Introducing: The white PS Oxford

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On the final day of the pop-up shop back in October, it occurred to me to bring in my blue PS Oxford shirt - to show how it had softened with age. 

The response was telling. Half of the people that felt it bought one on the day, and several of the others bought online subsequently. 

For anyone afraid of PS becoming too commercial, I think frankly it shows how downright amateurish I am about selling things. Of course I should have brought it in earlier.

The way the cloth washes and wears is one of the main selling points - and the one hardest to get across on a computer screen.

I won’t repeat that mistake in the next pop-up. The original shirt, beautifully softened to the point it is the most comfortable thing I own, will be on display.  

And as regards this post is concerned, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Or that of readers.

The white version of the PS Oxford cloth is finally available - and on the Shop now, both as cloth and as finished shirts.

With that addition, it feels like this authentic oxford project has reached a watershed. The shirts are now available in blue, white and cream/blue stripe, and present perhaps the full basic range. 

Those three will be the most useful oxford colours for most guys, and cover all eventualities, from the casual to the smart. 

There will always be other interesting options of course - pinks and reds and yellows - but these three are the core. 

From a styling point of view, a white oxford shirt is interesting. 

Smart in colour but casual in texture, it sits on the borderline between formalities - and could be seen as neither one thing nor the other. 

But if you dress relatively casually - perhaps defined as not wearing a suit and tie most of the time - then the white oxford does fill a particular need, I think.

It is smart enough to be worn with a navy blazer, wool trousers and shoes. But also with a charcoal tweed jacket. With an oatmeal crewneck. Even with pale vintage jeans and tennis shoes. 

The colour helps it wear smart, the texture keeps it casual. And it could go with almost anything in the sun of summer. 

In the image above, it works well with a cardigan and flannels. Indeed it dresses up both those things.

But in the image below (and higher up) it also works well with tailoring. 

That’s a double-breasted corduroy jacket from Sartoria Ciardi, charcoal Fox-flannel trousers from Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, and dark dark brown monk-straps from Edward Green. 

The trousers and shoes in particular make the overall combination rather smart. 

And then I’ve pictured it with something much more casual below.

The cardigan is from Loopwheeler in Japan, and akin to a sweatshirt in formality - particularly with those big pockets. 

While the trousers are the Army Chino from The Armoury: robust selvedge twill, high waisted and full in the leg. 

It’s almost a workwear combination, but the white oxford works with it all. Indeed the white is particularly nice with the cream cardigan and fatigue-green chinos. Blue wouldn’t be as pleasing. 

For those not familiar with the PS Oxford project and fabric, I’ve included a brief summary below. 

But if you already know the product, or even own it, everything you need is on the shop page.

The full background is available on the launch article here

Summary:

  • The PS Oxford project was born out of a frustration with the lack of slubby, authentic oxford cloths available for bespoke. 
  • The bespoke shirting market still focuses on dress shirts primarily, and there was nothing out there. So I worked with Italian mill Canclini to make one. 
  • We wanted: heavier weight and thicker yarn, to make it more comfortable and soften with age; and a subtle variation in the blue/white yarns that leads to that nubby, natural appearance.
  • The texture comes from using a short-staple cotton, so the weft of our PS Oxford is single-ply 10-count.
  • But in the warp we used two fine yarns (both of them two-ply 90-count), instead of another single-ply one. 
  • This keeps the thickness and character, but also avoids some of the downsides of short-staple cotton, such as pilling.
  • There are better oxfords available ready to wear, such as Mercer & Sons, but even those use 2-ply in both weft and warp. After a lot of testing, I think the Canclini warp-weft combination is the best overall. 

Practical points: 

  • As with all the PS shirt cloths the fabric is pre-cut into 2m lengths, which should be enough for most guys (roughly, anyone 6’3’’ and under).
  • The fabric is pre-washed, but as with most oxfords is still prone to a little shrinkage. We recommend allowing an extra 1cm in the body width and sleeve length, 2cm in the body length
  • If anyone wants to send the cloth to a shirtmaker, please put them as the delivery address - and let them know it’s coming.
  • The shirts are the same as other PS shirts, made by Luca Avitabile in Naples with several points of handwork, and vintage-style mother-of-pearl buttons
  • The cloth costs £59, the shirts £185, both ex-VAT. Each has gone up slightly on a year ago, reflecting exchange rates

Photography: Jamie Ferguson

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Shem

Hi simon. Any thoughts on the new armoury chinos?

