The Obtainer - 4/15/24, Monday

The Obtainer

April 15th Edition

Cory Ohlendorf

Do you have an Oxford cloth button-down hanging in your closet already? Time to break it out or maybe replace it with a fresh one in a more modern cut. Lucky for you, we’ve got plenty to choose from.

- Cory Ohlendorf, Editor in Chief ⋯ @coryohlendorf


The New Essentials

A Classic Shirt Is Back

Let me tell you something that you already know: All things in fashion come back around eventually—some sooner than others. And while you could argue that the Oxford cloth button-down never went out of fashion, it certainly was pushed to the back of the closet for the last few years. But, with '90s normcore and prep on the rebound for 2024, the OCBD is officially back on the list of “essentials” you want for spring and summer.

Interestingly, this classic shirt and it's origin story is something of a miracle. It shouldn't have become as big as it did. There was not some grand plan. In 1896, John E. Brooks—whose grandfather founded Brooks Brothers—noticed how English polo players pinned their collars down to keep them from flapping up during matches. Inspired, he developed a type of shirt that used buttons to carry out the same task. It was unlike most shirts at the time, which came with detachable collars. That could've backfired spectacularly.

Even the fabric—a sturdy basketweave cotton—came about somewhat haphazardly. There's no real connection to the famed British University. Apparently, the shirt's signature fabric was just one of four named after a group of schools picked by a Scottish mill for their associations with society's moneyed academic upper class. Of course, from that quartet (the others were Harvard, Yale and Cambridge), the Oxford was the only one to achieve icon status. It became part of the midcentury American uniform and an emblem of American prep as a reliable “sport shirt” and then as a casual style staple.

What's great about the OCBD is just how infinitely wearable it is. Collar buttoned or unbuttoned, tucked or untucked, wrinkled out of the dryer or pressed with an iron, it basically always looks good. It can be dressed up with a blazer and proper trousers and some nice shoes. It looks great dressed down with faded jeans or relaxed chinos and your favorite loafers or sneakers. You can wear one to a job interview with a tie just as easily as you can wear one on the weekend over a T-shirt. It's a shirt that requires little from you, and yet it always has you looking put-together. And these days, you can choose from a relaxed, boxier fit or something a little more tailored. To help you choose, we pulled together some of the best ones on the market today.

Our Picks


Made in Japan and inspired by Ivy style shirts from the 1960s, it’s got a shorter three-inch collar and pleated cuffs.

Vintage Ivy Oxford shirt,
$120 by Maker's Shirt Kamakura


Cut from the same fabric that the brand has used since 1978, it’s finished with a sturdy collar, rear box pleat and a tacked, V-stitch chest pocket.

5 oz Cotton Oxford shirt,
$205 by Gitman Vintage


Dollar for dollar, the best value for a well-made Oxford shirt. The cut is relaxed, the cotton is smooth and crisp, and it holds up to years of washing.

Oxford shirt,
$29.90 by UNIQLO


An all-American classic, cut from a super-soft washed cotton that feels great from the first wearing. One of the few without a chest pocket.

Classic-fit Oxford shirt,
$125 by Ralph Lauren

*** 5 Stylish ***
5 Stylish Items to Buy This Week

These sunglasses ($98) look and perform like shades that cost three times as much. That's why we like Sunski so much. They sweat the details. Clean lines on the engraved, stainless steel frame and a large, square lens shape update the look, with a double-brow line that stands out from the crowd. The sculpted nose pads provide all-day comfort and the olive green shade provides a nice contrast from the more standard black or tortoise shell. Plus, the polarized lenses block 100% UVA/UVB wavelengths—all for less than a hundred bucks.

See all 5 products »

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Test Drive

A Truly Durable (and Waterproof) Shower Speaker
*** Yellow Span - Making the Case ***

Okay technically, this isn’t a shower speaker. It’s just a portable Bluetooth speaker that you could clip to a bag, take on a picnic or the beach, but I’ve found it to be one of the best shower speakers I’ve ever tried. Why? It’s crazy durable, truly waterproof and clips onto a showerhead or shower rod and basically disappears.

But it wasn’t my decision to test it, actually. I was showering at a friend’s place when he said, “I’ll put on some music” and the bathroom was filled with a rich, impressive sound. The bass is surprisingly deep for such a compact device, and the highs are crisp and well-defined. I thought, for sure, he had the bathroom wired or at the very least, a full Sonos system set up. Turns out, it was just this little guy. He said he’s had it for a while and it’s given him no trouble.

What’s really nice is that the oversized buttons built into the front of the speaker allow you to control the volume or change songs without having to fiddle with complicated interfaces or tiny, hard-to-reach buttons. Plus, the playback is about 10 to 12 hours on a single change. Even if you play it throughout your entire morning routine, that still gets you about two weeks before you need to recharge the battery. Especially going into a season when these little speakers come in handy, this is one that you’ll use all summer long and then continue using it everyday in your shower afterwards.


Clip 4 speaker,
$70 / $59.95 by JBL

*** Smart Buys ***
Smart Buys

The sales and discounts our team is currently watching.


This classically rugged T-shirt from Carhartt is already affordable, but now that it’s on sale, picking one up is a no-brainer for the coming summer.

$19.99 / $14.99
by Carhartt


Designed with comfort in mind, these wide-wale corduroy shorts feature an elastic waistband and generous pockets. And the minty green color is great for spring.

$68 / $29.99
by Madewell


The great thing about this durable take on the chukka boot is that it can handle the office just as easily as the outdoors. And now, the boot with the modern wedge sole is on sale.

$195 / $156
by Rhodes


Ralph Lauren’s legendary Polo scent is reinvented with a new fresh intensity. This deep blend of citrus and sage is balanced with a warm, and lasting scent of patchouli.

$128 / $76.50
by Ralph Lauren


These lightweight shorts are designed in either a 5-inch or 7-inch inseam and are lightweight and stretchy. Ideal for running or training and now, they’re on sale for 25% off.

$68 / $49
by Lululemon


This small lamp is easy and portable, thanks to its rechargeable battery and cordless design. The LED bulb is dimmable and at its brightest setting, you’ll get about five hours.

$35 / $29.99
by OneWish


Want more?
See all 38 sales »

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February 3

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