Whilst HommeStyler is a lot about the latest and best in men’s fashion, we believe that the basics of men’s fashion is something that needs to be burned into the brains of every man. So this Men’s Fashion Basics series is exactly about this, where we revisit a basic item in menswear.
The Oxford Shirt
The Oxford Shirt is basically a dress shirt made from the Oxford cloth. (And yes, it’s named after the university.) The advantage of the oxford cloth is that it’s very durable. That said, if it’s 100% cotton, it’ll wrinkle very easily. So the Oxford shirt’s best friend is the iron. If you don’t like ironing, then look out for a synthetic blend – the less cotton there is, the less wrinkly it will be. Never wear an Oxford shirt straight out of the dryer.
Regardless of the shirt blend, all oxford shirts have a basket weave where two finer yarns are woven against a heavier yarn – and it’s this contrast that gives Oxford shirts its distinct pattern.
Oxford Shirt in Detail (click to enlarge and see the patterns)
Because Oxford shirts have this distinct pattern, most designers will keep Oxford shirts simple in terms of print. You’ll see Ralph Lauren make Oxford shirts in a single colour or stripped. Oxford shirts are inherently a bit formal, so to make it more casual, simply rolling up the sleeves will do the trick.
The Oxford shirt is a basic menswear piece so it’s handy to have it in classic colours like white (perfect with dark denim jeans and a brown belt), blue and stripped. To try something new, a pink Oxford shirt will really show off the details of the pattern.