Introducing: The yellow PS Oxford (shirt and fabric)

Friday, November 13th 2020
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A reader gently mocked me when I wrote about the white version of this shirt and included styling advice. It's a white shirt after all - how hard can it be? 

I still defend that guidance: a white oxford is more useful than some people realise, particularly with workwear. 

But a yellow oxford definitely requires some explanation. The new colour being launched today is so unusual that I’ve never even owned one myself - until now.

I was interested to try it for that reason, because I'm always intrigued by new potential in the necessarily narrow field of classic menswear.

But it also made sense to try because a pale, faded yellow is such a staple in American oxfords, and the Ivy style that drives a lot of their popularity. 

I’m pleased to say that now I have one, I enjoy wearing this yellow PS Oxford more than almost any colour in the range. 

The only one that rivals it is the blue, because it is so classic and useful. But the yellow achieves that particular menswear aim of being characterful yet subtle, noteworthy yet quiet. 

It draws attention and indeed compliments, but more in the way a well-cut jacket will do. It seems to slot in naturally with everything else, yet you rarely see anyone else wearing it. 

(You may observe, quite correctly, that new products always seem to surprise me with how nice they are. But that’s only because the ones that don’t have that reaction never make it onto the site. In this case, a grey stripe and a peach colour both disappointed - yellow was the clear winner.)

So what does it look good with? Let’s spell it out a little, aware of that risk of gentle mockery. 

Its most obvious and immediate partner is grey, which is helpful given how predominant that colour is in smart men’s wardrobes. 

Grey flannels look lovely with it, as do grey high-twist wools. Grey knitwear and - as pictured above - grey jackets also. This grey herringbone is nice, but a grey flannel suit would be good too. 

And as if to collect all the menswear staples, navy is also complimentary. Particularly on the top half: a navy wool jacket or navy shetland crewneck. Both are lovely with the shirt, and perhaps grey trousers beneath. 

Then, on the more casual end of the spectrum, this pale yellow compliments jeans. 

A paler denim, such as that shown here with my vintage Levi’s, is especially nice, but almost any blue jeans work. 

For some reason I find that combination - the washed-out yellow with the much-battered jeans - particularly satisfying. I think it’s because each is so classic yet so casual. They both look better the more they are worn, dirtied, washed and worn again.

And yet they do suggest the idea of dressing with intelligence, with taste. 

Moving on, my next favourite colour with a yellow shirt is military green - olive, really - like the sweatshirt pictured above (from Merz b Schwanen). 

To be honest, I don’t especially like the colour with darker, stronger greens. But this paler shade is lovely. It could also be a jacket of course, or a tie, or a vintage field jacket

(Feel free to comment on the attraction or not, the affectedness or not, the many cultural associations, of a sweater worn across the shoulders. But I’ll leave my thoughts on it for another article.)

Yellow is also nice with darker browns, especially suede and leather. And it looks great with faded black jeans - not that I wear them, but I’ve seen it done to good effect. 

I think that’s about it for all colours. Easily enough for any yellow-oxford virgin like myself to be getting on with. You all have most of those in your wardrobe. 

The fabric itself, is of course unique to Permanent Style and was designed to replicate the rugged softness of old Brooks Brothers shirts.

This fabric can take a beating, but is also one of the most pleasurable things to wear. It gets softer with every wash and wear, even when you’ve worn and washed it 50 times (as I have with my blue one). 

It also has a vintage look thanks to the short-staple cotton used in the white weft, which gives the cloth a slubby look. 

This is essential in the blue oxford, nice in the striped version, and less noticeable in the white.

But in the pink and yellow iterations, it is absolutely crucial. Without that slubbiness, the colour would not have the pale, washed-out look that makes it so appealing. Both pink and yellow would be too flat. You could make the yarn paler, but it wouldn’t have the depth or texture of this. 

If you’d like more on the technical aspects of the cloth - its weight, ply, count etc - have a read of the original launch post on this fabric (designed in collaboration with Italian mill Canclini) here

The PS Yellow Oxford is available as both shirts and lengths of cloth on the PS Shop site. The latter to be taken or sent to a shirtmaker, if you use one. I’m wearing a Medium in these photos, but I normally have my shirts made bespoke.

Here are some practical points on buying the cloth:

  • 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, including your name (eg ‘Customer: Joe Bloggs’). Then let them know it’s coming.
  • The cloth costs £59, the shirts £185, both ex-VAT. Both are shipped from the UK.

And, some points on the shirts, for anyone that doesn’t know all this already:

  • The shirts made by the Luca Avitabile workshop in Naples (Luca being the bespoke maker I use most often)
  • They have several points of handwork, mostly functional, including hand-attached collars and hand-inserted sleeves. There are also hand-sewn buttons and buttonholes.
  • The shirts use vintage-style mother-of-pearl buttons, to compliment the vintage style of the fabric. These can also be requested on bespoke shirts made by Luca.

