Style Basics

What is a broadcloth dress shirt?

By on October 12th, 2014

Have you ever found yourself asking the obvious question, what is a broadcloth dress shirt?

First of all, there are basically (4) types of fabrics out there – broadcloth, oxford, pinpoint, and twill. I’ll cover each one in a subsequent blog post, but let’s start off the series with a brief discussion on the broadcloth.

What it is

Sometimes referred to as poplin, this is the classic dress shirt fabric.

Broadcloth fabric is created using a simple over/under weave pattern. Imagine a checkerboard pattern – that’s how the yarn goes. This is the simplest way to manufacture a piece of clothing and so it should come as no surprise that nearly 80% of all clothing is made in this style.

Broadcloth is a lightweight and slick looking fabric because it’s usually made with very fine yarns. Therefore, most uniforms are made of a broadcloth fabric to portray that very clean and almost minimalist appearance.

When to wear it

Since broadcloth fabrics have a smoother texture than other fabrics they are usually a good match for formal occasions. So you’ll have no problem sporting this fabric at a wedding or other swanky event.

And as the number of woven yarns increases the overall weight of the shirt will become lighter. This is what makes a fine broadcloth shirt great for year-round use.