What is an Oxford Shirt? Everything you Need to Know


Your wardrobe must be loaded with many clothing choices, including outfits for work, formal functions, and nights out. One key piece of clothing that every individual’s (especially a man’s) wardrobe should contain is an Oxford shirt.

Many people ask numerous questions about these shirts, including “What is an Oxford Shirt? Who invented the Oxford shirt? Why is it called an Oxford shirt? How durable is the fabric? Is Oxford waterproof? and others.

Similarly, we have written this detailed guide to Oxford shirts to answer all your valuable queries about this unique cloth.

What Is An Oxford Shirt?

The oxford shirt is a specific type of woven shirt. It’s a versatile clothing piece ideal for wearing at any formal, casual, or memorable event. These shirts are manufactured with Oxford cloth that is comfortable, breathable, waterproof, and highly affordable.

The yarn is spun in a certain way to make Oxford cloth. Oxford fabric is the end product, which is subsequently converted into an Oxford shirt.

As mentioned earlier, the fabric of these shirts is highly comfortable and durable. That’s why most businessmen and women like to wear these shirts regularly. Also, they look classy and add beauty to the wearer’s look. The oxford shirts usually come with button-down collars, that’s why sometimes called “Oxford Cloth Button Down (OCBD).”


  • The oxford fabric has superb insulating properties. It can easily keep a wearer warm and trap a lot of air. Similarly, the oxford shirts are ideal for wearing on cold days. This feature is dependent on the fabric thickness and quality.
  • These shirts are slightly heavy and consist of pleasing textures.
  • The basket-type weaving makes the shirts durable and breathable.
  • These shirts do not require ironing. You can wear them while traveling as they are wrinkle-free.
  • Every time you wear the Oxford shirt, you will feel it is more comfortable and soft.
  • Oxford shirts are machine washable and don’t take much time to dry after washing.
  • They also have good resistance to chemical substances and abrasion.
  • Lastly, the oxford shirts are easy to care for and maintain, and you don’t have to effort a lot to keep them durable.
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Who Invented the Oxford Shirt? Brief History

Let’s dive into the history of oxford shirts; who was behind this innovation, and when did it become popular?

In 1896, John Brooks-who worked with a clothing brand in Scottland-noticed that most polo players used to pin their collar downwards to stop it from flapping. Similarly, the collar sometimes disturbs them while playing polo, so they pinned it to avoid disturbance.

So, Mr. John Brooks decided to design a specially created shirt to facilitate polo players. He used buttons instead to keep them down. This results in an oxford shirt that consists of an insistence collar with buttons. By the time, in the 1950s and 60s, the oxford shirt became popular in the country, most young people found it fashionable and classy.

How Did Oxford Cloth Get Its Name?

In the 19th Century, the Scotland mills were busy manufacturing high-quality shirts for all their people. Not only were they creating the clothes, but they also were testing different weaves and designing various types of clothes at that time. Similarly, they created four cloths that were named after four renowned universities, including:

  1. Harvard
  2. Cambridge
  3. Yale
  4. Oxford

Out of the four. Only the Oxford shirt that is still worn today is now obsolete. Hence, this is how the oxford cloth gets its name.

Is Oxford Shirt A Dress Shirt?

A dress shirt is a shirt that has a stiff collar along with long sleeves and is mainly paired with a blazer or suit. However, the oxford shirt is called a specific type of dress shirt that consists of almost the same design as the dress shirt, yet can be differentiated in two ways. These are:

  1. Firstly, the oxford shirt is manufactured with woven “oxford cloth.” Similarly, the cloth consists of lustrous aspects and basketweave structure that makes the shirt different from regular ones.
  2. Secondly, the button-down style collar of oxford shirts is unique, unlike the collars of dress shirts that flop around or sometimes are flat. This collar design with button-down combinations looks more attractive than dress shirts.

Oxford shirts can be styled with suits and a blazer. Whether you match it with a suit or wear it without a suit, it cannot fail to make you look stylish.

It’s always better to match the oxford shirt with any suitable jacket, blazer, Gray Notch lapel suit, Harrington, sweater, and long coat. Therefore, these shirts look more casual and can ideally get numerous people’s attention in no time.

The Different Ways To Wear An Oxford Shirt

Whether you’re going out for a night on the town or attending a formal event, these ideas will help you get the most out of your Oxford shirt.


Wearing a white shirt to the office is one of the smartest choices you can make. The collar and cuffs should be completely buttoned up. Make your outfit more appealing by wearing a tucked-in shirt with slim-fitting pants.

As a result, a jacket and loafers are optional finishing touches. One of the best office outfits is a white shirt. From the collar to the cuffs, be sure to button up. Make your outfit more appealing by wearing a tucked-in shirt with slim-fitting pants. In order to complete the outfit, a jacket and loafers can also be added.

Smart Casual

Smart casual is the predominant dress code in most places of work. Oxford shirts can be paired with this. Starting with the cuffs and collar, you have the option of loosening them up or leaving them buttoned up. After that, wear a sweater over your shirt. Moreover, sweaters go fantastically well with the Oxford shirt and help you look smart and relaxed the whole day.