For more information on the clothes pictured here, see:

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

 

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Anonymous

Sorry Simon – what size do you wear?

Anonymous

How tight is the collar if you do it up?

Anonymous

Thanks. Can you supply the neck sizes in inches?

Martin

Simon,

Any chance you tweaked the sizing a little, compared to the every day denim shirt? The measurements seem bigger on the oxfords. Actually good news for me if that is the case!

Thanks

Charles

A bold and interesting addition.

Ivy really does appear to be the rage at the moment. I do wonder how long this trend will last. Hopefully you are not wearing white socks!

Rafael

Fantastic, I have been looking forward to a pale yellow version of this wonderful cloth ever since I got my first length in the striped version. Congratulations!

Simon Miles

The perfect shade of yellow. Bravo. You absolutely nailed this one. This is superb.

Anonymous

Wow, that is lovely. I had a similar Ralph Lauren one in the eighties and loved it so much. Quick question regarding sizing, did you slightly changed it. I remember my white and pink Oxfords in size L being listed with a 58cm chest. Now it says 62cm. However, the collar still seems to be that slightly too small 41cm for an L.

Fatih

Perfect! Are alls the other Oxford shirts resized as well or are those the “former” measurements until they get restocked? Just asking since I’d like that striped one as well.

Anonymous

Sorry for the off-topic comment, but that lapel pin is lovely.

Robin

Congrats ! That certainly does fill a gap .

I see it more as a cream colour but regardless it opens up the colour spectrum for most men from just wearing a shirt or polo that is white , blue, grey or green.

Ben R

Yes, in the photos it does look more ecru/off-white to me. Which is the color I have been searching for months. Do you feel the photos are an accurate representation of the color? Or is it noticeably yellow vs ecru? Though, color can be so subjective anyway, it might not matter.

Peter Hall

I love your promotion of colour. Soft yellows and pinks have been a long time favourite of mine. I find yellow such an easy colour to match.
White thread in the weft. Thanks for adding to my knowledge.

Denim & Oxford

Interested to pull the trigger on your Oxfords but on the fence. When I ordered the denim and after washing it was restricting in the upper body, mainly shoulders, chest and upper sleeve. Yoke measurement is the same as my standard size in 100H which is 44 which is why I pulled the trigger.

I recall you stating the measurements for chest in size small was 100 for Denim, now it seems to be 103 and 107 for oxfords (accounting for 2 cm shrinkage) – this is a good thing. Have any changes been done to the upper sleeve/Bicep? What is the measurement?

Maybe the specific shirt I received was smaller than it should have been, unfortunately and therefore, its no longer in my wardrobe.

Sam

Hi Simon, wanted to follow up on this comment as I had a similar finding. I have and love an everyday denim but bought (April ‘20) an Oxford and it was tight across the chest and under the arm. Have bought the Anglo Italian OCBD since which is lovely but not at the same level as your offering.

My question is have the sizings of the actual Oxford shirts changed or simply the measurements on the site?

Astemir Almov

Simon,

Do you plan chambray restock?

Anonymous

Does this includes offering ready made shirts by the same time?

Anonymous

Sizing still isnt really that clear pre post wash. real mccoys do this well:
Click view size guide
https://therealmccoys.com/collections/tops/products/n-3-utility-shirt-l-s-plain

James

Interesting color choice. When I first saw the color I thought it was more of an ecru/cream than a yellow, which would be my preference. Actually, PS Oxford Shirt in off-white is my hope since pure white — and perhaps this yellow too — is too stark for my skin tone and washes me out. Regardless, another well considered and thoughtful selection!

Anonymous

Simon, what do you think of wearing yellow when one is of an olive/Mediterranean complexion? I’ve read that it is not flattering.

Thomas

Over the years I have been buying less white shirts, many varieties of blue seem to complement my Irish skin better – fyi no freckles 🙂 …perhaps similar to you Simon yellow may be more flattering. Additionally as a man in my 50’s I have stopped wearing blue jeans. I was thinking vaguely about getting black jeans instead. I noticed you said that you don’t wear them. Any particular reason ? Thanks and have a great weekend.

EL

Nice color. I got my first yellow shirt just a few weeks ago, and it is more versatile than I thought it would be.

Michael Powell

I have two BB yellow OCBDs. They are great with khakis or jeans, but I don’t think they are as versatile as are pale pink or pale green. I can wear pink or green with a navy or charcoal suit. The yellow just doesn’t seem to work with them. It’s probably just me, but yellow doesn’t look right for business wear.

