Present Trends of Men’s and Women’s Shirt

Last Updated on 16/01/2024

Present Trends of Men’s and Women’s Shirt

R.S. Balakumar1 & Mrs. Sasirekha Ramachandran2
Associate Professor (Part time)1
Assistant Professor2
Department of Fashion, Design & Arts
Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science (HITS)
Email: rsbalakumar1953@gmail.com1 &


Shirts fall in the classifications of formal, casual and occasional wear for both men and women. There is additional sub splitting up on the basis of pricing and buyer’s profile in the metropolitan and non-metropolitan human settlements.

The shirt manufacturing industry is proposing high quality with costlier fabrics in assorted designs and mixtures as per up-to-date fashion trends. Shirting fabrics play an enormously significant role in a readymade shirt (RMG). Fabric type is one of the vital factors as the functional standards during creation into a readymade garment.

Shirt fabrics also play essential standards for selection and buying choices. The presentation of the fabric does not necessarily predict the performance of the shirt but the two are strongly related as the right fabric is required for shirt to meet aesthetic and purposeful performance opportunities.

Standards for fabric for shirts are based on factors such as the following factors:

  1. Design,
  2. Fashion trends,
  3. Consumer’s preferences,
  4. Price and
  5. Market profile.

Fabrics are responsible for men with the right optimal of fabric that suits their standard of living.

Besides color and patterns, the fabrics also offer dress shirts with variable textures and give the men, accurately, a different impression for each fabric. Men while making purchases; base their choices on design as well as fabric.

It is important for manufacturers, retailers and consumers to know emergent trends in textile fabrics for men’s shirts as men can try different dress shirts fabrics to create difference within their clothing.

Similarly it is the assignment of textile engineers and designers to identify in detail about the emergent raw materials of readymade shirts in order to help the common people to access the quality parameters of the garment before the collection.

There is stable progress in the International men’s wear ready-made industry. This is perceived in previous few years as men are becoming more fashion conscious as well as the women’s population.

1. Significance of shirts:
Surprises can be attained for a man through men’s dress shirt as it is one of the most essential parts of a man’s and women’s clothing to cover up the upper torso part of the body. Suitability for the occasion as mentioned below:-

  • Leisure,
  • Work or
  • Business / official / corporate sector.
  • Helps in selection of shirt style, and with a
  • Good fit,
  • Right colors and
  • Patterns

It can certainly flatter the males built and frame. Further a shirt can revitalize any of dull colored suits. Every shirt can be changed in positions of detailing of the fabric, pattern, collar, buttons, placket, and wrist cuffs.

Therefore shirts need not be standardized and boring in the following reasons:

  • Shape,
  • Style, and
  • Design.

A same shirt worn by two men will fetch about a different feel and style because of the difference in the men’s body frame, personality, as well as the combination with other apparels like suits. Self-confidence and comfort are improved when a man shirt is clean, neat, fresh, and as well as well fitted with aesthetic appealing.

men's shirt
Fig: Men’s shirt

It is important for men to update their choice of shirts according to developing fashion trends as a shirt can expose a lot about a man’s attitude and status especially in the corporate world. Knowing about detailing will empower men to make the right decision during the buying shirts.

2. Developing trends in shirt manufacturing industry:
According to the changing fashions in the men’s garment industry, manufacturers have to adjust their production cycles as per these fashion oriented changes.

Readymade garments have almost phased out the custom tailored garments which were earlier used by men.

Now a day’s garment represents a status symbol and also makes a fashion statement, therefore importance is given on quality of fabrics, cuts and design.

Large international players are emerging with standardized garments in numerous designs and styles.

A lot of importance is being given on comfort of the finished garment.

Working atmosphere is changing as companies are allowing men to wear semi formals and casuals at workplace. This has resulted in change of focus of manufacturers as they are also shifting production from formal wear to casual wear.

Many countries are opening giant retail stores and selling quality and branded men’s garments through them.

By focusing on current fashion trends in the men’s apparel industry, there are opportunities for manufacturers to increase exports.

To increase efficiency and manufacture high quality garments, manufacturers are using sophisticated machinery in current days.

