Do you want to learn about all the different shirt categories? This is your ultimate shirt checklist. We break it down by shirts for women and shirts for men. Pictures and detailed write-ups. Your ultimate shirt guide.
I love clothes. I love the way they can reflect or even change your mood. The way they can influence the impression you make on others. The way you can tell the world something about yourself without saying a word.
In today’s click and buy society, the choices are absolutely overwhelming. Types of shirts aren’t something the average person gives a lot of consideration to, but it can help you narrow down what you are looking for. Take a look in your closet. How many types of shirts do you have? Which ones do you need to complete your wardrobe?
A. Types of Women’s Shirts
Women have an overwhelming variety of shirts to choose from. We’ll look at the most popular shirts for women, including women’s dress shirts and casual shirts.
The following is our list doing our best to break down the different types of shirts for women into categories.
- Dress Shirts for Women
- Collar Dress Shirts (for Women)
- Tuxedo Dress Shirt
- Ruffled-Front Blouse
- Peter Pan Blouse
- Asymmetrical Blouse
- Lace Blouse
- Casual Women's Shirts
- Casual Preppy
- Polo Shirts for Women
- Tunic Shirts
- T-Shirts for Women
- Scoop Neck T-Shirt
- V-Neck T-Shirt
- Crewneck T-Shirts
- Sleeveless Shirts for Women
- Tank Top for Women
- Spaghetti Strap
Technically, women’s dress shirts are button-up shirts similar to men’s dress shirts. For our purposes, we’ll consider any type of formal shirt a dress shirt.
It's an umbrella term for a good number of shirts.
Women’s dress shirts can be divided into button-up dress shirts and blouses (blouses are next in the list).
Women’s button-up shirts are perfect for a day at the office. Some also work well when you want to look put together without being too formal.
The different types of women's button-up dress shirts are tuxedo, spread-collar and oxford shirt (also set out below).
The dress shirt distinctions are more pronounced for men but women can also find spread collar and Oxford style dress shirts (plus many others that are unique to women).
The Spread Collar Shirt
The spread collar shirt is a great choice because of its versatility. It gets its name from the spread, or distance between the collar points. It is never a bad choice when you want to look your best. It’s slightly less formal than the tuxedo shirt, but can be worn as part of a business suit or on its own for a dressed-down look.
The Oxford Shirt
The oxford shirt is the most casual button-up shirt. It’s often paired with jeans or khakis for a dressed down look. For an even more relaxed look, you can wear it unbuttoned over an undershirt.
Traditionally, a tuxedo shirt is a subtype of a white dress shirt. It typically has a point collar and a pleated front. Women’s tuxedo shirts are a fitted stripped down version of the men’s tuxedo shirt.
A common reason for buying a tux style shirt is for the hospitality industry - it's not uncommon to wear a white tux shirt bartending or serving. Of course, you can buy one for swanky events as well. Aside from those two reasons, it's not likely you'll buy a tux shirt unless you just happen to like how they look.
Women’s blouses are feminine and classy. They can be worn with a skirt, dress pants, or jeans for a more casual look.
Women’s blouses include ruffle front, peter pan, asymmetrical and lace styles.
In fact, we published an extensive article listing out the different types of blouses here.
We set out some of the main styles below.
True to the name, a ruffle front blouse has a ruffle on the front.
It can be playful or understated, but it’s always feminine.
It’s a great way to add interest or femininity to an outfit.
Ruffles can add the look of curves if you have a slimmer figure.
If you have a full figure, a ruffle front can help balance lower curves.
The peter pan style is a flat collar blouse with rounded leaves instead of points. It gets its namesake from the outfit worn by Wendy in Peter Pan. Today it’s considered feminine and whimsical.
This style of blouse comes in all colors - solid, patterns, etc.
The example above is quite colorful but you can get more subdued if you prefer.
Asymmetrical blouses will have an asymmetrical collar or hem. It has a slimming effect, and adds a sense of continuity that keeps you from appearing boxy.
The example above is an asymmetrical neckline.
There are many different styles of an asymmetrical blouse that range from formal to casual.
Lace is one of the most beautiful types of shirt fabric. When it comes to lace tops, they come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and patterns. They typically have a built-in underlayer.
Some are designed to be worn over a separate piece. Some have solid areas and lace panels or sleeves, allowing you to show some skin without being overly revealing.
Casual women’s shirts are the type of shirt you wear to the mall, out for coffee, or just lounging around at home. The best part is, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort.
In fact, there are probably more variations of casual shirts for women. Blouses, while we featured them above with dress shirts, can also be casual.
The best thing about this style is its versatility. It’s casual enough to wear on a lazy Saturday, and formal enough to wear to a relaxed event. If you want to look great without looking like you care if you look great, go with this style.
Casual preppy includes Polo shirts, tunics and sweaters.
The polo shirt isn’t just for men. It looks great on women as well. Beyond being the ideal outfit for golf or tennis, it’s comfortable and acceptable for any casual situation.
If you want to go long sleeve, the henley is a close relative of the polo. The henley is typically long sleeve, and doesn’t have a collar like a polo.
