Acala Cotton:

A Mexican variety of cotton that was introduced into the United States. This type of cotton is currently also grown in the southwestern states and Israel. The longer growing season and need to irrigate this type of cotton plant makes the Acala Cotton more expensive to produce.

American Pima Cotton:

American Pima Cotton, also known as extra long staple cotton, is a fine strong cotton used for sheer woven fabrics and fine fabrics.

Basket Weave:

A style of weave where two or more threads are interlaced resembling a basket. This is a very simple fabric weave. Examples of basket weave would be broadcloth, oxford cloth, and pinpoint, but would not include weaves like twill or dobby.


Batiste is a particularly delicate and sheer, light weight fabric almost resembling silk.


A chemical substances used to clean fabrics prior to dying.


Broadcloth is a tightly woven fabric with a very smooth, simple over-under weave and slight sheen – making it very dressy. Broadcloth fabrics are generally thinner, lighter weight fabrics. White broadcloths in particular can be slightly transparent and sheer. Particularly when freshly pressed, broadcloth dress shirts are the quintessential “crisp” dress shirt. Technically speaking, broadcloth is the same weave as poplin and the two names are often used interchangeably.

Brushed Twill:

The fabric is brushed before dyeing to create a deeper color tone. Brushed twill is a variation of twill that is usually less shiny but softer than standard twill, it almost has a fuzzy feel to it and is super comfortable (particularly great for the colder weather).

Button Down Collar:

The button down collar has buttons that attach the collar points to the front of the shirt. This collar was inspired by polo players in the late 1800’s that used buttons to prevent their collars from flying up when playing polo and the style was popularized commercially by Brooks Brothers. With its origins in sport, the button down collar is technically a more casual style, although it’s prevalence in conservative work environments makes it a perfectly acceptable for business attire.

Center Box Pleat:

A box pleat is constructed from two folds of fabric that meet on a center line on the back of the shirt located just below the yoke. This is a classic design detail and a more casual option.


A lightweight, soft fabric with white weft and colored warp that give the fabric a mottled look.


Continuous lines in the shape of a V (or an inverted V-shape) that create a zigzag pattern.

Collar stays:

Strips of metal, horn, or plastic, that are inserted into a man’s shirt collar to stiffen it and prevent the points from curling up. These can be removable or sewn into the garment.

Colorado Button Down (BD) Collar:

This is a particularly casual button down collar style. The construction is unfused with a very lightweight interlining making it extremely soft, flexible and comfortable. The collar points are shorter than a traditional button down for a lower, more modern profile.

Contrast Collar:

A contrast collar shirt has a solid white collar that contrasts the color or pattern of the shirt. These collars are usually considered more formal. The contrast collar is often referred to as the “Banker Collar” or “Gordon Gekko” collar, a reference to the 1987 film Wall Street starring Michael Douglas.

Cotton (Pima Cotton, Sea Island and Egyptian):

Pima, Sea Island and Egyptian cottons refer to the same cotton plant: Gossypium Barbadense. This is a more desirable cotton for its “longer staples” which allow it to be threaded into finer, stronger threads. Making matters a bit more confusing, there are trademarks filed around the names “Sea Island” and “Supima”, so you can keep an eye out for “certified sea island cotton” vs. “sea island quality”. In our experience, sea island cottons are usually higher thread counts 120s+ and Egyptian and Pima cottons can be found in more rugged 80s and 100s.

Covered Placket (Fly Front):

A fold of fabric covers the buttons for a modern, clean finish. This is not a super popular style, but we like that it’s unconventional, and it’s great for more formal occasions.


A water-soluble cleaning agent used to remove dirt, impurities and stains from clothing.


Dobby (which is very similar to Jacquard, although technically different) is quite similar to broadcloth in terms of thickness and weight. Many Dobby fabrics have small, geometric figures woven in as a regular pattern. The solid colors tend to have a faint white pattern of stripes or dots woven into the fabric.

Double Cuff:

Double cuffs are twice as long as normal cuffs and should be folded back over and secured with cufflinks. Also known as French Cuffs.

Dry Cleaning:

A cleansing method used on fabrics with a solvent other than water to remove dirt and stains.

Egyptian Cotton:

Cotton grown exclusively in Egypt that is used for thread and fine fabrics. Egyptian Cotton is valued for its softness and it has the longest fiber staple in the world making it luxurious and durable.


Closely woven fabric with alternating warp yarns, usually one warp in white and the other in color. The weaving technique creates a subtle checkered pattern/texture.

English Spread Collar:

The English spread collar accommodates both large and small tie knots and looks great unbuttoned. A traditional English look – this is a popular classic collar style.


