Zari SadriComment

History in every stitch: The Oxford shirt

Zari SadriComment
History in every stitch: The Oxford shirt

Our new Touring Oxford is inspired by high-street styles that made their way to the slopes during the early days of skiing's history. Lacking proper sportswear, gentlemen skiers often relied on their day to day uniforms of tailored woolen trousers and button-downs, layered under crew neck sweaters for alpine adventure. The Touring Oxford is an homage to skiing's early pioneers, and a lightweight essential perfect for spring ski days or three season adventure in the mountains once the snow has melted. Here's a brief history of the "Oxford".

Taking it's name from the University, the Oxford shirt is distinguished by its use of the basketweave pattern typically consisting of two warp yarns of the same color and a heavier weft yarn of a different color, resulting in the marled finish most commonly associated with the garment. While the exact date of when the oxford shirt came into being is unknown but it is widely agreed upon that the style was born in Scotland in the 19th century.

In those times, fabric mills and tailors would differentiate themselves from their competition by the use of different weaves and fabrics. The Oxford weave was introduced alongside the Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge weaves but is the only one that continues to be produced today. In 1871, the full button enclosure that we are familiar with today was patented by Brown, Davies & Co. in London, furthering the evolution of the oxford shirt into its current form.

 
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Because of its durability and relative breathability, the oxford shirt became a favorite among polo players, who to this day have strict dress codes to adhere to. The oxford shirt’s popularity in sport grew and was soon adopted by golfers, skiers, and tennis players as well.

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Because of the prevalence of these sports among Ivy League students, the oxford shirt became a staple of the prep wardrobe. Ivy Leaguers would often wear their shirts in a less formal fashion, adding a degree of versatility to the oxford shirt. What started as a point of differentiation grew to become the fabric of choice to those of an aristocratic tilt. It is through this association and an evolution of styling that the oxford shirt has become a staple piece in any gentleman’s wardrobe, especially the gentleman skier.

 
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