Johannes

Excellent! Been waiting for this one, order placed. Wearing the blue one with olive chinos and a grey loopwheeler sweater today, wonderful cloth. Now I’m just missing/hoping there will be a Cream/Pink striped version as well, would be awesome since the Cream/Blue striped one is probably my favourite shirt.

Neil Tang

Hi Simon,

Congratulations on another product release. Been looking forward to this.

Also, appreciate that you cited the reason for the price increase.

Cheers.

Anonymous

Simon why do you say the white is better suited to your last outfit than a blue one would be? I find it hard to agree with that sentiment. I think the blue would add a lot more interest overall.

Robin

Having brought the stripped oxford cloth and had it made this is a welcome addition.
The stripped oxford was my first MTM shirt and I used Simone Abbarchi .

It was a wonderful experience but I have noticed a ‘shortening’ of sleeve and cuff width, no doubt due to shrinkage.
Is this something that can ever be countenanced on a first MTM commission ?
Note that on subsequent commissions I found similar occurrence with 1 out of 3 shirts ordered in various clothes.
Maybe , despite expense , insist on one shirt which is laundered many times before re-commissioning more with adjusted measurements ?

P.S. despite these small issues I would recommend Simone Abbarchi for the collar style , quality of cloth and warmth of service !

Matt

A white Oxford shirt is as versatile as it gets, I think. I wear them with a suit and tie as well, I like the contrast in texture. Also that grey corduroy jacket is lovely, manages to look quite modern and not stuffy at all

Ricky

Hi Simon,

Great addition to the PS shop.

Was there a consideration for traditional OCBD features on the RTW shirts, such as a pocket, rear pleat etc?

Have you tried the Angloitalian OCBD’s, how would you compare the fabric for the PS Oxford?

Thanks,
Ricky

Justin

Fascinating color on the warp/weft issues and how this fabric diverges from the “dressier” cloths typically carried by bespoke makers. I often wear casual oxfords from Drakes that, at least at first glance, appear to be have the thicker, slubbier properties you reference (though I haven’t seen significant softening with age). Just curious how you see your new PS fabric comparing to Drakes cloth. Thanks!

Thomas

Given my coloring I tend to wear few white shirts. If I recall correctly Simon you have tended to not wear them too much either although the photos in the article look great. Do you plan on wearing more white shirts ? Has your opinion evolved re their suitability for you ?

Philipp

Hi Simon, I’ve ordered the cloth about two years ago and the shirt I’ve been made from it has become one of my absolute favourites. Thank you very much for all your research and effort you have put in this profect!
Philipp

Shem Teo

Hey Simon I wonder if you ever feel 108cm in chest for a medium is a little too small… Im a 38 in jackets and 110cm is the smallest I can go…

Chancellor

Been seriously in need of a white casual shirt, so very please to see this!

One question: without necessarily providing specifics, do you intend to release additional PS items in the next few weeks? I like to bundle a few items together to save on shipping costs, so if there are more PS items on the way, I might want to wait and see what they are before buying.

Daniel

Can we expect that the your shirt collection (denims, oxfords) will remain more or less constantly available in the shop or there is a risk that you will discontinue some of them?

StuartR

Hi Simon
The loopwheeler cardigan looks great. Is a trip to Japan needed to buy one?

Jon

Great to see this, I’m in need of some casual shirts and plan to order the three types of PS Oxford cloth from the shop for Luca Avitabile to make up.

Quick question, did I imagine this or did you plan at one point to do a pink PS Oxford too?

Anonymous

Hi Simon. Somewhat tangential question. Do you recall what the color point measurement is for the shirt you’re wearing in this post and also (if different) for the PS stock shirt in XL? (I’m guessing your is bespoke to your own measurements, so they might be measured differently.) I ask because I plan to buy the PS oxford fabric in each color and give to my shirtmaker, but I’m still working with him to nail the point length for the button-down collar. I’m tall (6’4″) and have found previous button-down collars, 3.25″ to be disproportionately small, but I don’t want to make it eccentrically long. Of course, my shirtmaker has offered input on how much to lengthen it, but I would appreciate your guidance on what range would be good for a point length that has a nice roll and frames the face well for a tall man of moderate build. Thanks.

Kevin

Point length on a button down is an important factor in getting a good roll on the collar, but it is only one of a number of considerations. 3.5” should be your starting point.

Stand height front and back, and collar length at back are all part of the equation. Button position is also fundamental, as too low and it pulls the points down, and too
high pushes them up.

Most important is collar construction. Unfused is essential if you want to get any kind of natural roll. Fusing will fight against this. Unlined is best too, although a very soft interlining will do.

