No matter where you are, there’s a use for Kamakura’s oxford button-down
When Brooks Brothers first started selling oxford shirts, it couldn’t have known that it would inspire countless imitators, all of them hoping to put their own spin on a nearly perfect design. One of them is a small Japanese brand called Kamakura, the maker of the light blue oxford shirt I sometimes wear for days on end while traveling.
Kamakura took everything that made the oxford shirt iconic and improved on it. Instead of the traditional stiff, heavy fabric, Kamakura uses a smoother, finer two-ply cotton. While oxford shirts are usually synonymous with a wide cut and a tall collar, the Kamakura’s slim silhouette and high armholes enable an especially wide range of motion while delivering a superior fit, with none of the irritating nylon stitching found in cheaper shirts. It’s thin enough to stay breathable and soft enough to rest cozily against my skin, which makes it wearable in most climates. On airplanes, I’m fussier than the toddler sitting behind me, but I never find myself sweating or shivering or writhing uncomfortably in my seat while I have it on.
Not long ago, an airline misplaced my bag, leaving me with only the clothes in my carry-on. I wore my Kamakura oxford for the next three days out of necessity, but I soon realized that it looked just as good tucked as untucked, with jeans or trousers, under a sweater, and, of course, with a jacket and tie. The elbows don’t tear and the buttons don’t crack, so the Kamakura is durable and versatile enough that I now pack it on every trip.