Formal dress shirt fabric: is there a standard?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Amiro555, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Amiro555

    Amiro555 Member

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    Hello all,

    I am getting married soon and have a question regarding the white shirt that's going to go with my black tux. I assume this is a standard formal wear question and not necessarily wedding attire related so I did not post this in the wedding attire forum. The look I am going for with the shirt is: French cuff, pinpoint collar, plain front (no pleats), black bow tie, and studs/cufflinks.

    Aside from the obvious 100% cotton, there are dress shirt that are thicker and feel much softer on both sides (almost like new cotton socks). Other 100% cotton dress shirts are sometimes thin to the point of some transparency and have harder feeling fabrics. When these thin shirts are not transparent, they often show the lines of the undershirt sleeves on the outside.

    My questions:

    1. The thinner ones always appeared less formal to me but I was wondering if the thicker/softer shirts were a standard with formal wear?

    2. Is it acceptable/recommended for the formal white shirt to have fabric patterns such as striping or herringbone? The thicker whiter shirts I was referring to above often seem to come with these patterns. Does this make any difference for me wearing it as groom? This is an example for these patterns:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016


  2. Wayward

    Wayward Senior member

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    Tuxedo shirts should all have a bib, either in a marcella or a pleated front. Without the bib, it's just a business/dress shirt and inappropriate for black tie. If you don't like pleats, then go for marcella. Also, you mentioned studs/cufflinks. Those aren't interchangeable, so I assume you meant shirt studs and cufflinks. Dress shirts can't accommodate shirt studs, only tuxedo shirts. Alternatively, for a clean front, then also look for those with a hidden placket, or fly front.
     


  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Don't wear an undershirt under your dinner shirt.

    Very classic approach would be cotton voile for the body and sleeves, which is almost translucent. Then, collar, cuffs and bib in pique.

    The voile will keep you cooler under your jacket.
     


  4. Amiro555

    Amiro555 Member

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    Thank you both for your great help! I've learned new things from both your messages.

    Mafoofan - I always wear an undershirt under any dress shirt as my deodorants tends do horrible things to any fabric to with they come in contact. This is a wedding and I am the groom so there is going to be a good amount of dancing and inevitable sweating regardless of what I am wearing. I would think differently if this was a lower energy formal evening that consisted mostly of table-side sitting.
     


  5. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    the last SFer who walked in my shop and asked for Voile got a bit of a surprise..
    are you wearing a 14 oz Wool barrathea with a vest?
    if yes, sure.. go for voile.

    For those reading, in this country, Marcella is know as Birdseye Pique.
     


  6. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    go and buy a trim fitting moister wicking t-shirt. Uniqlo sells a good one.

    also consider getting 2 shirts. If you are very hot and sweaty, you can change at some point.
     


  7. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  8. Viral

    Viral Senior member

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    why not broadcloth 120's?
     


  9. SartodiNapoli

    SartodiNapoli Senior member

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    very formal; poplin
    Voile is the most light fabric, usually 65 grams/meter, only for July/ August and always with the jacket on, since specially in white, is very transparent.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016


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