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15 Best Oxford Shirts For Men – OCBD Guide for 2023

15 Best Oxford Shirts For Men – OCBD Guide for 2023

The term ‘essential’ is thrown around more than dice on the Las Vegas strip. You only have to look at the fact that there’s an album called Bon Jovi: The Essentials for evidence of that. However, one piece to which the term has been correctly applied for more than 120 years is the best Oxford shirts for men.

Sitting alongside a well-fitting navy suit, a selection of white T-shirts and selvedge denim in the menswear hall of fame, the OCBD (that’s ‘Oxford cloth button-down’ to the uninitiated) is one of the few key sartorial building blocks guaranteed never to fall from favor.

Bought in classic shades of sky blue, pink and white, an Oxford shirt has the ability to add a casual lean to an otherwise formal outfit or dress up a relaxed chinos and sneakers combination.

“It’s truly one of the most versatile and timeless pieces a man can have in his wardrobe,” says Chris Gove, creative director of British menswear brand Percival. “An Oxford shirt can slot easily under a summer suit, or over a plain T-shirt; be fitted or slightly oversized; worn with the sleeves down to the wrists or rolled up, and in every case, it never looks out of place.”

In the world of menswear, the significance of the OCBD is paramount. Representing the best men’s oxford shirts, it’s as close as one can get to the ultimate wardrobe cornerstone. If you’re still on the fence about its value, this guide provides a comprehensive overview of this essential garment.

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Luca Faloni Oxford Cotton Shirt

If you’re on the hunt for the best ocbd that embodies impeccable craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, the Luca Faloni Oxford Cotton Shirt should be at the top of your list. Crafted following age-old Italian artisanal traditions, Luca Faloni employs pure Egyptian cotton in the creation of their sartorial masterpieces – and by that, we mean their shirts.

Esteemed for its hypoallergenic and breathable properties, this cotton is ideal for daily wear. Adorned with mother-of-pearl buttons and featuring a classic “paramontura” collar (which sits perfectly under a blazer), this Oxford shirt offers a contemporary spin on a perennial classic.

Investing in this shirt is a decision you won’t regret, and considering all four colors might even be a wise choice. If you had to single out one, the midnight blue could be a splendid addition to your wardrobe. Whichever hue you opt for, incorporating a Luca Faloni into your array of button-downs will undoubtedly have admirers commenting on your impeccable style.

Isto Oxford Shirt Dark Blue

Quality Oxford without putting a dent in your wallet? The ISTO Cotton Oxford may be just what you need. Working with the best garment supplier and tailor in Portugal, ISTO has created a distinct and unique version of the classic Oxford. Slim-fit with soft cotton for all-day comfort, their attention to detail is what makes them special.

Featuring the classic button-down collar, chest pockets and shoulder pleats, what really gets us excited is the stripped designs they offer in blue, pink and green. Not only does it manage to stay cool, sophisticated and stylish, but it adds just the right amount of whimsy to any formal look. Or you can dress it down for a day out, casual drinks, or even a date!

Amazon Essentials Regular Fit Oxford

Sometimes, you just need an Oxford shirt that will come quickly, look good, and do the job. Luckily, Amazon’s Essentials does that and more. Made with 100% cotton for comfort and overall durability, the shirt sports your classic button-down collar, button cuffs, and a back yoke for that timeless sophistication that every gentleman on a budget needs. The beauty of Amazon? There is a wide variety of colors to choose from, and since the price point is not high at all, you can treat yourself to a few different colors if you would like.

Don’t snooze on this Amazon basic to help solidify and maximize your wardrobe without putting yourself into debt.

Appearance Oxford Shirt

Looking to be the “Everyday Man” who really embodies “Everyday formal”? Not even sure what we are talking about? That’s ok! Just take a look at this 100% cotton Oxford shirt to see what we mean. At Appearance, the memo is: Every day formal that never goes out of style, is made sustainably, and consists of wardrobe staples you can go back to time and time again. Designed in Denmark and produced in Portugal, this brand breathes European flair and style.

