I’m working on an OCBD roundup for Put This On, so that readers who may not have yet settled on a favorite maker can get an idea of some of the options available to them. I originally wasn’t going to post anything about it here, since I don’t see a need to overlap on content, but what Mercer & Sons sent me is so good that I feel a bit heartbroken over it.
Mercer & Sons is based in Maine, and has been producing American-made OCBDs since 1982. Their site feels charmingly anachronistic – something like an old mail-order catalog – and their shirts are no less old-fashioned. I mean that in a good sense. For one, their collars are unlined. Not unfused, mind you, which is what most other producers make. Unlike an unfused collar, which has a floating interlining, an unlined collar has nothing at all inside. This makes the collar very soft and frankly a bit mussy looking. It’s for the kind of guy who understands the casual spirit of an OCBD, if not the historical accuracy (as Brooks used to make their OCBD collars unlined). Their collar points are also an unapologetically full eight centimeters long (again, just like Brooks used to do). The effect of having these longer, unlined collar points is that you get a more relaxed, full, button-down roll. It’s the kind of charming look you see in old photos, but is disappointingly absent in many modern day skimpy collars. The collar being the heart and soul of an OCBD, I haven’t come across a more handsome option.