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dress shirt fabrics

Last week we discussed 9 major patterns every man should know. Today we will explore dress shirt fabrics. Understanding the difference between some of these fabrics will not only help you flex your sartorial intellect but allow you to find the ideal dress shirt fabric for your needs.

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Before we break down the 10 major dress shirt fabrics, it is important to point out the fundamentals of what makes a great fabric.

Step one:  Identifying the core: is it cotton, man-made fibers or silk? Ideally, you want to stick with cotton as it is the undisputed king of dress shirt fabrics. A finely woven cotton fabric has all the properties a man could want from a garment worn close to the body: good heat and moisture conduction, durability, smoothness, and the ability to take shape when ironed.

Man-made fibers, on the other hand, don’t offer the same comfort as a cotton shirt but do have their own set of advantages. They are often wrinkle and stain resistant and can be ideal for budget minded individuals. Lastly, there is silk, often associated as a luxury fabric, silk offers that high sheen and light drape. It is great for bathrobes and boxers shorts but not necessarily for a shirt. The maintenance costs are high and long term durability low.

Step two: Know your ply. Ply is how many yarns are twisted together to make a single thread. Dress shirt fabrics are most often two-ply or single ply. Two-ply fabrics are generally superior to single-ply fabrics.

Step three: The count. Thread count indicates the size of the thread in the fabric and therefore how many threads per square inch and is often referred to with a number like 50s, 80s, 100s, 120s, 140s 160s, etc up to 200s. For example, 140s means there are 140 hanks (1 hank = 840 yards) of yarn in one pound. Higher numbers mean that the threads are finer which results in a softer, smoother and lighter fabric.

Step four: The finish. Often overlooked, the finish of the fabric is the production process used to actually mill the fabric. A 2-ply 200s fabric sounds impressive but if it’s made with low quality cotton by a dubious manufacturer then it is no better and probably worse than a 1-ply 50s fabric made by a reputable mill.

 10 Dress Shirt Fabrics

Oxford Shirt Fabric

Oxford Shirt Fabric

  • Similar to pinpoint oxford- slightly heavier thread and looser weave
  • Slightly rougher texture but is more durable than most fabrics
  • Symmetrical basket weave where one yarn may cross two yarns
  • Originally developed for sports, the oxford shirt is great as a casual button down shirt


  • Woven fabric produced on the dobby loom
  • Characterised by small geometric patterns and extra texture in the cloth
  • Very similar to Jacquard, although technically different
  • Many dobby fabrics have stripes woven into them, although some are solid colors
  • The solid colors tend to have a faint stripe or dotted patterns woven in the same color as the base cloth


  • A sturdy cotton twill textile- possibly coarser twill.
  • Typically softer, lighter versions of the fabric then that of your jeans
  • Great for casual wear


  • A plain weave fabric with a colored warp and a white weft
  • Generally made with heavier yarns for a rugged,  blue-collar workwear appeal
  • Great for casual wear


  • A dense, plain woven cloth, historically made of wool
  • A tightly woven fabric with a very simple over-under weave and slight sheen
  • Great for dressy occasions
  • Highly weatherproof and hard wearing


  • Is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness
  • Typically fuzzy in feel otherwise known as brushed twill or brushed melange
  • Great for cooler weather like Fall/Winter
  • Ideal for casual wear


  • Special type of construction in which each yarn is a combination of fibers that are dyed and not-dyed
  • Generally very thin and very smooth luxurious fabrics with a particular soft finish
  • These different colored cotton fibers are woven together for a feathered, intentionally inconsistent, somewhat organic look.


