good bespoke OCBD for around that price? I've always wanted one that has shoulder pleats (preferred over centre/box pleat) and a collar button in the back. Mercer has those options, but at the price of their customisations, plus slimming it down so I don't swim in it, plus shipping... I may as well get bespoke!
 
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Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
I never expected opinions to be so strong regarding the Black Fleece shirts and I hope everyone who has an opinion has tried them on! Bottom line for me: I like them much better than the regular BB shirts, particularly the wider yoke and longer cuffs, and am happy to make the switch even with the price jump.
 

BorderBandit

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
IMHO I really enjoy the BBBF shirts instead of the regular OCBDs. I buy the regular BB shirts in slim fit because of that horrible "blousing" effect, but it's hell to find something that fits in the chest (44") versus my waist (34"). Suits are just as bad. So slim fit works well for me in waist, but is/can be restricting in collar and chest.

That in itself is the main thing I enjoy about the BBBF is that, as others have noted, it seem the collar and/or chest is slightly larger than regular BB OCBDs. Mr. Browne is known for his shrunken fits but *also* his taper, but without any research to back this up all I can really say is that I enjoy this "V taper" in the BBBF shirst much more so than in regular BB shirts.
 

hookem12387

Elite Member
Right there with you on taper. My BBF ocbd has a brilliant fit (everywhere but the neck). I'm a 42" chest and 31" waist so I know your pain on the drop issue, and these shirts are tapered very well.
IMHO I really enjoy the BBBF shirts instead of the regular OCBDs. I buy the regular BB shirts in slim fit because of that horrible "blousing" effect, but it's hell to find something that fits in the chest (44") versus my waist (34"). Suits are just as bad. So slim fit works well for me in waist, but is/can be restricting in collar and chest.

That in itself is the main thing I enjoy about the BBBF is that, as others have noted, it seem the collar and/or chest is slightly larger than regular BB OCBDs. Mr. Browne is known for his shrunken fits but *also* his taper, but without any research to back this up all I can really say is that I enjoy this "V taper" in the BBBF shirst much more so than in regular BB shirts.
 

BorderBandit

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Actually I'd be interested to know what Brooks Brother's OCBD shirts were like before vanity sizing came into play. I've been searching for some sort of comparative evidence to no avail, but I'd be willing to bet that there's been some sort of "dimension creep" over time as individuals have gotten more corpulent, or when the company changed ownership, etc. etc. For example, maybe someone who has found some NOS could compare that to a modern model of BB shirting.
 

Joe Beamish

Elite Member
There have been some posts to that effect (comparing vintage BB OCBDs to the current model, by measurements.)

I think they've grown and shrunk in a few cycles over the years. Baggier in the 40s/50s, slimmer in the 60s. Then baggier again, then slimmer again.

Of course the "traditional cut" is much bigger than the "slim fit", which is really very medium-ish (to your point.)

But I think a search would turn up a couple-three posts along the lines of what you're looking for, if I'm not mistaken.
 

BorderBandit

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I found one section on Heavy Tweed's Blog wherein he compared a 1980s OCBD to a Madras shirt and the results to me were stunning.


Photo Credit: Personal photo of blog "Heavy Tweed Jacket"

To paraphrase the text, the neck and shoulder measurements for these 15 1/2" shirts were the same, body measurements notsamuch. This is thus far all I could really find about vanity sizing there, but it will really really make me laugh if the "Made in USA" OCBD is actually vanity sized for ongoing obesity epidemic America versus the "Made in India" Madras. Of course I have no idea which shirt corresponds to proper dimensions, but the invective invaded my brain and had to be shared.
 

Danny

Super Member
There's no vanity in the sizing if the neck and sleeve lengths correspond to the numbers on the tag. There are no 'proper' dimensions for a shirt [cut], that's why there are different cuts. If the 'traditional' cut has gotten larger over time I could understand the argument, but I doubt it has. I am not overweight and I prefer the traditional cut. It's a stylistic choice. I am uncomfortable in the slimmer cuts...I find them binding.
 

BorderBandit

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
There's no vanity in the sizing if the neck and sleeve lengths correspond to the numbers on the tag. There are no 'proper' dimensions for a shirt [cut], that's why there are different cuts. If the 'traditional' cut has gotten larger over time I could understand the argument, but I doubt it has. I am not overweight and I prefer the traditional cut. It's a stylistic choice. I am uncomfortable in the slimmer cuts...I find them binding.

See, that's what I was wondering, if there ARE proper dimensions in shirt width or not. However, form what I could get off the blog, those shirts are the same size, before the whole traditional, regular, slim, extra slim even existed.
 
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