We’ve previously covered the many fabrics available for suits, but as any gentleman will tell you, the dress shirt is every bit as important as the parts of the suit. There are just as many, or even more variants of fabrics available for the dress shirt, and it pays off to know about the pros and cons of each of them.
In this guide, we’ll be walking you through the large range of available materials for dress shirts, and what you can do to choose the right thing for the job.
Cotton is a popular choice for almost all forms of clothing, and dress shirts are no different. Cotton is the jack of all trades, being breathable, durable and comfortable. In fact, many different weave styles incorporate cotton fibers, which we’ll be looking into. A rule of thumb is that lighter weaves are suitable for warmer weather, and the heavier counterparts are good heat insulators for cooler months. The only real downside to cotton is that it’s prone to wrinkles.
The variants of cotton are as follows.
Poplin, or broadcloth, is a material with tight weaves and very little sheen, making it the top choice for all professionals everywhere. With minimal texture, these are among the smoothest materials available, yet they tend to crease easier.
Linen involves a lot of work to produce, but it’s one of the best choices for the relaxed feel. With looser weaves, linen shirts are even better at keeping you cool. However, they are even more prone to wrinkling than pure cotton blends.
Seersuckers are well known for their puckered look, which is achieved through the weaving of the fabric. These are great for warm summers, with great airflow due to the pockets of air, and are extremely comfortable.
Oxfords are the coarsest type of fabrics, and is a classic. The pinpoint oxford style uses finer threads and a tighter weave, giving it a more formal look. These are the classic work shirts thanks to their natural durability. Other variations of oxford include the heavier oxford seen in polo shirts, which look great even when creased, and royal oxford, which has a visible texture and distinctive shine that makes it a great choice for special events.
Pure cotton is often blended with polyester for cost related reasons, yet they are also much better resistance to wrinkling. You do end up sacrificing breathability and comfort. For the best effect, opt for blends with a minimum of 80% cotton, the more the better.
If you’ve heard of the term ‘silky smooth’, you’ll understand that silk gives the best in terms of comfort. Similarly to cotton, you’re looking at potential wrinkling issues, and also needing compulsory hand washing. Silk is a fragile and delicate material, so remember to iron with care by turning down the heat.
Even with the right fabric choice, you should always pick a tailor that can make the best of it. That’s why we recommend ourselves, Exclusive Tailor, the best tailor in Phuket. We use only the finest materials for all our clothes, and we have multiple generations of experience in men’s fashion. No matter the current trends, you can definitely expect a good dress shirt from us. Come to our website to see the materials we have on offer!