Being one of the most versatile shirts available, the Oxford shirt is a staple in any man’s wardrobe.
Its style, structure, and durability are some of its main features and with current fashion trends favouring the Oxford, we thought it best to explain what an ‘Oxford’ shirt really is, and more importantly, how and when one should be worn.
First of all, let’s start with the fabric weave. You’d be forgiven for not knowing your weaves, however, the way in which cotton is woven and the processes applied to it plays a vital part in the fabric’s structure, touch, and wear-ability — giving each shirt its unique character and style
A traditional office shirt is made of a soft poplin weave as it gives a smoother and almost silk-like finish, which works well with a suit in a traditional business environment.
However, that just doesn’t quite cut it for the non-office worker, and that’s exactly why the Oxford shirt was developed with durability at the heart of its creation.
It was one of many experimental weaves created by the fabric mills of Scotland back in the 19th century, and named after one of the most popular universities back in the day.
Unlike the poplin weave above, the Oxford shirt is made from a basket weave cotton cloth which offers structure and a luxurious feel as opposed to lighter weaves.
The Oxford Weave
This two yarn weave results in a luxurious, yet durable material and allows for Oxford shirts to be worn anywhere from a formal occasion, a business meeting, to working on a farmyard — leaving the wearer comfortable and never out of place.
Another benefit to this shirt is not only its wear-ability, but also how well it washes, keeping its finish wash after wash.
The Oxford shirt is famously versatile and has several styles, such as the more traditional Plain Oxford, a casual Pin Point Oxford with button down collar, or a more formal Royal Oxford which has a higher thread count cotton.
It goes without saying that a small selection of shirts can cover a large range of occasions!
To tuck or not to tuck?
Oxford shirts are adaptable and suitable for many occasions, the only point of consideration is whether to tuck the shirt in or not.
Oxford shirts tend to come in more generous lengths, lending themselves to being tucked into jeans or chinos without the familiar frustration of them coming untucking. However, that’s not to say that an Oxford shirt should never be left untucked though.
The untucked Oxford cotton shirt offers a casual look and feel, suitable for many day-today activities, but tucking an Oxford shirt in, however, flips this completely.
A tucked in Oxford oozes style and class and is necessary at any more formal occasion where someone is looking to impress, especially at formal events.
Our Rydale Oxford shirts are cut with a straight waist, meaning that they suit most shapes and sizes. Getting the right size is paramount, as an ill-fitting shirt can spoil an otherwise timeless look.
Always study the size guide carefully when selecting your shirt, we recommend taking a shirt you already own and comparing those measurements. This is a sure-fire way to ensure you get a perfect fit every time.
Examples of when to wear your Oxford shirt
The working man: We offer a wide range of garments that are ideal for the more hands on country gent. Incorporate an Oxford shirt into your outfit and take full advantage of its famous durability, wear after wear.
From yard to business meeting: The versatility of the Oxford shirt means you can have it on stand-by for almost any occasion, whether for an important meeting or for being called out into the yard.
The benefit of this of course is that you could do both on the same day without worrying about your dress code. We’d recommend combining a Daniel Wine Oxford shirt tucked into olive moleskin trousers and Wetherby Broque boots to finish off your look.
Meeting the girlfriend’s parents: On those occasions where you really do need to make a lasting impression, the Oxford shirt should be your go-to piece.
Impress your girlfriends’ parents in a Matthew Oxford shirt tucked into sharp Rupert chinos and Brown Ripley Chelsea boots. We’d recommend a quality leather belt to break things up and complete the look too.
A trip to the park or on deck: The summer months aren’t too far away, and with the odd warm spring day occurring, now would be a great time to get your look nailed down for the more casual days out.
Check out our Oscar J Blue Oxford shirt combined with Rupert chino shorts. Sandsend Deck shoes complete an eye-catching summer look, and if the sun dips in, you can always reach for one of our popular crew neck sweaters as an additional layer.
A day at the races: Nothing fits in at the races quite like an Oxford shirt. Tuck in our Classic Oxford Jacob in blue paired with Rupert jeans, and top this off with with a matching Fairfax Tweed waistcoat and blazer.
You can swap out the jeans for Chinos if preferred, and when combined with brogue shoes you cannot go wrong.
The Oxford shirt was one of four shirt fabrics named after top tier universities back in the day, the other three are Yale, Cambridge, and Harvard, but these didn’t quite catch on.
The Oxford really has stood the test of time in its look, but also in its true durability. No country gentleman should be without one.