Oxford Shirts are a preppy staple which anyone aspiring to look preppy, gentile or just well dressed should be familiar with. The name Oxford refers to Oxford University, and along with Yale, Cambridge and Harvard, it is a hardy fabric weave for shirts originally produced in the 19th century by Scottish fabric mills. The others—Yale, Cambridge and Harvard—have long since ceased to be produced.
The oxford shirt is easily recognizable by the oxford weave, a basket-weave pattern that combines two yarns woven lengthwise against a heavier yarn crosswise. Oxford shirts frequently, but not always, have button-down collars.I found my first Oxford shirt because of that button down collar. It is a beat-up old Polo Ralph Lauren number that I picked up for maybe $7.50 in a St. Vincent de Paul store here in Canberra. I fell in love instantly with that preppy collar, and the feel of the signature fabric. It remains to this day one of the best thrifted pieces in my wardrobe.
However, all said-and-done, this beloved piece is starting to come to look a little tired and worn-in; and while I love this quality in a lot of my pieces (Especial Ralph Lauren pieces which age beautifully); it is less and less appropriate for the office. As such, when I saw this lovely new Oxford Shirt hanging on a rack at a Marcs outlet store, I had to snap him up!
The Oxford is incredibly versatile and appropriate in many settings. Worn with jeans the oxford shirt is the perfect laid-back piece that conveys a sense of ease and comfort while creating a sleek, clean look. However it can also be dressed up with collegiate tie tie and a navy blazer for the ultimate in preppy attire, a true nod to the essence of the garment’s history and provenance.