Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fall/Winter Collection

Fall is almost behind us so it seemed as good a time as any to introduce a fall collection of shirts. It’s a small collection, but a diverse mix of shirts that are part England/part Virginia.

The Starks Gingham

First off, the Starks Gingham. We took the popular summer Starks Gingham and added two new patterns for the fall colors. We love this shirt and have trouble keeping it on the shelves. The fabric is Italian woven 100s poplin that’s heavier in weight and smooth in texture. It’s a tight weave, which makes it naturally wrinkle resistant. As an added bonus, like most poplins, it gets softer and softer after each wash.

Perhaps my favorite detail of the Starks is the collar. We have introduced the Ledbury Spread on a handful of shirts this fall. It’s a true spread collar, which I think makes it great for wear casual. And if you are going to wear it with a tie (make it a solid), the bolder spread compliments the bolder pattern.

(And this is a little neurotic so skip ahead if you have more pressing demands on your time, but we designed the collar with the intention of having a nice little roll to it. The roll is dictated by the height of the collar band, the length of the points, fusing, the placement of the collar stays, etc. Long story short, when the collar breaks in there should be a roll to it that somewhat resembles the roll of button collar. Sort of a cursive L shape. You can help the process along (and this is certainly over the top) by putting pressure outward and up on the base of the color points when you first put it on in the morning.

The Gentry Check

Next is the Gentry Check. A great casual shirt made with a lightweight Zephir fabric from Thomas Mason. The shirt’s weight makes it a good one to be worn under a sweater or blazer in the winter. Deep fall colors are accented by small white checks and from a distance give the shirt an appearance of a solid. Great all around casual winter shirts.

The Huntsman

The last shirt, and probably my favorite, is The Huntsman. It’s a limited edition, patterned off of an old work shirt that I inherited from my grandfather’s closet. Moleskin is an incredibly comfortable cotton fabric, woven from fine threads of long staple cotton and then sheared to create a short soft texture on one side. Most mills make moleskin for pants and jackets, which can be bulky and consequently, we had to do searching to find just the right stuff. We finally tracked down a perfect roll from a small Italian mill near Como. Dark blue, mid-weight and incredibly soft, it’s a perfect shirting fabric. Constructed with double breast pockets, a mid-spread collar and finished with mother of pearl buttons. It’s the most comfortable thing we have ever done.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Around the house

So I thought that I would take a little tour around the house and see if I could find anything of interest. The interest level is certainly debatable, but I thought a few were worth a mention.


I have always thought that a watch has a certain heirloom quality to it. I am attracted to the idea of wearing something that my father/grandfather wore while he was building a career, raising his family, etc. I think a good watch is one of those few pieces that can connect generations of men and consequently, a nice one justified.

Waltman Pocket watch: 1886

Omega Seamaster: 1967

Citizen Chronograph: 2003


I started carrying around a pen after college. I found that it accomplished two things: First, if it held a little value, I wouldn’t loose it. I’ve left hundreds of Bics on countertops and dashboards, but the financial incentive has kept these in my pocket for years. Secondly, It gave people the impression that I was more put together than actually is the case…I found, at times, this can be helpful…

Cartier Pen

Hand written notes

Very few people take the time to write handwritten notes anymore, consequently I'm always surprised/impressed when I receive one. I have a wall in my house dedicated to framed notes like the one below from one of Ledbury’s first investors.


Appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Ledbury experience. Super 120s will no longer be an exotic menthol, but rather a fine Ledbury garment.


The Record Collection

I got my hands first turntable when I was 12, which came with a box full of my parents Motown records. Ever since then a record player been a fixture in my house/apartment . Why the records that have been played on have ranged from Motown to 90s Hip Hop to Techno (blame the late 90s). Today it’s mostly a mixture of 40-60s Jazz and early blues.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

4 Ties

I consider myself lucky that a tie has never been a demand of my professional wardrobe. More often then not, I have been able to get away a button down shirt and a blazer or a suit if the occasion demands it. And it's not that I do not like ties. Some men turn them into a great compliment. I have just found that a tie makes me look like a waiter or in the case of a bowtie, a ventriloquist’s dummy. At a wedding I recently attended (black tie), two people at my table gave me their drink orders before I was able to take my seat.

