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You're Not Going to Oxford, But You Can at Least Look the Part

by Style Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

The most mundane things in the world are usually the ones with the best stories, and the best stories often revolve around rivalries. There's just something about two powerful forces clashing with either side refusing to give in to the other that's so compelling that it bleeds through the years and affects people on a fundamental level.

A Clash of Wills

One of the best rivalries of modern history is the one that's been brewing for centuries between Oxford and Cambridge. The Ateneo-La Salle battles are nothing but drops in the bucket compared to this titanic clash. This isn't just because of all the years the rivalry has been going on, but also because it's managed to enter virtually every facet of life.


, sports, forms of student government-both schools need to have their own version of everything to show the world that they were better. One of the manifestations of that rivalry that still lives on today - strangely enough - is in the world of fashion.

Last Cloth Standing

Back in the days when the rivalries between these schools were at their most feverish, tailors crafted special fabrics named after them. The Oxford and the Cambridge shirt fabrics were the peak of style in men's fashion; even Harvard and Yale got in on the act and had cloth named after them. But Oxford soundly won this battle, as the Oxford shirt is the only one of the four that is still in production to this day.

The Oxford is a type of woven fabric made in the 19th century by Scottish fabric mills. It incorporates a basket weave structure that gives it a distinct texture, and a lustrous sheen that makes the wearer instantly look like he's about to go to an Ivy league school. The Oxford shirt is a sophisticated style that needs a bit more attention to detail to pull off.

Versatility in Style

The Oxford shirt is one of the most sought out styles in men's wear, but is surprisingly easy to mess up in everyday use considering the shirt works best in a formal setting; tucked in with a tie and everything. Fortunately, there are ways to wear an Oxford shirt in a casual setting that won't intimidate people, but rather send the right message.

The key things to remember when wearing an Oxford shirt are versatility and polish. The shirt can take care of the sophistication part of the image; all the other parts of the outfit only need to keep up in that regard. The tricky part when choosing what to wear along with the shirt is selecting pieces that can fit most other settings.

Pairing the shirt with a well-fitted blazer for example, produces an instant business casual look that would work well for a date. Simple jeans could go well with this example as well; the only thing the wearer needs to remember is that the pants should be an off shade if it's the same color as the blazer. This lets them avoid the wall of color effect, which works great for wallpaper, not so much for people.

Anchor the look with a solid shoe choice, like a sneaker or a wing tip. This can change depending on the kind of image the wearer wants to project. Footwear is never an afterthought in fashion, and in this case, it completes the look the wearer wants to achieve.