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Oxxford clothes discussion

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by The_Foxx, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Well-Known Member

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    talked with an Oxxford Clothes rep today, had an interesting discussion. told me a lot about construction, stitching, collars, linings, etc. but also that the company had purchased a Brioni, Kiton, and some other suits several years ago and deconstructed them. Interesting comments on the brioni, in particular. He also mentioned they were visited by Anderson and Sheppard, who wanted to see the work; they told Oxxford that they were unable to put that much handwork into their suits, and that if Oxxford goes out of biz, there might never be suits made like that again.

    any thoughts, comments? I think i will be getting a suit or sportcoat by oxxford soon, to give it a shot.
     
  2. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    So what does Oxxford do that other makers don't? I know there are differences but I'm not positive what they are. Please share...
     
  3. shoefan

    shoefan Well-Known Member

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    I don't specifically know what Oxxford does that Brioni, etc. don't do by hand, but I do recall reading that when Neiman Marcus deconstructs and assesses suits, they inevitably conclude that Oxxford's are the best-made. Also, I believe that at some point NM was considering offering custom-made suits (I think to be made in Italy -- but I'm not certain), but they concluded that offering suits with the same quality as
    Oxxford would require a price tag in the range of $6000.

    Now, whether or not you love the styling offered by Oxxford is another matter; traditionally, they have catered to the upper-income, older American buyer (they really are not sold anywhere that I know of outside of North America), so their cuts and styling have corresponded to this target market. They have recently developed some different styles targetted to a younger audience. I have a number of their suits and sportcoats, and I think they are great; I remember when I first tried on an Oxxford jacket (maybe 15 years ago), I could not believe how comfortable it was -- it felt as if I wasn't even wearing a coat. However, I'm finding that I am trending toward the Italian brands, e.g. Isaia, Brioni, SaintAndrews, Zegna Napoli Couture, for the way they drape and feel. [My only Kiton is a tux, so alas I don't have much occasion to wear it.] Still, Oxxford's are awesome, and they have some amazing fabrics. It's great that an American company can be counted among the best in the world in tailored clothing.
     
  4. A Harris

    A Harris Well-Known Member

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    I just saw two new "Oxxford Crest" models at Wilkes Bashford last week - a single breasted peak lapel suit and a tuxedo. They were incredible. Definitely one of the best cuts I have ever seen. Oxxford has come a long ways in the style department.
     
  5. scottmag

    scottmag Well-Known Member

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    You guys have got me really interested in Oxxford suits.  I see that they can sometimes be had for around $800 on Ebay.  I mentioned before that I am not sure I am comfortable doing that but if these are as good as you make them sound it might well be worth it.  Would someone be willing to give me some more specific information on what to look for and be careful about?

    For instance are there different lines or quality levels under the Oxxford name? And why, if what you say above is true, can I get an Oxxford on Ebay for $800 while some other brands command upwards of $2000?

    General information should probably go here, but I can also be reached via AIM with the same username I have here.  Thanks.

    Scott
     
  6. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Well-Known Member

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    well, here's what the rep told me. we spoke for quite a while, and i asked him about the different makes/ models Oxxford produces. i told him i was considering a 'Gibbons' cut suit, at a severe discount, just to give Oxxford a try. he showed me some of the sportcoats in the store of the same model/ size, and began to show me the things that make an Oxxford suit special.

    The main things that stuck with me were the construction of the pants (one-piece back, the clearly evident hand-tailoring), which have a huge hidden pocket in the front, where you could elegantly stick a wallet (as he demonstrated). not to mention the hand-sewn buttonhole in the strap that crosses the midsection when worn, and the two tiny hand-stitched buttonholes which secure the clasp for closing the pant/ fly. pretty amazing.

    The jacket was also impressive, with the various things you can see on their website clearly evident (the patented 'bellows' pocket, which expands to the inside instead of the outside of the jacket when things are placed into it); what really stuck with me were his comments on the suits oxxford tore apart. He said brioni is a good suit, but that they actually don't attach the collar by hand; also, that although the stiches which secure the lining at the sleeve are hand-stitched, the attachment stitches of the actual arm are not. Can anyone verify this? that sort of hit me like a ton of bricks, actually. also, all of the patterns on the sleeve match up-- which i noticed brioni and d'avenza suits don't always do. on an oxxford, all patterns (with the exception of the collar-lapel meeting point) really do match up. also, he told me the kiton clearly has more hand-work than brioni, but still not as much as an oxxford suit.

