With winter officially here, it’s time to properly reassess your winter shirt wardrobe.  Many men don’t realise that certain shirt fabrics work better in the winter, while others better in the summer.  Most of this comes down to the thickness of the material of the shirt, which is determined both by how it’s woven and also by what type of yarn is used to weave the fabric.  Whereas poplins make for a great light-weight, breathable summer shirt, in the winter months they often times just don’t cut it in terms of warmth.  Below, we outline Milk Shirts‘ favorite winter shirt fabrics you need to know before your next visit to the tailor.

 

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Pinpoint Oxford: Oxford shirts are great for winter wear as they are made from a thicker weaving technique, giving  you added warmth in the cooler months.  We often get asked about the difference between a Pinpoint Oxford and a regular Oxford shirt.  They’re both considered Oxford style shirts because they are made from the same weaving technique.  The difference, however, is in the thickness and weight of the yarn used for the weave.  Oxford shirts have a heavier thicker weave and are, therefore, usually more of a casual wear piece.  A Pinpoint Oxford, however, is made from a finer, lighter yarn and therefore gives a more formal finish, appropriate for wear at the office. Our #18 New York Shirt is constructed from one of the best Pinpoint Oxford cloths we’ve come across.

 

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Herringbone & Jacquard: These two fabrics are a great choice for winter, if you want something with an interesting texture.  Both herringbone and jacquard fabrics require a thicker weaving technique to produce the textures, so they are naturally a warmer shirt fabric, great for winter wear.  We are particularly fond of a herringbone shirt, paired with a herringbone wool suit; a stylish sartorial look, fit for both the workplace or even a formal event. Look no further than our #88 Cambridge shirt crafted from a luxurious Italian herringbone.

 

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Twill: If you favour something a bit more basic, yet still sophisticated and timeless, then a twill shirt is the choice for you.  Compared to poplins, twill weaves are much thicker and, therefore, warmer.  Twill fabrics are recognisable from their distinct diagonal weave texture.  This weave helps to trap heat, making this a decidedly less breathable shirt and therefore one that we would not usually recommend for wear in the summer.  The diagonal weave also makes it difficult to clean, so try not to get it stained.  It’s a safe choice for work or formal attire. Our #12 London shirt makes an astute choice, in and out of the office.

 

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Flannel: Though, traditionally, when one thinks of flannel one tends to conjure up images of plaid lumberjack shirts, flannel has been reinvented in recent years to be used in a much more sartorial way.  Plain flannels in navy, charcoal and burgundy hues have been popping up in the past few years as modern alternatives for your winter wardrobe.  If you work in a conservative industry, it’s probably best not to experiment with flannels in the workplace, however if your workplace is more creative or modern, by all means give flannel a go.  Flannels are made from a brushed twill or poplin; brushing the fabric gives it a fuzzy texture.  They are thicker, warm textiles and come in everything from 100% cotton to cotton/wool and cotton/cashmere blends.  Also a great choice for stylish casual weekend wear.

 

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Denim & Chambray: Another question we often get is what is the difference between denim and chambray?  Both are woven from a colored (traditionally dyed indigo blue) yarn in the warp and a white yarn in the weft.  However, chambray is made from a plain weave, whereas denim is made from a twill weave.  The twill weave makes it a heavier, thicker texture.  When it comes to denim shirting, there are softer and lighter fabrics available on the market than your typical denim jeans.  Both denim and chambray are great options for warm winter weekend wear. Get in touch with us to custom make the perfect denim shirt.