A soft woven fabric typically made of cotton, wool or rayon. Flannel usually has a single- or double-sided nap (meaning it has been brushed) to resemble woolen fabrics.

French Cuff:

French Cuffs are folded over and must be worn with cufflinks. French cuffs are considered formal business attire. In some circles (primarily countries that may have a slight resentment towards the French) this cuff style is referred to as a “Double cuff”.

French Front (No Placket):

The simplest shirt front and sometimes known as the “sport front.” The French Front is slightly less formal than having a front placket. We like it for casual shirts that we plan to wash in the washer/dryer and wear without ironing.

Front Placket:

The fabric behind the buttons is folded back for a symmetrical look. The Front Placket has an interlining sewn into it that, when ironed, holds a crisp, clean finish. This is our default choice for the shirt placket.


Gingham is a distinctive type of check pattern that is reminiscent of the classic tablecloth. Gingham fabrics are primarily broadcloth or twill weaves. Gingham checks can vary in size from extremely small to over 1″ wide. The smaller the pattern repeat the more formal the shirt.


Herringbone is a fabric texture or pattern. Most Herringbone patterns are twill fabrics, woven such that the direction of the diagonal texture or pattern alternates row by row. Dobby fabrics can also be used to create nice herringbone patterns. Herringbone patterns can come in a variety of sizes and subtleties.


Invented by Joseph J.M. Jacquard, a French inventor, in 1801-1804. Jacquard is a fabric woven on a loom with perforated cards to create an intricate variegated pattern.

Londoner Collar:

The Londoner collar is a type of cut away collar. It has a wide collar point spread and was originated in the UK. This is considered a cut away collar style. The Londoner collar is great for large or medium sized tie knots and is considered a formal collar style.

Long Staple:

A classification for cotton fiber that is a minimum of 1-1/18” staple length.


A light cotton fabric patterned using stripes, cords or checks on a plain-weave background. This weave is typically associated with the summer season.

Milano Collar:

The tall two-button spread collar is distinctly Italian. The tall collar band is flattering for men with longer necks and the wider spread works well for a men with longer, narrower faces. The Milano Collar goes particularly well with larger tie knots, wider ties, and wider suit jacket lapels.


A finishing process where cotton fabrics are treated with sodium hydroxide to strengthen and improve the luster and affinity of the fabric.

Mother of Pearl:

Mother of Pearl comes from the inside of an oyster shell. It is a strong and resilient material.

One Button Barrel Cuff:

This is a simple style where the barrel cuff is pure functionality. It’s classic and easy to put on in the morning.

One Piece Yoke:

A simpler yoke design, a single piece of fabric goes across the shoulders. The One Piece Yoke has less stretch across the shoulders and less curve to the back. It’s great for simpler, casual style shirts and folks with forward posture.

Oxford Cloth:

Oxford cloth is very similar to pinpoint oxford, except it uses a slightly heavier thread. This fabric is famously used in the “Oxford Cloth Button Down” dress shirts…also referred to the “OCBD.” The Oxford has a slightly rougher texture than the pinpoint but is more durable than most fabrics. The origin is from sports, so it’s more on the casual side. This can be worn slightly wrinkled straight from the dyer – very low maintenance.

Peached Fabrics:

Fabric that is sanded lightly to achieve an extra soft feel (said to resemble the feel of a “peach”). This process is often referred to as “carbon peaching”. Other brands such as J.Crew refer to this type of fabrics as “Secret Wash”.

Peruvian Cotton:

A variety of cotton that comes from Brazil, Central America, and West Indies that is known for its long rough fibers, soft texture and rugged durability.

Pinpoint Oxford:

Pinpoint (also referred to as pinpoint oxford) has the same weave as oxford cloth, although it uses a finer yarn and tight weave. The pinpoint is a simple basket weave fabric although it has a bit more texture and shine than comparable broadcloth. This fabric is more formal than oxford cloth, but less formal than broadcloth. Pinpoint fabrics are generally not transparent and are slightly heavier and ticket than broadcloths. Due to their heavier construction, pinpoint are fairly durable fabrics. When a fabric is described as “Pinpoint”, it can reliably be assumed to be an 80s two-ply basket weave.

Plain Weave:

A common weave style in which each filling yarn alternates over and under the warp. Also known as “basket weave”.


A pattern made up of colored stripes that cross each other at right angles (comparable to Tartan). Plaid originated in the Scottish Highlands as a way to differentiate clans. Plaid is different than a check pattern because the motif is larger and incorporates more colors.


