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Oxford Shirts Defined - How to Wear One and How They Differ From Dress Shirts

CEO Tinh Phung
We all know that men's fashion can be a bit confusing, especially when it comes to dress shirts. With so many different patterns, styles, materials, and collars, it's easy to get overwhelmed. And when it...

We all know that men's fashion can be a bit confusing, especially when it comes to dress shirts. With so many different patterns, styles, materials, and collars, it's easy to get overwhelmed. And when it comes to Oxford shirts, things can get even more confusing. Are they dress shirts? Can they be worn in formal settings? Let's dive into the world of Oxford shirts and clear up the confusion.

What is an Oxford Shirt?

Oxford shirts are made from a type of cloth that was originally created in Scottish fabric mills. This cloth, known as Oxford cloth, has a heavier and rougher weave compared to traditional dress shirt fabrics. It's often described as a basket weave and is more formal than flannels. The versatility of Oxford shirts is what makes them so popular. They can be dressed up with chinos for a professional, casual look, or paired with a suit jacket and jeans for a more formal vibe. Whether you're going for a business meeting or a night out, an Oxford shirt is always a reliable choice.

light blue oxford material Light blue Oxford material

How to Wear an Oxford Shirt

One of the best things about Oxford shirts is their versatility. While they may not be suitable for the most formal occasions like black tie events, they can still be worn in a variety of settings. For a more formal look, pair an Oxford shirt with a suit, contrasting colors, and accessories like a tie or vest. In a business casual setting, an Oxford shirt can be worn with an unstructured blazer and tailored slacks. And for a sporty casual look, you can't go wrong with an untucked Oxford shirt paired with dark wash denim jeans or chinos. The key is finding the right balance between looking overdressed or underdressed.

How to Wear an Oxford Shirt

What to Buy

When shopping for an Oxford shirt, it's important to look for one made with pure cotton. While there are many options made with polyester, a true, long-lasting, and comfortable Oxford shirt should be made with 100% cotton fabric. In terms of color, it's always a good idea to have staple colors like sky blue, white, and pink in your wardrobe. Whether you prefer solid colors or stripes, these classic colors will ensure that your Oxford shirt is versatile and ready for any occasion.

Key Elements: Collars and Cuffs

The collar and cuffs are the key elements that distinguish dress shirts from Oxford shirts. Oxford shirts typically have button-down collars, which are more informal and should be worn without ties most of the time. On the other hand, dress shirts have different types of collars depending on the level of formality. French cuffs are usually reserved for formal occasions and look great with a suit. When it comes to cuffs, barrel cuffs are the standard for most dress shirts, while French cuffs add an extra touch of elegance.



In conclusion, Oxford shirts have their own unique place in men's fashion. While they are not considered true dress shirts, they can still be worn in a variety of settings, from casual business meetings to everyday office wear and even weddings (as a guest). The key is to understand that Oxford shirts have a more relaxed and casual vibe compared to traditional dress shirts. So, next time you're in need of a versatile and stylish shirt, give the Oxford shirt a try. You won't be disappointed!


  1. What is the difference between an Oxford shirt and a regular shirt? An Oxford shirt is characterized by its button-down collar and more formal fabric. It's designed to prevent the collar from flapping around and can be worn in a variety of settings.
  2. Is an Oxford shirt just a button-down? Oxford shirts typically have a button-down collar and are made from Oxford cloth, which is a type of cotton fabric.
  3. Can you wear an Oxford shirt to a wedding? Yes, you can! Oxford shirts can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They can be worn with jeans, chinos, or even a suit for a more formal look.
  4. What pants go with an Oxford shirt? Chinos, chino shorts, and jeans are all great options to pair with an Oxford shirt. Avoid cardigans and jumpers, and opt for stylish footwear like trainers, loafers, or brogues.
  5. Are Oxford shirts good? Absolutely! Oxford shirts are known for their high-quality cotton, elegant colors, and flattering fit. They are a wardrobe essential that every well-dressed man should own.