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Whats the difference between shirts that are herringbone, poplin, twill etc. Which are better quality, which are lighter/softer etc. Never knew there was so many choices. Im talking about shirts from a place like Harvie and Hudson
 

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Quality has nothing to do with these different weaves. Poplin is the lightest of those three and also the most formal. Twill and herringbone are a little heavier. There are other common shirt fabrics, such oxford, pinpoint oxford and royal oxford. Regular oxford fabric is reserved for more casual shirts.
 

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Poplin or broadcloth is a square weave; twill and herringbone are types of diagonal weaves (herringbone actually is a type of twill, IIRC).

Matt is right--a good quality poplin is better than a cheap herringbone, for example, and vice-versa.

Twills and h'bones will be a trifle heavier/thicker and also have a softer hand b/c they generally use more material per square unit of area than a plain weave will use.

If you're looking for the lightest/thinnest/smoothest/most formal shirts from H&H, go w/ the poplins. Their fabrics are excellent, generally 100s 2-ply cottons from Acorn Fabrics of the UK.

If you're just starting out w/ H&H, stick w/ the poplins and let the fancy weaves go until you have the basics in your shirt collection.

I tend to wear my herringbone shirts more in the cooler months--again, it's a fabric-thickness thing.
 
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