This is also perfectly encapsulated by their Oxford shirt. Made with Pima Cotton and sporting the classic button-down collar, chest pockets, and shoulder pleats for that timeless, iconic look, this slim fit shirt is perfect for the office, for drinks after, and even for those more formal events you get invited to from time to time. Be daring in a baby pink version, or mysterious in a dark navy. Whatever colour you choose, you will be the air of sophistication.

Madison Fit Irish Linen Sport Shirt, Best oxford shirts for men

The OG of the OCBD, Oxford shirt inventors Brooks Brothers was founded in Manhattan over two centuries ago, making it the oldest continually trading men’s outfitter in the US.

The firm released its iconic Polo Button-Down Oxford shirt in 1896, and in the process created a key building block in many a stylish man’s wardrobe.

MEN SLIM FIT STRIPED OXFORD SHIRT BUTTON-DOWN COLLAR, Best oxford shirts for men

High-street outfitter Uniqlo is well-known for turning out quality wardrobe basics at wallet-friendly prices, and Oxford shirts are one of the things it does best.

Quality cotton, tasteful colours, a flattering fit and all this for less than half what most traditional brands cost. If that’s not worth braving the high street for, we’re not sure what is.

L’Estrange All Day Oxford

Seeking the perfect white Oxford shirt that transitions seamlessly from the boardroom to upscale evening events? Look no further than the All Day Oxford from L’Estrange. This shirt, a cornerstone of any sophisticated wardrobe, is meticulously crafted in Italy using the finest premium Italian oxford cloth. Its design, characterized by a button-down collar, functional chest pockets, and a tailored slim fit, ensures you radiate elegance and poise. Whether paired with trousers, jeans, or a suit, this white Oxford shirt stands out as the epitome of style and versatility.

While its classic white hue is undeniably timeless, the All Day Oxford also offers a palette of other colors for those looking to diversify. Consider adding shades like navy or baby blue to your collection, ensuring you always have the perfect shirt to elevate your ensemble without compromising on comfort.

Gap Classic Oxford Shirt

As the high street’s go-to spot for simple American classics, it stands to reason that Gap has an extensive collection of Oxford shirts.

Expect soft, casual cotton, cut slim but not too slim, deployed across short- and long-sleeved versions in a wide range of colours, stripes and checks.

Classic Fit Oxford Shirt, Best oxford shirts for men

It’s impossible to think of an Oxford shirt without preppy, Ivy-League style springing to mind. And you can’t think preppy, Ivy-League style without ending up at Ralph Lauren.

The New York label has made the look its calling card since 1967, and its fitted, flattering Oxford options are some of the best oxford shirts around.

Ben Sherman striped oxford shirt

The mod movement of the 1960s was one of the contributing factors that helped thrust the Oxford shirt into the mainstream, and it was Ben Sherman leading the charge.

Shirts by the British label have been passed from subculture to subculture, becoming iconic in the process. If you like your clothes to come with a story, it doesn’t get much better than this.

The Rest Of The Best Oxford Shirts and OCBD Shirts 

GANT Regular Fit Pinpoint Oxford Shirt, Best oxford shirts for men

Headquartered in Stockholm but with roots in preppy Americana, Gant is often cited as the brand that brought button-down shirts to the mass market. It’s also credited for inventing the hanger loop – another key casual shirt detail that was quickly adopted elsewhere.

While timeless, the clever detailing and modern twists on Gant’s products keep things moving forward. For a quality Oxford shirt from one of the originators, look no further.

John Lewis & Partners Regular Fit Bengal Stripe Oxford Shirt, Best oxford shirts for men

It should come as no great surprise that the old reliable of British department stores is well-stocked on the old reliability of men’s smart-casual dress codes.

With a strong offering from its in-house label, as well as plenty of recognizable names, the retailer is bound to have an Oxford shirt that fits your wardrobe.

American Pima cotton oxford shirt with mechanical stretch, Best oxford shirts for men

One of America’s finest examples of classic, preppy style done well, J.Crew has become synonymous with easy-to-wear, modern wardrobe staples.

The brand’s approach has earned it legions of followers worldwide and its neatly fitted Oxfords are just one of the things that keep style-savvy shoppers coming back.