A tunic is simple and classic. It is generally very simple in design, with a solid or feminine pattern. It can be short or long sleeve.
The length will be between the hips and the knees. The loose fit of the garment combined with the length creates a flattering silhouette for all body types.
Tunics are one style of shirts enjoyed by women but not really worn by men.
There’s something special about a sweater. It provides a sense of comfort as well as warmth. The right sweater is like a hug from a friend, it just makes you feel better.
A turtleneck (see next item) is a variation on the sweater. It has a high neckline that comes halfway up the neck and the chin. It’s a good alternative to a scarf, and suits women with a longer neck well.
I'm a big fan of the turtleneck, whether sweater or non-knit shirt.
This style (usually a sweater for women) is best if you have a longer neck.
It can easily be worn stand-alone or under other garments where the high neck portion is revealed. All-in-all, it's another shirt that can be dressed up (worn with a blazer style jacket) or down (worn with jeans).
Women’s t-shirts range from slightly preppy to oversized comfort. The key to rocking a t-shirt is the right fit and mood for the look you are going for.
Types of women’s t-shirts include scoop, crew neck and V-neck styles.
Moreover, both loose and fitted t-shirts can look great. The above example is loose.
A sleeveless shirt can be your best friend in the summer. They also work well as an undershirt to add extra interest or provide coverage.
The types of sleeveless shirt include tank tops, spaghetti strap, cami and halter top shirts.
Like t-shirts, they can be fitted (tighter) or loose or somewhere in between.
A cami has spaghetti straps. It is differentiated by spaghetti strap tank tops because it is generally used as an undershirt. Tank tops are usually made from cotton, but the fabric a cami is made of is often satin, silk, or nylon. They are lighter and thinner than tank tops.
A halter top is also sleeveless. Instead of having straps on each side, it has a strap that goes from each side around the neck. They can have a high collar or a low scoop collar. Halters look sexy without showing cleavage because the shoulders are completely exposed, and it’s an area that isn’t normally shown.
B. Types of Men’s Shirts
Men have many options when it comes to the type of shirt to wear. In fact, there are so many options it can be difficult to decide what type of shirt to wear for different occasions. This guide will give you an overview of the different types of shirts from black tie to casual Friday.
Types of men’s shirts include:
- Dress shirts
- Polo shirts
- Other casual shirts
- Dress Shirts for Men
- Point Colar
- Tab Collar
- Club Collar
- Spread Collar
- Banded Collar
- Men's Casual Shirts
- T-Shirts for Men
- Printed T-Shirts
- V-Neck T-Shirts for Men
- Crew Neck T-Shirt
- Long Sleeve Tee
- Polo Shirt
- Henley Shirts
- Raglan Baseball T-Shirt
- Flannel Shirts
- Sleeveless Shirts
- Jersey Shirts
- Quarter-Zip Shirts
There are several shirt collar choices. Determining the right collar for the right occasion is both an art and a science.
The most common types of dress shirt collars are point, tab, club, spread band and button-down collars.
Before we get into the types of collars, let’s take a quick look at the parts of the collar. The collar band is the part of the collar that attaches to the shirt at the neckline. The collar leaves, or collar point, are the pieces of fabric on either side of the collar at the opening. The collar spread is the opening itself.
The point collar is the standard dress shirt collar. As the name implies, this type has pointed leaves. It also has a narrow spread, ranging from 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches. A spread collar is a subset of the point collar. It’s a retro design that has long points.
A spread collar has a wider spread. This type of collar is great for larger tie notes or thicker ties, like wool or cashmere.
The cutaway collar is a type of spread collar. In an extreme cutaway collar, the collar points are pointed backward instead of forward. This type is often worn without a tie with the collar unbuttoned.
Technically, an undershirt is different than a t-shirt. It’s lighter weight and usually white. An undershirt is designed to go underneath a dress shirt. It should never be visible.
Like all t-shirts, you can get crewneck or V-neck (my fave).
I like mine long and fitted.
A polo shirt has a placket neckline and a collar. They have two or three buttons below the collar.
Polo shirts are loved for their versatility. They are appropriate for many situations. They are close to required attire for golf courses and tennis courts, and an excellent choice for a casual date.
They can look preppy when paired with khakis and casual without being sloppy when paired with jeans. Pair them with shorts, and they become beachwear. They are rivaled only by jeans in their ability to adapt to a multitude of situations.
The henley is the cousin of the polo. It’s a bit more casual, because it doesn’t have a collar. Henley’s are usually long sleeve. They can be worn as an undershirt, but they are typically worn on their own in today’s style.
Long sleeve polos and short sleeve henleys do exist, but generally, you’ll find short sleeve polos and long-sleeve henleys. They aren’t quite as versatile as the polo, but they are so comfortable every man should own a few.
The raglan shirt is also known as the baseball shirt, because they are perfect for the motion of the arms needed for baseball. The sleeve of the shirt goes to the neckline instead of stopping at the shoulder, which gives more room for your shoulder to move.
They were originally ¾ sleeve, but now they can be short or long sleeve as well. Typically, the sleeve is one color and the body of the shirt is another.
