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100% Cotton, 100% Polyester or 50/50 Blend-Choosing the Right One.

Lindsey Davis - Monday, January 02, 2017

Have you ever went to buy shirts for personal use or for a business giveaway and realize there are more choices than you thought? From 100% cotton to 50/50 cotton/polyester blend to 100% polyester there are so many choices it can be a little overwhelming. Today I'm going to try and simplify the choices for you so, the next time you can be prepared with what the differences are and know exactly which one is going to best fit your needs.

Let's start with 100% cotton. This is the most widely known type of shirt. It's been around a long time and chances are everyone has had a cotton shirt before. Cotton is a very breathable and comfortable fabric. It is also hypoallergenic, so anyone who has sensitive skin could wear this material. The draw backs with cotton are the color will fade and the material has a tendency to shrink after multiple wear and washing.

Next up is 100% polyester. This is the most trending option at the moment. The style of polyester shirts are becoming popular for the sporty look the slick material has. Active people like this option for the moisture wicking properties it brings to the table. Also, unlike cotton, it holds color & the size\shape extremely well after heavy wear and washing. A couple cons would be someone with sensitive skin might not be able to wear it and the material is thin with a tendency to cling to your body which is a problem for people who like the "normal" way a shirt fits.

Finally, we come to 50/50 cotton-poly blend. This shirt brings the best of both worlds to meet in the middle. The feel and wear is like a cotton shirt with the color and shape retention of a polyester shirt. The price is very comparable to a cotton shirt so, it would not put a huge dent in the pocket book. It is a good choice for mid-level activities for its durability.

I know this can be a lot of information to take in so just to recap in a condensed version-


  • Feels soft and breathable
  • Reasonable price
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Prone to shrinkage
  • Color fades after repeated wear/washing 


  • Holds color & shape
  • Moisture wicking properties
  • Durable for high activity level
  • Usually thin, clingy material
  • Higher priced
  • May cause skin irritation to sensitive skin

50\50 Blend

  • Feels like cotton
  • Holds color & shape
  • Price is comparable to cotton
  • Not as breathable as cotton

I hope the above information will help you in the future to make an informed, confident decision the next time you are faced with the question "Which shirt should I buy?"


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