Can a menswear startup known for its dress shirts impress with its weekend casual button downs? This review of Ledbury’s linen gingham shirt explores the company’s casual side.
From dress shirts to “Sunday Shirting”
Since Co-Founders Paul Watson and Paul Trible launched their Richmond, Virginia-based menswear startup in 2009, Ledbury has been one of my favorite men’s dress shirt destinations thanks to its unique, often-colorful and well-fitting options. (It’s also a solid option for neckties.)
Then the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out sales of dress shirts, neckties and other business wardrobe staples.
Ledbury has made it through the pandemic thanks to a loyal customer base and by doubling down on business casual and weekend attire.
I’ve enjoyed Ledbury’s “Sunday shirting” emails, which highlight a newly-released weekend button down shirt options from the company’s collection. (Sign up for emails from Ledbury to receive 15% off your first purchase.)
While office attire is making a comeback, I expect the new normal will also feature a lot more space to “dress for your day,” creating more opportunities for business casual.
Which is why I was excited to receive and review Ledbury’s Red Frazier Linen Gingham Casual Shirt. (Disclosure: I received the shirt for free from Ledbury.)
Review: Ledbury’s Red Frazier Linen Gingham Casual Shirt
The company’s linen shirts come in a variety of printed poplins, dusty plaids, and quirky bird patterns.
Oftentimes, Ledbury sources their fabrics from high-end European mills. In this case, the Red Frazier linen is sourced from Italy’s Albini Group, which traces its origins to 1876.
Ledbury has a knack for selecting bright colors and unique patterns in its shirts that I don’t see elsewhere. The rich red color popped online, and is even more appealing in person than it was on the website.
While linen shirts, known for being lightweight and breezy, are traditionally worn during the summer, Ledbury’s shirt has an almost autumnal look to it, and has enough heft, to take you into fall.
Reviewing Ledbury shirts’ fit
One of the things that I appreciate about Ledbury is that their shirts come in both classic and tailored fit, which provides a semi-custom feel for a variety of body types. I’ve found their tailored fit shirts fit me very well in the shoulders and chest off-the-rack.
However, Ledbury’s standard sleeve lengths begin at 34 inches. Those of us with shorter lengths have to add the option for sleeve shortening at an additional cost of $12.95 and an additional 3-5 day turnaround.
I like the shorter length of this particular shirt, which allows for wearing it tucked or untucked. (Happily, it’s not too short to wear tucked. Sometimes it’s hard to get that balance right.)
They also nailed the collar. Some brands pair a sport shirt with a flimsy collar, which gives otherwise nice shirts a disheveled appearance. Ledbury used their cutaway Alden shirt collar for this shirt, which includes a canvassed interlining to prevent “collar collapse.”
How much do Ledbury’s shirts cost?
Ledbury’s shirts cost between $89 and $185, though sales can bring prices down on certain selections to $59 or less.
At $185, Ledbury’s Red Frazier linen gingham casual shirt isn’t cheap, though you get what you pay for. Albini’s fabrics are expensive, and the pricing on this shirt is consistent with what you might pay for shirts by Black Lapel, Hamilton, Lanieri, Sid Mashburn, Todd Snyder, and other high-quality shirts made with Italian fabrics from storied mills.
The company tends to have pretty spectacular sales at regular intervals so, if price is an issue, you could check back in around the next holiday and hope your size isn’t sold out. (Ledbury’s Black Friday sale is particularly solid.)
Verdict: Ledbury’s casual shirts are worth the occasional splurge
As I wrote in a separate review of Ledbury, the company’s founders Paul Trible and Paul Watson built an impressive brand with a focus on their customers, which has helped them weather the COVID-19 crisis. Their clothes are impressively high-quality and (for me) well-fitting, and the brand is easy to get to know and love thanks to its dedicated omnichannel approach across the internet, mail and brick-and-mortar stores.
Their shirts are often unique and colorful without being garish, and are always impressively well-tailored.
With its casual shirting collection, Ledbury is a great resource for helping men navigate the new normal and dress smartly for their day.
What has your experience been with Ledbury’s shirts?
Share your experience with Ledbury in the comments.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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