But, on occasion a tie is a great and necessary addition. So in a closet of dozens of shirts I have four. Two are Hermes (navy blue and maroon) and between them I feel like I have almost every occasion covered. The other two are 80s classics that I took out on long-term loan from my father’s closet years ago. The first comes out only in November and says “Democracy is not a spectator sport” the second is from Ronald Regan’s 84” campaign and say REAGAN. The latter is a classic, but now wears a little far to the right. I have been hoping that a few years in the closet it will straighten it back down the center…

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The New Addition

The Brother-in-law, the newest addition to the family and Ledbury. Loving everything about this photo….

Monday, July 19, 2010

Great Music, Right Price

So I thought Sunday afternoon was as good a time as any to share a couple of good sources of music. As an added bonus, both are free, which as a struggling shirtmaker I have always appreciated.

1. Truth and Soul Podcast (itunes): .

Truth and Soul Records has been around for since 2004 and much like Daptone Records (of Sharon Jones fame) they put out soul/funk music that sounds like the greats from 60s. (Lee Fields, one of the artists on the label, could easily share the stage with James Brown).

The podcasts are around an hour long and consists mostly of rare funk and the occasional Latin gem from the 1960s. It’s an impressive collection. Download the Latin Workout, get about 4 minutes in and you will know exactly what I am talking about.…

2. Holiday Records (

Stumbled on these guys a couple of months ago. The way it works is each Friday (this can vary), one of the members of the nuvo-surf band The Drums puts up a few songs for free download. Its fairly obscure stuff. There’s a Russian band, Palms on Fire ( ) that makes 60s surf music, a French band that sounds like The Cure , and a group out of London called the Notes ( ) which I think have huge potential. Some great finds and an interesting concept.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Shoot

We’re a young business and the idea of paying top dollar for models is not necessarily appealing. So you will have to forgive us for the shots of with cut off heads/faces, which are all of our friends/wives/etc.. But, in all honesty, with photography I prefer to focus on the product. The shots of Mathew McConaughey, shirt off, staring at you from the pages of GQ has always prompted me to put down the magazine rather than pick up the product.

That being said, we needed some photography and someone to wear the shirts. So about a month ago I was at an engagement party for a good friend and struck up a conversation with his father who is old neighbor of mine. Halfway through a casual conversation, it stuck me that he would be a great fit for the shoot. A fact, that I quietly mentioned to my girlfriend, who then proceed to tell him that “I wanted to take his photo”…. a comment that prompted a defense that its not as creepy as she made it sound….a point that was followed by awkward silence and another trip to the bar.

But, he had such a great look that I followed up a couple of weeks later and he agreed to give it a try. And I could not be more pleased with the result. We spent the afternoon in Jackson Ward (see below) and he was a natural. At the end of the shoot our photographer basically asked if he could represent him...

Thanks to Mr. Banks of Banks Coin Laundry and Chris from Comfort for letting us their space. The shoot was followed by dinner at the latter, which is quite possibly the best restaurant in Richmond.

Broad Street/Jackson Ward/Pop-up Shops

One of my favorite areas of Richmond is called Jackson Ward.. It‘s just North of Broad street, which at one point was the epicenter of Richmond retail and commerce. It’s about 10-block area that following the civil war became an epicenter of entrepreneurism/music/culture. I spoke to someone recently compared it to the Harlem during the renaissance of the 1920s/30s. One of the most interesting aspects of Jackson ward is the architecture that is a mixture of residential and retail from the 1850s-1920s. It has fallen on hard times over the last quarter of a century, but over the last 5 years and group of art galleries/developers/restaurateurs have moved in and have managed to stimulate a small revival. A First Friday’s Art Walk now brings thousands of residents to the area the first Friday of the month.