Hope this is helpful.

Kevin

Yes, each to their own of course.

I am generally not a fan of fusing; floating with the right level of firmness to the interlining will always be a better option in my view, and of course the button down collar was always made this way historically.

Miles

Hello Simon,

This may be a little too late here for a reply. But I found your detail on 9cm collar points to be very helpful (as well as this discussion here.) I have recently purchased 4 of the PS fabrics (3 oxford and denim) and am meeting my tailor this Sunday to begin the CTM process.

What is the height of the collars on the PS oxfords?

Thank you in advance for your wisdom here. Please excuse if I’ve glossed over this measurement detail in another one your posts.

Cheers,

Miles

R Abbott

I am a happy owner of several of the RTW blue shirts. Although I find the cloth nice, and I’m sure the cloth is unique in certain respects, I’ve found other cloths that I’m equally happy about. What really appeals to me is the quality of the collars. This ongoing collaboration between Permanent Style and Luca Avitabile is superb.

Anonymous

Simon
Just a general question on OBDC… If I were to remove pocket from drakes / anglo Italian shirts would I notice it? I can’t afford the expense of yours , sadly, but would love a shirt sans pocket…

Gus

Apologies if this may be the wrong post on which to ask the question regarding an aspect of bespoke shirting…

I was searching for the post where you had referenced that you had experienced a change in body shape (i.e. your back) and its effect on your bespoke shirts. How did you address the problem? Was there anything that could be altered on the existing shirt, such as removal of the darts; or was it simply a case of having new shirts commissioned?

Excellent addition to your fabric collection.

Anonymous

FYI – sizing chart format on the shop page is buggered on an iphone.

Anonymous

would you wear a L or a M?

Anonymous

Hi Simon, how many washes does it take for the fabric to soften?

Rick

Until I read this I had no idea that there were so many options for wearing a white shirt.

Thank you for continuing to provide us with so many wonderful insights.

I am learning from you on a daily basis

Emerging Genius

Not too shabby

Noel

Hi Simon,

I already own shirts made from the other two PS clothes and love the texture and weight. They’ve become softer with age and they tend to wrinkle a lot less than lighter fabrics. This will be the first white shirt I’ll own in quite some time (I usually find white hard to wear without a suit or quite a formal jacket). Grey is a colour that perhaps could work as well.

Regarding washing, should one wash at 30C so the cloth lasts longer or is the standard 40C of shirt programmes ok?

Finally, What can one do to avoid yellowing under the arm pits (besides wearing an undershirt)? I’m not sure if it’s the deodorant or the sweat that’s responsible.

Daniel

Hello Simon,

those Oxford shirts are so great shirts, if not the best with regards to quality and fit I have in my wardrobe. Still waiting for your restock.

However, I have a question on your Armoury chinos, which also look very beautiful. First, I understand that you are wearing the Army Chinos on the pics above (just wondering as the fabric on the Armoury website look so different..). How would you compare those to their Model A chinos? With regards to fit and fabric?

Such a pity that there is no retailer selling that stuff in the EU. Just a mess to send it back with customs, freight etc.

Many thanks
Daniel

Daniel

Any one else experience with the Model A? I thought thats the chino The Armoury is known for?

Shem Teo

Hey Daniel I have both the new army chinos and the model a sports chinos. The new army chinos is higher in rise and wider through the entire leg than the sports chino, which is rather slim. The army chino sits above my belly button while the sports chino sits just below it. I’m not sure if the sports chino differs from the model a trousers though but they have similar measurements in the website so I assume they are the same

Nick

Hi Simon, apologies if this is mentioned elsewhere, but I have a question regarding the collar hight, is it the taller version you designed with Luca?

BespokeFromAu

Hi Simon,
I am 6’4 but quite slim. Would I need 1 or 2 lots of cloth?

Thanks.

Clive

The Oxford shirts are great – thank you. Can I ask on the Loopwheeler cardigan: how are these sized? From your experience would medium be right for a 39″ chest or should I size up?

James Holdsworth

Hello Simon

Is there a reason why you did not incorporate a box pleat in the back of the Oxford button down and also why you don’t show photos of the back of the shirt in the E-shop ?

Joel

Simon,

Just wanted to say thanks for releasing the RTW shirt along side the cloth. This is ideal for those of us who love the fit and finish of your RTW shirts.

Chris K

Beautiful cloth Simon. Can I ask, will you be restocking the blue and cream stripe cloth any time soon?

