Shirt fabrics is the main contributor to the
quality of the dress shirt. A shirt rests directly on
your skin for more than 8 hours every day, so it is
important to choose the best possible quality.
Oxford cloth, the coarsest shirting, is nonetheless
quite soft and comfortable. A more casual fabric, its
most natural form is the button-down collar. In colored
and patterned Oxford shirts, only the threads running in
one direction are dyed, while the others are left white.
This gives the fabric its characteristic textured
appearance. Pinpoint Oxford is woven likewise, but of
finer yarn, and is thus smoother and more formal. Royal
Oxford is finer still, and can stand proudly beside a
fine wool suit and expensive tie.
Poplin bears a smoother texture but similar weight, the
result of a fine yarn running one way with a thicker one
It is soft and comfortable, and often used in more
casual shirts. Colors find themselves easily at home
here, and it takes sporty patterns especially well.
Herringbone describes a distinctive V-shaped weaving
pattern usually found in shirt fabrics, under the family
of twill shirting's. The pattern is called herringbone
because it looks like the skeleton of a herring fish.
Herringbone-patterned fabric is usually wool, and is one
of the most popular clothes used for suits and
Finer still is broadcloth, of fine yarn woven so tightly
that it gleams. This is the most formal shirting for
day-to-day wear. End-on-end broadcloth is that made by
interweaving threads of alternating colors for a visual
texture so subtle it appears solid from an arm's length
All fine dress shirts should be made of cotton, and even
then, not all cotton are of the same quality. Ignore
labels and just run your finger over the shirt fabrics,
the cotton should feel fine and soft to the touch.
Colors are also more defined and brighter on high
quality cotton as compared to synthetics. In fact, the
best cotton, Sea Island Cotton, a brand name owned by
cotton growers in the West Indies, feels similar to
There are only a handful
of fabrics designed for suiting, which makes the
decision easier, but certain factors must considered
when buying the perfect one. There is the breath ability
of the fabric. In summer, the fight is on against the
sweaty-back. Then old man winter blows on in and the
casual stroll to work turns into a run, brought on by
sheer determination to keep warm for the chilling cold.
Down are the some of the most famous suiting fabric
around the globe.
Wool is the most popular fabric choice for men due to
its versatility and refined aesthetic. Wool is a natural
material, which means it breathes well, and can be worn
both in the heat of the day or the cool of the night. It
is soft and wrinkle free but is sometimes criticized by
those wanting lighter, more slimming fabrics. Common
wool types include tweed, flannel, cashmere, merino and
Cotton is the second most popular fabric for suits and
is derived from plant fibers. Cotton suits move and
breathe well but tend to crease easily, which can make
the suit look sloppy. They are satisfactory when it
comes to softness but lag behind in the luxury
department when compared to wool fabrics.
Linen suits are super lightweight and maintain their
coolness in soaring temperatures. However, linen
wrinkles easily and stains even easier, meaning it
requires regular dry cleaning to maintain a fresh, crisp
Cashmere, on its own or as a blend, is rather luxurious
but can give an unwanted shine to a suit. Depending on
whether you want something fancily European or not,
cashmere may not be suitable for work. But for pleasure?