For this week’s blog post, I decided to analyze my favorite Oxford shirt as a follow up to my original blog post on the Konmari Method. After reading the “describing objects” article for this week, I sat down with my Oxford and asked myself the various questions posed in the article.
What is it?
My object, most generally, is an Oxford shirt. A button down, which has the shirt divided down the center, and with a buttoned collar that rings the Oxford’s neck area. Made of cotton, the shirt is a checkered plaid in navy blue and sandy brown. Each square of the checkered pattern is about an inch-and-a-half by and inch-and-a-half in area. There is a single pocket on the left chest of the shirt with another button centered in the top of the pocket, to close and secure it. There is a velvety, and oval shaped elbow patch in a dark brown on either sleeve. The shirt is sewn together at its seems by a sand colored stitching, which lines the inside of the shirt. The shirt is a size medium. The textile the shirt is made of is moderately thick, which helps retain heat. The shirt has long sleeves that cuff at the ends, each with a single button to close the cuffs. The shirt tapers off with a circular shape, perfect for tucking into pants.
Where is it now and how did it get there?
My shirt tag says it is made Mauritius originally. I happen to have bought it from my local J. Crew store in the Columbus Circle Mall in Manhattan. When I’m not actually wearing it, it sits in my closet in my dorm room.
What is the object’s function?
The object is a business-casual shirt. It is used to cover the upper half of the body. Stylistically, it is worn in casual social environments. It contains a decent amount of functional qualities that are worth noting as well. The first one is the array of buttons that are all over the shirt. There are buttons lining the center to close the shirt all the way down. There are buttons on the collar to fasten the collar’s corner to the body of the shirt. There are also buttons on the cuffs and pocket of the shirt, to fasten those as well. There are also sizable elbow patches on either sleeve, which provide a heavy-duty work function to the shirt. The pocket itself also helps hold small objects like pens and coins.
Who made, owned, or used the object?
Since I have owned the shirt since I bought it, so far I am the only one to have used it. I am assuming the shirt was made in an industrial factory like most other ready-to-wear pieces, this one specifically in Mauritius. The person who made it was most likely an industrial worker, who was probably getting paid a bare minimum wage. The shirt will most likely be passed on to my younger brother when I grow tired of it, like so many other pieces in my wardrobe have.
Just to mention, after answering all of these analytical questions about my piece, I understand it now more as an object with its own unique story, rather than just something I wear. The shirt has traveled long distances, has sat on a shelf in New York City, until I happened to have picked it up and purchased it. Having analyzed the shirt in detail, I realize the significance of the shirt, even if it is mass-produced and fast-fashion. It is still my own, and part of my own individual story, not to mention part of the stories of all the other people whose lives it’s crossed on its journey to my closet.