Enter Lands' End, my favorite online source for honest and simple items like these. I picked up two recently, for less than $25 each.
One in soft pink royal oxford, a dressier version of the sturdy old oxford cloth, with a touch of sheen. It's a well made shirt of good fabric with thick buttons and a knock out collar roll. Certainly as good as the standard shirts offered at Brooks Brothers these days, and probably better than many of the shirts at that awful outlet store.
The other is a navy and hunter green tattersall check in soft twill, a bit heavier and great for Fall with a tweed jacket or wool sweater, Again, the collar roll is a huge selling point.
Shirts can be surprisingly hard to come by if you're like me and shopping regular retail is out of the question. Brooks Brothers frequently offers $3/$200, which isn't bad, I guess. But $200 is a big chunk out of my weeks wage. Mercer makes a great shirt, and so does the Andover Shop, but again, those are not even on my financial radar. Off price stores like TJ Maxx might have something, if you're lucky, but then you have to suffer the experience of shopping there. Not my thing.
Of course, there's always the thrift shops, which we all know have served me well, but that can be a crap shoot. Besides the randomness factor, there's the wear and tear. Shirts are made of thinner fabric that most other clothing and suffer more wear, being close to the body. Additionally, they get washed frequently in hot water, starched and pressed.Old shirts are great, and thrift stores offer the possibility of getting old styles that are no longer available But the shirts will already be worn, and likely won't last that long, certainly not as long as a new one. Thrift shops are great for finding a wonderful old tweed jacket or well made pair of shoes, but shirts get worn, get worn out, then get tossed.
The shirts I got from Lands' End are honest good shirts. They aren't especially spectacular, but they're well made and styled traditionally. Sure. they may be made in China, but they also only cost a fraction of what some other makers are charging for similar quality. If you're a man of modest means who wears dress shirts with some frequency, these shirts are a steal. Save the big money for long lasting tailored clothing you can hand down to your sons. Shirts should always be good, but they don't need to be so precious.
p.s. Shop News. Occasionally, I get an item to sell that is rare enough that I will auction it rather than sell it through the store, such as the vintage morning suit I recently acquired. Items like these will be listed on Ebay. Any current Ebay auctions I'm offering will be visible through links in the sidebar at right Thanks.