So we decided to get involved and throw together a pop-up store a couple of Friday’s back. We had a couple of coolers of Urbock Stout (Bacon Beer) left over from a beer tasting a few of weeks back and set up shop for the evening. We teamed up with Eurotrash, which in my opinion is the best woman’s boutique in the city, and threw a party. We had an open bar and appreciated the chance to put some volume behind the new Black Keys album and some early Elmore James that’s been on repeat for the better part of a year. About 200 people come through door. A good night….

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Staple Singers

It's Sunday morning. It feels appropriate.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


It gets hot in Virginia in the summer. After nearly a decade away I had somehow forgotten this fact, which is perhaps how I ended up in an apartment without central air (in retrospect a mistake) . But, even with the heat it’s a rarity that I’m going to break out the shorts and I’m not quite prepared for the short sleeve button down. So the overall goal of the Summer Collection was to make some light, breathable shirts.

I’m a big fan of Oxford Cloth, but an Oxford makes for a heavier shirt in the summer and needs a few washes to wear in. So we wanted a white casual shirt and went with the lighter pinpoint with a button down collar. It’s a classic American casual shirt that’s great for the summer.

Iceland vs. Ledbury

I have always been a big fan of Iceland. The people are friendly, the women are beautiful and there’s great nightlife…. So until late 2007 it seemed like the country had all figured out. Then, an Icelandic banking collapse nearly took down the entire global financial system. But, we all make mistakes, so I had forgiven the small island nation and looked forward to a trip to Reykjavik with a stronger dollar. But then, out of nowhere an Icelandic volcano erupts, sending an ash cloud over Europe and basically shutting down intercontinental commerce. Now, I’m not sure if these events are a sign of Iceland’s imitate invasion of Europe, but I mention them because Iceland, and its deviant behavior, played a part in turning the Ledbury Spring Collection into the Summer Collection.

So after a slight delay, I’m pleased to report that the Summer Collection has arrived….

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good Things

Navy Gingham (soon to be available Summer Collection) + Mint Condition 63 White Vespa = Perfection


In a bizarre twist of fate the same night as the Ledbury D.C. Launch Party, my college roommate Austin and his band Suckers where playing a sold out show with Local Natives at Rock and Roll hotel a couple of miles down the road. The launch party went late so I was not heard down to see the show, but I have heard nothing but positive things.

I’ve been listening to Austin and his cousin Quinn play together since their first album as The Noise about 8 years ago and I have always been widely impressed. Now as Suckers, with band mates Brain and Pan they’re in top form…and the press seems to agree with strong reviews from everyone from Rolling Stone (Hotlist) to Pitchfork to MTV (2010 Artist to Watch).

So the debut Album is out on June 8th and I would highly encourage you to pick it up (, itunes, wherever). They have a unique sound and a creative approach that I have no doubt will lead to big things in 2010 and beyond.

Monday, May 10, 2010

D.C. Launch (Cont)

Thanks to everyone who came out to the D.C. launch party last Wednesday at the Ledbury Pop-up in Georgetown. It was a great night and we had over 300 people (and a few animals) come through the door. A banjo, a fiddle, a full bar and packed changing rooms. Special thanks to Tucker for putting it all together and all of those in D.C. who spread the word. We appreciate the hospitability and looking forward to heading back that way.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Washington D.C. Launch

Looking forward to heading up to D.C. next Wednesday for the launch Georgetown pop-up store. Have a great empty retail space and we are kitting out with all of our antiques, photos, taxidermy, shirts etc…. going to have a little live bluegrass, a couple of drinks friends and customers and preview the Spring collection. Should be a good night and it would be great to see you there. If you would like to join please RSVP to Tucker at

Urban daddy was nice enough to do a little piece on the pop-up today. See below:



The law says you have to wear shirts.

Taste says you should try to wear nice ones.

