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One Item, Four Ways: Oxford Shirt

16 Comments

Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn in oxford shirts
Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn in oxford shirts | Photo Credit

The summer wardrobe of the typical college student usually includes shorts and tank tops for day and bandage skirts and statement jewelry for night – most of us don’t have closets stocked with office-wear. I totally understand — it’s easy to deny the need to buy clothes that will make the transition from classroom to real world, especially when there are so many cute party tops to be bought!

That being said, it’s never too early to start investing in classic pieces that can be worn after college, and it’s surprisingly easy to find unique, student-friendly ways to style office staples.

The oxford shirt┬ácan be found in the closets of many working women, but that doesn’t mean it has to be limited to the boardroom! Here are four cute outfits that you can create using any button-down shirt you have in your wardrobe. (And if you don’t have an oxford shirt yet, it may be time to invest!)

Outfit 1: Laid-Back Weekend

Oxford shirt outfit: Blue oxford shirt, black maxi skirt, sandals, gold jewelry, orange belt and fedora
Shirt (similar style), Belt, Maxi Dress, Gold/Green Bangles, Beaded Bangles, Sandals, Ring, Fedora

Oxford shirts don’t have to be stuffy and buttoned-up! The beauty of a classic shirt like this is that it can fit with almost any style, from preppy to bohemian. By belting one over a maxi dress and adding some serious accessories, you create the perfect weekend outfit that is casual but still put-together.

Outfit 2: The Office After Hours

Oxford shirt outfit: Blue oxford shirt, silver metallic skirt, neon orange heels, statement jewelry and clutch
Skirt, Necklace, Earrings, Wristlet, Heels

Your oxford shirt doesn’t have to be limited to daytime wear, either. Dress it up for a night out with the girls by pairing it with a metallic skirt, statement necklace, and some killer heels. With accessories like this, no one will even notice that your top half could be headed to a business meeting!

Outfit 3: Tie One On

Oxford shirt outfit: Blue oxford shirt, pink dress, gold watch, straw tote, and espadrilles
Dress, Tote, Watch, Wedges

Sundresses are great in the summer, but they can quickly become uninspired. Try tying an oxford shirt over a sundress you already own to make your “summer uniform” feel new again. (This post on the Atlantic-Pacific fashion blog demonstrates the look perfectly!) Add accessories like a straw tote, crochet wedges, and a boyfriend watch, and you’re ready to stay stylish for the rest of the summer.

Outfit 4: Blair-Waldorf Approved

Oxford shirt outfit: Blue oxford shirt, purple patterned skirt, metallic satchel, black flats, pearls, heart earrings
Skirt, Earrings, Bag, Bracelet, Flats

When putting together this outfit, I was inspired by Blair Waldorf’s style from the first two seasons of Gossip Girl. She added feminine twists to her school uniform, which was usually comprised of an oxford and a swingy skirt, with girly accessories like pearls and purses. Take a cue from Blair and pair a button-down with a skirt in a fun pattern for a cute outfit to wear to class.

What Do You Think?

Do you own an oxford shirt? Do you have any office-ready pieces in your closet? Which of the looks is your favorite? What other items do you want to see on “One Item, Four Ways?” I’d love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment!

Posted on on July 22, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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16 Responses to “One Item, Four Ways: Oxford Shirt”

  1. 1
    July 22nd, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I really like that 2nd outfit, though I’d prefer a white or striped shirt :)

  2. 2
    July 22nd, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Not a fan of the 1st outfit with the black skirt, but i love the second outfit and the rest!!

  3. 3
    July 22nd, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I love button up shirts. They are so classic and can be dressed up or down. SOOO versatile. My oxford shirts are the best pieces in my wardrobe.

  4. 4
    July 22nd, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I love how versatile these types of shirts are and I absolutely love the first and third outfits.

  5. 5
    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    love these post. i get in2 such fashion ruts that these are so inspiration on how 2 wear sumthing a new way. thank you so much

  6. 6
    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I have two amazingly soft, cotton oxford shirts that I live in – a light pink one from Old Navy, and an almost identical pale yellow one from J. Crew, that I bought second hand for 9 bucks. I also keep a baby blue and a navy one around, and I wear them with preppy schoolboy-esque argyle vests, 50’s circle skirts, girly lace, layered under a sweater jumper with oxford heels, tied at the waist and with rolled -up sleeves as beach cover ups, layered under my black-and-white houndstooth sweater…you name it, an oxford blouse works for it. And I love it all.

  7. 7
    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    PS – love the bohemian twist in Look 1 – I’ll have to try something like that.

  8. 8
    July 23rd, 2011 at 7:46 am

    These are all with skirts or dresses. I love to pair button ups with shorts. Dress shorts look great, but so do jean or other fabric shorts. They each give the shirt a different look. Jean shorts make it look so down to earth and fun, whether the shirt is tucked in or loose, and dress shorts keep the uptown style of a classic button up. Shorts are a good choice, I think. Skirts are nice, but I think they better when the shirt is tucked in, otherwise the outfit looks too loose and a little sloppy. Tucking it in shows that your body actually has curves and isn’t bogged down with all the flowiness. Just saying.

  9. 9
    July 23rd, 2011 at 8:10 am

    i love wearing my rust coloured one with a floral skirt and i have a striped one i wear with my basic bikinis. i also own an array of other ones i alternate wearing with pretty scarves and sometimes i wear them open with a tank underneath for a casual look. oxford shirts are the best!

  10. 10
    July 23rd, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I would like the first two looks with a different colored shirt (say, white) but like the last two with the blue!

    This is a really great article because it truly shows the shirt worn in four completely different looks (and even different ways–the third look involves tying it up!) The only thing is that all of the looks involve a skirt or a dress..maybe you could have thrown in a pair of shorts for good measure!

  11. 11
    July 23rd, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I absolutely love button-downs! I just can’t find any for my figure. :( Any advice for where to buy button downs for a girl with a tiny waist and large bust?

  12. 12
    July 24th, 2011 at 12:17 am

    @ Cortney: I’ve had the same problem! If it helps, my oxfords are from J.Crew (via a consignment store) and American Eagle. I would just suggest that you pay the most attention to how the shirt fits across the bust. If it stretches, the shirt will look ill-fitting. It’s always better to go up–oxfords look adorable a little oversized, especially with the sleeves rolled up. If you want a tighter fit throughout the body, you could try having it tailored or layer a cami underneath and leave the button across your bust unbuttoned. Hope this helped!

  13. 13
    July 24th, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    these are cute, but i would have loved to see some looks with pants or shorts. the color of the shirt would look amazing with white shorts or cropped trousers. perfect for the season :)

  14. 14
    July 24th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I love you forever for posting a “blair waldorf approved” outfit. she is my idol (as well as Bree Van De Kamp from Desperate Housewives)

  15. 15
    July 27th, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Now i own one!! My sister had gotten a ‘mIley cyrus’ brand of an oxford shirt awhile back, and she’s worn it maybe… once? so i was looking for another shirt in her closet, and came upon her oxford shirt! she never wears it, so she gave it to me! right now i’m wearing it over my black skinny jeans. :)

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