    Finally, i guess the thing about oxxford (to me) is that it would be great for brown or fall sportcoats and suits, which are a little more 'casual' or 'country.' I like the structured 'citified' look of brioni and attolini for blues and striped suits.

    --"Good Clothes open all doors"
     
  7. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Well-Known Member

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    While they still keep certain models (like the gibbons, which has been around since the 70's), they certainly have updated and seem to be shedding the "stodgy" label that Oxxford unfairly has seemed to acquire.
     
  8. Joe G

    Joe G Well-Known Member

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    Oxxford is one of only two American clothiers that commands great respect from the fine tailoring-houses of Europe. (The other? Alden shoes.)

    My tailor at Knize in Vienna is particularly fond of Oxxford. He has been to America only once in his life, and where did he go? To Chicago, to visit the Oxxford works. He is positively effusive with praise for the work they do, and judging by the quality of work he's done for me he knows of what he speaks.

    Interestingly, he also prefers Brioni to Kiton, saying that Brioni cuts more precisely. However, my guess is that Kiton is too close to the Knize silhouette for them to carry Kiton, even if the Knize is more rounded of shoulder. (The main Knize store carries only Brioni and Loro Piana, although a side-store carries Barbour, Lacoste, and other such marques.)

    Before I left Atlanta, I saw some Oxxford suits for sale at an outlet-type store. They were a thousand dollars. There was a rack of Armani Collezioni suits adjacent that also cost a thousand dollars. The joke is, the Armanis were being snapped up, while the gems sitting in wait for the next markdown round.

    Peace,

    JG
     
  9. jcusey

    jcusey Well-Known Member

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    I just saw two new "Oxxford Crest" models at Wilkes Bashford last week - a single breasted peak lapel suit and a tuxedo. They were incredible. Definitely one of the best cuts I have ever seen. Oxxford has come a long ways in the style department.
    While they still keep certain models (like the gibbons, which has been around since the 70's), they certainly have updated and seem to be shedding the "stodgy" label that Oxxford unfairly has seemed to acquire.
    Can anybody give me some descriptions of the various models that Oxxford has? I've only ever seen the Gibbons, and the Oxxford made-to-measure handbook isn't particularly helpful in describing the others.
     
  10. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Well-Known Member

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    Here's a brief description of oxxford's workmanship, taken from the pamphlet (like the ones with Borrelli items): (hope this doesn't sound like a commercial for oxxford; i really just bought my very first item, a sportcoat.) I. ...silk thread, linings, silesias, pocketings, in fact all the trimmings are the very best. buttons are made from the tips of horns that once adorned african water buffalos. II all goods are thoroughly examined, sponged, steamed, and processed b4 cutting. III garments are ind. hand cut with shears for precise accuracy and matching. IV more and wider outlets are provided so that, when nec., the clothes can be let out without losing balance. V each pattern is laid onthe cloth straight- without bias- so the finished garment will keep its shape. VI stripes and plaids are matchd with precise attention to detail. to accomplish this, about 1/4 yard more of material is used than in most other suits. VII b4 an oxxford garment is ready for shipment, it has undergone close scrutiny by competent craftsmen. VIII the sack coat is given far more prep or under-pressings than any other make. the coat "hits the iron' 32 times while in the process of manufacture. this pressing is in addition to the final off pressing of the finished garment. the prep pressings are the cornerstone of oxxford construction. their purpose is to mold into the garment the shape acquired in sewing. IX the oxxford coat front...or hymo, or canvas, as it is sometimes called...is the finest procurable. the canvas is thoroughly cold water shrunk b4 being set in the garment. X the collar and lapels are hand padded with hundreds of fine stitches, to assure softness and proper roll that is sewn in the garment for life. XI the edge tapes of pure linen are felled by hand - on both sides. XII edges themselves are hand stitched, a refinement which still further assures that the edges will be smooth and flat. XIII the armholes are drawn by hand with a chain back-stitch for resiliency, which permits the armhole to give without stretching. XIV for smooth, thin contour, all seams are hand turned and cross stitched. XV the armhole seams are pressed open by hand all around, in order to keep the resiliency, comfort, and thinness. XVI double arm shields are provided, hand felled all the way around, not merely tacked, as is customary. XVII the button holes are made by hand. they are worked on both sides of the opening, really two buttonholes, one on top of the other, for durability and impeccable appearance. XVIII the buttons, sewn on by hand with a strong shank, permit the garment to move freely even when buttoned. XIX another dist. feature of oxxford clothes is the matching body lining and sleeve lining - both ind. hand cut for each particular garment. XX the pockets have linen stays, to prevent sagging,and have complete bellows lining on the inside. the bellows is to permit the pocket to expand to the inside rather than bulge to the outside. XXI each trouser has a secret pocket in the right hand side of the waistband. pictures at: http://www.oxxfordclothes.com/phototour.asp *whew.* thought this whole thing was interesting, and did sort of convince me to make my next suit an oxxford.
     
