Androgynous Style Guide: Oxford Shirts Vs. Dress Shirts

By Kirrin Finch
Oxford Shirt vs Dress Shirt

So, you’ve figured out your style. You know you prefer to dress in a masculine androgynous way (at least some of the time). Now, you need to know how to do it and do it well! There are many nuances to menswear, and knowing the specifics can make your good outfit turn to downright dapper! One such nuance that can help you upgrade your next outfit is knowing which type of shirt you should wear; a dress shirt or an oxford shirt?

Dress Shirt For Non-Binary Folks and Women

What Is The Difference Between An Oxford Shirt and A Dress Shirt?

Oxford shirts and dress shirts can look almost identical to the untrained eye. They’re often solid colors, worn under suits, blazers or sweaters, and are classic long-sleeve button-up shirts. Oxfords are considered a type of dress shirt by some, but there are actually two very important distinctions between an oxford shirt and a dress shirt.

Different Types of Collars

One of the most iconic things about oxford shirts is the button down collar. These collars originated with polo players who were annoyed that their shirt collars kept flying up into their face - so they added buttons to keep the collar in place! This may be a part of why oxford shirts are often perceived as a preppy. 

Oxford Button-Down Collar

While oxford shirts almost always feature button down collars, dress shirts can have a variety of types of collars. Our favorite is the spread collar which is perfect for neckwear and extremely flattering.

Dress Shirt Spread Collar

Different Types of Fabric

While dress shirts can be made with many different types of fabric (popular choices include cotton, silk and linen), oxford shirts are always made with oxford cloth. Oxford cloth is created with a particular type of basketweave that creates extremely soft and durable fabric. Our oxfords also have a nice heathered look which helps you stand out from the crowd.

Women's Oxford Button-Down Shirt

When You Should Choose An Oxford Vs A Dress Shirt?

It may seem like you could wear an oxford shirt and a dress shirt interchangeably. And if that’s your jam, go for it! There are some situations, however, where one shirt is more appropriate than the other.

Dress Shirts:
Dress shirts are really fun because there are so many different types out there. Spread collar or a point collar? Cuff buttons or french cuffs? Cotton or silk? Whichever dress shirt you choose, you can be sure of one thing: a dress shirt is going to be your go-to for all of your formal occasions. You can put it under a suit or with your favorite blazer for a clean, dapper androgynous look, or wear it with a vest or nice sweater. While you could also wear an oxford more formally, it will never look quite as clean as a dress shirt under a suit or blazer.

Women's Dress Shirt

Oxford Shirts: 
One of the reasons oxford shirts are incredibly popular is because they are super versatile. Like dress shirts, they also happen to look really nice in formal settings (although the collar and fabric make them look slightly more informal), but oxfords are also perfect for everyday attire, to wear to the office, or even to go out for drinks with friends. In short - you can plan to get a whole lot of use out of this shirt!

Gray Oxford Shirt For Women and Non-Binary Folks

Need Some Androgynous Style Inspiration?

Looking for more inspiration for your awesome new oxford and/or dress shirt? Here are some outfits we love!

The Effortlessly Dapper
Wearing a dress shirt under a nice sweater is an easy way to have a classy outfit while staying cozy and warm. Pair it with chinos and some boots, and we think it may just be your new favorite outfit! 

Dapper Sweater

The Office Holiday Party Slayer
Dazzle at your office holiday party with a great fitting oxford shirt and a fun piece of neckwear! Ties or bow ties with fun patterns are always a hit. Wear it with suit pants for a fun, celebratory outfit.

Kirrin Finch Oxford Shirt

The Best Dressed
If you're looking for a clean, classic look that ALWAYS looks great, go for a dress shirt with your favorite suit! The spread collar looks great with or without neckwear, so either way you wear it you will look dressed to the nines.

The Accessorizer
Don't be boring - add some accessories to make your outfit unique! There are so many ways you can jazz up an outfit - add a collar pin, a hat, a tie, a pocket square, suspenders, a pocket watch, on and on and on. Be brave and find your own accessory style, and don't be afraid to switch it up!

Kirrin Finch Oxford Shirt

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