Party Time

Smart casual is the predominant dress code in most places of work. Oxford shirts can be paired with this. Starting with the cuffs and collar, you have the option of loosening them up or leaving them buttoned up.

The Weekend

It is essential to relax at the weekend after a hard week of work. Similarly, to make yourself more comfortable, it’s ideal for wearing your Oxford shirt over a t-shirt. You can also add chino shorts along with sandals, and you are good to go. Don’t forget to fasten the collar and leave the shirt open as if you are wearing a jacket.

Double Trouble

You can wear two shirts at the same time. Additionally, you can wear one buttoned-up with the other over the top and open. Alternatively, you can wear both shirts buttoned up. Mostly, people choose to wear shirts to provide a contrast of colors.

Why Should You Buy An Oxford Shirt?

There are many reasons why you should spend money on oxford shirts. But here are some of the main points:

  1. Versatility: You can wear the oxford shirts at any causal, formal, or professional event. All you need is to roll up the sleeves, match any causal or formal pants, and slay all day at the workplace or any other party.
  2. Comfort: The comfort you get when wearing oxford shirts is beyond expectations. Unlike other casual shirts, the soft fabric of oxford shirts is ideal in providing the wearers with ultimate comfort.
  3. Looks Amazing: These shirts are best in making you fashionable and stand out. You do not need to spend hours achieving a perfect look; with an oxford shirt, you can rock effortlessly.
  4. Durability: The oxford fabric is durable and can quickly go for long years.
  5. Ease of Use: These shirts are wrinkle-free as you can ideally consider the oxford shirts for traveling purposes.

How Is An Oxford Shirt Made?

Moreover, to manufacture Oxford cloth, yarn is woven vertically and horizontally. The process usually involves thin yarn being woven over thicker yarn. As a result, the process creates a thicker cloth that is yet comfortable to wear.

Once upon a time, the oxford cloth was only created from cotton. It is always best to buy an Oxford shirt created from cotton. Many shirts these days are created with other materials like polyester.

The fabric is very hard-wearing, which will last for years even if washed many times. Thanks to the cloth used to make an Oxford shirt, they are long-lasting, comfy, and age well.

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Are Oxford Shirts Good?

Yes, oxford shirts are among the best and most versatile items that one can own. They are created with thick woven oxford cloth that offers a great appearance. Additionally, these are fashion staples in every fashionable individual’s wardrobe. Also, they are timeless and stay in the limelight all the time.

Is Oxford Fabric Waterproof?

People usually ask if oxford is waterproof. However, the answer is Yes. The fabric contains special waterproof finishing and PU coating, making it waterproof and perfect for everyday wear.

In addition, it is lightweight and also highly durable, which can quickly go for long years. Also, it’s a pretty robust fabric that cannot easily get damaged by dirt and dust. Similarly, one can wear oxford shirts in every tough season, like rain, storms, etc.

Do Oxford Shirts Have Pockets?

Most traditional oxford shirts consist of chest pockets and button-down collars. In contrast, some modern-day shirts come in different styles and designs. Some of them may not contain pockets.

How To Care For Oxford Fabric?

Oxford fabric comes in cotton or synthetic material, and you will require to follow some of the caring tips to keep the shirt on point. When washing synthetic oxford shirts, make sure you keep medium or low heat.

The synthetic fabric doesn’t require ironing, so you don’t need to waste time on ironing. The cotton fabric can be ironed, washed, and dried at high temperatures. The fabric cotton is quite robust and can bear more abuse than synthetic materials. Also, the cotton fabric will get softer after every use.

Another point to notice is that you should not use bleach when washing oxford cloth.

Is Oxford Fabric Breathable?

Yes, the oxford fabric is breathable. Their basket-type weaving makes the material breathable and durable.

How Strong Is Oxford Fabric?

Oxford cloth is highly famous for shirting, and most people consider this fabric for casual and athletic style shirts. The fabric is thick and strong enough to bear tough seasons ideally. Similarly, it’s also washable, and you can effortlessly wash and use these shirts for a few years.

Can You Wear An Oxford Shirt With Jeans?

Yes, these shirts look perfect with jeans, chinos, and chino shorts. However, the quality of oxford shirts is that these look fashionable when worn with matching pants.

How Long Do Oxford Shirts Last?

There is no specific time to decide how long Oxford shirts last. However, once you observe that color fading, stains, or rips-like signs, it’s time to discard the shirt and buy another one.

Generally, you need to check every year the shirt and analyze whether you need to replace it or not. For example, suppose it looks old and gets stains, then better to replace it with a new and fresh one. Mostly, the oxford shirts can effortlessly last up to 2 years if cared for.

Therefore, there are numerous different occasions and styles for dress shirts and oxford shirts. It is a wonderfully crafted piece of clothing that looks fantastic with any outfit.

Also, it can be worn on virtually any occasion, whether it’s your zoom meeting or face time with someone special. These shirts can be worn at weddings, business meetings, and you can also consider wearing them as an everyday casual shirt. Thus, you can never go wrong with an oxford shirt.

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