Much appreciated as always

Chris K

Apologies Simon but one more question. I have my first appointment with Luca next week. Can I ask, will he be likely have similar cloth available to the PS cloth (denim, oxford etc.) on offer? Two oxfords and one denim is what I’m planning for my first order, and I aim to get them in the most robust cloth I can that will last and age well. Any specific recommendations would be greatly appreciated, given your experience and relationship with Luca.

Much appreciated as always

Chris K

Thanks Simon,
Just as I thought, in which case I’ll now make a point of ordering a small variety of PS cloth’s and have them sent to Luca once he has my measurements on record. Also very glad to hear the blue and cream is making a return, something about that cream against blue as opposed to white really sets it apart, but you know this already! Apologies for the dual comments, I got carried away. Thank you sir for your detailed responses.

Much appreciated as always

Joel

Just a thought Simon, but after that soft pink oxford, a solid cream of your blue and cream stripe would be outstanding. It’s a hard color to get just right to differentiate it from white but not be yellow. If anyone could do it you could!

RT

I’d second that suggestion, although I’d put it ahead of the pink. It’s really difficult to get a good cream(ish) shirt without it looking yellow. It’s taken me ages to find a cloth that is colder and much less yellow than most of what’s available (without simple looking like an aged and poorly laundered white). I’ve managed to do so (more or less) for a business shirt, it to have something more casual in the PS Oxford cloth would be great. The RTW shirts don’t work for me, but to have cloth that I can get made up in a MTM or bespoke shirt would be really helpful.

Rupesh Bhindi

Hi Simon,

In the image where you are seated with a cup of tea in your hand, I like the flannel fabric in light grey you are wearing and was wondering if you can provide the fabric code, I am assuming it’s from Fox Flannel. Also what socks are you wearing with the trousers, I am looking for a good weight ribbed socks?

Thanks

Rupesh

Shem Teo

Hey Simon I own both the old and new armoury chinos and have 2 questions:
1) I know you have tried the bryceland chinos. How do they compare to the new armoury chinos in terms of fit and fabric?
2) I prefer the old armoury chinos to the new ones as the latter has a sturdier cloth and seems to have a more moderate rise. Have you tried anything in the market that are closest to them?

shem

Thanks simon, can i ask how the bryce land chinos compare to the new armoury chinos? Even higher and wider or pretty much the same?

Haackk

As I understand it the new Armoury chinos have a higher rise and wider cut than the previous version. Anyone know how the new version compares in rise and fullness to the Bryceland’s army chinos?

Haackk

I’m afraid this might be too specific, but when looking at the measurements the Armoury chinos seem to have a higher rise and wider leg opening than the Bryceland’s ones.

Nicolas

Hello Simon
Can we expect a restock of this shirt in the Large size?
Same question for the striped oxford.
Thanks a lot

Neil Tang

Hi Simon,

What do you think about pale yellow as a possible next colour?

Anonymous

Hello – are you now selling the cloth in pink?

Anonymous

Sneaked it in! Will you be rhapsodising on it at some point? I quite enjoy those articles (or did I miss it).

Elliott

will you have a chambary fabric for sale soon?

Elliott

Great looking
Forward to it!

Matthew W

Hi Simon,

This is my first comment, and I want to start by saying how impressed I am with your ability to respond to nearly every comment! I have also been following your website with ever greater interest over the last few months – while I am still very new to this quality/price range of clothing, I love the content and tone of your writing. I very much am of the philosophy “buy less but better” (having recently invested in two pairs of Northampton shoes).

And now to my question – I am struggling with comparing sizing on my current shirts with your sizing chart for the Oxford shirts (i.e. knowing where to measure from, and correctly translating in to cm). This would be the first shirt over $100 for me, and as you often point out, fit is so important.

I am torn between S and M – I am 6′ and 155lb; my jacket size is 38 (equivalent to UK48 I believe?) and a 14.5″ neck. The closest comparison I could give is Charles Tyrwhitt shirts, which are 15/38 (34/86) in extra slim fit, or S in their casual shirts.

I would be open to ordering the shirting fabric and finding a tailor nearby, but at the risk of not getting the beautiful collar you have on the pre-made shirts.

Thanks for your time – returns from overseas are not something I want to entertain.

Cheers from Quebec, Canada!

Matthew W

Hi again Simon,

You mention focusing on the neck and shoulders – from the PS Shop measurements would this be the yoke? (Based on my current shirts, Medium seems to be the closest fit, including neck and chest, but the yoke on most of my shirts is ~45cm).

I also see that Medium is sold out on the PS Striped Oxford, any plans for getting more in stock?

