For nearly all pieces of clothing, placing them into the category of formal wear or the category of casual wear, can be quite an easy determination to make. There are, however, some exceptions to clothing that fall into the middle ground, between the two categories. Clothing that is perhaps not appropriate for a formal ball, might be a good fit for more of a casual encounter. One example of this type clothing is the Oxford collar shirt,, a piece of clothing that is similar to a dress shirt, yet is more comfortable, somewhat more casual, and usually always considered to be in style. Oxford shirts are very popular for men and are easy to find in most clothing stores, although there is a wide selection of them on eBay as well.
When buying an Oxford shirt, it is helpful to evaluate a few things first. The nature of oxford cloth, the styles available for oxford collar shirts, and how to properly care for an Oxford collar shirt are all factors to consider. Understanding more about Oxford shirts will make the buying process much easier for anyone trying to look their best.
Simply stated, Oxford cloth is a type of fabric that consists of two finer yarns that are woven perpendicular to a heavier yarn. This combination is what gives Oxford cloth its unique pattern and allows it to breathe, which is part of what makes it such a popular shirt. Oxford is a fabric that was originally developed in Britain during the early 19th century, which is a testament to its long lasting appeal and value as a clothing fabric. The fabric was one of several developed at the time, each one bestowed with the name of a different University. For long time, Oxford was even used for athletic apparel, only being replaced upon the development of other cotton weaves better suited to athletics.
Different Blends of Oxford Cloth
Oxford cloth was originally made from pure cotton, and this is still the case quite frequently. There are also Oxford fabrics that are made the same way but use a synthetic fabric, such as polyester and rayon. These fabrics take the place of one or more of the yarns that are woven together. Using synthetic materials allows the fabric to breathe even better and ensures that a shirt made from it, does not wrinkle as easily as one made of pure cotton.
Royal Oxford Cloth
While shopping for an Oxford collar shirt, some men may come across the term “Royal Oxford”. This term refers to a type of Oxford fabric that is made with a finer weave than that of traditional Oxford. Due to this, regular Oxford has a rectangular pattern, whereas Royal Oxford has a diamond shaped pattern. Royal Oxford is also quite a bit softer than regular Oxford, and the weave is so fine that it may occasionally appear to have a shiny finish. Royal Oxford is more commonly found in dress shirts as opposed to casual shirts.
Oxford Shirt Styles
Because Oxford refers to the process that is used to make the fabric of this shirt, Oxford shirts are very similar to each other in design. They are button-up shirts with a collar. This being said, there are a few differences in style that may each be more appealing to different men. The differences are mainly in the sleeves, and in the collar itself.
Long Sleeve Oxford Collar Shirts
Most Oxford collar shirts feature long sleeves that reach from the shoulders to the wrists. A long sleeve Oxford shirt is a comfortable shirt that can be worn year around, even in warmer weather. Should the weather become too extreme for even the most breathable fabric, sleeves can be rolled up and collars can be opened to allow the wearer to cool off. Long sleeve Oxfords are not generally worn with a tie, but they can be, making them highly versatile.
Short Sleeve Oxford Collar Shirts
Of course, a more obvious solution to excess heat is to wear a short sleeve Oxford collar shirt.. The sleeves in this type of Oxford shirt are much like those found in a T-shirt, allowing the arms to remain uncovered. The collar on a short sleeve Oxford shirt can also be opened up to allow air to flow to the wearer more easily. A short sleeve Oxford shirt is a comfortable shirt that can be worn in warm weather while still looking less casual. A short sleeve Oxford can be tucked in or left out as fashion dictates.
Fitted Oxford Collar Shirts
Most Oxford collar shirts are considered to be “regular” Oxfords. There is, however, another option pertaining to Oxford shirts known as the “fitted” Oxford. A fitted Oxford is a narrower shirt that may even taper off towards the bottom of the shirt. As a result, these shirts fit more closely to the body and can thus enhance one’s physique. For that reason, a fitted Oxford may also be known as “athletic” or “slim-fit”. Fitted Oxfords are often designed to be tucked in, and in many case can be worn in combination with a tie.
While virtually every shirt made from Oxford cloth has a collar and can be worn with a tie if the situation demands it, there are several different collar options. Choosing a shirt with the right collar can be the difference between a comfortable and miserable day.
The Button Down Collar
The button down collar is very commonly found in Oxford shirts. This type of collar is actually attached to the shirt itself by means of small buttons. Many athletes in the 19th century, such as rugby players, wore shirts made of Oxford fabric. The rugby players were bothered by the way that their collars would fly up and get in their faces while they were playing, so some enterprising soul invented the button down collar. Today, the button down collar is considered to be the most informal type of collar, although many men wear a button down collar along with a tie.
The Point Collar
The point collar is also a common option on Oxford shirts. Basically, the points of the collar are made to be close together. At times, the points are so close together that they can obscure the top button of the shirt or even a tie if the wearer chooses to wear one. There is not any standard way to make a point collar as some designers may extend the points more than others and some may keep the points farther apart while still keeping them within the bounds of what is a point collar.
How to Care For an Oxford Collar Shirt
Because Oxford is commonly made from cotton, any shirt made from pure cotton Oxford will most likely wrinkle. This can be somewhat mitigated by being careful of where the shirt is at all times. For example, if one is bending over to pick up something, and the shirt is stuck to the torso, it will wrinkle along the waistline. If the wearer pulls the shirt out slightly, wrinkling can be avoided. Shirts made with a synthetic blend of fabrics will not wrinkle as easily, but all Oxford shirts should be ironed prior to use.
Washing and Ironing
Ironing an Oxford shirt or any shirt made from cotton must be done with care and precision as cotton may shrink and become unwearable. This is also important to remember when washing and drying an Oxford shirt as this can also lead to shrinking. As with most clothing, reading the care instruction on the tag can go a long way toward extending the life of an Oxford collar shirt.
Buying an Oxford Collar Shirt on eBay
There is a wide variety of clothing for both genders, and children, to be found for sale on eBay, and buying Oxford shirts are no exception. Buyers can look for different styles, colours, fits, and sizes quickly and easily on eBay. Sellers on eBay may also have lower prices that may make a shirt more affordable, even when purchasing high quality items. The most efficient way to find the best Oxford collar shirt is to simply enter the term, "men’s Oxford collar shirt&" into the search bar on the eBay home page. This search term can be easily modified to include information specific to size, style, colour, or anything else pertinent to the buyer. There are several different ways to search for an Oxford shirt, and attempting a creative search, or one that contains very specific keywords, can very easily bear fruit. With the proper research and search techniques, anyone can find a shirt that will not only fit perfectly into their wardrobe, but also into their budget.
Oxford is a fabric that has proven itself for nearly two centuries as one that is not only comfortable, but able to be worn almost anywhere. It allows the skin to breathe and was initially designed to be durable enough to withstand 19th century rugby. Oxford collar shirts that are made from this material, are shirts that are virtually always in style and allow a man to look more dressed up than he might in a T-shirt. Buying an Oxford collar shirt is a fairly simple task, although it is always helpful to look at the various styles and options, in terms of collars and sleeves, before making a decision.
Likewise, knowing how to properly care for an Oxford collar shirt helps a buyer to understand exactly how they can fit the shirt into their clothing collection. With the right planning and information, adding an Oxford shirt to any man’s wardrobe can pay off with a piece of clothing that can remain stylish for years, while reliably holding up to the wear and tear of day-to-day life.