Out of every thing you can own a Oxford shirt is a must. you can wear it with Jeans or chinos even shorts also blazers, it has been worn by presidents also film stars also punks & mods, It’s stood the test of time it just gets better like a fine wine.
So what is a Oxford shirt I hear you say, well if you check out the Web or history books it comes up with many things, it turns out that a Scottish mill in Scotland decide to make some shirt fabrics & name them after famous university’s which were Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford, the one that took off was the Oxford cloth, it was down to its unique design the threads made from 100% cotton & form a criss-cross basket-weave pattern, making it hard-wearing & breathable.
Because of its design it soon attracted sports people like tennis players to polo players, who would normally play in starch shirts, because cotton is very soft its hard to starch the collars, this became a problem for the polo players because the collars would flap around when they played, so some bright spark came up with the idea of button down collars.
Soon these shirts started to become fashionable, one person who noticed them was John E Brooks grandson of Henry Sands Brooks, who started the famous Brook Brothers menswear, he had a shirt sent to his store in america and had it copied down to the last details, by the time the roaring 1920s kicked off all the college kids were wearing oxford shirt’s. The preppy look was born, Oxford shirts soon found their way into the Whitehouse senators kissing baby’s were wearing Oxford shirt showing younger Americans they weren’t old and stuffy, soon the classic Oxford shirt became an icon for being cool & lade back, one young playboy who became famous for his relaxed fashion, was JFK other wise known as John F Kennedy, soon to be president Kennedy he was photographed many times in relaxed poses wearing a Oxford Shirt.
The Oxford shirt went through many changes, but in the 1970s Ralph Lauren made the Oxford shirt cool again, he gave it panache he made young men look masculine when they wore his shirts, he was famous for his light blue Oxford shirt, every young man who went to a prestigious college had a Oxford shirt, in the UK it was the Mods who took to wearing them, and the label to be seen in was Ben Sherman, but the differences in the UK was most young people liked the short sleeve version .
During the 1970s & 1980s mens fashion went through many changes, the preppy look was still alive and kicking, but shows like Miami vice made wearing cotton suits with rolled up sleeves and a T-shirt cool, so people wore more sportswear than real cloths, but classic icons never die, soon people realised dressing like some 80s pop star was very naff indeed, but thanks to Ben Sherman , Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers who believed in their Oxford Shirts, they are once again in demand by fashion conscious young men, who love to look good, so why have these shirts lasted this long, it’s down to their brand & their iconic Status, There are a lot of company’s who claim to have the best oxford shirt, but 9 out 10 times its just a standard poplin shirt with button collars, to me there only three company’s who stay true to the original design, yes they have all put their own spin on it, but it’s still a true Oxford shirt at the end of the day the company’s are as follows.
Ralph Lauren took the Oxford shirt to a different level it defined a generation, it was very much associated with the preppy look, if any thing he made the blue Oxford shirt a style icon, the shirts themselves come in two fits slim fit & custom fit, and come in different colours the cost for one of these fine shirts is £85.00 well worth the investment .
Brook Brothers oxford shirts were the first to be mass-produced, I think the design just gets better with age, its made from pure American grown cotton, they claim to be the innovator of the button down collar, they inspired the Ivy League look, you can tell a Brooks shirts on the barrel cuffs they have 6 leats whirring this is their signature .They come in Traditional fit , Slim fit, X Slim fit for a true piece of American history your looking at $95.00 again well worth the investment .
Ben Sherman Oxford shirt was influenced by the Ivy League its self, but Ben Sherman added his own touches to this classic, he put a back hook on his shirt also a button on the back of the collar, this was his way of saying this is my shirt, he used a lot of pale colours, he also boxed his shirts individuality, he has dressed five generations & the brand is still going strong, but the sizes are really for small-sized people, your looking around £125.00 for a slice of British history.
The way you can wear Oxford shirts is endless, it goes with every thing from chinos to kilts trust me invest into a Oxford shirt you won’t regret it.
I hope I have ignited your love again for a classic icon, that will just get better as times go’s by, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, by the way if you have any questions please do contact me I would be happy to talk to you.
BE BOLD BE PROUD