  11. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Well-Known Member

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    -----------------------------------------------------------
     
  12. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Well-Known Member

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    Like so many other topics discussed in this forum, I have learned much. Yesterday, I visited a store that handles made to measure Oxxford suits. Oh man, what fabrics. I ended up purchasing a made to measure Hickey-Freeman (double breasted, ticket pocket, workable sleeve buttons, side vents, with a lapel vest.) I also ordered a made to measure tuxedo which spent my budget for this time. But....when funds allow, my next suit will be the custom Oxxford. Thank you for all the information. I'm hooked. This forum is a major source of quality information.
     
  13. Nick M

    Nick M Well-Known Member

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    Clarinetplayer - that's exactly the same configuration I'm hoping to get for my next made-to-measure suit - I'm currently deciding between a solid charcoal worsted and a fine navy-blue herringbone. What kind of fabric did you select? Is it a 6X2 button closure, or something different?
     
  14. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Well-Known Member

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    Nick M--I selected charcoal gray with a azure blue chalk stripe. I first saw the pattern in the Oxxford samples, and then found the same with Hickey Freeman. Super 120s wool with cashmere. It is very soft. The tailor and sales person at this shop are outstanding. The trousers will have the button pocket in front. The sales rep was wearing this exact suit configuration--double breasted with lapel vest. I came in with this very suit in mind. "Great minds think alike." Buttons 6 x 2. [​IMG]
     
  15. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Well-Known Member

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    Ohmygosh. Â I took the plunge. Â After reading all the posts on this topic--especially those by The Foxx--I ordered my first custom made Oxxford suit. Â (I did this after I told myself that I should wait for the suit that I ordered last week to be delivered. Â I guess I could not wait.) Â I was measured for a double breasted, dark charcoal gray with a very faint blue window pain--the pattern is not noticed until one gets very close to the fabric. Â Side vents, vest with lapel, working buttons, ticket pocket, watch pocket on the trousers, traditional inward pleats. Â 130's wool--year round weight. There are so many things that one learns whilst reading the posts on this forum. I have to confess that after reading The Foxx's informed comments that I just had to get an Oxxford. Â I know that it will be money well spent. [​IMG]
     
  16. AskAndyAboutClothes

    AskAndyAboutClothes Well-Known Member

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    There was an Oxxford Clothing trunk show today (and tomorrow) in Beverly Hills, CA.

    Great fabrics, but the rep was Mike Cohen, President and CEO of Oxxford.. The Foxx, was that who you talked to?

    I took the liberty of taking in a copy of this discussion (so far)and Mike was so impressed he just starting reading it all. Seems he didn't know there were websites with men's fashion talk.

    He was impressed. I expect to see him join us here very soon.. Watch out for a poster named The OX ..

    Andy
     
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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  18. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure it will be The OXX..
     
  19. luxeshopper

    luxeshopper Member

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    I've heard that Oxxford has some interesting innovations, such as the way they make their pockets and the fact that the waistband is made of one piece.

    If you look at their pockets, they are creased on the inside in an accordian style. So that when you put something in your pocket, the bulge goes inward rather than outward. The waistband is constructed such that weight distributes around the entire band, rather than on one side where the item in your pocket is located. Thus, it reduces the sag more than normal trousers show.

    Button holes are all handstitched. Lapels have a separate canvas lining which are never fused to the materials. If fused, it is glued rather than stitched in, which means excessive dry cleaning will cause it to loosen, bunch up, and stop laying across the chest in a natural, curved fashion.

    Neiman Marcus has always been the best place for me to purchase Oxxford. If not great selection, they've got access to anything you would want. I've never been impressed by Saks, which seems to be poorly run. Just look at the stock prices of both companies.
     
  20. luxeshopper

    luxeshopper Member

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    As mentioned in my earlier note, I think the pockets on an Oxxford are unique, since they are accordian styled and bulge inward rather than outward, showing what's in your pockets.
     

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