How To Pick The Best Dress Shirt Material For Suit

How To Pick The Best Dress Shirt Material For Suit

How To Pick The Best Dress Shirt Material For Suit

Understanding the cotton weave of the basic dress shirt, considering the greater part of us purchase our shirts off-the-rack (and wear them to work five days a week), is unimaginably vital. Indeed, we think about the fit, shading and even the shirt collar type when looking for our button-up. Some go similarly as checking the name for the quality shirt fixings. Along these lines, we’re instructed enough to realize cotton is ideal. However, does it get more confounded than that? It does. Which is for what reason we’re investigating dress shirt weaves. You may know them as ‘poplin’, ’twill’ or ‘oxford’, however these cotton weaves are in excess of a name, they assume a noteworthy job in how and when you wear the shirt to benefit from them. Dress shirt material can make or break your suit; here’s how to pick the best dress shirt material for suit.


What Is Dress Shirt Weave

The weave is the way in which the threads of cotton (called warp and weft) are actually put together to make a fabric. The weave not only affects the way a shirt looks and feels, but also how warm the fabric will be; the way it drapes, how easy it is to iron, and sometimes, where and when it should be worn.

Thread Count

A higher thread count generally means a smoother, silkier, more expensive fabric. Like suits, the thread count is referenced with a number such as 50s, 80s, 100s, 120s, 140s, 170s and so on, up to 330s. The number refers to the yarn size, but generally a thread count above 100 will imply a 2-ply fabric.

Two Ply vs. Single Ply

Though there are some exceptions where very fine single ply yarns are used; the higher number thread counts will be comprised of two yarns twisted together. For example, 120’s thread count means that two 60’s yarns are twisted together. This fabric will be more durable than a 60’s single ply, but it won’t always be smoother. 140’s thread counts are typically two 70’s yarns twisted together. And so on.

Thread count and the ply are good indicators of shirt quality. But remember, like most craftsmanship, the mill or manufacturer and quality of ingredients (namely, cotton); have a big impact on just how luxurious the fabric, and therefore, the shirt are.

Below is your gentlemen’s guide to dress shirt weaves, as well as how and when to wear them.

Best Dress Shirt Weave Types

Dress Shirt Weave Types


Now that you know what a shirt weave is; it’s time to take a look at the types of weave and how each one differs depending on the wearer’s requirements. There’s nothing worse than wearing a weave designed to keep you warm on a scorcher day. So pay attention.


poplin dress shirt


A cotton weave made by closely-woven threads that form a criss-cross pattern. Poplin, despite its strength, is thin, lightweight and cool, marked by a smooth finish. It makes for a great summer work shirt as it has very little sheen, which makes it nice and professional. And they’re great for a little texture too.


Poplin dress shirt for men



For work, a poplin shirt is ideal as an under shirt with a smart two-piece suit, no sweat. But beware, their thin weave means white varieties can be a touch transparent.


twill dress shirt


This is a durable cotton fabric that has a softer feel than poplin and is slightly more sheeny. Twill fabrics weave twin horizontal threads under and over vertical threads to create a diagonal pattern. This creates interesting ‘patterns’ in the shirt such as herringbone, houndstooth or diagonal rib print (we’ll elaborate later on).


twill dress shirts for men



Overall, twill is soft and thick, crease-resistant and iron-proof. It drapes well, so it’s the perfect get-things-done work shirt, but with a smart finish.




The oxford cotton fabric is known as a basket weave where multiple weft threads are crossed over an equal number of warp threads. Usually, one single-colour thread it crossed with white to give the oxford its signature checkerboard appearance.


oxford dress shirts for men



It’s a versatile fabric that can be worn off or on-duty but is most popular in casual shirts; a button-down with no tie and jeans on the weekend. However, the shirt can be worn to the office if the cut and finish are professional; or for a more relaxed business environment. And its thickness makes it perfect to wear on cooler days.


end-on-end-weave dress shirt


These shirt fabrics made with a gently textured weave comprised of two or more colours resulting in a dual-tone finish. The double colour isn’t evident, looking more like a unified colour from afar. But the detail is in the close-up, where a mini-pattern can be seen for a unique finish.

End-on-end shirts are also lightweight and crisp to the hand; so they’re perfect for warmer days – worn solo, or under a light cotton suit. They’re a superb weekend shirt.


pinpoint dress shirt weave


The Pinpoint has the same weave as the oxford but uses much a finer yarn and tighter weave. In terms of formality, pinpoint sits nicely between the casual oxford cloth and the classy poplin or twill.

They are thick and durable which can take away from their elegance. So, these shirts are perfect everyday work tops, but not ideal for special events.


dobby dress shirt weave


A unique geometric pattern that look and feels raised touch; the dobby is considered a posh because its weave much like jacquard. A special loom raises and lowers the warp threads individually, allowing the weaver to create the dobby’s special patterns.

The best part; not all dobby fabrics look the same; coming in a variety of patterns, colours, weights and hand feels to meet your style and dress code needs.


herring dress shirt weave


Herringbone shirts are recognised for their resemblance to the v-shape bones of the herring fish. The fabric is textured and is essentially twill that is mirrored when woven to create the sort of chevron pattern.

Herringbone weaves tend to be slightly heavier in weight; and are more often found in seasonal shirting fabrics for cold weather. Add under a tweed jacket for a play on texture and apply a silk-knit tie. There are so many contrast capabilities with Herringbone. Go wild.