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Style Advice

Our stylists' guide to the best Oxford shirts

Our stylists' guide to the best Oxford shirts
Photographed: Gitman Vintage Oxford Shirt (£109)

Described by our stylist Freddie as the “Quintessential Oxford shirt”, this is probably as close as you’ll get to the sort of Oxford shirt that would have been worn by JFK in the 1960s. It's made in the US with the generous but not too long length and curved hem of shirts from that era. Freddie particularly loved that it was long enough for him to tuck in, with a smart pointed collar that could fit a tie if need be, but it would work well worn untucked with jeans and a t-shirt. It also had a slight shape to it, so it doesn’t look as boxy as some of those classic designs. 

Best alternative: Drake’s button-down Oxford shirt

If you find yourself wearing your Oxford shirt with tailoring and largely tucked in, then the style by British menswear institution Drake's is probably for you. With a trimmer more tailored fit and strongly pointed collar, it’s made in their own factory in the UK and is perfect for formalwear fans. 

Best value: Marks and Spencer cotton Oxford 

Photographed: Marks & Spencer Pure Cotton Shirt (£15)

All our testers agreed that this was a great fit (a bit boxier, so a good choice for bigger guys as well) while being true to the classic details you’d want from an Oxford: crunchy fabric, box pleat, and decent button-down collar and chest pocket. Currently on sale and in a huge range of fabrics, it’s a great choice for a staple shirt. 

Best alternative: MVP Chapman Oxford shirt 

If you prefer a slightly more fitted and casual design, then our in-house MVP oxford has similar detailing and comes at a good price. It’s designed with a slightly more contemporary fit and finish and comes up a little longer in the sleeve, so if you’re on the taller side, this might be the style for you. 

Best minimalist style: Arlen slim-fit Oxford shirt 

This is our fit model Lee’s clear favourite – think of it as the Oxford shirt for the modern man. It has none of the heritage details or pleats, just a clean, small collared shirt in a good mid-weight fabric. Our testers were big fans of how low-key and easy to wear this style was, and described it as “Scandi feeling”, so if your go-to outfit is a clean white pair of sneakers and black jeans, this might be your shirt. It does tend to come up slightly long in the arms, so it would be a good choice for a taller guy, and the smaller collar flatters those with shorter necks. 

Best alternative: A.P.C 92’ fit Oxford

Photographed: A.P.C. 92 Cotton Oxford Shirt (£70)

Thread stylist Alexander – a big fan of French minimalist masters A.P.C – picked this style as his favourite. It’s a higher price point than the others you’ll see on this list, but you’re paying for quality and design. It’s also more of a low-key casual shirt than a traditional Oxford (for one thing, it doesn’t have a button-down collar), but it comes in a beautiful fabric and a clean boxy fit. 

Best all-rounder: Ralph Lauren slim-fit Oxford button down

Ralph Lauren has long been the king of classic American style, and that’s partially because he’s been so consistent, tinkering with the same silhouettes and styles decade after decade. His oxford shirt is no exception: the weight is lighter than the classic styles from Gitman and Drake’s, but it’s still substantial enough to feel like a real Oxford; the collar is pointed but overly, the length and curve of the hem feel good for tucking in but look great untucked, and the style comes in about 30 (yes, 30) different fabrics a season. 

Best alternative: Portuguese flannel Oxford button down

This shirt was considered the best casual design of the lot, and according to fit model Lee, it came in the the best fabric too – though he did note that it was cut more like a traditional formal shirt than a sports shirt (generally this means a smarter shoulder but also that it can pull up in the shoulders when you have your hands above your head). At a similar price to Ralph Lauren and a dizzying range of fabrics, it’s a solid all-around choice.

Words: Allison Pavlick