Scouting Report: This Oxford from Lululemon is the most comfortable button-down I own. It's not restricting, it's breathable, and most of all, it's stylish too.
Of all the items in the modern wardrobe that have been reimagined as athleisure (you can buy an entire suit in this now ubiquitous style) the oxford shirt is the one I’ve been waiting for the longest. I love a good, classic, button-down oxford—quite a few of my most worn shirts are cut in this style—but they have a few drawbacks that often confine my wearing them to air-conditioned, dry environments. Lululemon once again seems like it somehow had a direct line into my brain. The brand was able to eliminate virtually all of the weaknesses of the oxford shirt by using a clever, clean design and a more dynamic material for their reimagining of a classic wardrobe staple.
The Commission Long Sleeve Shirt
The Commission Long Sleeve Shirt looks and fits exactly like all of my favorite oxfords that have become threadbare and ultrasoft from thousands of hours on my back or in the washing machine. The shirt is still mostly cotton, but, and this is critical, the other half is made from a material called elastomultiester, a polyester based material that provides functionality that has always been missing from this classic shirt. This allows the shirt to maintain the relaxed fit and great feel that made me fall in love with it in the first place.
By adding a secondary material to their button down offering, Lululemon has made their shirt sweat-wicking, quick-drying and odor-resistant all in one masterstroke. All these qualities are largely absent in the shirt’s cotton-cousins that have been the standard for so long. Many of my favorite oxfords have long been susceptible to wear and tear after a year or two of heavy use and often overheat too quickly as well. The Commission shirt can be washed less because of its resistance to odor and has built in eyelets for improved ventilation that builds on the already superior breathability the material allows for.
The greatest innovation that the updated fabric brings to the genre, though, has to be that for the first time, I own an oxford shirt that moves with me. While the material itself inherently allows for more movement, underarm gussets (a feature I’ve never found in any other button down long sleeve shirt I’ve owned) gives me a little more play in the exact spot that oxfords shirts traditionally tend to restrict.
While I’ll still love and cherish the old cotton button down shirts I’ve held onto for all these years,I’m glad to know that there is a viable, more modern alternative that I can wear for longer periods of time and in a wider variety of environments. If you’re looking for that classic oxford button down style but with some 21st century adjustments, the Commission shirt is the way to go.