How does an Oxford shirt differ from a dress shirt?

September 3, 2020 1:44 pm


There’s an Oxford shirt and a dress shirt in every man’s wardrobe, but do we really know the difference between the two? An Oxford shirt is actually a type of dress shirt, but there are a few key differences that set them apart. The secret to the Oxford shirt being a fashion staple is its longevity and versatility, looking good in a casual and formal setting under a shirt or blazer and paired with jeans or a chino. But is it the shirt you are looking for, or are you in need of a dress shirt? Let’s look at the main differences between the two.

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Oxford shirts and dress shirts can be found in most male clothing shops. Brands such as Farah shirts offer shirts in a variety of colours, patterns and sleeve lengths, with Farah shirts seeing some new colours recently added to their collection. There are plenty of options to find the right shirt for your ideal outfit.


A big difference between an Oxford shirt and a dress shirt is the material they’re made from. Oxford shirts are made from Oxford cloth, which is similar to a basket weave material. Dress shirts are made from various fabrics but mainly cotton or a cotton blend.

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Whilst dress shirts have a spread collar or a point collar, Oxford shirts have a button-down collar. This is the most visual difference between the two shirts. The aforementioned
Farah shirts have some great examples of the various collars you can get on a shirt.


An Oxford shirt is smart but comfortable and can be worn casually as well as formally. They are often associated with a “preppy” style and can be used when layering under a jumper. The dress shirt is much more formal and is often worn with smart trousers or a blazer.

Dress Code

If you get an invitation that has that “smart casual” awkward dress code, an Oxford shirt is perfect. It is so versatile and can be paired with a variety of trousers or jeans, trainers or smart shoes. A dress shirt is more for formal occasions or business attire.

We know these two shirts can look exactly the same to the untrained eye, but we hope these differences will help you identify which shirt is the right one for you.