And because the process of acquiring them should be as painless as possible, we wanted to let you know about a place with some taxidermy on the walls. One where you'll hear the sweet sounds of bluegrass and, oh yeah, the clink of ice cubes inside a gratis glass of whiskey...

Introducing the
Ledbury Shirts Pop-Up Store, coming to Georgetown next Wednesday to put some cocktailing into clothing yourself.

Upon arrival, you'll find you've gone back in time about a century, and moved a few clicks farther from the Mason-Dixon line. Instead of sterile racks of shirts, you'll see saddles, vintage maps of London and late-1800s photos of Richmond, all shipped up from Ledbury's tobacco-warehouse-turned-showroom. (Blame the Surgeon General.) You'll order up a bourbon from the bar in one corner and take in the stylings of the bluegrass banjo player in the other. Presumably, you should expect the Kentucky delegation to walk in shortly thereafter.

Then, and only then, will you begin to peruse the tables of smart summer shirts, the kind that Faulkner might have worn while contemplating the eccentricities of his family. As for your two Southern shirtmakers, they met at Oxford before apprenticing with one of London's top tailors and hatching their plan at a pub on Ledbury Road.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Richmond Retail (1860-1950)

There is no shortage of history in Richmond and that’s one of the things that I like most about this city… The majority of the current buildings were built in the 19th/early 20th centuries (the Ledbury showroom was built in 1866)… There has been a strong push for re-urbanization over the last 5 years and much of the buildings have been preserved and tastefully updated.. Tobacco warehouses have been turned into condos and box factories are now art galleries. The movement back downtown has been slow, but organic (there is not an TGI Friday’s within 10 miles of downtown) I’m a strong believer that we are decade away from being one of the great American cities if the push continues… (more on this to follow)

I had lunch at the Valentine Richmond History Museum a couple of weeks back and could not have been more impressed with the collection. Besides possessing one of the largest textile collections in America (think George Washington’s Cane, Robert E. Lee’s boots) there photo archive of Richmond is extensive… So as a new Richmond retailer, I thought we would give a little nod to the past and start a small collection of 19/20 century photographs Richmond men’s retailers.. the following prints are a small sample of Richmond tailors, cobblers, haberdashers over the last 150 years….


Miami for the weekend…. Good times and a little warm warmer weather.. Highlights... Good Cuban at La Sandwicherie (14th and Washington), some live Brazilian funk at Bardot and working with a view…

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Over dinner on Friday between the appetizer and a shooting outside the conversation turned to things that we purchase and have managed to hold up over time. We came up with a decent list around the table, but we’re all surprised at how short it actually was. I thought I would share a few…..

Ariat Rambler Boots (2005)

The best pair of boots that I have owned. I've had them for five years, wear them most every day in the winter and the sole is still in great condition. Incredibly comfortable and will surely buy another pair if the unimaginable day comes where these ever wear out.

Omega Seamaster (1967)

My first raise worth remembering went directly into watch. I took a gamble and went to an antique store on Portobello Road in Notting Hill. I had my eye on it for awhile. '67, black dial, simple black band and manual hand wind. Six years (well 43) and has not lost a minute, except for a dance floor related incident that briefly cracked the dial…

Volvo S70 (1998)

My first year after college I made two major investments. For some reason at 22, I thought I needed a California King size bed and family sedan favored by soccer moms and college professors. What I failed to factor into my pre-investment due-diligence was that nine months after making both purchases I would move to England… but where the bed still remains too large to fit into my current apartment, the car is back on the road and could not be working better. Black, '98, the last year of the box frame (I argue a classic look) and 100,000 miles as of this weekend. Have not had a single problem to date, except for the BMW that I backed into six-months back…

Leather Portfolio (1963)

A year ago at the farm, I was digging through the basement came across my father’s college portfolio. Beautiful leather, monogrammed and since we share the same initials I figured I would put it too use. It’s been a great addition. Clasp still works and leather is only getting softer with time. It happens to fit a 13.5” MacBook perfectly. Another recent purchase that I managed to run over with number three, a week after I got it….