What is an Oxford Shirt?


When it comes to men’s dress shirts, many individuals need clarification. Men’s fashion involves various designs, styles, materials, and collars. Wearing the incorrect point on your collar frequently results in getting turned away from formal events or not being taken seriously in crucial business meetings. Recently, there has been a lot of hype about oxford shirts, and prices have increased accordingly. Similar advancements in men’s fashion allow for more relaxed attire in professional settings. This article will help clear out some misunderstandings about Oxford shirts. After reading this article, you will be well-versed in the distinctions between dress and Oxford shirts and the appropriate occasions to wear each. You’ve undoubtedly worn one before and had one in your closet, but what exactly is an Oxford shirt? How does it vary from a dress shirt, exactly?

What is an Oxford Shirt?

Simply put, an Oxford shirt is a formal shirt constructed of Oxford material, which first appeared in Scotland in the 19th century. Although there are many different types of Oxford fabrics, the traditional Oxford that comes to mind is a 100% Cotton fabric that feels robust, long-lasting, and wrinkle-resistant. The material is incredibly adaptable despite being seen as a casual and sporting fabric. These shirts can be worn to various events, given the more informal nature of our lifestyles. The Oxford shirt is an incredibly flexible piece of apparel that can be worn for any occasion. Oxford shirts are made of an Oxford cloth fabric, which gives them their name. Oxford shirts are distinguished by their distinctive fabric weave and their long history.

The Oxford shirt’s unique weave design is where it all started. To begin with, two distinct yarns were basket-woven together to provide a particular gloss. In addition to unique weaves named after each of the four prestigious British universities—Oxford, Yale, Cambridge, and Harvard—this “Oxford weave .”The Oxford shirt owes its fame to British polo players, while the other jerseys have vanished into obscurity. They liked how the Oxford shirt was made of a lightweight but sturdy fabric. These polo players attached buttons to the collars of their shirts to prevent them from flapping in the wind due to the high-speed horseback riding of the sport.

It has a rougher, heavier basket weave compared to most conventional dress shirt fabrics. Oxford fabric is more formal than flannels but tends to be rigid and keep their shape. Oxford shirts often provide a lot of styling options. They can be worn with chinos for a polished, laid-back appearance or even with a suit jacket and trousers. They are suitable for many dress codes and can be worn in almost any circumstance.

The History of Oxford Shirt

The Oxford shirt’s origins can be traced to Scotland, India, and the American East Coast before becoming a staple in every man’s wardrobe. Like many other textile innovations, the Oxford weave was created in Scotland. It was initially intended to be a formal dress shirt. However, due to its robustness and reasonable pricing, it gained favor with a broader audience. The shirt gained popularity among the English soldiers stationed in India after they learned how well it worked while playing polo. The Oxford shirt was ideal for the weather because of the fabric’s capacity to breathe, keep you cool, and keep you dressed 


It was rapidly linked to the Ivy League and Preppy style when first introduced in the United States. Here, it was put to service as the official dress shirt for which it was initially designed. The button-down feature was also extensively adopted; English polo players used it to cleverly keep the collar away from their faces. The button-down style was discovered by a specific John E. Brooks while traveling through England. The Oxford Cloth Button Down Shirt, or OCBD, currently one of the most fashionable looks for an Oxford shirt, was the product of an invention he brought to the United States and began producing.

This shirt is so well-liked in the States because it offers the unusual combination of a sturdy shirt that looks good with a blazer and a tie and for summertime leisure. The fabric’s ability to combine flexibility and durability with a thicker variety less likely to wrinkle increases its appeal. This trait is as significant as its variety.

What are the Key Features of Oxford Shirt?

Let’s look deeper at the fundamental characteristics that set an Oxford shirt apart from other men’s apparel.

1. Button-down collar

The collar is kept in place and from flapping around thanks to the button-down collar, which also gives a touch of sophistication. The Oxford shirt collar can be buttoned down, which is typically the easiest method to distinguish between a “regular” dress shirt and an Oxford shirt. In contrast to the Oxford shirt, which has a somewhat narrower collar gap, a typical dress shirt does not allow you to button down the collar, and the collar is slightly wider apart.

