Shirt Fabrics: A Quick & Easy Guide for 2018

If you think choosing a color is the only concern with regards to your choice of shirt, then you’ve probably never gone shirt shopping before! Style, fit, collars, and even buttons are aspects we must consider each time we choose a new dress shirt. However, the most important aspect, and one you must get right from the off, is your choice of fabric. And here at Tuxedo Central, we are more than happy to give you the lowdown on shirt fabrics and how they’re used in outfits!


Cotton is the most common fabric in clothing and for good reason! It’s the one fabric that works for year-round wear. It’s breathable, comfortable, and extremely easy to take care of. It’s also one of those fabrics that holds dye very well making it the obvious choice for dress shirts with their wide range of shades and hues.


While there are certain schools of thought that maintain that they are quite the stylish option, we’re not sure we can handle so much silk in an outfit. With that being said, a silk shirt can definitely turn around any type of outfit!


One of the most breathable fabrics around, linen is quite common for hot weather climates. Think linen beach suits, and you’ll understand why. Most consider it a casual fabric, and this is undoubtedly due to the fact that it creases like tissue paper under the slightest bit of stress.

Linen is sheerer than cotton and depending on the weave; this may be one of the reasons it feels cooler on the body. But aside from the breathability factor pure linen isn’t the most ideal of fabric choices for the office or any formal or even semi-formal occasion.


This textured weave is shimmery in appearance, and the diagonal direction of the intertwining threads offers a subtle difference to both Poplin and Oxford fabrics. The subtlety of this weave is key as it allows the wearer to use it in formal or business shirts without drawing too much attention to the change in fabric.


This is the toughest fabric but nonetheless is still quite a soft and comfortable option. Considered a more casual fabric, you’ll find that many button down collar shirts are Oxford weave. When choosing a colour other than white, you’ll notice the shirt has a very textured appearance. This is because threads that are running in one direction are dyed while the other are left white. It’s a clever trick that gives this fabric its characteristic textured appearance.


This weave has a much more smoother texture than Oxford but is of a similar weight! This is because the use of a fine yarn running in one direction and a thicker one interweaving it. The fine yarn makes it a more comfortable option than Oxford. However, it is just as durable as Oxford and is quite often the first choice for casual shirts. It takes colors very well, and so is a great choice for shirts that use multi-coloured patterns.

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