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Finding an Oxford Shirt that Doesn't Shine
February 4, 2012 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find a non-pinpoint, non-royal, but awesome men's oxford shirt?

I have one great dress shirt: an oxford cloth blue button-down Van Heusen which I'm pretty sure is a leftover from my 8th grade uniform (yes, I'm an 'adult' now).

It's awesome because of a few factors:
  • No guy playing polo, crocodile, or whatever on it. No external signs of branding
  • It is apparently built to last.
  • It's matte and textured. It doesn't shine, at all.
Googling informs me that the reason why this shirt rocks and the shirts I've been trying to get to supplement it with shine and have no nice texture is because they're 'pinpoint or royal' oxfords, with a much finer thread. That's cool and all, but I'm not into shiny shirts and don't need something that's 'business appropriate' (programmer, dress-down person).

Also: fitted is a plus, maybe a must. I'm tall and lanky (6', 150ish).

Even the current Van Heusen bunch of shirts seem to be entirely pinpoint and whatnot.

Is there anywhere I can go to get oxford shirts, without branding or shine, and with the built-to-last / coolness of this one?
posted by tmcw to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Brooks Brothers extra slim sounds like a good choice, as long as you DO NOT buy the non-iron, which will be shiny because of the wrinkle-resistant coating. $80 new, but if you're patient you can probably find something on eBay.
posted by joshuaconner at 7:31 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seconding Brooks Brothers extra slim. Very high quality, and unlike their slim fit, will fit a man of your size. And yes, fitted is a must.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:36 PM on February 4, 2012


Thirding the Brooks Brothers slim or extra slim. You want the "supima" oxford, which is what they call the traditional oxford cloth non-non-iron shirt. I recommend these with the caveat that they only occasionally show up on eBay, though Brooks Brothers has fairly regular (semi-annual, maybe) sales when oxfords are somewhere around $70 if you buy three of the same size/color--which isn't bad for a shirt that is, at least last time I checked, made in America. These shirts are intended to be tucked in and may have longer tails than you would prefer if you habitually wear your shirts untucked.

If you're okay with clothing made overseas, I have a soft spot for Lands End's Hyde Park oxford. It's a slightly lighter fabric (though the weight seems to vary from batch to batch) which is nice in warm weather. It's also a slightly lighter blue than the Brooks Brothers. I think their "tailored fit" is the slim fit.

I hesitate to suggest them because they're fashion-expensive, but the "vintage" line oxfords made by Gitman Brothers are also very well-made, very heavy, slim and made in America. They're also (urrk) $165 and rarely dip below $90 used/on sale.
posted by pullayup at 8:15 PM on February 4, 2012


try LL Bean, their oxford shirts seem like just what you want
posted by drhydro at 8:24 PM on February 4, 2012


For the lower price spread, the Stafford shirts by J. C. Penney always rate well, for the price, from Consumer Reports and even Wall Street Journal. And me.
posted by caclwmr4 at 8:28 PM on February 4, 2012


I have a French blue, standard Oxford shirt that I got from Land's End over a decade ago, and I've had a couple Hyde Park ones (white, blue) that last a long time as well (I think the only one I've ever thrown out was because someone in my apartment complex left gum in the clothes dryer). When I used to have to wear them for work, I'd wear them once or twice a month, with a washing and ironing between every wear, so they're damn near indestructable. They have tall sizes (which I get, since I'm 6'5"), but their size chart is pretty broad anyway. I haven't tried the tailored fit version.
posted by LionIndex at 8:29 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Land's End "tailored" fit might be a little roomy for you, but it'll be a personal call. At 5'11 150 lbs about half of their tailored fits are right on and about half I return because they're too generous in the arms. They sell many kinds of oxford cloth shirts, and I think the Hyde Park is the texture you want.

You can get free shipping virtually every day just by searching for Lands End coupon or discount, and if you have a local Sears you can return anything there with no shipping charges. I dig that bit because it lets me try out styles and such that I wouldn't otherwise get to see (I live in a town that no longer has a proper men's store).

