Choosing the Right Oxford Shirt

Whether you’re starting a new job or just looking to upgrade the contents of your closet, Oxford shirts are a staple of neat, professional wardrobes. But did you know that not all of them are the same? Here’s a quick guide to understanding the different types of Oxford shirts.

Fabric

Oxford shirts are made of cotton, but if you aren’t careful, you’ll buy something with synthetic fabric instead of the real deal. Look for a “100 percent cotton” marker on the label.

Weave

Most Oxford shirts are created with a basket weave that crisscrosses the fabric. The type of basket weave, however, will vary depending on the brand. Discount shops use a plain type; high-end retailers prefer a pinpoint or royal weave.

Sleeves

Short sleeves work best in casual, busy environments where long sleeves will just get in the way, but sometimes the latter is necessary during cold weather or big presentations where professionalism is paramount. Ask your boss about company policy.

Gender

While they can be worn by either sex, Oxford shirts for women aren’t quite the same as their male counterparts. Their weaves tend to be showier, and they’re cut differently in the chest and upper arms.

Collar

Do you wear ties? Point-down collars are the best choice for business wear because they provide a kind of “track” for your tie to follow around your neck. Button-down collars, on the other hand, are designed to meet smoothly at the base of the throat without ties getting in the way. It all depends on the occasion.

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