Even as offices loosen their dress codes and Allen Edmonds get replaced by Common Projects, there are some items of clothing that aren’t likely to go anywhere any time soon. The Oxford shirt is chief among them. Oxfords wouldn’t look out of place in a modern Venice Beach creative office or a Manhattan corporate office in the 1950s.
The Oxford shirt’s versatility as a casual and formal shirt stems from their history in sports. They originated as shirts for polo players to wear during matches, so they had to be tough and breathable enough when riding a horse.
Oxfords have a few identifying features that set them apart from more formal dress shirts. They have button-down collars rather than formal spread or point collars. Texture plays a big part as well. Instead of being made from a structured twill, Oxford shirts are cut in a basketweave cotton fabric. This produces a more casual and rugged-looking marled texture.
Don’t let these casual details fool you, though. They can more than hold their own against traditional dress shirts in all but the most formal situations. And while formal dress shirts may sit in your closet between job interviews, you can just as easily wear an Oxford with a jacket and tie as you can with beat-up blue jeans. There’s a lot of variation in Oxford shirts, including collar size, length, and type of fabric. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few different styles and cuts, so you can find the one that works for you.
1. Van Heusen Men’s Regular Fit Oxford Solid
If you prefer a roomier, more traditional fit, this Oxford shirt from Van Heusen has generously cut armholes and a wider waist and shoulders. It comes in traditional Oxford colors like light blue and white, as well as statement-making but professional options like dark red and green.
Pros: Wrinkle resistant, available in many colors, classic fit makes it a good option for larger builds.
Cons: Not 100% cotton, and may be too boxy for more petite men.
2. Goodthreads Men’s Slim-Fit Oxford Shirt
Goodthreads is one of Amazon’s in-house brands, and it’s slightly more fashion-forward than its AmazonBasics brand. This oxford shirt has modern details like a slimmer fitting body and arms, a narrow collar, and a slightly shorter hem. It’s available either with or without a pocket. Colors include pastel pinks, purples, and blues, as well as traditional white.
Pros: Modern slim fit, available with or without a pocket, 100% cotton.
Cons: Depending on your height, the hem of this shirt may be too long to be worn untucked.
3. Van Heusen Men’s Short Sleeve Oxford Dress Shirt
Here’s a great short sleeve option incase your office runs warm. This Oxford from Van Heusen has all of the same detailing as the long sleeve Van Heusen shirt, including the button-down collar, the classic proportions, and the chest pocket. Except, instead of full-length sleeves, the sleeves stop above the elbow.
Pros: Classic Oxford cloth shirt with short sleeves, available in many colors and 2 pack options.
Cons: Shirts may be prone to wrinkling.