Wear it over a well-tailored suit, a casual t-shirt, or alongside a splash of denim, the oxford shirt is destined to stand out. A timeless fabric that remains a classic among designers and customers, the soft and welcoming oxford harnesses the ability to add a sense of casualness to one’s otherwise formal attire.
History of the Oxford
While one may presume the fabric derives its name from the eponymous English city, its origins lie in 19th century Scotland. Experimenting with numerous weaves, at the time, to produce original fabrics, local mills in the maritime nation produced cloths named after the four prestigious universities of our time: Yale, Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford.
(Classic Brooks Brother Oxford Button Down Shirt)
While the other weaves have faded into obscurity, it is the oxford that has stood the test of time. Mostly, owing to the contributions to Brooks Brothers, the oldest men’s clothing brand in the United States. After noticing how English Polo Players pinned their collars downs to avoid its flapping, it was John E. Brooks in 1896 who envisioned the idea of buttoning down the collars on their shirts to produce the same result.
His ingenuity resulted in the production of the oxford shirt, which soon made its way out of the playing field and into the streets, paired with a tie or a jacket, adding a sense of casualness to one’s formal look. The enduring oxford hit its peak in the 20th century and has only grown more versatile since, supplementing itself to the evolution of men’s fashion from the time of its inception.
Why An Oxford?
If the fabric’s storied history wasn’t convincing enough to purchase an oxford shirt, its warmth and embrace will surely make you think otherwise. Crafted from a thick, woven cloth the oxford’s versatility is unparalleled when compared to other shirt fabrics. Commonly purchased in shades of blue, red, pink, and white, the shirt’s soft yet solid construction allows one to pair it with a multitude of trousers, worn either with the sleeves down or rolled up for a relatively enticing look.
[Left: Cardinal Black Oxford Solid Shirt (Half-Sleeves), Right: Cassidy Tan Oxford Solid Shirt]
Modest when compared to the sharpness of a formal dress shirt and unwavering when contrasted with a casual flannel shirt, the Oxford offers a desirable balance between a smart and appealing aesthetic. Moreover, the shirt’s universality vis-à-vis its traditional fitting and designs, allows for it to be worn at a formal setting followed by a night out with your best mates at a local pub. “It works well with a button-down collar and button cuff, but also looks great worn open, with a traditional collar and button cuff,” says Emma Willis, a shirt-maker, speaking to FASHIONBEANS.
What To Know Before Purchasing?
Several factors are to be considered when purchasing an Oxford. Fortunately, our esteemed Oxford collection offers you the finest shirts crafted from the elegant fabric. Tailored to your needs, our Oxford designs are made from pure fabrics that are bound to provide you with meticulous cuts suited to your personality.
Visually distinguishing between an oxford shirt crafted from cotton or blended with artificial fibers such as polyester can get a bit tricky at times. However, a marker for contrast emerges from the Oxford’s resonance in delivering a soft, comfortable, breathable, and enduring cut.
A pure cotton oxford shirt is bound to add a layer of depth to the fitting, delivering a pleasant feel whilst keeping you active and cool on a humid afternoon.
[Left: Gemini Green Oxford Solid (Half-Sleeves), Right: Wolven Grey Oxford Solid]
Having catered to the needs of the everyman since its inception, one is bound to find an oxford shirt suited to their aesthetic. Our assorted collection of Oxford Solids offers a wardrobe suffused with inclusivity, catering to subjective aesthetics, in delivering a neat form throughout the design.
[Left: Jazz Green Oxford Solid (Half-Sleeves), Right: Persian Blue Oxford Solid (Half-Sleeves)]
Available in a multitude of collars, an Oxford shirt’s gravitas is considerably lifted when paired with a collar suitable to the overall design. While a roll collar remains the most commonly used in a traditional Oxford shirt, a cut-away and straight collar are likely to add an air of casualness to your look.
[Left: Nordic Grey Oxford Solid (Half-Sleeves), Right: Wayfarer's Pink Oxford Solid]
Keep to the traditions of the Oxford with standard buttoned cuffs. A tricky French cuff is a likely comprise on the elegance of design while a single or double buttoned cuff is resistant and bound to add a layer of coherence to your look.