Why Is It Called An Oxford Shirt? | History Of Oxford Shirt


An oxford cloth shirt is a must-have for any man’s wardrobe because of its versatility and necessity. It can be worn in various situations, is versatile, and looks good on nearly everyone.

Oxford shirts are named after the fabric they are made, called Oxford cloth. To create Oxford cloth, the yarn is spun in a specific manner. The fabric is transformed into an Oxford shirt.

Best Mens Oxford Shirts Categories 2021 – How to Choose the Perfect Oxford Shirt?

The History Of The Oxford Shirt

Scotland was the epicenter of European textile manufacturing in the early nineteenth century. An unnamed mill was trying out new weaves. Four new fabrics were introduced, each named after one of the most prestigious universities in the country at the time. (Yale, Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford) are included. Three of the weaves didn’t sell well, so they stopped making them, but Oxford cloth is still in production today, despite the discontinuation of the others.

Oxford cloth is not defined by its material but rather by the style of its weave. Woven from two different types of yarn, it looks like an intricate basket weave. Passing under one of the more delicate weft threads, the warp threads pass over the other two.

In most cases, the yarn color is slightly different depending on how it is spun (often white). Oxford cloth gets its distinctive checkerboard pattern from the contrast in color between the two yarns and the repetition of the basketweave pattern.

Moreover, before the 1930s, British Raj polo players wore tops made of Oxford because they were soft and breathable material. Finally, players began sewing buttons on the ends of the collar points to keep them from curling up during matches.

In addition, President John F. Kennedy is perhaps the most famous person to wear a button-down Oxford shirt in the United States. Still, the shirt’s origins can be traced back to the aristocratic heritage of the shirt’s design.

Oxfords have quickly become a style staple among East Coast Ivy League students. During this time, young people began to break away from their sartorial conformity by mixing it up with shorts loafers and leaving it untucked. 

Nomenclature has been repurposed and sideways slid for many things in modern society, making them represent something wholly different than they once did.

However, the Oxford button-unquestionable-down style makes it timeless and iconic. Rather than being sarcastic, it reflects American culture’s “good” aspects without being ironic. Old Bull Lee oxford dress shirts are made in the United States using the finest imported materials and craftsmanship.

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Why Is It Called An Oxford Shirt?

The origins of the Oxford shirt can be traced back to its unique weave. For a long time, a particular sheen was achieved by basket-weaving two different yarns together. During the 19th century, the “Oxford weave” was introduced in Scotland, along with special weaves for Oxford, Yale, Cambridge, and Harvard.

For decades, all but the Oxford shirt has been associated with British polo players.

The Oxford shirt’s lightweight yet durable weave was a big hit with the customers. When they played polo, these players had buttons sewn into their collars to keep the wind from blowing their shirts off their shoulders.

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How Was It Used?

At first, called “polo collar shirts,” the button-down dress shirt first appeared around the turn of the twentieth century. While that was the case for a few decades, tennis players and other country club athletes soon realized that a collar that stayed in place would benefit their sport, allowing them to participate in the testosterone-fuelled world of tiny ball whacking.

When the dress shirt became more casual, it lost its status as a formal item. The elite was still donning it, but it was for recreation rather than a business this time.

Traditional OCBD Shirt Comes From Mercer & Sons

Mercer & Sons, a small company in Bozeman, Montana, still makes the original Oxford Cloth Button-Down Shirt. The oxford cloths produced by Serenause are made by a husband and wife team, David and Serenause. We were given a soft-roll button-down collar and barrel cuffs measuring 3 7/16 in width.

When these shirts are not fitted snugly enough, the collar will roll inward and show wrinkles, so they have no interlining. All they come with by default is one plastic button without a shank. It’s a good idea to chop it off and cinch it down as tight as possible. Don’t forget what arm your watch belongs to.

In contrast to the current trend of slim-fitting clothing, these shirts are oversized and cut very generously. However, the armholes aren’t huge, as with the original OCBD. Because they are made to order, you have to choose the fabric and tell them how big or small you want the collar and sleeve to be.

The final option is to select a regular body or downsize the body by 2″ / 5 cm or 4″ / 10 cm. In doing so, however, shoulders are narrower. On the other hand, Darts may be a better option if you have wide shoulders.

A high stitch density and a single needle machine sewn construction give this item a durable appearance. To make matters worse, the buttons lack a metal shank, and the buttonholes have a dense stitch pattern that isn’t particularly clean.

They have long front and back panels but short sides. Therefore, the tucks should not come loose.

The OCBD Becomes Casual

Over the years, men have worn this outfit to holiday parties, backyard barbecues, and even traditional American sporting events. People of all sexes and ages adopted the fashion trend.

Depending on who’s wearing it, you might see it under a suit worn by an executive or an auto repair salesman buying Lucky Strikes from Piggly Wiggly. The fashion item became a way for men to express their style in various settings, no matter where or with whom they wore it.

Button-down shirts, then as now, offered men the opportunity to save money on shirts by wearing them with a wide range of outfits due to their adaptability. It was a shirt that anyone could wear, and it was available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

The button-down was a favorite style of Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, and Mr. Relaxation (Perry Como). Thanks to Como’s cardigans and Astaire’s double-breasted suits, men had the freedom to do whatever they wanted with their shirts in Hollywood films.

Unlike many other clothing styles, the button-down shirt’s popularity has remained steady from the 1920s through the 1960s.

A white Brooks Brothers OCBD with the buttons undone, worn by Gianni Agnelli.

Shirts are now produced by nearly every clothing company that caters to men. Button-down shirts are everywhere, from Brooks Brothers to Walmart and Target’s house brands, and for a good reason: men are buying them.

Best Oxford Shirt Men Categories 2021 | How to Choose the Perfect Oxford Shirt?
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Who Invented The Oxford Shirt?

It was first made in Scotland in the 19th century and is one of four shirt fabrics named after universities. In addition to Oxford, there were the universities of Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge.

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How Do You Identify An Oxford Shirt?

Generally speaking, an Oxford shirt belongs to the category of dress shirts. Still, the Oxford shirt differs from a dress shirt from two crucial perspectives: it usually has a button-down collar, eliminating the problems of collars flopping around and laying flat under a jacket’s collar.

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What Type Of Material Is Oxford?

In the beginning, Oxford cloth was made from pure cotton, but today, many of them incorporate synthetic fibers, such as polyester and rayon. Oxford cloth requires less maintenance than most other fabrics. It is easily washable and remains in shape better than most other fabrics.

Therefore, It’s easy to dress up or down an Oxford shirt, making it an excellent option for any situation. If you’re looking to add a classic shirt to your wardrobe, the oxford shirt is an excellent choice.

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