Dress shirts are a staple in any man's wardrobe, but with so many fabrics to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know which one to pick. In today's guide, we will take you through everything you need to know about dress shirt fabrics, and by the end of this post, you'll know exactly what shirt to pick for your next purchase. Here are the different types of shirt materials:
Cotton is one of the most popular fabrics for shirts, and it's not hard to see why - it's comfy, breathable, and requires low maintenance. The soft fabric is almost always a good choice throughout the year, which is why it's on our favorite's list. In fact, when it comes to dress shirts, cotton is a good choice because it strikes the perfect balance between comfort, durability, and style.
Benefits: Breathable, durable, hypoallergenic, and low maintenance.
Disadvantages: Absorbent, poor elasticity, prone to schrinking
1. Oxford Cloth
Oxford cloth is an awesome fabric that's just as suitable for a casual gathering as it is for a formal event. It has a unique basket weave texture that gives it a super durable and wrinkle-resistant quality. So, you can wear it all day long without having to worry about it getting all crumpled.
Poplin is a lightweight and smooth shirt material that has a crisp feeling to it, with a silky surface. It's a good choice for formal occasions or summer wear. Moreover, It's the type of fabric that feels super cool and refreshing against your skin, making it ideal for those hot and humid days when you still want to look sharp and put together.
This tightly woven fabric has a really subtle texture that gives it a unique look and feel. In fact, when you see it up close, you'll notice how the tight weave creates this really interesting pattern that adds depth and dimension to the fabric. Although pinpoint is generally seen as a more sophisticated fabric, it's still comfortable to wear. It has a nice weight to it that feels substantial without being too heavy.
Herringbone is a type of fabric weave that produces a distinctive V-shaped pattern, resembling the skeleton of a herring fish. One of the benefits of herringbone fabric is its durability, as the weave creates a strong and sturdy fabric that can withstand frequent wear. Moreover, the texture is visually appealing and is a smart choice for business dress shirts. On the flip side, herringbone is prone to wrinkles and requires some ironing to maintain its look.
Although cotton is an all-time favorite of ours, there are a variety of different fabrics out there that are perfect for other settings and occasions. Take a look:
Linen is the typical kind of fabric you'll especially see throughout the summer. Not only does it come with several benefits, such as being highly absorbent and breathable, but it's a great choice for people with skin sensitivities. Moreover, Linen is hypoallergenic and has antibacterial properties. In fact, one of the fabric's best features is that it's a natural insect-repelling agent, so there's no need to worry about moths. If you're in need of a casual summer outfit, a linen dress shirt is always a good option.
Benefits: Highly absorbent, low maintenance, insect repellent
Disadvantages: Crinkly, difficult to iron
Polyester is a common fabric used in textile production, and you're sure to have at least one shirt made out of it. It's an affordable fabric that is especially used for outdoor gear, such as jackets and sleeping bags, due to its ability to repel water and resist mildew. The great thing about this fabric is its strong wrinkle resistance. Moreover, it dries quickly and requires relatively low care. The downside of polyester is that it's more likely to hold odors compared to natural fibers, so it may not be the best selection for hot days.
Benefits: Durability, easy to care for, moisture wicking
Disadvantages: Not breathable, poor moisture absorption
Flannel has a very cozy feel to it, which makes it suitable for winter days due to its insulating properties. It's usually made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers that have been brushed to create a soft, fuzzy texture. Moreover, flannel shirts are durable and long lasting, making them a good investment for those who want a shirt that will hold up over time.
Benefits: Warmth, soft, durable
Disadvantages: Shrinkage, wrinkles, high maintenance
Seersucker is a lightweight cotton fabric that is woven in a way that creates a puckered or crinkled texture. This texture is achieved by weaving some threads tighter than others, which causes the fabric to bunch up and create a raised textured surface. Seersucker shirts are typically designed with a relaxed fit, and the fabric's lightweight and breathable nature makes them perfect for hot and humid weather.
Benefits: Breathable, versatile, low maintenance
Disadvantages: Wrinkles, limited color options, unsuitable for cold weather
Dobby shirts are a type of dress shirt made from a special fabric called dobby weave. Dobby weave is a type of fabric construction that creates a small, geometric pattern within the fabric. Dobby is considered to be a more formal dress shirt option, as they are typically made from high-quality cotton or silk fabrics and feature details such as French cuffs and a spread collar. However, they can also be worn in more casual settings when paired with jeans or chinos.
Benefits: Durable, breathable, unique texture
Disadvantages: High maintenance, pricey, limited color options
Corduroy is popular due to its durable nature and texture. The fabric is woven with vertical cords, which gives it a unique look and feel. It's usually made from cotton or a cotton blend, so it's wonderfully soft and comfy to wear. We especially recommend corduroy shirts during the winter, as it makes a cozy shirt. However, the downside of this fabric is that it requires special cleaning methods due to its texture, which is also common for attracting lint and other small particles
Benefits: Durable, comfortable, warm
Disadvantage: High maintenance, attracts lint
Twill shirts have a type of weave that produces a diagonal pattern on the fabric, created by interlacing the threads in a way that produces a diagonal rib or twill line. It's a fabric that's usually made from high-quality cotton or cotton blends, giving it a smooth texture. The best thing about twill is the sophistication the fabric adds to your shirt, making it perfect for occasions that require smarter outfits.
Benefits: Drapes well, soft, breathable
Disadvantages: Limited stretch, costly
If you've made it all the way here, we congratulate you! That means by now you should be a shirt expert and hopefully, you'll have an easier time selecting the right material for your dress shirt.
To make things a bit easier for you, we've left this detailed summary for you, highlighting the most important points.
|Cotton||Breathable, durable, hypoallergenic, and low maintenance||Absorbent, poor elasticity, prone to shrinking|
|Oxford Cloth||Durable, wrinkle-resistant||Limited color options|
|Poplin||Lightweight, smooth, crisp feeling, silky surface||Limited color options|
|Pinpoint||Sophisticated, unique texture, comfortable||High maintenance|
|Herringbone||Visually appealing, durable||Prone to wrinkles, requires ironing|
|Linen||Highly absorbent, low maintenance, insect repellent||Crinkly, difficult to iron|
|Polyester||Durability, easy to care for, moisture-wicking||Not breathable, poor moisture absorption, holds odors|
|Flannel||Warm, soft, durable||Shrinkage, wrinkles, high maintenance|
|Seersucker||Breathable, versatile, lowmaintenance||Wrinkles, limited color options, unsuitable for cold weather|
|Dobby||Durable, breathable, unique texture||High maintenance, pricey, limited color options|
|Corduroy||Durable, comfortable, warm||High maintenance, attracts lint|
|Twill||Drapes well, soft, breathable||Limited stretch, costly|