3. Categories of shirts and trends in fabrics and structures:
The shirt manufacturing industry is offering high quality fabrics in diverse designs and blends as per latest fashion trends. Fabric determines the comfort and care of shirt. Fabric that is smooth in texture, absorbent, and can be laundered easily will contribute to comfort during wear.

women's shirt
Fig: Women’s shirt

There is direct relationship between fabric cost and count, fineness of yarn and fabric design. Cotton is king! It rules in fabrics World. Manufacturers are providing a mix of products for shirts in blends of the following:

  • Polyester,
  • Cotton,
  • Tencel,
  • Viscose etc.
  • Variety of weaves
  • Le plain,
  • Twill,
  • Satin and
  • Other dobbies.

Also are available tecno-natural ranges that cover all blended fabrics which are blends of cotton with man made fibers.

Customers in India are yet to get an experience of wearing shirts made from high performance fibers. Customers are becoming fashion conscious and expect desirable, fashionable styles in shirts. Emerging trends indicate that consumers ask for quality and high performance fabrics and innovative design features.

A super comfortable range of woven and knits in various blends are in trend. In vogue for extra comfort and stretch into men’s shirt, is a luxuriously soft cotton jersey, with a touch of spandex. Also in trend, is a new kind of natural fabric (organic cotton) which combines the benefits of natural fiber and the extremely soft feel of modern days.

Shirts fall in the category of formal, casual and occasional wear. There is further sub segmentation on the basis of pricing and buyers profile in the metros and non-metros.

A. Formal shirts
Formal shirts for men are sub segmented into two categories, namely-

  1. Premium shirts
  2. Popular shirts
  3. Premium formal shirts

Fiber content:
Cotton rules! For premium formal shirts, 85-90% of fabrics used are cotton. Linen is promising fiber offering much higher level of comfort than cotton. It is gaining popularity in fashion even beyond summers. Quality shirts are made by 2 ply yarns of fine counts which ranges from 2 x 80s to as fine as 2 x 140s yarns made fabrics.

Most of the fabrics used in premium formal shirts are made in India. There is varied percentage of usage of imported versus Indian fabrics by different brands in these shirts. 100 percent cotton or high percentage of cotton blended with polyester is used for by and large in premium brands only or mid sector brands done as premium products.

The trend is for value added cottons with structures and dobby’s in weaves. 80% of share in design fabrics is taken up by stripes with balance mainly in checks. There is negligible share of prints in premium formal shirts. Solid share is almost 40% and in solid, structure fabrics have a substantial usage for this category of shirts.

The development in design that is visible in India and internationally in 100% cotton is more towards stripes whether it is casual or formal. The formal range in cotton also carries micro checks and structures.

B. Popular formal shirts

Fiber content:
Innovative fabrics are being used by brands to create product differentiation and also to add value addition to their product. Because of comfort factor, 100% cotton is usually favored in these shirts. Blends that are in trends for readymade shirts are poly viscose and poly cotton. Last 2-3 years has seen developing trend in use of poly cotton against poly viscose which was the only blend available in synthetics. There is rise in use of polyester/cotton blends and CVC and silks, mock linen, linen look in polyester cotton fabrics, instead of linen or linen blends by various brands of formal popular shirts.

For work shirts fabrics used are:

  • Poplin,
  • Drill cotton,
  • Cambric,
  • Denim, and
  • Heavy fabric like khaki.

Chambray, twill, denim and drill cloth, in fibers of cotton, nylon, acrylic and polyester as these shirts need durability. In the international scene it is blended in the mid segment or lower range, and cotton in the premium category.

For premium segment of shirts the fabric is 100 percent cotton whereas for widespread sectors are mostly blended. There are varied fashion trends in cotton / cotton blends / polyester / poly viscose cotton mixed / fabrics in India and as well as in foreign countries.

Men’s formal popular shirts are becoming younger, fresh and are emerging with a strong element of fashion. Colors are becoming younger, brighter and fresher. The color palette has a wide choice with beige, chrome, blue, fuchsia, and brown and so on. The design includes checks, micro checks, plains and stripes. Blended fabrics in structure/dobbies for popular range for solid shirts are increasingly being used.

More of checks rather than stripes designs are seen in trend in the synthetic fragment particularly in PV or PC ranges. This is because there is wider scope in terms of style and designs in checks than in stripes.

C. Casual shirts

Fiber content:
Last few years have watched essential changes in casual shirts. Segmentation is one of the changes which have made the casual shirt no longer a shirt but a style statement. 80-85% casual’s shirts are made of cotton.

