Why I use Oxford
Most of you would’ve had at least one or two oxford shirts in your wardrobe from casual to formal shirts. It’s an extremely popular fabric which has been around for many years and was one of the original fabrics. In fact, the Oxford shirt is names this because it is constructed from a fabric using a unique weave, originating in the Scotland mills during the 19th century. Oxford cloth is extremely well known in sartorial heritage. In fact it was the only one to be names after one of the four universities! However, as you can imagine, Yale, Harvard and Cambridge wouldn’t have stuck as well.
Woven in a specific basket-weave pattern, combining two yarns, the fabric has a marled look. It’s now an unmistakable shirt, a must in most men’s wardrobes, but how did it get to this point?
The story began when it was plucked from obscurity by the Polo players of the British Raj, who valued its lightweight, breathable qualities. It was designed to stop their collars flapping in the wind whilst playing, small buttons were sewn onto the body of the shirt so that the collar could be held in place (Button down collar). From there the button-down collar was then invented.
The shirt, with its prestige intact of course, made its way to American shores where it was embraced by Ivy League students in the 1920s and 1930s.
So how did it evolve from then to now?
The oxford shirt Is an icon of men’s sartorial style. The design of an oxford shirt is timeless and has changed very little and it’s as popular today as it has ever been. Usually with the unmistakable button-down collar or Classic styles collar, it’s the kind of wardrobe must have every man requires. It’s an extremely versatile fabric too which is why it was used for sport; effortlessly walking the line between formal and casual as it has always done.
A shirt that is a go – to if you don’t know where to start in the shirt world. It’s the answer to many a sartorial dilemma or tricky dress code - whether it’s for an evening event, summer holiday or your day-to-day work wardrobe you can turn to your Oxford.
I offer the button down option on any of my shirts, however moving with the style of the era I use a classic cutaway collar with most of my oxford shirts. Whether it’s a plain weave in a multitude of colours or a iconic classic check, the Oxford shirt is an essential part of my collection and also every Sartorial wardrobe.