It can be hard to narrow down your choices when choosing a dress shirt. There are so many different fabrics names, and what does it all mean anyway? Here is our introduction to dress shirt fabrics to help make your decision a little easier.


Most dress shirts are made of cotton, and often the lower-end ones have cotton combined with the synthetic fiber polyester. Cotton shirts are the most comfortable and breathable for the summer time. Linen is another natural fiber that is popular for the summer but also wrinkles very easily.



Broadcloth: A thin, tightly woven, dressy fabric with a smooth and shiny finish that will sometimes be transparent if it’s white. It does not usually have any patterns.



Oxford: My personal favorite for its sporty look, oxford is typically a more causal style and has a rough texture. In colored and patterned oxford, only the threads running in one direction are dyed, while the others are left white, creating a basketweave look. Pinpoint oxford is a bit more formal, with a tighter yarn and weave. Royal oxford is a dressy fabric with a distinctive shine and texture.



Gingham: A checked pattern usually made out of broadcloth or twill fabrics. Smaller checks are considered more formal.



Twill: A very lightweight, dressy and slightly shiny fabric that is easily recognizable from its diagonal lines and has a great textured look. In herringbone twill, the direction of the diagonal lines switches back and forth, creating a V pattern. Brushed twill is fuzzy and comfortable—perfect for cooler weather.



End-on-End: A weave in which the color diagonally is different from the color vertically, creating tiny checks. It is often incorporated into a stripe pattern.

More from Equally Wed’s Dress Shirt Guide:

measurements for dress shirtsMeasurements
Tips on how to get your exact measurements for your wedding dress shirt.


collar types for dress shirts
The Collar
Learn about all the variations in collars for a dress shirt.