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The Business Shirt Pt 3 – Fabrics

The Business Shirt Part 3 – Fabrics

by Clare Sheng

The perfect shirt depends on the fit and fabric, something you can comfortably wear against your skin day in and day out. That is why the shirt is the hero in your wardrobe. The most important thing to look for is a natural fabric such as cotton and linen. However, how the cotton is woven can make a huge difference to how the shirt looks and feels. To help you navigate the many different types of fabrics that make up shirts, we have compiled a easy guide for you.



Tightly woven fabric with fine threads. Often extremely smooth and sometimes with a little sheen. It is the thinnest and lightest of all shirt fabrics, and comes in block colours such as white and light blue.

Pro: fabric is smooth, light weight and thin. It gives a sharp, professional look and is suitable for all formal and professional attire.

Con: because the fabric is thin, it is often see through, creases very easily.

Twill (includes herringbone)


The weave of this fabric is altered to create different textures on the fabric. This could be herringbone, hounds-tooth, or a simple diagonal rib.

Pro: The fabric comes in stylish patterns suitable for formal work or casual occasions. The fabric is easier to care for than poplin and less creasy.

Con: Compared to broadcloth, it can be thicker, hotter, and less formal.



The fibres of the cotton are woven in a basket weave. Often, white threads are mixed in with coloured threads to create a textured look. This fabric is thicker and is popular for a preppy look such as those by Ralph Lauren.

Pro: Thicker and easy to care for. Can be worn casually for a smart casual look. Fabric does not crease easily.

Con: Because of the weave, it is more rough compared to broadcloth and twills.


Linen is made from fiber of the flax plant, and can be very labor intensive to produce. Typically linen will be more loosely woven and sheer than most cotton shirts, and has a very unique dry hand to it that is unlike cotton.

Pro: extremely breathable, suitable for Brisbane weather

Con: creases very easily, relaxed look only, breaks more easily


Although woven like a broadcloth, chambray is made with much thicker fibres, and the weft and warp are usually different colours. It is perfect for a relaxed look.

Pro: Casual stylish, long wearing, and easy to care for.

Con: For casual occasion only


There you are, we hope this summary of the five most important type of shirt fabrics will help to guide you in purchasing your next shirt. If you cannot find something that fits easily off the shelf, The Fitting Room offers our custom made HERO shirt service.

We will help you choose, style and create fully tailored business shirts so you could have a wardrobe full of perfectly fitting HERO shirts.

Make an appointment/enquiry here.