Ply is how many yarns are twisted together to make a single thread. Fabrics can either be two-ply or single ply. Two-ply means that two yarns are twisted together to make a single thread. This single thread is then woven into the fabric. (Note that this is not at all like two-ply toilet paper!) Two-ply fabrics are generally superior to single-ply fabrics.


A tightly woven fabric identified by the slight rib effect. The ribs are achieved by using a coarser yarn for the warp.

President Cutaway Collar:

This is the same style as the President Collar but with a wider collar spread giving the shirt a more contemporary feel. The wide spread leaves plenty of room for the largest neck tie knots.

President Semi Spread Collar:

A versatile classic, perfectly suited for larger men, or men with longer necks. The spread is relatively moderate, so the collar also favors men with wider, or rounded faces. It you find the standard Semi Spread Collar a bit too small you’ll love the President Semi Spread. Its slightly taller collar band and longer collar points make for a look that’s a bit more European than Brooks Brothers. At the same time it’s in no way too large, thus totally appropriate for any office. Works well with medium and large tie knots.

President Spread Collar:

The President Spread has a slightly taller band and the collar leaf is a little longer than the traditional English Spread collar.

Royal Oxford:

Although similar in name, this fabric is hardly similar to Pinpoint Oxford or Oxford Cloth. Royal Oxford is a more formal, dressy fabric with distinctive shine and texture. The look comes from a heavy basket weave with white overtones on a different color background.

Sea Island Cotton:

Fine-quality long-staple cotton that is used for expensive dress goods. The cotton is silk-like and is one of the finest grades available. Sea Island Cotton is raised in Mexico and Central America. Read more about our Sea Island Cotton dress shirts here.

Side Pleats:

Located just below yoke out towards the sides of the shirt below the shoulders this puts two ½” side pleats. Side pleats can potentially help the shirt drape smoother aligning with the shape of the back. This style pleat allows greater ease of movement in the shoulders.

Sleeve Placket:

A slit that runs along the forearm to the cuff that usually features a button.

Split Yoke:

The split yoke is made from two pieces of fabric, cut diagonally to maximize the stretch and comfort across the shoulders. The diagonal cut creates a chevron design detail for shirts in a stripe or grid pattern.


The average length of the bulk of cotton fibers.

Straight Point Collar:

This style is one of the most universally flattering collars as it frames all face shapes nicely. The Straight Point Collar has a particularly slimming effect on guys with round faces. The longer collar points fit neatly inside a suit jacket.


Any textile that has different size stripes and colors crossed at right angles against a solid background. Tartan is usually associated with Scotland.

Thread Count:

Thread count is often referred to with a number like 50s, 80s, 100s, 120s, 140s….up to 200s. You would be excused for thinking that 80s = 80 threads per inch, but that’s incorrect (and a common misconception in the industry). Rather, these numbers refer to the yarn size. 140s means there are 140 hanks (1 hank = 840 yards) of yarn in one pound. Regardless the higher the number, the higher the thread count.


This fabric is easily identified by the diagonal lines or textures in the fabric. Twill weave is one of our favorites and just may be the perfect dress shirt fabric. The fabric is generally slightly shiny. Twill is an extremely right wear, that can come in very high thread counts, some of which might be mistaken for silk. Twill won’t give you the same “crisp” look that freshly pressed broadcloth can, but it’s easy to iron and resistant to wrinkles.

Two Button Mitered Cuff:

Our two button mitered cuff is a little more stylish than the barrel cuff, though you will not likely find it too flashy. It has an angled shape at the opening.  One button is in the center of the cuff and the other is closer to the sleeve side of the cuff. The ability to only button one button can make it easier to fit this cuff over a larger watch.  Ours is slightly longer than our one button barrel option.

Vintage Club Collar:

The Club collar is a distinctive look with rounded collar points. This collar is also referred to as the Eton collar (old British folk) or the Golf collar (Brooks Brothers). It’s a call back to the 1920’s, where it was the uniform of all boys school Eton College in England. This is a versatile collar but not for the conservative workplace. Paired with a nice tie you can pull-off a sharp Mad Men look or go with a skinny tie for a more downtown vibe. This collar doesn’t always have to be dressy either – it’s particularly easy to pull off unbuttoned for a unique casual look.

Warp & Weft:

Warp threads run vertically and weft yarns run horizontally. A fabric will often use different types of threads in the warp vs. weft directions.

Wingtip Collar:

The Wingtip collar is a formal collar style. The front edges of the collar are folded down – resembling a pair of wings.


Piece of fabric located on the upper back of a dress shirt that connects the back of the garment to the shoulders.