Want to get the look of laid-back sophistication? The oxford shirt is the epitome of this paradox. But just what about the prep school–inspired staple has everyone buttoning up in order to dress down?
Just before the turn of the 20th century, a Scottish mill produced a number of fabrics named after prestigious universities. These included Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, and, of course, Oxford. Out of all the fabrics, the “oxford cloth” – with its breathable basket-weave construction – took off. In fact, before the short-sleeve collared shirt was produced, oxford cloth was so popular that polo players wore it for lightweight comfort during matches.
Thanks to Ralph Lauren, light blue is the most recognizable oxford shirt color, but pastel variations and white are also very common. When paired with a navy sport coat, the oxford fares well in a more formal setting. But we love it done up casually, too – worn untucked with haphazardly cuffed sleeves for weekends or relaxed date nights.
By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer
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