The Oxford shirt is one of those classic wardrobe items that should be a staple piece of any man’s fashion collection. Great for smart-casual business wear or when you need to smarten things up without going fully formal – we think that the versatility of an Oxford shirt makes it essential for any man to have at least one.
Dating back to the 19th century the Oxford shirt has an interesting history
You might think that given its name the Oxford shirt hails from Oxford, England so you might be surprised to learn that it actually originates from Scotland. A mill trying to get ahead of its competition rather cleverly decided to make four different shirts using different weave and warp techniques and named them after the iconic universities of the day – Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale.
Out of the four designs, only the Oxford shirt has stood the test of time and remains with us today, although the design has been modified for today’s gentlemen.
Back at the turn of the last century, shirts were expensive and considered a luxury for many. In an attempt to make shirts last as long as possible, they would have had detachable collars and cuffs that would be made from a cheaper material and could be replaced when necessary.
These days the Oxford shirt comes in two different styles
As cost isn’t such a factor in the 21st century, the need for detachable collars has been left behind, and now we have two different styles of Oxford shirt – the button-down collar, and the traditional pointed collar.
The button-down collar came into fashion when the Oxford shirt became a part of the polo player’s uniform. In part due to the breathability of the cotton fabric, but also because the collar could be buttoned down to avoid it flapping into the faces of the players during a match.
It remains a firm favourite for smart-casual occasions today.
You can just as easily wear an Oxford shirt for a night on the town as you can for a day in the office
It’s the versatility of the Oxford shirt that makes it such an essential classic. It looks great under a suit with loafers or teamed up with a blazer and jeans combo. In fact, the only limit to how and when to wear an Oxford shirt is the one that you decide to impose.
What is generally agreed is that there is a ‘holy trinity’ of Oxford shirt colours every man should have in his collection – white, sky blue and pink. It doesn’t matter whether the shirt is a solid colour or striped, those are the classic colours that have been proven over the years to work well.
Durability and comfort is why the Oxford shirt is still going so strong today
The breathability of the cotton fabric makes it comfortable to wear during hot and humid summer days while the weave of the shirt makes it highly resilient and long-lasting. We think that investing in at least one Oxford shirt for your wardrobe is essential – so make sure you take a look at our collection before you leave.