Definition of an Oxford Shirt

Written by cassandra cochrun
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An Oxford shirt is generally defined as a shirt with a collar. It provides a classic look that can be worn formally or informally. Although women sometimes wear Oxford shirts, they are primarily a men's style because women's dress shirts are referred to as blouses.

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An Oxford shirt buttons all the way down the front and has cuffs on the sleeves. Sometimes Oxford shirts may have tails, which is a very formal look. Other times, Oxford shirts may have a pocket--a casual look most commonly found in America.


Oxford shirts are most commonly made of cotton, a cotton blend or linen. Less commonly, they may be made of polyester.


The cuffs of an Oxford shirt close either with buttons or with cuff links. The most common types are barrel cuffs, which have button closures; double cuffs, which are very formal, close with cuff links and fold at the sleeve; and single cuffs, which are the same as double cuffs but with no fold.


Oxford shirts most commonly come with spread collars, the most common collar style; small collars, which are more narrow than spread collars; and button-down collars, which are buttoned to the front of the shirt.


Oxford shirt sizes have two numbers. The first number is the collar girth (from collar button to collar button), and the second number is the sleeve length. Most shirts are cut wide through the waist to accommodate most men.


Because Oxford shirts are more formal, they're often worn with a jacket and tie. When not worn with a tie or jacket, they can be tucked in or not. Men usually starched and ironed their Oxford shirts in the past, but that's becoming less common.

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