LAStyleGuy

Great post as always, Simon. Question for you beyond the white vs. blue vs. yellow color:

What are your thoughts on (regular) oxford cloth vs. pinpoint oxford?

LAStyleGuy

Thanks—can’t imagine all the work that went into researching all the weaves you covered. What a helpful post, that the rest of us could enjoy without the labor!

Steve

Is there any lining in the color of these shirts?

Steve

I meant lining in the collar not color.

Dr Peter

I loved this article, Simon. I have several yellow and cream shirts, and bright yellows also have their place in one’s wardrobe. A close kinsman to the faded yellow shirt is the cream-coloured shirt. I love cream because it blends so well with almost any other colour. The perfect shade of cream is the one found in cricketing flannels, the colour of Devon cream perhaps. And having played the game at school and university, it has lots of associations for me.

Also, for both yellow and cream shirts, neckties in dark reds and maroons are absolutely lovely. It is exactly the kind of contrast that fresh strawberries placed on a scoop of yellow French vanilla ice cream provides us. A true visual feast as well as a gastronomic delight.

Mbb355

I’ve ordered this and can’t wait for its arrival—love the look. Seems you’ve nailed the faded yellow (just like you nailed the faded pink, which I own and love). I see that this yellow shirt works will with mid-grey, or salt & pepper herringbone. But what about charcoal? Still good? Or is it a little too reminiscent of a bumblebee, or Batman? Thanks for any guidance here.

Mbb355

Thanks! Why do you think that is? Is it the associations I mentioned above? Something else?

Mbb355

You may be right that I’m overthinking it. I like to think there’s some method to the madness of why some color combos work better than others.

Zy

Dear Simon, on colour combinations: have you written somewhere about colour combinations and one’s skin tones? If you have not, would you consider it? This appears to be something which women’s fashion pays perhaps more attention to than men’s, but which may go some way towards helping readers understand why certain combinations or certain colours may not work as well for them as for others, etc. Thanks!

Mbb355

Another perhaps interesting point on this topic is that charcoal and cream pair quite well–see, for example, the classic charcoal/cream glen plaid sport coat. And this yellow shirt is so close to cream. Yet upon adding just that slightest hint of yellow, suddenly the color no longer works with charcoal. It’s a little puzzling.

Winot

Tempted, but will wait for Luca Avitabile to start visiting London again before sending an order his way – courier costs from him are going up to 50 Euros in 2021 because shipping companies will no longer count the UK as being in the EU 🙁

Winot

I’ve just had a couple of bespoke shirts delivered and that pricing came from Francesca.

Martins

I’m not sure on that… to me he today quoted 20€ shipping… big question, anyone knows he normally quotes price with vat separately?

Noel

Fantastic addition Simon. I’ve already ordered my length as I’ve been happy with all the other colours. It’s my favourite PS product (even if others are more exciting) because it can be worn everyday and yet it has a subtle elegance. Just like that pink was my first pink shirt this will be my fist yellow. I find that it can be hard to find muted versions of these colours that don’t stand up too much.

I hope new colours are forthcoming, perhaps a grey?

Matthew

Hi Simon,

Any plans for re-stock of the blue Oxford?

I recently bought the striped oxford shirt and love it – it’s the most expensive shirt I have ever bought by a factor of four, but I am planning to “buy less and buy better” in the process of building a versatile wardrobe, and appreciate the quality of your shirts and advice

Calvin

Simon,
I own all your other oxfords. I love four of them; Blue, pink, white, and the blue stripe. I wear ties with all of them. I also have a pinkish complexion as other commenters have mentioned, and the light faded blue washes me out a bit.

In any case, I plan to order the yellow straightaway. Could you give me some ideas for tie pairings with the yellow?
Thank you

John Scott Leith

Excellent colour,very useful.

Paul

Just took delivery of this – thanks Simon, really happy with the fit and with the colour. Yellow is my favourite colour, but i always struggle to find yellow fabrics that look good. this piece is perfect – and will get a lot of wear now my more formal shirts are taking a time-out.

another really strong stable for my wardrobe

Ed

Simon,

What should I look for if I want a coarser than normal oxford cotton? Is it the yarn and amount of twisting that does this? What are the relevant factors? I’m quite new to all of this.

Thanks

Rob

Simon, this is probably an unfair question but i am struggling to find an answer and i thought you might know. I have a few lengths of your various cloth in the UK to send to a European shirt tailor. Do you know how this works post Brexit? I will obviously have to pay duties and VAT on delivery but i don’t want to leave my tailor facing these charges on receiving the cloth? I’m determined not to let Brexit stop me supporting my European friends!

