When choosing a dress shirt fabric, you may want to consider how the thickness and construction of the fabric will play a role in how warm it is, how easily it wrinkles, and whether it’s sheer or opaque.
Proper Cloth Thickness and Weight Measurement
For each of our fabrics, we measure the the fabric’s thickness to the nearest thousandth of an inch to give an objective measure of the fabric weight. Dress shirt fabrics generally range from 0.006″ thick (incredibly light weight) to 0.014″ thick (very heavy).
There are exceptions to every rule, but the type of weave of a fabric is often related to the fabric thickness. Here are some more guidelines:
Broadcloths are often some of the lightest fabrics on the market. If you’re looking for something that’ll stay cool in those hot summer months, these can be a really great choice. Yet, broadcloth will most easily show sweat and can wrinkle more quickly than a twill or pinpoint.
Due to the lighter weight of many broadcloths, they can be a bit see-through. While not all will have this issue, especially ones with more saturated color, it’s something to consider.
Twills can come in lighter weights, but are generally thicker than broadcloths and pinpoints. Most twills are very opaque, especially those on the thicker end of the spectrum like Cavalry and Imperial Twills.
Twills may not be the lightest fabrics if you’re looking for something that’ll keep you cool, but if you want a fabric that won’t wrinkle up that easily then twills will be a great choice. They tend to be very opaque, as well.
Pinpoints can be a happy medium between twills and broadcloths when it comes to thickness and weight. They’re a little more breathable than many twills, especially when you consider heavier weight twills. Pinpoints may wrinkle slightly more easily than comparable twills, but should hold up better than most broadcloths.
A true, sporty oxford cloth will be one of the heartiest fabrics you can get. They’re a great casual fabric that will last a really long time due to their heavy weight. They also have a slightly looser weave than something like a pinpoint, so they can breathe fairly well in the warmer months despite their heavy weight.