This Is Set to Be 2021’s Easiest Trend—and You Probably Already Own It

“Easy to wear” is probably one of the most irritating phrases in the whole of fashion (and let’s be honest, there are a lot to get annoyed by). What, exactly, does it mean? Surely all clothes should be easy to wear? That’s the whole damn point of them. As much as it pains me to give these three words justification, here’s how I interpret them: Easy-to-wear clothing is the sort of stuff you don’t have to spend much time thinking about. It’s a wardrobe staple that you’d happily wear whether you’re 15 or 85. There’s little faffing involved. 

Well, prepare to hear the words with more frequency come spring and summer 2021, as that’s exactly what this season is all about. While I love being amazed by innovative and fresh takes on fashion, on the whole, there are no huge surprises in store for us. So what can you expect? One of the biggest trends that plenty of buyers and high-street brands have invested in is the simple blue Oxford shirt. The classic item was first spotted on the runway of minimalist brand par excellence The Row this time last year and has since been cropping up in every corner of the fashion world. 

During Couture Week and Men’s Fashion Week last year, I remember seeing Alexa Chung and street stylers already wearing this item in myriad ways—the looks stuck in my head. Some opted to style their blue Oxford with black basics, others paired theirs with suiting. Personally, I’m a huge fan of this button-down style. I’ve got a vintage Ralph Lauren blue striped version I’ve had since 2015, and I wear it with plenty of different outfits, from tailored trousers to loosely tied over summer dresses. On the runways this season you’ll find it with bra-tops layered over, or worn with matchy sky-blue pants. The idea also extends to different colours and cuts. Valentino’s pink iteration for spring 2021 is a favourite with our editors. All you need to do is decide if you want one that’s fitted or slightly oversize. Keep scrolling for how to style it, and then shop our edit of the best (and don’t forget to shop from the men’s sections)…

Style Notes: This outfit is so simple. Take your blue shirt and wear it with a pair of sheer tights, a black mini and a great pearl necklace. It’s equal parts preppy and rock ‘n’ roll, aka classic Alexa.

Style Notes: Doesn’t this look classic? Throw an aran knit over your shoulders and wear with simple accessories and jeans for a timeless effect.

Style Notes: It’s the perfect layering piece, particularly to go under this season’s knitted vests.

Style Notes: The best WFH idea? Birkenstocks, a loose shirt, loose pants and glasses for staring at a tiny laptop screen…

Style Notes: Proof that a boho style also works with this shirt. 

Style Notes: Okay, so it’s not a traditional Oxford, but it is the kind of new, flouncy and delicate take we’re seeing pop up from various brands.

Style Notes: Go for another basic and pair a blue shirt with a pair of black trousers. 

Style Notes: Why not go long and wear a dress iteration layered over jeans?

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends you need to know. 

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.