  • Pinpoint (also referred to as pinpoint oxford) has a similar weave as oxford cloth but uses a finer yarn and tighter weave
  • More formal than oxford cloth, but less formal than broadcloth
  • Pinpoint fabrics are generally not transparent and are slightly heavier and thicker than broadcloths
  • Great choice for business shirts


  • Made from a plain weave of fine yarns, creating a thin, soft, smooth, long-lasting fabric
  • Thin and breathable – great for under jackets or blazers
  • Can be slightly transparent due to it’s thinness
  • Does well with retaining smoothness after being ironed
  • Sometimes described as broadcloth (technically different, but pretty much the same)


  • Distinctive diagonal weave
  • Soft, and a bit thicker and warmer than poplin
  • Has a tendency to wrinkle easily for some
  • Works under a jacket, but not quite as breathable as poplin
  • Seems to be difficult to remove stains from twill

Winter is upon us, which means subzero temperatures, wind-chills and frost bite. To avoid being a miserable hack this season we recommend the following. Step one: change your mindset. Understand that just like how all season tires aren’t the same as winter tires, neither are your clothes. What you wore during spring and fall isn’t going to cut it when it’s -25 degrees outside. Which leads us to step two: invest in strong winter fabrics. What does that mean? Outside the basics of a winter parka or bomber, look into investing in textiles that have a heavier weight and exist for the sole purpose of keeping you warm. Here is a list of some key fabrics you should consider when developing your winter wardrobe:

  • FLANNEL: a kind of soft-woven fabric, typically made of wool or cotton and slightly milled and raised. Flannel is typically known to be used in shirt making but is also a great textile to consider when picking a winter suit.
  • TWEED: a hardwearing, coarse wool cloth in a variety of weaves and colors, usually handspun and hand-woven in Scotland. Great for sportcoats and jackets.
  • COTTON: granted cotton is a year-round fabric, however, it is important to note that it is available in a wide variety of weights. Pick garments made of heavier weights to ensure your warmth. Cavalry twill, moleskin, and corduroy are popular choices in cotton for colder months.
  • CASHMERE: One of the most luxurious cloths available, cashmere is fine soft wool, originally made from the Kashmir goat. Ideal for sweaters, and overcoats/topcoats.

Even the best of us sometimes find ourselves at a loss when it comes to reading laundry symbols on our clothes.  As such, we take our best guess and do what most men do, put everything in a cold wash and hope for the best. For all intents and purposes, reading laundry symbols can be as much fun as reading Egyptian hieroglyphics (without the exotic thousand year old history).  Feeling the frustration of men all over, we felt that it was our solemn duty to demystify this generational quandary.

After searching high and low we are pleased to provide you with a lexicon that could quite possibly be the answer to all your laundry needs.  A great man once said, “with great knowledge comes great power”.  Thus, use your power wisely and be sure to practice safe laundering.



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The true character of one’s suit is often defined by it’s fit, quality of fabric and it’s construction. Unfortunately, many people often forget that the latter, construct, is just as important as the former, especially if you’re an individual that wears suits often. Construction plays are large role in the overall quality of a suit, which is why in this article we’ll be discussing the different types of suit jacket construction—namely, full canvas vs. half canvas vs. fused and why they should matter to you.

Full-and-half-canvassed-and-fused-Main Full Canvas Suits

→ The best quality you can buy in a suit, but are generally more expensive.

Back in the day, all suits were made of canvas. It was usually a horsehair canvas, which is sewn between the lining and the cloth of the jacket. The canvas allows the suit fabric to drape properly and will mold to your body over time (for the perfect fit). It aids in the longevity of the suit by distributing tension at stress points (shoulders, elbows), it allows the suit to “breathe” and holds up to repeated dry cleaning. Costly to make, full canvas suits usually retail for $1,500+.

Fused Suits

→ A great price point but quality is sacrificed.

As the demand for suits increased, a fused suit was developed to appeal to the mass market. This is an interlining that is heat pressed (glued) to the wool of the suit. While it allowed for suits to be produced at a better price point, it also has a stiffness to the chest and if over dry-cleaned, can lead to bubbling in the chest area (this is caused when the wool separates from the fusing). It is also less durable over time and loses flexibility. Fusing is good if you want a price point suit and don’t plan on wearing it every day.


Half Canvas Suits

→ Gives you best of both worlds.

Eventually, a compromise was developed: a half canvas suit. A half canvased suit uses a sewn in canvas piece in the chest and the lapel of the jacket, and is fused on the bottom part of the jacket. This allows you to have the canvas at the most important part of the suit, and keeps the price down by having less handwork.

