Moleskin shirts are very durable and provide nice warmth for outdoor work during those cool fall months. They also function well as layering pieces in winter. Filson sources their moleskin cotton from the historic Brisbane Moss fabric mill, and they offer their moleskin work shirt in both a men’s and women’s version.
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These are our choices for the best moleskin work shirts:
- Filson Moleskin Seattle Shirt (click here to view)
- Flint & Tinder Moleskin Workwear Shirt (click here to view)
- Drake Clothing Company Classic Moleskin Shirt (click here to view)
- Nautica Men’s Double Pocket Moleskin Slim Fit Shirt (click here to view)
- Outerknown Moleskin Lost Coast Shirt (click here to view)
- Dockers Moleskin Relaxed Fit Over Shirt (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Orvis Classic Moleskin Shirt (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Red Ants Pants Moleskin Work Shirt (click here to view)
Moleskin cotton is a good fabric to wear in cold weather, but make sure you are considering the weight of the fabric itself. Most moleskin work shirts are made using a midweight fabric. This means the fabric weight will usually be around 7 ounces.
Obviously, moleskin is a form of cotton, and so most of these shirts are made using 100% cotton. If you prefer a stretch moleskin that uses a fabric blend (cotton + elastane), then I would recommend Kirsch Supply Company. They offer several moleskin stretch shirts.
In this article let’s take a closer look at the best moleskin shirts so you can find an option that fits your needs. Let’s also discuss a few things you’ll need to consider when buying these types of shirts.
Best Moleskin Work Shirts
Filson Seattle Moleskin Shirt
Filson is a clothing company based in Seattle WA that has a deep-rooted tradition in providing heavy-duty dependable workwear. Their founder, C.C. Filson, opened shop in 1897 and, at that time, specialized in making ultra-tough, ultra-dependable clothing for stampeders heading north for the Klondike Gold Rush.
Making clothes that could hold up in the sub-freezing wilderness meant C.C. Filson couldn’t cut corners, and had to emphasize toughness and dependability. And although the Klondike Gold Rush has long since passed, that tradition of toughness and dependability has carried over to Filson’s current collection of apparel.
Modern day, they’ve transitioned into a company that provides a wide range of outdoor gear (not just workwear). Their gear can be worn by fisherman, loggers, miners, engineers, explorers, and even just everyday folk looking for rugged casualwear. Moleskin work shirts are right up their alley.
This is the current price of this Filson Moleskin Cotton Shirt (affiliate link takes you to filson.com). Here’s what you need to know about this shirt:
- Fabric – This shirt is made with a medium-weight 7-oz 100% sueded Moleskin cotton. The fabric is sourced from 140-year old fabric mill Brisbane Moss.
- Details – This shirt is both wind and tear resistant. Two front expandable chest pockets give you a place to store essentials.
- Fit – This shirt has a relaxed fit through the shoulders with cuffs that can be adjusted up the arm when needed.
Filson recommends dry cleaning care for this shirt.
Nautica Men’s Double Pocket Moleskin Slim Fit Shirt
Most moleskin cotton shirts are offered in a relaxed fit. I wanted to specifically highlight this Nautica shirt because it is offered in a slim fit.
Here’s what this shirt looks like:
This is the current price of this Nautica moleskin slim fit shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this shirt:
- Fabric – This shirt is made with a 100% Moleskin cotton.
- Pockets – This shirt has two front expandable chest pockets which gives you a place to store essentials. These pockets are button-close flap pockets.
- Fit – This shirt has a slim fit with cuffs that can be adjusted up the arm when needed.
Click here to buy this Nautica long sleeve western shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Drake Clothing Company Classic Moleskin Shirt
Drake is a waterfowl-focused clothing company, but their heavyweight moleskin makes for a very durable work shirt. Most of the other options on our list use a midweight moleskin, but this shirt uses a heavyweight fabric that will provide more warmth and extra durability.
Here’s what this Drake Clothing Company shirt looks like:
This is the current price of this Drake Clothing Company moleskin work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this shirt:
- Fabric – As discussed above, this shirt uses a heavyweight moleskin cotton, whereas most of the other shirts on this list use a midweight moleskin.
- Details – Because this shirt uses a heavyweight fabric, it is very durable and also wind-resistant. This shirt has flap-close large chest pockets that are expandable.
- Fit – This shirt has a standard fit that won’t hug tight against your skin. Drake clothing is “generously cut to accommodate the active lifestyle” of their customers (source).
Click here to buy this Drake Clothing Company moleskin work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This shirt has a rounded hem that can be tucked in.
Other Moleskin Shirts to Consider
- Kirsch Supply Company Plains Moleskin Stretch Shirt – The Kirsch Supply Company specializes in making moleskin work shirts and they have a wide selection of options to choose from. I wanted to highlight this particular shirt because it is made using a stretch fabric blend (moleskin cotton + elastane). All the other options on this list use 100% cotton, so if you are looking for increased flexibility, this is a great option.
- Orvis Long Sleeve Moleskin Shirt – I also wanted to point out this Orvis shirt because it is a moleskin option that has standard chest pockets instead of expandable chest pockets. Although the expandable chest pockets can be helpful, not everybody necessarily likes them, and they can be a bit bulky and be wasted space if you don’t plan to use them.
- *Women’s* Red Ants Pants Moleskin Work Shirt – A heavy duty moleskin work shirt built for women. This shirt uses durable 9.7-ounce Moleskin cotton fabric and is reinforced at the elbows for extra toughness. This shirt has a rounded hem for extra coverage, and can be worn both untucked, or tucked in. Made in USA. Click here to view this Red Ants Pants work shirt.
- *Women’s* Filson Suede Moleskin Shirt – This Filson women’s moleskin shirt is made from 7-ounce midweight Moleskin cotton. Just like the men’s version we discussed earlier, this shirt is sourced from the historic Brisbane Moss fabric mill. Dual chest pockets for storage and a curved hem for extra coverage.
4 Things to Consider When Buying Moleskin Shirts
Weight of Material
The weight of the material is usually what impacts the durability of a work shirt the most. Most moleskin that is used for shirts is a midweight fabric (in the 7-9 ounce range). Even midweight moleskin is still quite warm, durable, and wind-resistant.
Obviously, the tougher your job, the tougher you will need the material to be. But I would caution against overkill. Extra weight can add toughness, but it can also make the work shirt feel heavy and hot. If you need something extremely durable, I’d recommend the Drake heavyweight moleskin shirt on our list.
If you are going to wear your moleskin in wet weather, there may be better options. To read more, visit our article Can Moleskin Get Wet?
What type of material do you want for your work shirt? Do you prefer 100% moleskin cotton, or do you want a stretch fabric blend? Most moleskin work shirts are made using 100% cotton.
Stretch fabric obviously allows you greater range of motion, which frees you up a little bit. If you want a stretch material, I’d recommend considering the Kirsch Supply Company shirt on our list that uses a moleskin cotton + elastance fabric blend.
One thing you’ll want to consider about sizing is the length of a button-front work shirt. Many work shirts have extra length so that they can be tucked in.
If you plan to wear your shirt untucked, just make sure to consider the length when choosing a size. For example, here’s a work shirt I own compared to a same-sized t-shirt:
Moleskin is great for work shirts because moleskin cotton is very durable. But there are other types of cotton shirts that can work very well on the job. Both cotton canvas and cotton denim are great options.
Another great option for work shirts are guide shirts and field shirts, which provide you with a casual ruggedness that can be worn both on and off the clock. If it’s comfort your are after, a flannel shirt might be best.