If you’re looking for classic versatility — nothing is more classic or versatile than the oxford shirt, but where did it come from? The Oxford shirt actually originated from Scotland in the 19th Century, where fabric mills experimented with different fabric weaves for shirts including; Yale, Cambridge, Harvard and Oxford – obviously the latter proved the most popular.
The classic white oxford shirt fits every occasion. It can be worn with your suit for formal situations or dressed down with a pair of jeans or khaki chinos. In general think of white and blue oxfords as building blocks that will provide the backbone to a good-looking wardrobe.
Trivia: these two colors make up approximately 90% of the dress shirts sold and the reason is that either color looks good on most complexions and body types.
The grey oxford shirt is a bit of an overlooked item that’s useful to have on hand for wearing under black sweaters or black blazers. You’ll find it looks pretty good with a navy suit as well. It’s put together and has an evening out, winter-ish feel to it.
Pink’s also a great option for a solid color oxford. It looks great with jeans or a navy suit. No pink’s not just for girls just like blue’s not for boys. Be the kind of man who’s happy to prove it.
Although you can never have enough solid color shirts, there are also other versatile options.
Don't want to look too clown-like? There is a right way to wear stripes...
For a start think vertical stripes as there are very few situations when horizontal stripes will be your best bet stripe-wise for a dress shirt. (T-shirts and the classic Breton shirt, are of course different beasts).
As a general rule, look for shirts with relatively thin stripes. Wide stripes just don’t look as ascetically pleasing. Stripes less than an inch in width look great, as do stripes of varying weight.
The old school view is that wearing two articles of clothing with stripes is a fashion faux-pas. For example, they would condemn the practice of wearing a pinstripe suit with a striped shirt. But it’s the 2010s and we’re all for breaking rules. Just make sure that the two articles of clothing have different weight stripes.
High contrast gingham is a smart way to bring visual interest to an otherwise low-key outfit. It works just as well with a suit as or with jeans. It’s a great summer shirt and works well on workdays and weekends. Just roll up the sleeves for a relaxed Saturday morning look.
Plaid (in all its various variations) isn’t just the domain of grunge rockers — think office casual Friday! No tie? So make the impact elsewhere in your outfit in both pattern and color. It’s masculine, tidy-casual and can work with anything from jeans to chinos to blazers.
To floral shirts or not to floral shirt? That is the question. I think it make for a great summer look and can make a bold statement with a plain suit and plain tie (or sans tie). This type of shirt comes in many styles from abstract paisley patterns to big or small flowers. Be bold but temper it with a matching neutral color.
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