A flannel shirt is made from flannel material. Flannel is warmer than cotton, and the soft feel makes it comfortable to wear. It’s found almost exclusively in plaid patterns. Traditionally, red and black were the colors of choice. Now it can be found in every color, but the plaid pattern is a mainstay.
Flannel shirts are usually long-sleeve button-up shirts. They usually have a collar, but the material makes it a far cry from the dress shirt in terms of style. It was originally popular with farmers and blue-collar workers, but the grunge movement brought the style into the mainstream.
Most men own at least one jersey shirt to represent their favorite team. There are as many styles and types of jerseys as there are types of sports. Jersey shirt can also refer to activewear.
The main goal of a sports jersey is to make a statement. They generally have a team theme of a specific player number. There are also novelty jerseys that have fun printed sayings. An athletic jersey will help keep you cool and dry. Some are designed to keep you warm as well.
There are many types of hoodies for men.
Some, like the one above is more like a jacket (outerwear), but some are also more shirt-like.
When you start looking closely at hoodies, there are many factors to consider such as zip-up or pullover, fitted or losse, thick or thin, athletic wear or casual wear, just to mention a few distinctions.
One of my favorite casual shirts is the quarter-zip shirt. It's basically a henley but with a zipper. Usually, these are athletic, but not always. You can get quarter zipper sweaters as well.
I like these because they are usually more fitted than your typical henley shirt.
About Men’s Dress Shirts
Choosing the right dress shirt can make or break your look. While there are a nearly endless amount of options, they can be divided by three basic categories. When selecting a dress shirt, you’ll need to consider the fabric, fit, and collar. https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/groom-straightens-his-tie-man-morning-726019600
Men’s Dress Shirt Fabric
While there are other fabric options, most men’s dress shirts are made from cotton or linen. There’s a lively debate over which is better.
A linen shirt is more breathable than cotton, which might serve you well on a summer day. It also has a flowing style, which is said to give you an effortless elegance. It wrinkles very easily, which proponents claim is part of the charm.
Cotton shirts require a close relationship with your ironing board, but they look more put together. They also provide more warmth, so they are a better choice for cooler months.
Which one is better for you really depends on the look you want to achieve. Cotton is classic and always a good choice. If you are looking for a semi-casual office shirt, linen is a good choice.
Fit of Men’s Dress Shirts
Fit is another important consideration when choosing a men’s dress shirt. No matter how nice the shirt is, if it doesn’t fit you properly, it won’t look good. Some men make the mistake of choosing the wrong size shirt attempting to get the fit they are looking for. This isn’t a good decision either.
A classic fit shirt has plenty of room. It’s comfortable and easy to move around in. It will have a loose fit through the chest and shoulder, standard armholes, and a full sleeve.
Slim fit is designed to have a tailored look. It will be slimmer through the chest and waist, and the sleeves will taper down towards the cuffs. The armholes are slightly higher with this style.
Modern fit is a cross between a slim and classic fit. If you want a shirt that fits well without being constricting, a modern fit is a good choice.
Still have questions about the types of shirts? Check out these FAQs for answers.
What are Long Shirts Called?
Long shirts are called longline shirts. One type of women’s longline shirts are called tunics. However, there are other types as well. Any shirt that falls below the traditional hemline, which is around the hips, is a long shirt. T-shirts, button-up shirts, sweaters, and hoodies can all be long shirts.
What do Shirts Prices Depend On?
Shirt prices depend on several factors. The first is the fabric. Silk, cashmere, and leather are more expensive than cotton for the company producing them, so you can expect to pay more for them. Quality usually goes up as the price goes up as well. This includes better stitching, higher thread counts, and details. Brand also plays a role. Brand is often more than a marketing gimmick, because high-end brands usually adhere to higher quality standards as well.
What Makes a Great Shirt?
A great shirt is one that makes you look and feel great and matches the occasion. You can have a great dress shirt, but it won’t be great for Tuesday night poker. When your searching for the perfect shirt, first you’ll need to determine the type of shirt you need. Then, look for a shirt that flatters you. Lastly, evaluate how it makes you feel.
Should You Pop the Collar or Not?
This is a huge debate. Do you pop the collar? If so, when? What piece of clothing? Generally, outerwear looks good with a popped collar. It gives a leather or denim jacket a little more attitude. Polo shirts are more controversial. The popped collar can work for casual button-up shirts, but they look better with the collar partially popped. The trend isn’t just for men, women can pop their collar as well. If you do pop the collar, you’ll need the confidence and swagger to pull off the style. If you don’t own it, it’s not going to work for you.
What is a Tight Short Called?
This will depend on the type of shirt. Fitted, slim fit, and tailored can refer to men’s shirts and women’s dress shirts. A tight women’s t-shirt is often called a baby doll shirt.
What are the Different Sleeve Lengths Called?
Shirts with no sleeves are sleeveless shirts. Short sleeves are known as half sleeve shirts. These reach halfway down your upper arm. 3/4 sleeve shirts reach halfway between your elbow and wrist. Full sleeve or long sleeve shirts reach to the wrist.