I’ve had a few questions recently asking me about the Brooks Brothers Extra-Slim Fit OCBD (and quite a bit of Google search traffic on the topic), so I thought I’d write a brief sizing guide for everyone.
For context, I measure in at a 15” neck and 35” sleeve. This, however, is not the size I am in the Brooks Brothers Extra-Slim Fit OCBDs. In fact, I’m not the same size in all the different colors and styles (i.e.: “university stripes”) of the dress shirt, either.
The Brooks Brothers Extra-Slim Fit OCBD’s various fabric types all shrink differently and they manufacture different sleeve lengths to account for this. It took several returns and trials to figure out which fabrics would shrink and by how much.
I’m hoping to save you that trouble. Here’s what size shirt I buy in what fabric as a 15/35:
- White: 15.5/35 (I should’ve sized up to 15.5/36)
- Blue: 15.5/35
- Pink: 15.5/34
- Ecru: 15.5/34
- Red/Blue Striped: 15.5/34
Please note: I haven’t bought or tried the “yellow” OCBD (I’m half Asian and yellow looks terrible on me).
All these are for the Supima cotton, must-iron, made-in-the-U.S.A. OCBDs. This doesn’t apply to other shirts from Brooks Brothers, especially their non-iron shirts (for those, I’d suggest going true-to-size in neck and sleeve).
You’ll notice that I sized up 0.5” in the neck on all OCBDs. The cotton does shrink quite a bit on all these shirts, especially after several washes.
Some sleeves seem really long when you first get them, some are overly long for their size (hence why I sized down 1” on some). The only shirt I’d maybe consider sizing up on would be the white OCBD — that fabric shrinks the most of any of them.
I would also note that after washing them a few times, I’ve had my shirts actually tapered in the chest and arms, too, to get rid of the billowing around the waist. A few things contribute to this, but it’s mainly the center-back pleat. Your local tailor should be able to alter them for $25 or less a shirt (which should encourage you to buy them on sale).
I was also asked if these shirts shrink too much from washing. In my experience, this hasn’t been the case, especially in the torso area (hence the alteration in the torso and arms). Brooks Brothers has a pretty great return policy, and you can even return items after you’ve washed them (I’ve done it in-person at a store).
My typical washing routine is cold water and then I put them in the dryer for 10-15 minutes, just to accelerate drying. You should (and probably should) do hang-dry only, but I find that a quick stint in the beginning with a dryer helps shrink the fabric properly and makes the fabric softer.
Finally, here’s the measurements (laid flat) on an unaltered 15.5/35 white OCBD that’s been washed multiple times, for your reference:
- Pit-to-Pit: 21”
- Waist: 19.5”
- Back of collar to hem: 29.75”
- Yolk: 17”
- Shoulder to Shoulder: 17.25”
- Top of shoulder to end of cuff: 25.25”
- Center back to end of cuff: 34.25”
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- elmerskijr said: "I’m half asian & yellow looks terrible on me" Fashion knee slappers!!! Thanks for this, I thought that was hilarious!!
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- badscene said: Thanks for explaining, I had to return one a while back and wish I had this sizing guide.
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- theodinspire said: Shirt Science!
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