Poplins and tussar in solid designs in yarn dyed cottons are in trends. Other fashion fabrics in trends for casual shirts are polyester, viscose and their blends and specialty fibers like lycra, modal, tencel, lyocel, polynosic etc. Linen is other favorite fabric for casuals but limited only due to higher costs effectiveness.

Casuals are fairly versatile hence in bold and bright colors and a variety in weaves governs casual shirts. To make casual wear a style statement, other techniques being used are garment washing, applique detailing, and even ornamentation and embroidery. Different ratio between designs (check/stripes), solids and prints are used in this category of shirts.

D. Occasional shirts

Fiber content:
Occasional shirts have to be in sync with the changed tastes and preferences of the consumers. The product range should meet varied aspirations of different age groups. Variation is noticed from brand to brand in current style trends for occasional shirts. There is wide range of fabrics used for occasional wear shirts.

Fabric range depends on the brands and collection for the season. Variety of fabrics like cotton, polyester, polyester blends, polyposis, and linen are used, but cotton still leads. Cotton blended with polyester and also polyester viscose is a great mixture and will continue to dominate for occasion wear as they provide sheen in the fabric. Spun polyester is an excellent fabric for special events when a heavier look and durable fabric is preferred.

There is a lot of creativity in trends on surface, weave, structure and texture of the fabrics. Prints, solids, checks and stripes all are into trends but extent of usage is varying from brand to brand. In festive season, 100% polyester fabrics are increasingly used because of a lot more designing factors, jacquards and different kinds of weaves and value additions.

The collective range which is launched recently is made out of polyester treated with ecofriendly chemicals to impart a cotton feel and thus provide improved yarn strength, a very smooth structure and very low pilling. Floral, all over prints, cross stripes and washed shirts are extensively being used and are integral part of occasional shirts. There is a significant rise in trend of the products made of hosiery material. Shirts of hosiery material are in vogue in the market. Linen is the fabric is having market potential now.

Apart from functional criteria’s, fabric type plays an important role in a readymade garments formation as discussed in research done by Trader, on ‘Comparative study on physical testing of readymade shirts for quality standards’. Readymade shirts had been All the shirts were type of polyester / cotton (80×20). 10 were of branded quality, four were none branded and one tailor-made. Following findings were observed through the study:

There was a wide variation observed in fabric specifications for a common variety of shirting fabric, like,

  • Thread density,
  • Linear density,
  • Area density,
  • Crimp % etc.

Average fabric crease recovery was observed to be fairly good but between items, variation was too high.

Variations were found in both stiffness and bending modulus but the drape coefficient appeared to be good between items, except two items.

Except for two items, abrasion loss was more or less within the permissible limit in terms of strength and weight.

High pill resistance was shown by all the fabrics.

Hydra shrinkage (%) for most of the items was quite satisfactory.

There was wide variation of Range in air permeability property.

The silk spun from mulberry pierced cocoons is referred as ‘Ahimsa silk’. The silk is obtained without killing pupae and is widely accepted by Hindus and Jain royal families in India. To know influence of mechanical properties on serviceability of the Ahimsa silk shirting materials, silk yarn is most suitable for handloom sector and appropriately used as shot weft. To produce designer’s shirting, Ahimsa silk is well-suited to weave with cotton, rayon, tricot and filature silk.

Shirting fabrics play an extremely important role in a readymade shirt for men and women. Fabric type is one of the important factors as the functional standards during formation into a readymade garment. Shirt fabrics also play important criteria for selection and buying decisions

The performance of the fabric does not necessarily forecast the enactment of the shirt but the two are strongly related as the tight fabric is required for shirt to meet aesthetic and functional performance expectations.

Standards for fabric for shirts are based on factors such as design, fashion trends, consumer’s preferences, and price and market profile. Fabrics provide men with the tight choice of fabric that suits their lifestyle. Besides color and patterns, the fabrics also provide dress shirts with varying textures and give the men, literally, a different feel for each fabric.

Men as well as the women concern while making purchases; base their decisions on design as well as fabric. It is important for the shirt manufacturers, retailers and consumers to know developing styles in fabrics for men shirts and women shirt fabrics to create variation within their clothing.

Furthermore it is the mission of textile technologist and fashion designers to recognize in detail about the developing the suitable raw materials of readymade shirts in order to help the collective persons to admittance the quality considerations of the garment before the selection.

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