Is Oxford Shirt A Dress Shirt? How They Differ From Dress Shirts


There is a lot of confusion among men’s dress shirts. Men’s fashion features a wide range of patterns, styles, materials, and collars. If worn incorrectly, your collar can cause you to be excluded from formal events or viewed as unprofessional at high-level business meetings.

Oxford shirts have become increasingly popular in recent years, and as a result, their price has risen accordingly. In the same way, men’s fashion has made progress toward more relaxed attire in the workplace. No, Oxford shirts are not formal attire. Using them in a formal environment is possible.

Oxford shirts might be perplexing, but this essay will clarify them. You should be able to understand the differences between Oxford and dress shirts after reading this article and how to wear them.

Oxford Shirts VS Dress Shirts: What’s The Difference?

Untrained eyes may mistake dress shirts for oxford shirts. In solid colours, long-sleeve button-up shirts are often worn under suits, blazers, or sweaters. Oxford shirts are the same as dress shirts, but two key differences are.

The Oxford shirt has a button-down collar, whereas the dress shirt has a collarless design. You can prevent the collar from snagging on clothing or flapping around by doing this.

Oxford cloth, the material used to make the shirts, is the source of the name “Oxford shirt.” A shirt made from this particular fabric is versatile and unique at the same time.

Like many other types of clothing, Oxford shirts have their share of drawbacks.

The Disadvantages of an Oxford Shirt

  • The low level of wear resistance.
  • As compared to a full cotton dress shirt, these are easier to wear and tear.
  • Material that is more substantial in thickness.
  • Only appropriate for less formal gatherings.

Dress shirts made of 100 per cent cotton are lighter, more breathable, and more versatile than oxford shirts while still being as durable.

Oxford shirts are not considered dress shirts due to their button-down collars, which are less formal than a buttonless collar. This means that wearing a shirt and tie to an interview or a formal event/workplace may be old-fashioned or forbidden.

Additionally, the type of weave is taken into account. Oxford weaves appear less formal than dress shirt weave due to their heavier weight, so they are more popular. Dress shirts are often constructed from higher thread count cotton weaves with a softer appearance and feel. While most dress shirts come in solid colors, oxfords frequently come in striped or patterned designs.

How to Wear an Oxford Shirt?

Oxford shirts are popular because of their versatility, contributing to their widespread appeal. Despite its lack of formality, it can still be worn in many different settings, including more casual ones.

It’s okay to wear an Oxford shirt with a suit, even if it’s not as fancy as a piquéor poplin. I am wearing contrasting colors ups the formality a notch—pair white shirts with navy suits and burgundy accessories. The shirt can be made more formal by adding a tie. Formality can be added to shirts by wearing vests or coats, always paired with shirts.

Oxford shirts aren’t appropriate in a formal business setting, but they can be worn in business casual settings. An Oxford shirt is an essential part of every business person’s wardrobe. If you want to avoid appearing overdressed or underdressed, pair it with an unstructured blazer and tailored pants. Wear khaki-coloured tailored sports jackets or grey coats over navy slacks and a light Oxford shirt to have some fun. The open-top button allows you to wear it with a tieless look under a tailored suit.

Because of its sporty-casual appeal, the Oxford is a beautiful addition to any smart-casual wardrobe. The problem with smart casual is that you never quite know where to draw the line between casual and formal. With dark denim jeans, untucked light blue Oxfords are a suitable choice. Putting on a brown leather coat and tucking in some chinos also works. You should wear a tailored suit with a cuffed ankle and an Oxford shirt with dark sneakers or loafers.

When Should You Choose An Oxford Over A Dress Shirt?

Oxford shirts and dress shirts appear to be interchangeable at first glance. Go for it if it’s your thing! In some cases, one shirt is more appropriate than the other, of course.

The variety of styles of dress shirts is always interesting to try out. Do you prefer a pointy or a spread collar? Do you prefer French cuffs or cufflinks? Silk or cotton? No matter which style you choose, a dress shirt will be your go-to option for all of your formal affairs. A clean, dapper androgynous look can be achieved by layering it under a suit or blazer with your favorite sweater or vest. An oxford could be worn in a more formal setting, but it won’t look as polished as a dress shirt.

Oxford Shirts: Oxford shirts are trendy because of their versatility. According to the occasion, Oxford shirts can be dressed up or down. Oxfords, like dress shirts, look great in formal settings (although the collar and fabric make them look slightly more informal), but they are also appropriate for everyday attire, to wear to the office, or even out for drinks with friends. Simply put, this shirt will see a lot of action!