They're a marvelous company to deal with. The shirts won't be U.S.-made and won't be as well-made as the ultra-high-end, but they're inexpensive, well-made, last forever, and they really do mean "if you're ever not satisfied, return it and we'll give your money back" thing.
posted by introp at 8:57 PM on February 4, 2012


I'm not sure why you seem to associate pinpoint oxfords with "shine"...the oxford shirts that I do own (both BB & Lands End, regular cotton and non-iron) are in the "pinpoint" style and don't have the shine that you refer to.
posted by scalespace at 9:01 PM on February 4, 2012


They sell many kinds of oxford cloth shirts, and I think the Hyde Park is the texture you want.

I've got both Hydes and the regular oxfords, and they look pretty similar - textured and non-shiny. My recollection is that the Hyde Parks are actually made with beefier fabric, thus holding a pressing longer, but that's the only real difference.
posted by LionIndex at 9:16 PM on February 4, 2012


I'm not sure why you seem to associate pinpoint oxfords with "shine"...the oxford shirts that I do own (both BB & Lands End, regular cotton and non-iron) are in the "pinpoint" style and don't have the shine that you refer to.

(It varies by item number and year; pinpoint is the same weave as oxford, just from a considerably finer yarn and a tighter weave, so which category it goes in is up to the honesty of the manufacturer/seller. I can easily spot the texture and sheen differences between the two at a fair distance from my closet. I mean, it's no royal oxford or sea-island weave, but it's still noticeably shinier.)
posted by introp at 9:30 PM on February 4, 2012


Brooks Brothers extra slim but not their super-awesome-you-don't-even-need-to-own-an-iron shirts, some of those have a bit of a sheen. I only buy on sale since $40 per shirt isore my price point, but I love their shirts.
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:14 PM on February 4, 2012


Keep in mind that a brand-new, never-washed oxford made out of better-quality supima cotton—like a Brooks Brothers or a Lands End Hyde Park, neither of which are pre-washed in any way—can sometimes have, to my eye anyway, a little tiny bit of shininess that will go away after a couple of washings. Oxford cloth really does get nicer and softer with wear, so don't be discouraged if your new shirt isn't as perfect as your old shirt right out of the box.
posted by enn at 5:40 AM on February 5, 2012


I just replaced my non-shiny, lightweight Van Heusen 85% Cotton / 15% Polyester light-blue pinpoint Oxford with an exact copy after years of searching. Think I've had it since about 8th grade too. What does the tag on your old shirt say the materials blend is? That oughta help you find something similar. You can probably still find the exact cut, fabric blend, and color from Van Heusen if you want. It's not like they change it up much (if at all) year-to-year, especially for a bog-standard shirt like the one we're talking about here.

I'll chime in with the others saying that your dismissal of the 'pinpoint' designation might be unnecessary.
posted by carsonb at 6:56 AM on February 5, 2012


Land's End sells a nearly indestructible cotton oxford shirt. Good price, too.
I'd also suggest looking at Joseph A. Bank.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:15 AM on February 5, 2012


I'm not sure why you seem to associate pinpoint oxfords with "shine"...the oxford shirts that I do own (both BB & Lands End, regular cotton and non-iron) are in the "pinpoint" style and don't have the shine that you refer to.

I'll chime in with the others saying that your dismissal of the 'pinpoint' designation might be unnecessary.

I'm going to back up introp and the OP here and say that pinpoint oxford can definitely have certain "shine" to it that standard 40s-ish 2x1 oxford cloth doesn't, especially the nicer versions, like the 80s 2 ply pinpoint oxford cloth sold by TTX (you'll usually see a tag on the neckband identifying it).

I think this is partially because the warp threads lay "higher" than the weft and can, when viewed at an angle, eclipse them, giving the fabric a shimmery quality like sharkskin/pink-and-pick weaves. The threads may also be treated/mercerized to make them more lustrous, but I really don't have any evidence to back this up. In any case, pinopoint oxfords have a much more business shirt look to them, even when they have a button-down collar. I don't like to wear them because they make me feel like I'm on my way to work at a bank or something.
posted by pullayup at 9:01 AM on February 5, 2012


LLBean. I am steadily replacing all my various long-sleeve shirts with their products.

Their customer service people are superhuman. Go to their web site and grab the toll-free number; call up and explain what you want.

DO IT NOW.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:14 PM on February 6, 2012


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