Anonymous

Simon
If you wear a medium – do you only have a 15.25 inch neck?? 39cm = 15.35 inches plus a bit of shrinkage… Just deciding what size to get as I probably have a 15.75 neck but thought I was pretty much exactly your size (6ft, c.40 inch chest, similar build). Basically unsure to get M or L

Mbb355

Can I ask why you don’t wear PS oxfords with a tie? Do you regard the shirts as too casual for ties? I’d always thought an oxford shirt and tie go well with a jacket and trousers–am I mistaken? Thanks.

CMW

Hi Simon. If one was wearing a casual suit like cotton or corduroy, or tweed jacket and flannel trousers, wearing knit ties or wool blend ties would look good with the Oxford shirts?

CMW

Hi Simon. Just a follow-up question. What other shirts go well with the casual suits and jacket/trouser combos (with knit or wool/cashmere ties) I mentioned above? If I wanted a shirt that is slightly smarter than a traditional Oxford for these outfits, what would be my options? Or is the Oxford still the best choice?

CMW

Hi Simon. I was looking at pinpoint oxford fabric after you mentioned it in your previous reply. I didn’t know so much about it before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. So it seems to be in between a traditional oxford and standard business shirts in the formality scale. I would like to add this kind of shirt to my closet.
Since it is in this middle area between casual and formal, would soft collars go with this shirt like a soft button down, or would a regular button down (or other regular collars) be more fitting?

Anonymous

Simon
I just bought a shirt in L, the fit is terrific and I really can’t overstate how beautiful the cloth is and the make very good quality as well. The one thing that I can’t get over is the size of the collar. It really is enormous! I’m afraid likely a little too big for me and I will likely be returning. I feel a bit 80’s businessman in it.

Very upsetting as I can’t quite afford to buy the cloth and get it made up (unless you have any less expensive recs than Luca), but also adore the fabric!

RT

The collar of the RTW shirts isn’t for me, either. However, I’ve had lots of shirts made by Simone in PS fabrics and others, including the blue and striped versions of the Oxford cloth, and I’ve been extremely pleased. I’d recommend him.

Anonymous

Thanks Simon. If having a shirt made up do you recommend any additional space on the collar for shrinkage?

Anonymous

Also for the selvedge – I presume no shrinkage there?

Karol

One more color that goes well over yellow shirt is burgundy, surprisingly enough. Either as a sweater or a casual jacket. I tried it with a thrifted yellowish sportshirt and it is excellent, even though burgundy is not the most popular colour. Perhaps somebody out there will find it cool

Nigel Collett

I just got my yellow OCBD from Simone Abbarchi. I love the colour – it’s very flattering ( kind?). Simone has, as always, done a really nice job for anyone who is thinking of going to him. I’m just kicking myself for not doing the pink too! I’ve the others – blue, white and the stripe.
Best wishes
Nigel

Joe Pickering

Hi Simon,

Now that this version of the RTW shirt – with the extra length and width to account for shrinkage – has been around for a little while, I wondered if you’d any further feedback on quite how much it shrinks? A 57cm chest would fit me but I found the 55cm just a little too snug – though I’m a medium in all other respects. I’ve had size large darted previously, which works, but if a medium fits would prefer just to get that. Cheers.

Anonymous

The Anthology jacket looks very versatile. Aside from jeans, which trousers would it look best with?

RT

Would you wear it with charcoal flannel trousers?

Sean

This is a really beautiful shirt – I got mine today and will be buying another (probably in white) ASAP.
Just one question on the expected shrinkage (I know there have been several questions about this already) – Since it fits me perfectly in unwashed L (not tight, just enough room, sleeves are the perfect length) should I size up to an XL to account for wash-shrinkage? Would the expected shrinkage after a wash take an XL down closer to the size of an unwashed L?

Sean

Thanks for the quick reply Simon. Based on the other measurements and the current fit it sounds like it’ll still be fine in all the essential areas after a wash, whereas XL might be too out of proportion. I’ll see how it washes up anyway and I’ll be able to decide if I need to size up on the next one.

On another note I was going to ask this the other day – I got the navy A&S shawl collar cardigan from you a couple of months ago, and a total beauty it is. It hasn’t needed washed yet but when it does, how would you recommend washing it? I watched the wool-care video with Audie from A&S and she suggested they might be too heavy for the washing machine… does that mean handwashing is the only option or do you think it would be ok to machine-wash it on a 20 degree wash, maybe in a cloth bag to stop it getting out of shape? Thanks again.

Sean

Great stuff, good to know, thanks.

R Abbott

Do these stretch at all and can they be altered slightly? Your small (including polos, shirts and knitwear) have always fit me well in size small. But the yellow Oxford is just a touch tight in the chest. (Also a touch tight in the collar but that doesn’t me because I don’t plan on wearing a tie with this shirt).