Thanks!

Alexander

I do realize that most people are using oxford shirts for their more casual outfits in the colder months, such as tweed and jeans. For me, oxfords, because of their coarse and matte finish, are also perfect together with high twist and linen suits in the warmer months (as long as it is bearable regarding outside temperatures). This is especially true for the more vintage versions of oxford cloth like the PS ones. Any thoughts on that?

Alexander

I can totally see that. Thanks for your input. You are probably right about the high twists. For me it is similar to wearing a denim shirt under a rather smart suit. I know it is not ideal, but makes the outfit therefore less dressed up and more relaxed, because it is not “perfect” to most people.

Il Pennacchio

Would a linen shirt be too casual for a high twist suit?

Alexander

I admit, that regarding cottons and linens I am not trying to subvert any rules with oxford shirts. And with high twists, it it probably just an excuse to wear my favourite kind of shirt all year.
Agnelli is often said to have worn his OCBD with suits. But in reality I think he just wore them with his VBC flannel suits and this is also not subverting, because the oxford goes perfectly well with flannel, I think.

Robert

Hey Simon-
Is there a review of the above pictured DB corduroy from Ciardi? The link goes to a separate Ciardi commission. The informality of the grey corduroy really softens what might otherwise be a stuffy DB. Beautiful jacket.

Robert

Thanks. Good to know. Really enjoy the archives. I greatly appreciate what you do.

R Abbott

It’s peculiar: on the one hand, white is not very versatile for a dress shirt because it is such a formal color; in that context, a light blue shirt is much easier to wear. On the other hand, a white Oxford shirt works incredibly well with jeans – perhaps more so than a blur shirt.

Jan

Simon, Quick question – is it possible (and would it make sense) to wash the cloth a few times before handing it over to a shirt maker to eliminate shrinkage in the finished shirt? I had Luca Avitabile make a shirt out of the blue oxford a while back, and it seems to have shrunk more than other shirts that he made at the same time. As a result, it’s now fairly tight across the chest whereas the other shirts are ok in that area. So even the shirt maker who should have had the most experience with this cloth didn’t seem to get it right perfectly. I’d probably go with someone else for the next round of shirts, so might make that risk even more acute. Just ordered a whole batch of cloth from the shop, btw – it was great that all colors where and the chambray as well were in stock at the same time. As always, thanks for your help and advice. Best, Jan

Jan

Thanks, Simon, that`s very helpful. To be 100 percent sure, can I just put the pieces of cloth in the washing machine as they come? I noticed there are some loose threads where the cloth was cut. Looking fwd to being able to go to Naples at some point this year and getting the shirts made 😉 Cloth really is very beautiful. Best, Jan

George

Simon
I have recently had some shirts made up in your blue, yellow oxford and chambray.
My cleaner kindly helps me w/ laundry and is keen on tumbledrying. Can you please tell me why I shouldn’t do this and what will happen if I do?

Anonymous

Thanks Simon. Just wondering how much shrinkage really will occur. If 2cm were to happen normally with your oxford and 0cm with the chambray… Does that 2cm and 0cm become 3 and 1 (respectively) for 6 and 4?

Hard to quantify I know but basically need to decide how much effort I am going to put into guarding shirts!

George

Sorry trying to ask if I put your fabrics in the dryer, will they (instead of the 2cm shrinkage you advise) shrink 3cm or 6cm?

Essentially how much shrink does a drier add. Probably impossible to answer but thought I would try and make your life difficult!

Nick

Hi, I have a question relating to the jacket. From your experience, how do neapolitan db jackets compare to other places? Particularly as a lot of people go for a neapolitan cut because it’s less formal and by it’s nature a db is quite formal. Could a navy db in a traditional serge cloth work well with jeans if it’s a cut like the one here? It’s also quite a striking lapel, which I think adds a bit of casualness, but how do you find it after having owned the jacket for a while, do you not get tired of it? Also, do you know if Ciardi are planning to return with trunk shows once restrictions lift? Thank you very much for any insights!

Amit

Hello Simon. I received my White PS Oxford shirt. I’m very pleased with my purchase and the quality of craftsmanship and your knowledge and expertise that’s gone into making it. Highly recommended. I’m liking the way the collar is framing my face, also getting used to such collar shapes. The pair of jeans I’m looking to pair it with is https://thearmoury.com/collections/denim/products/the-armoury-by-nigel-cabourn-5-pocket-denim-jeans?variant=17728986415175 ( summers ) and with a Barbour Lutz waxed cotton jacket as an outerwear for winters.