Button-down. Button-up. Oxford shirt. OCBD. Whatever you call them, they’re a staple in every preppy girl (and guy’s) year-round wardrobe and it’s virtually impossible to have too many in your closet. I’m therefore a little embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t really found the perfect one for me. Well, that’s not entirely true — I lived in Rugby’s oxford shirts and haven’t really known where to turn since they went out of business. (RIP, for real.)

This boy shirt has a baggier, comfier fit so it’s great with skinny jeans but not ideal for tucking into a skirt or shorts. On the subject of boy shirts, these shirts are actually made for boys but I’ve been stealing them from my brothers for years and tying them in a knot all summer (photo reference). I also just picked up this relaxed fit and plan on wearing it tucked into my new favorite white jeans once it warms up. But the shirt I’m really longing for and haven’t been able to find since Rugby’s glory days is slightly more fitted, without pulling at the chest, with a stiff collar should I be inclined to, er, pop lock and drop it. Have you had any luck in that department?

how to style an oxford shirt

best oxford shirts for women

best oxford shirts for women

best oxford shirt for women

best preppy oxford shirt women's shirts

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Here are a few button-down shirts on my “to try” list (this, this, and this are front runners) but I’d love for you to weigh in in the comments if you’ve found the best oxford shirt for you!


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  1. Definitely one to try is Canadian designed and made Pink Tartan shirts! I’ve had my first one for more than 8 years and it has lasted me perfectly, still looks brand new! Also a creative and stylish take on the classic boring work button down. The price is totally justified for how long they last (and the endless compliments I’ve received). I swear by the quality and comfort. https://pinktartan.ca/collections/womens-button-down-shirts

  2. LL Bean! They’re sturdy, great quality, not see-through and extremely affordable. They also offer a henley version if you’re like me and look weird in button all the way downs.

  3. I love the non-iron button downs from Chaps sold by Kohls. They used to be made by Ralph Lauren but I think he sold the line. Still affordable (especially on sale!) some really nice prints and solids and no iron. I have a closet full of them.

  4. I swear by Uniqlo’s oxfords. They come in classic colors, the fit is perfect, and the price can’t be beat. I’ve had the same ones for years, and they get better with every washing.

  5. I can’t comment on how the women’s shirts fit, but if you’re looking to make some men’s shirts your own, I always recommend Brooks Brothers. Unfortunately, J. Crew recently (summer 2013 I think) re-worked their men’s sizes, and I don’t like they way they are cut as much any more. However, I think the best men’s shirts on the market right now are from Bonobos. You have to check them out! The only think I find more comfortable are my completely broken in and worm Polo oxfords. They’re only for serious dress-down days at this point, but so comfortable.

  6. I was just thinking of purchasing the comme des garcons shirt as well and having a similar problem justifying the price! Perhaps if you can come up with various ways to style it we can both justify it! I work in a very conservative office so I am already trying to imagine it with black slacks and then for the weekend with black jeans or maybe even a skirt?? Thanks for the post!

  7. Between us, my daughter and I share at least 12 men’s secret wash button downs from J. Crew in white and colors that go more girly. They’re a good length hanging out from a pullover or cardigan sweater, and they’re not too boxy or full. When we’re super casual (which is often), they’re a great option. I’ll have to check out these that you’re sharing!

  8. I LOVE OXFORDS AS WELL. True statement that you can never have too many. I actually have all 3 that you are going to try. Out of the 3 my first pick would be the Ralph Lauren, it’s a true Oxford which is a little heavier weight and is perfectly fitted, not too big not too small. My second choice is the J crew, much lighter weight and 3rd choice is Brooks Brothers. I love the shirt just not crazy about the non-iron material, but love the fit!! Good luck!

  9. I love an oxford! I’m sure there are a million great ones out there, but my favorite actually came from American Eagle! AE can be really really trendy, but every once in awhile I can find really good staple pieces on their website.

  10. LIterally perfect timing. I just spilled coffee on not one, but two of my favorite button downs. I’m on my own quest for some new favorites!!


  11. I relate to this on a whole new level. RIP Rugby for real. I haven’t been able to find the perfect button downs since then either!! I still wear the Rugby ones on a regular basis, I tried regular Ralph Lauren brand ones and it was just not the same. I have to say, the latest Polo ones come pretty close though. Also can never go wrong with Brooks Brothers!

  12. I am in love with the Brooks Brothers non-iron fitted dress shirts. They are the best. Wash them, dry them, hang them up, and they look perfectly pressed every time. Stiff collar that never sags – can’t beat them. Honestly have 10 of them in different colors.

      1. I completely agree. They are easy to wear and no dry cleaning required!! I can wear them for work and for casual occasions. Definitely a great investment, plus they usually have deals if you buy 3 or more.

  13. Custom shirts from J. Hilburn! They’re technically for men– but the only difference once it’s custom is the side the buttons are on. They range from $100-150.

  14. I felt the exact same way until I found ManuelRacim. A custom shirt shop. My boyfriend found them a few months ago (right next to the Ludlow Shop in Tribeca) and now gets all of his shirts from them! They originally started as men’s only, but have now ventured into women’s shirts. The shirts are beautiful and you can customize every little detail. Quality, color, cuffs, collar, buttons….even monogram. And of course it’s perfectly tailored to you. Your measurements get sent to their tailors in France and it’s ready within two weeks. The owners, Manuel and Racim, are absolutely amazing and really know what they’re doing. As a business owner yourself, I’m sure you can appreciate the concept. I just got mine and I couldn’t be happier. I can’t recommend them enough!

    PS they make shirt dresses too.


  15. I am addicted to my button downs … as evidenced by my closet! My absolute new favorite is the Vineyard Vines Medium gingham shirt. The website has navy and pale pink but the outlet has hot pink, yellow and mint. They fit like a glove and are long enough to tie! Try them!! xo

  16. This Lands’ End shirt has been my go-to for years! I was hesitant at first to purchase from them, as I expected a boxy, matronly fit, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it tailored with just the right amount of structure I need without being stuffy. I’m very petite and it’s been discontinued in petite sizes, unfortunately. I would still recommend this shirt, though – I’ve had one for at least 5 years and it’s still going strong with a price that can’t be beat for its high level of quality. http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-long-sleeve-straight-collar-oxford-sportshirt/id_208280