Steel Blue Weave Button Down, Best oxford shirts for men

With a shopfront on Jermyn Street – the capital of British shirtmaking – Emma Willis creates some of the finest bespoke and ready-to-wear Oxfords on the face of the earth.

You’ll not see any fleeting trends among the shelves here – the focus is solely on traditional, all-English styles. So if you like the idea of timelessness, quality materials and craftsmanship, Willis is most certainly the woman to see.

Sixten 5910 Oxford Shirt, Best oxford shirts for men

Copenhagen-based label NN07 bills its products as the classics of tomorrow, and having kept a beady eye on its collections since 2007, we’d be inclined to agree.

The focus here is on simple wardrobe staples, an approach evident in its Oxford shirts, which feature a tidy slim-fit profile cut from resilient, wrinkle-resistant cotton.

Enjoying the sun in an oxford
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What to Look For When Buying The Best Oxford Shirt For Men

When it comes to the cornerstones of the male wardrobe, pale imitations are rarely a patch on the real deal. To make sure that your Oxford is (literally) cut from the right cloth, take note of these tips when searching for the perfect shirt.

Fabric

While it might be impossible to visually distinguish between an Oxford shirt crafted from cotton and one blended with manmade fibers such as polyester, you’ll only get comfortable, breathable and long-lasting wear from the former. Pure cotton Oxford shirts also offer a more pleasant hand feel, and will fare far better at keeping you cool in warmer temperatures.

Color

Depending on who you ask, different menswear experts will suggest a different starting point for your collection of Oxford shirts. Yet all agree on the holy trinity of colorways every man should own: sky blue, white and pink. This applies whether your Oxford is uniform in color or striped.

Cut

The enduring appeal of the Oxford shirt is its ability to be an everyman, which applies to fit as well as formality. Seek out designs that neatly follow your form without straining over your frame, looking out in particular for a box pleat (a rectangular fold of fabric that runs along the middle of the back) on the reverse for an increased range of movement.

Collar

Menswear purists will say that an Oxford shirt should feature a roll collar (where the lack of interlining causes the collar to rest in a curved shape) but straight collars (which, as you guessed, rest flat) offer a slightly cleaner finish. Oxford shirts without button-down collars, but still cut from the correct cloth, are usually reserved for formal outfits.

Details

As with any other area of the male wardrobe, the devil is in the detail. Play to the Oxford shirt’s casual heritage by avoiding tricky French cuffs in favour of standard button cuffs. As for the fastenings themselves, mother-of-pearl sets the bar because it gives a depth of colour and is more resistant to cracking.

FAQs

What Is An Oxford Shirt?

Softer in its construction than a stiff dress shirt, and a tad more formal than your weekend flannel, the Oxford shirt is a solid, fail-safe option when you’re attempting to bridge the treacherous gap dividing smart and casual.

While the merits of owning an OCBD (or five) may come as no surprise, what might is that this staple has little to do with the English city with which it shares its name. In fact, the moniker is taken from the fact that it’s made exclusively from a thick, woven fabric known as Oxford cloth.

“Oxford cotton is created by weaving the cotton yarn in a certain way giving a textured rather than smooth finish,” explains Jermyn Street shirtmaker Emma Willis. “There are different types, starting with the classic Oxford, then the finer Prince Oxford, which has a slight sheen and more conspicuous weave.”

Despite often being referred to as an Oxford cloth button-down, not all are finished with a collar that fastens to the shirt. Those that do are inherently more casual, but smarter styles (most of which use collar stays to maintain their shape) still qualify as Oxford shirts if they’re cut from the right cloth.

a man wearing a white oxford shirt
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Why Do You Need An Oxford Shirt?

In a word: versatility. The Oxford shirt has an unparalleled ability to blend into any setting and as part of almost any dress code. You could just as easily wear one to a formal event as you could down the pub. There aren’t many items of clothing you can say that about.

“It works well with a button-down collar and button cuff, but also looks great worn open, with a traditional collar and button cuff,” says Willis. “The Oxford has become [even more] popular as men do not have to dress so formally all the time and it converts so well from suit to jeans.”