The Versatile Oxford Shirts for Men
The Oxford Cloth Button Down Shirt is an enduring classic that has held the distinction of most essential shirt in a man’s wardrobe for over a century. What makes “OCBD” such a classic look?
The OCBD shirt is all about versatility. Whether in a classroom, a conference room, on weekdays or on vacations, the oxford shirt provides utility and charm that no other shirt can match, this is the shirt’s speciality. In any well considered wardrobe, there’s always room for the shirt that embodies all that is great about quality, knowledge, education, tact, and credibility. The oxford shirt possesses outstanding physical appearance and versatility.
The Oxford Button-Down Shirt Emerged
Back in 1896, John E. Brooks inherited the family business and in 1850 renamed his company company “Brooks Brothers.” One day while attending a polo match in England, he noticed that the players’ jerseys had buttons at the pointed end of the collar to prevent the collar from flapping up and down against their faces as they moved during the match. He then introduced the technique to the Americans and applied it to shirts. In those days, men still had to use a Collar Pin to hold the collar in place or preferred a shirt with a detachable collar. The use of a button-down collar or button-down is now widely popular thanks to John E. Brooks.
The Golden Era
The popularity of the OCBD shirt eventually rose to the point of becoming the staple shirt for the gentlemen of most of the eastern United States college campuses in the 1950s due to the benefits in terms of a range of applications over other types of shirts. It began in 1915 and expanded to the other side of the nation by the middle of the century.
No era, however, speaks more strongly to traditional American style than the Ivy League’s golden age. OCBDs evolved from a men’s casual shirt to a hallmark of Ivy style in the 1960s.
The OCBD shirt was a representation of the American gentleman and intellectual, and has created a permanent norm for men’s dress code. Like a well-worn pair of jeans, an OCBD will create a story alone with its owner, developing unique patina and wear. We commonly see images of young guys with crumpled OCBD shirts, or middle-aged men wearing it beautifully with a tie and suit jacket, from school age to adulthood, or even the picture of an old italian guy who appeared to be more at ease with his shirt as a second skin.