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Senior Member
Nov 10, 2017
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My closet is both Drakes and Anglo- Italian OCBDs, with a few Mercers still hanging on. I take the same size (16) in all.

In a nutshell, I think Drake's are a well-executed basic, and a good and unassuming "canvas" for their interesting ties, scarves, squares, etc...

AI's OCBD are much more stylish, and walk right up to, but do not cross over, the dramatic-flourish line.

Drake's shirts feel like toys to me, not sure how else to say it. Not meant in a pejorative way, I believe this is their intended aesthetic coming through...

Relative to Drake's, the AI OCBD is fuller all around (longer sleeves, overall length, chest width). Drakes MOP buttons are variegated, thin, and wide. AI buttons are MOP (I think), small, uniformly white, and thick.

Drake's collar is pretty good, lined with floating interlining. So is the placket. I prefer a Drake's if I am just wearing a shirt and trousers, in the summer, say. Although the button stance does not lend itself to having 2 (plus the collar) undone, I don't think. Their regular fit (in 16) fits me in a nice, slim way. I am 6'2", 175#.

AI OCBD collar is dramatic, in a good way, and it begs to be worn with 2 buttons undone. Fused interlining, as most Italians tend to do. Placket, though, has no interlining at all and I Love this.

I will add that I am a huge fan of the AI "ice blue" color. I find AI to be more formal than Drake's in general, but please understand that I am talking about 1 OCBD relative to another. AI also uses finer yarns.

I like them both, for different reasons. Generally prefer AI, though.
Thanks for the insight! How do you find the fit between the two? Seems like AI is fuller in the waist?

Also the cloth, I do have a drakes OCBD. How do you rate the cloth of AI to the sturdier more traditional Mercer?

Last edited:


Feb 26, 2017
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Yes, AI is fuller in the waist and chest, and the arms are longer. Relative to Drake's.

Mercer uses a cloth they actually bill as "bulletproof." It is pretty rugged, but softens magnificently over time. In my experience, though, by the time they are ridiculously soft they are basically worn out. They are wonderful new, of course, if the sturdiest oxford out there is what you are looking for.

I find myself unimpressed by Drake's cloth. It's ok, but doesn't soften much and shrinks quite a bit.

AI cloth is the finest of the three. It's still plenty sturdy, and starts out soft and gets even better. My oldest AI oxford, about a year old, has been subjected to a few searing hot washes (to get a stain out), and is no worse for wear.

Out of the three, I strongly prefer the AI cloth.

Glad to be of some help to you!


Senior Member
Apr 16, 2018
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@Viral you say all this as if I didn't mention nearly every one of these fit deficiencies in my review. I'm not trying to defend the under performance at all and I've openly admitted I might not commission anything else because of the issues. I did expect more for the time and the money involved. Frankly, I'd like them to take the suit back for a second round of alterations, but I'm not optimistic on that happening. My review is more honest than almost any you'll find elsewhere.

On quality, the suit is full canvas, includes a good deal of hand work in the jacket, and is very light. For comparison, I don't think RTW RJ includes handwork, but I could be wrong. More broadly, the comparison to The Armoury isn't quite fair either since The Armoury sells other companies' products and doesn't make their own line like AI. The line about never a single ill-fitted garment at The Armoury is obvious hyperbole. Not only is it by rules of probability almost certainly false, you wouldn't even know because they're not posting 360-degree diagnostic fit pics to the journal or to Instagram.

Your comment about OTR J Crew suits looking better than this is BS and you know it. Moreover, it such an obviously false and inflammatory comment that it does't even succeed in being hurtful, only in making you look like an idiot.

As for being shy about criticism, I'm not. I'm often my own harshest critic, but I also happen to enjoy being able to sound my thoughts off others who know about tailoring and my concerns have largely been confirmed in doing so.

And this gem is particularly brash for someone who hasn't posted a single fit pic in over a decade of being a member of SF.
@arakeinprogress you say all of this as if Viral didn't set out to be a tool in his post. I'm not trying to defend an asshole but you've got to admit it's hard to fault him for being exceedingly successful at what he set out to achieve.

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