2. Oxford cloth

The Oxford cloth material has outstanding durability and is soft and breathable. You can wear it all year long and stay comfortable in any season. The fabric is the primary distinction between Oxford and standard shirts. Oxford shirts typically feel heavier and may appear “less formal” since they lack the sheen or shine that a conventional dress shirt could have. Oxford cloth, typically cotton, is the material used to make Oxford shirts; however, some are now made using polyester and rayon. Dress shirts can be made of various materials, although they are typically 100% cotton. The sheen typically noticed with new dress shirts depends on the yarn and/or cloth used.

3. Back pleat or box pleat

Some Oxford shirts have box pleats or back pleats, which allow for more flexibility and improve the shirt’s overall fit.

4. Left chest pocket

A left chest pocket is a common feature of Oxford shirts, offering a laid-back and helpful touch.

5. Relaxed Elegance

Oxford shirts are appropriate for various circumstances, from business meetings to laid-back social gatherings, because they balance casual and sophisticated.

Types of Oxford Shirts

Oxford shirts are available in a variety of styles to accommodate diverse tastes. Here are a few well-liked types:

1. Traditional Oxford shirts

  These are the traditional Oxford shirts, which have a timeless design and solid colors. They are a sure thing for any event. It has a single chest pocket, a button-down collar, and a straightforward, classic style. It is appropriate for both informal and semi-formal settings.

2. Oxford Cloth Button-Down

Oxford fabric button-down (OCBD) shirts are distinguished by their button-down collar and loose, comfy fit. They give your attire a relaxed appeal.

3. Patterned Oxford shirts

Choose Oxford shirts with stripes, checks, or other patterns if you want to give your wardrobe some personality.

4. Oxford Slim Fit

Oxford shirts are offered in both slim-fit and regular-fit variations. While the regular fit has a more relaxed and comfier vibe, the slim fit gives a more contemporary and tailored silhouette.

5. Double Collared Style

Some Oxford shirts feature a double-neck style thanks to an additional layer of fabric at the collar. This gives the shirt’s appearance a special touch.

How to Wear an Oxford Shirt in a Fashionable Way

Oxford shirts are very versatile, which is one of the reasons they are so well-liked. It can still be worn in various circumstances, even though it won’t pass muster in the most formal settings like a dress shirt. Oxford shirts might be your go-to option when dressing up for formal occasions, and they can be a terrific option for a more casual look. Here are some examples of stylings:

1. Pair it with contrasting colors.

By dressing in contrasting colors, you can heighten the formality. Utilize blue suits, white shirts, and burgundy accents together. To make the shirt more formal, you can also wear a tie. For a classy appearance, wear it with dress pants and leather shoes. If the dress code requires one, wear a tie.

2. Made it formal with vests and blazers.

The shirt is always made more formal with vests and blazers. Add a blazer or sports coat to elevate your look. Dress slacks, a jacket, and an Oxford shirt convey sophistication.

3. Combine it with chinos or jeans for a versatile and cozy everyday look.

It looks best with a fitted pair of pants and an unstructured blazer to avoid appearing under or overdressed. Get creative; you may layer it under a tailored suit with an open-top button and no tie or wear it with blue pants, a light Oxford, a khaki-colored tailored sports jacket, or a grey coat.

4. Tuck and roll for a more casual look.

You can wear the Oxford for the ideal smart-casual outfit for a sporty-casual look. Intelligent casual may be challenging because you must figure out how far to take it or where to draw the line. It looks good to wear a light blue Oxford shirt out of the tuck over dark wash pants. Putting on a pair of chinos and a brown leather coat also works. Roll up the sleeves of your Oxford shirt to create a casual style that’s ideal for the weekend.

5. Pair it with a dark sneaker or casual loafers

Cuff the bottom of the pants on that fitted suit at the ankle, then put on the Oxford shirt and a pair of dark sneakers or casual loafers. During the cold season, add another layer by wearing it with a cardigan or sweater. This gives your ensemble more depth and substance.


The Oxford shirt has established itself as a wardrobe must for several reasons. Its unequaled adaptability is its top quality. The Oxford shirt will cover whether you’re heading to a formal function or a casual trip. It may be dressed up or down quickly and easily transitions between several dress codes. The Oxford shirt’s classic design guarantees that it will always be in style. Its straightforward yet elegant design makes it a dependable option for any situation. Additionally, it comes in various colors and patterns, letting you express your unique style while preserving a classic appearance.

The Oxford shirt is ordinarily appropriate for very formal occasions as one kind of men’s dress shirt. Oxford shirts are frequently worn at informal business meetings, regular office attire, and even weddings if you’re a visitor rather than a groomsman or usher because recent culture has shifted toward a more relaxed dress code.