What to Buy

Oxford shirts are better known for buttoned collars and casual to semi-formal styling than weave or other possible shirt fabrics. Pure cotton Oxford shirts are the only ones that will last for years and keep you feeling comfortable. A fabric composed entirely of cotton should be sought out when making a purchase.

It’s also a brilliant idea to think about your shirt’s colour. To maximize the Oxford’s versatility, consider the following three colors: sky blue, white, and pink. Whether solid or patterned, these should always be accessible and stashed away.

Dress Shirts

Dress shirts are fancier and more formal than Oxford shirts because of their finer weaves and higher thread counts. Dress shirts come in various styles, but the collar makes them stand out.

Key Elements

The collar, cuffs, and yoke are the most significant parts of a dress shirt. You need a buttoned-down collar, pockets, and a single button cuff to wear a shirt like this. Traditional attire includes collared and pointy shirts that are turned down and have no pockets.


It is common to use barrel cuffs when wearing formal attire. A wide range of designs can be worn almost anywhere except in the most formal settings. They all have one button. Button-down shirts with two or three buttons tend to be dressier and more formal.

French cuffs If you’re attending a formal event, these are the shoes you should wear. When paired with a suit, these cuffs are stunning. These cuffs can be worn with or without a button in the sleeve for added security. Using cufflinks that go with French cuffs is another way for men to express their individual style preferences.


To determine whether an outfit is formal or casual, one must look at the collar. Because the collar flatters your face, it’s also one of the most versatile details. Maintain the collar’s shape with collar stays.

Oxford shirts are most familiar with button-down collars. Because they’re more casual, you don’t need a tie. Wear a sweater or sports coat if you plan to tie them.

The wing collar should only be worn in formal situations. This collar will not cover the band of a tie, so bow ties are commonly worn in place of neckties when it is worn.

Dress shirts with pointed collars are the most common for men. Try on several different ones to find one that fits you perfectly. Typically, they have a narrow width between the collar points and a wide range of lengths. Narrow faces should wear shorter collar tips, while rounded faces should wear longer collar points.

It is more formal to wear a shirt whose collar points are angled at a large angle. Large and elaborate tie knots can be created in the vast spaces between the collar tips of spread collars.

Except for tuxedo shirts, the cutaway collar is the most formal collar style. Above your tie knot, the collar’s edges form a straight line. The tab collar, which keeps a collar in place with tabs on the tie, is an exception. It gives off a professional appearance.


1. How do Oxford shirts and regular shirts differ?

There are two distinct differences between an Oxford shirt and a regular dress shirt: It does not have a flopping collar, and it is usually buttoned-up, so you won’t have to worry about it flapping around.

2. Is an Oxford shirt just a button-down shirt?

The collar of an Oxford shirt is usually buttoned down. This is a must-have accessory for a collar that doesn’t get caught under clothing. Cotton is the primary component of Oxford shirts, which get their name from the Oxford cloth used in their production.

3. Are Oxford shirts appropriate for weddings?

Oxford shirts, for all their formality, are surprisingly adaptable. Business meetings and formal events like weddings can be dressed down with jeans, chinos, or sneakers.

4. What pants go with an Oxford shirt?

Chinos, chino shorts, and jeans are all available. – Cardigans and jumpers are not allowed. – A suit and tie tailored to your specific measurements. – It’s OK to wear espadrilles or boat shoes if they’re fashionable.

5. Are Oxford shirts good?

Uniqlo makes Oxford shirts, a wardrobe staple at an affordable price, one of its key specialities. Most traditional brands cost a lot of money. High-quality cotton, stylish colors, and a flattering fit are all included in this garment.

6. Why are dress shirts so uncomfortable?

It can feel rough or scratchy when a brand-new dress shirt because it hasn’t been worn for a while… Before wearing a new dress shirt, it is advised that you wash and dry it. It will become softer and less scratchy after you wash it.

Take Away

Oxford shirts and dress shirts are suitable for various occasions and can be worn in various ways. The Oxford is the most common in men’s dress shirts, but it is not usually appropriate for formal affairs.

If you’re not a groomsman or usher at the wedding, you may wear an Oxford shirt as a guest. Over the past few decades, the dress code has become more relaxed. They may be dress shirts, but they are not.

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