• F.E. Castleberry for Jack Robie


    The year is 1995 and I'm dropping a pair of chinos off to my tailor (yes, I had a tailor at fourteen). I've carefully pinned scads of cotton chino swatches in hopes the patchwork chinos actually emerge from my mind's eye. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to design clothes. Over the course of my stint in high school, I would rip (I hated logo plastered clothing), stitch, and alter scores of pieces in my closet.

    It is with that excitement that I'm introducing this red gingham button down I designed for Jack Robie. Co-founder, Brad Corona and I first threw around the idea last spring while on location in Nantucket photographing their summer campaign. Not only did I want to introduce a red gingham sport shirt to their existing offering, more importantly, I wanted to design it for myself. Keeping the signature Jack Robie fit throughout the body, I added a left chest pocket, employed side pleats along the yoke (a master tailor once riffed to me on the box pleat's functional shortcomings)—a move which prompted the vertical orientation of the locker loop peeking out from under the collar—and a button down collar (a choice inspired by my habitual use of collar pins on my button down collars when wearing tie). The limited run of shirts are made of 100% narrow-loomed Japanese cotton and cut and sewn right here in the U.S.A.

    The shirt is currently available at JackRobie.com.

    Nov 2, 2011 | Permalink (18) Total Comments

    Snaaby left a comment on 11/8/2011 at 5:05 PM:

    Love the shirt! Need XXL.

    Sam left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 1:45 PM:

    This is really great, Fred.  Congratulations!

    Emmy left a comment on 11/4/2011 at 12:26 AM:

    This wasn’t photographed at Fordham University, was it?

    Richard Ross left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:02 PM:

    ‘Atta boy.

    B. L. Davis left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 9:31 PM:

    Fred:  Done.  Ordered a size (L), and I’m hoping that it fits well.  I’m concerned about the length in the body, but I’m willing to try it out to support you.  I’m 6’3”, and prefer to tuck my shirts in.  Hopefully it will work out.  Congratulations on the product launch.
    Most Sincerely, Ben

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 3:50 PM:

    @Hilton—this shade of red is going to look great framing the face of most men, despite variations in skin color, eye color, and hair color.

    Hilton left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 2:06 PM:

    Mr. Castleberry, What are your thoughts on red gingham and a man’s complexion? Would your shirt work on most men? Thank you.

    cam left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 1:09 PM:

    Thanks FEC. I was just a little confused. Congrats on the line and continued success!

    College Prepster left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 12:28 PM:

    You’re the best! Congratulations!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:30 AM:

    @AEV—This is a close up of the vertical locker loop.  Patchwork chinos would probably best be described by imagining a pair of chinos worn to hell and sewing on squares/patches of chino cotton in various shades of khaki to repair stress points like the seat and knees.  Using a collar pin in lieu of the buttons on a button down collar is just one my “winks” or quirks I use when getting dressed.

    @JRenee—I’m leaving that door open…

    @Benn—The gray flannel jacket is from Rugby and the square from Pochette Square

    @JASH—Is a 35.5” sleeve not long enough for you (assuming your neck is 16.5”)?

    @Kory—I’m so pleased to hear that the fit for your body is top drawer.  Wear in good health and thank you for your business.

    @Cam—The short answer is “yes.”  Some form of it has been with me since I was 14…and even really before that (I was wearing white jeans in the fifth grade). Of course now it is much more refined.

    AEV left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:18 AM:

    Fred - congrats on the shirt. We may disagree on many things you post on here but I appreciate your enterprising spirit a great deal and I’ve got no issues with crisp gingham shirts. A few questions, if you would be so kind:

    What’s a “vertical locker loop”? What are “patchwork chinos”? Why would you ever use a collar pin in lieu of the buttons you purposely added to the collar?

    Julie left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:16 AM:

    Congrats FEC!  I’m a fan of the ‘whole story’ so I appreciate hearing where your journey began.  Here’s to the first of many successful designs.  And thank you for eliminating logo plastered clothing!

    JRenee left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 11:03 AM:

    Will there ever be a day that you will design for the female kind? Just trying to manage my expectations.

    Benn left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 10:54 AM:

    Shirt looks awesome! Never thought you could wear one into fall, seemed more summer. But this looks good. On a side note, where are the jacket and pocket square from?

    JASH left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 10:11 AM:

    You once told me, “You have a thick neck, my friend.” I’m regrettably passing on these, not due to neck sizes, but sleeve lengths.

    Nonetheless, congratulations on the launch. The shirts look great and the details are on point.

    Kory left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 9:52 AM:

    Congrats Fred. The UPS guy just dropped mine off yesterday and of course it fits like a glove. I would not expect anything less from yourself and the guys at Jack Robie. Keep up the great work!

    ERIII left a comment on 11/3/2011 at 1:56 AM:

    Congratulations F.E.C!!! Great job! I can’t wait to buy one. Red gingham, yes!!!

    cam left a comment on 11/2/2011 at 11:07 PM:

    So the aesthetic of Unabashedly Prep has been your style since you were 14?