You might not have heard of ‘poplin’ shirts before, but that will soon change. Once exclusively used in high-end menswear, this gorgeous fabric is finally becoming more accessible, and the fashion world has been quick to catch on.
The word ‘poplin’ simply refers to a type of weave that is used in the production of cotton-based fabrics. Poplin weaving is done in a close criss-cross pattern which makes it incredibly strong. The tight weave means that it feels almost like silk to the touch, and the use of cotton makes the fabric incredibly breathable.
This is probably why poplin shirts have become a cult hit on Saville Row, where bespoke tailors offer the fabric as standard with their most expensive suits. But thanks to new innovations in fabric production, poplin is no longer reserved for the uber-rich. Over the past year, more and more poplin shirts and blouses have been appearing in High Street stores, and there are some great styles available for every budget.
Here are a few of our favourite women’s poplin shirts from the latest collections…
1. The plain white poplin shirtA plain white poplin shirt will see you through an entire summer of sweaty commutes and lengthy board meetings. This Topshop shirt is light and modern, but the best feature is that the material is thick enough to avoid any of those embarrassing underwear silhouettes.
Wear with... a Chanel-style tweed skirt or a tailored suit
2. The androgynous poplin shirtSavile Row tailors have been pushing the poplin trend for a while now, and London’s best-dressed men are in on the secret. Not anymore. Channel the androgyny trend by choosing a men’s poplin shirt in a smaller size, and wearing it buttoned up and tucked at the waist. If you want to add a few feminine touches, just tuck a pretty necklace underneath the collar.
Wear with... cigarette pants and brogues
3. The statement poplin shirtThe recent popularity of poplin shirts has seen a few brave designers play around with the style. This striped and embodied Zara poplin ticks a lot of boxes for S/S17, so you can skimp on the accessories and let the shirt speak for itself.
Wear with... navy or black palazzo pants
4. The casual poplin blousePoplins are famous for their amazingly breathable fabric, which makes them ideal for busy women who just want to throw on something stylish and comfortable and get on with their day. This casual blue version will instantly update your everyday ‘jeans and t-shirt’ look.
Wear with... wide-leg jeans and plimsolls
5. The longline poplin shirtMost poplin blouses look best when they’re tucked in, but this longline shirt is the exception to the rule. The longline trend is huge in menswear, and it’s starting to make its way into women’s fashion now too. Pair this crisp white shirt with skinny black trousers and a slick of red lipstick for a timeless ‘femme fatale’ look.
Wear with... leather leggings and black heels, like Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace
6. The fashion-forward poplin blouseYou won’t want to cover this shirt with a jacket or cardigan – this poplin is meant to be worn with confidence on a sunny day. Poplin is the ultimate warm-weather fabric, and this off-the-shoulder version will keep you cool and fashion-forward whilst working the Bardot trend.
Wear with… a midi-length pencil skirt
7. The formal poplin shirtFluted sleeves are huge this year, and a flute-sleeved poplin top will add an air of sophistication to any outfit. This beautiful poplin shirt would be perfect for a summer wedding – just be careful not to dunk your cuffs in your food...
Wear with... high waist trousers and statement heels