Friday, May 1, 2015

Classic Oxford Shirts

Original Photographs from Archives

Oxford Cloth Button Down Shirts

Oxford shirts, sometimes referred to as OCBDs, are a classic style of shirt for men and women and a staple of many wardrobes.  A formal shirt when new, they can be comfortably used in more casual setting, especially when showing some wear.
White OCBDs are an essential wardrobe piece for men and women. (JD, September 14, 2012)
Sources of oxford shirts for men include:
For women, there are no easy options currently.
If only, Brooks Brothers offered many options in classic fit for women: the fitted and tailored shirts are too tight, too short and difficult to wear untucked. (Mona Vernon, March 10, 2013)
Places to look for oxford shirts for women include:
Oxfords and Others

Other Questions About Oxfords

Iron vs. Non-Iron

Many avoid garments that have been treated with a Non-Iron finish.  Some swear by them for their crisp appearance, ease, and for the money they save on laundering. Still others note the edges wear prematurely, they do not breathe, many don't trust the chemicals, and they simply do not look "right".
Untreated all the way. Cotton is supposed to wrinkle, the no iron finish makes the shirt or pants look plastic. Plus, the no iron garments tend not to be as comfortable as its regular cotton cousin. I'd rather be wrinkled and comfortable than shiny, smooth and tacky looking like I bought my shirt, tie and suit on one hanger, prematched for me at some factory. (Pedro, September 25, 2012)
There's quite a few non iron devotees in my office. The clothes, shirts especially, always stand out a mile. Very unnatural looking. (F Jack, September 25, 2012)
The misery is I can't find non-treated khakis or shirts (usually) at BB anymore. I loathe non-iron shirts and khakis, and gladly would pay to have the "real thing" laundered.  (Reggie Darling, September 25, 2012)
I made the mistake of buying a non iron oxford (ll bean) once and will never do it again. The collar and cuffs look too bulky, stiff, and artificial. The worst was trying to wear a sweater over it, the sweater didn't stand a chance against that massive stiff collar and stretched out in all sorts of unnatural directions. (HPG,  September 26, 2012)
 A while back the New York Times had an article about allergies caused in the home and found that that chemicals like formaldehyde are used in the manufacturing processof wrinkle resistant clothes and as such give off fumes that can irritate persons who not only wear clothes but closets that store them as well. (John I, September 26, 2012)
I have worn both, but for the time being I strongly prefer un-treated shirts. Non-iron shirts are convenient but they are scratchier and worse looking.(Bantam in Chicago, September 26, 2012)
 The weird thing I've noticed about my non-iron BB shirts is that their cuffs get much, much dirtier than my 'must iron' shirts.(Patsy,  September 26, 2012)
What kills me is Land's End's new catalogs lauding their supima no-iron shirt. When I saw it, I had to exclaim out loud, "Why would they make a shirt out of such exquisite cotton, then ruin it with a no-iron finish?!" (Marcus Smith, September 26, 2012)
The results of a poll on this site were as followed:


Exclusively with Non-Iron Finish
  37 (5%)
Mostly with Non-Iron Finish
  106 (15%)
Mostly Untreated
  168 (24%)
Exclusively Untreated
  363 (53%)

Votes: 674

Should men wear oxford shirts untucked?

Some opinions:
If a shirt tail is curvy--longer in front and back than it is on the sides--it should be tucked in. Always. I think an untucked OCBD looks sloppy in any context outside lounging around the house. And they can be worn tucked successfully even in shorts at the beach. (Gary K., June 25, 2014)
 There is also the issue of height. Men who are shorter than 5'10" should not wear OCBD's untucked under any circumstance. They just fall way to low. Taller men can pull them off, but only, say, at the beach. (Paul, June 26, 2014)
Wearing OCBD shirts untucked is an abomination. Along with men wearing tank top undershirts in public, backward baseball caps, tramp stamps, vinyl siding and flip flops; it's a further sign of the unraveling of our civilization. (Bernie, June 26, 2014)
No one cares if women wear their shirts untucked. Why the double standards? (nutrivore, June 27, 2014) 
Don't wear tails untucked for the same reason I don't chew gum. In prep school, both would get you detention on Saturday. (Beresford, June 27, 2014)

Other Sources for Oxfords

I have owned a number of OCBD shirts over the years from various companies (e.g. RL, Brooks, Bills Khakis). Some of these were great in certain aspects, but the fit has never been quite right for me. I recently purchased a custom white OCBD from New England Shirt Co. through Hubert White in Minneapolis, and it is the best fitting shirt I have ever owned. I was also able to pick all the details, such as a locker loop, box pleat, third collar button and a flap pocket. Just ordered several more through Hubert White, and I'm eagerly awaiting their arrival. (September 22, 2012)