The oxford shirt has long been an essential part of the Ralph Lauren man’s wardrobe. Originally made in the 19th century by Scottish fabric mills, the oxford shirt is one of four shirt fabrics named after a university. The others—Yale, Cambridge and Harvard—have long since ceased to be produced.
Defined strictly by the oxford weave, a basket-weave pattern that combines two types of yarns woven lengthwise against a heavier yarn crosswise (oftentimes in a different color to give it a distinctive pattern) or vice versa, the oxford shirt is easily recognizable. Although some of these shirts are now made with other synthetic fabrics, the look and essence of the original oxford is still present. Oxford shirts frequently, but not always, have button-down collars.
Now associated with the preppy Ivy League style, the oxford shirt was formerly a sport shirt for polo players in England. Polo players would wear long-sleeved oxford shirts for their matches, as the fabric was comfortable and breathable.
The oxford shirt has evolved into an important staple piece in the Ralph Lauren world and is available every season in an array of colors. Incredibly versatile, it is appropriate in many settings. The oxford shirt is the perfect laid-back piece that conveys a sense of ease and comfort while creating a sleek, clean look. It can also be dressed up with a repp tie and a navy blazer for the ultimate in preppy attire, a true nod to the essence of the Ralph Lauren lifestyle.