At Gotstyle we believe in offering the best possible fit, quality and price for our customers. We’ve scoured the world looking for suits that fit this mandate, and we are able to offer you the best selection of modern trim fit, half canvas constructed suits in the city! And if off-the rack isn’t your flavour we also offer a full made-to-measure program to help you get that perfect suit.


A shoe, like a fine blazer, combines mechanical precision with human artistry and much like a blazer is made up of several components that give it its shape and structure. Before we delve into the various types/styles of footwear we felt it appropriate to give you a quick crash course on the basic anatomy of a shoe. Most men’s dress shoes are made up of these basic 12 elements, it’s the placement or construction of these pieces that give various dress shoes their unique style.


Counter: The half-moon-shaped piece of leather reinforcing the heel.

Lining: Part of the upper, the lining of a shoe is the inside material that touches the sides of the foot, the top of the foot, and/or the back of the heel. The main purpose of a lining is to cover the inside seams of a shoe, but linings made of special materials also tout comfort features such as additional padding, or the ability to pull moisture away from the foot.

Tongue: A strip of leather running just under tehe laces of the show all the way to the opening or throat.

Eyelet: An eyelet provides a smooth, rigid surface for laces to be fed through, and stops the fabric from fraying where the hole was made.

Upper: The term “upper” refers to the part or parts of a shoe that cover the toes, the top of the foot, the sides of the foot, and the back of the heel — it is attached to the outsole of a shoe. Depending on the style of the shoe, the upper of a shoe can be cut from a single piece, or can be comprised of many pieces stitched together. Parts of a shoe’s upper can include the vamp, the back, the tongue, the quarter, and the lining.

Vamp: The front part of the shoe that includes the toe box and the apron.

Toe Box: The front portion of the shoe that covers the toes. It should have support protecting the toes and should be approximately a half-inch longer than the length of the longest toe.

Outsole: The outsole is the bottom part of the shoe. Also referred to as the “sole” of the shoe, this is the part that comes in direct contact with the ground. The outsole of the shoe is often the part that will wear out first, but some shoes can be resoled by a shoe repair shop.

Insole: The insole is the inside part of the shoe that runs underneath the sole (bottom) of the foot. Insoles can usually be easily removed, and wearers will sometimes replace the manufacture’s insole with specialty insoles they’ve purchased separately. Insoles are also sometimes referred to as footbeds, inner soles or innersoles.

Quarter: The continuous side and rear panel that forms the side of the shoe, extending from the vamp in front to the hell in the back.

Collar: The counter of a shoe sits behind the heel of the foot, and is used to stiffen the back part of the shoe, and to give it structure.

Heel: The rear, padded area on the bottom of the foot, as well as the piece at the rear of the show that supports the heel cup. The heel should not slip off the wearer’s foot.



Vent (n,): is a slit in the bottom rear (the “tail”) of the jacket. Vents go as far back as the days when people first starting sitting and wearing jackets at the same time. Have you ever tried to sit or ride a horse while wearing a jacket that had no vents? Precisely, vents were created as a functional necessity designed to provide comfort to the wearer by allowing the jacket’s tails to part and fall gracefully vs bunching and constricting the body while seated.

There are three types of jacket vents you should know: single vent, double vent and the proverbial no vent. We’d recommend your erase the latter from your vocabulary as it has no place in a modern mans wardrobe.

Let’s start by saying that the single and double vents are both equally appropriate and timeless. However, there are significant differences in the two styles and understanding the pros and cons is crucial in deciding which style is better suited to you and your body. If you are a huskier guy and have a big derriere you may want to consider a single vent jacket as it will offer better coverage and cleaner silhouette. On bigger guys double vent jackets, if not tailored properly, will kick out and hang off your butt bringing undue attention to it.

Conversely double vents tend to be the go-to style for guys in great shape that are looking to accentuate their assets. “The dual slits (or vents) along the side emphasize the outside lines of the body; in doing so, they establish an attractive, longer silhouette that complements and lengthens your frame.” – Askmen