Every single guy reading this should have an Oxford in his wardrobe. Along with Chino’s and Jeans, Oxfords are the workhorse of your closet. I love my Oxfords. They are less formal than standard dress shirts, can be dressed up or down, and are perfect for a year-round wardrobe.
What is an oxford shirt?
Let’s start with a little history. The Oxford shirt was originally made in the 19th century in Scottish mills. The shirt became extremely popular in the 50s as an Ivy League staple and is probably the most popular men’s collared shirt today because of its ability to easily transform from casual to business casual wear.
What’s the difference between an oxford shirt and a dress shirt?
When the first Oxford shirt came out of the mills in the 1800’s formal shirts were really expensive. The less expensive oxford was a perfect option for the expanding middle class. When compared to dress shirts oxford shirts are made from a thicker basket weave fabric vs a fine cloth for a more formal dress shirt. The basket weave is made up of two types of yarn. One is woven lengthwise against a heavier yarn giving it a thicker feel and appearance. Oxford shirts have button collars compared to the stiff collar of the dress shirt.
If you’re going to be wearing a suit you should absolutely consider a proper dress shirt. It can be done, but pulling off an Oxford in anything other than a blazer is going to be a tall order. I would also consider alternatives like bomber, coach, or Harrington jackets.
Why should you add an oxford dress shirt to your wardrobe?
Because like I said earlier everyone should have one. But if you’re not going to take my word for it, here are some other reasons.
1. Oxfords can be worn with almost anything – Oxfords can be worn with wool pants, chinos, and jeans. You can throw on a lightweight jacket like a bomber or a nice v-neck merino sweater. Basically, anything you can think of. But as I said before think twice before pairing with a full suit.
2. More comfortable than dress shirts – The idea of wearing a dress shirt on the weekend with your favorite shorts is a non-starter for most of us. But a well worn in Oxford is almost as good as your favorite hoodie.
3. Can take a beating and keep on ticking – Because of the thicker fabric Oxfords are long lasting and will handle the abuse that would bring most dress shirts to their knees. That’s why a lot of manufacturers are starting to call their Oxfords ‘Everyday Shirts’.
What color oxford shirt should I own?
The common thought is to go with a white or light blue Oxford. I also like to throw in a navy or dark blue. The dark blue color looks great with lt beige or sand chinos, or your favorite dark wash or selvedge jeans.
How Should An Oxford Dress Shirt Fit?
Use our Dress Shirt Guide to help you get the best fit (coming soon).
The Best Mens Oxford Dress Shirts To Own
These designer options are my top choices for where to buy Oxfords. These Oxfords are made to the highest quality using the best materials. Expect to pay anywhere from $150-$200+ for a quality shirt.
I’ve scoured the internet looking for great quality Oxford shirts for a great price. These shirts still have nice cuts and are made from good materials. Price start as low as $50 and up.
J. Crew American Pima Cotton Oxford Shirt
Farnol Everyday Oxford Shirt
Drapeau Noir Oxford
Taylor Stitch The Jack Everyday Oxford
Buck Mason Perfect Oxford One Pocket Shirt
Asket The Oxford Shirt
Unrecorded Oxford Shirt
Three Outfit Ideas For How To Wear an Oxford Dress Shirt
1. Blazer: J. Crew Ludlow Legacy blazer in American wool ($350)
2. Shirt: J. Crew American Pima Cotton White Oxford ($50)
3. Jeans: J. Crew 770 Stretch Jeans in Indigo ($98)
4. Belt: J. Crew classic buckle belt ($45)
5. Shoes: J. Crew Ludlow Brogue Oxfords ($298)
6. Pocket Square: Tie Bar Craft Cotton Solid White Pocket Square ($10)
1. Shirt: J. Crew American Pima Cotton LT Blue Oxford Shirt ($50)
2. Shorts: NWKC 007 Charcoal Shorts ($112)
3. Sneakers: Oliver Cabell Low 1s White Sneakers ($178)
4. Cap: Varsity headwear Navy College Series Snapback Cap ($62)
1. Shirt: J. Crew American Pima cotton oxford shirt – Tonal Blue ($50)
2. T-Shirt: Alex Mill Standard Cotton Jersey T-Shirt- Navy ($55)
3. Denim: Rogue Territory Standard Issue 15 OZ ($240)
4. Shoes: Nike X J. Crew Killshot 2 ($90)
6. Belt: J. Crew classic buckle belt ($45)