When you go shopping, do you see racks of tops and just think, “shirts,” or do you call them all by name and understand the unique style of each kind? For example, what are the differences between a polo and a henley, or a blouse and a button-down? To find out, check out this guide to different types of shirts!
Different types of shirts for men include a button-down, henley, polo, and oxford shirt. Different types of popular shirts for women include blouses, tube tops, peplum tops, and tank tops. Both men and women can choose from many popular t-shirt styles, including crewneck, long sleeve, cap sleeve, and raglan style.
In this article, you will learn about thirty-one popular shirt styles for men and women. You will find out how to style formal and casual shirts. Finally, you will discover what types of shirts are trending now.
- Different Types Of Shirts: 31 Popular Styles
- Types of Shirts for Women
- 1. Blouse
- 2. Button-Down
- 3. Tube Top
- 4. Peplum
- 5. Gypsy
- 6. Pin Tuck
- 7. Tank Top
- 8. Ruffle Front
- 9. Polo
- 10. Western
- Types of Shirts for Men
- 11. Button Up
- 12. Button Down
- 13. Formal
- 14. Dress Shirt
- 15. Casual
- 16. Oxford
- 17. Tuxedo
- 18. Henley
- 19. Baseball
- 20. Aloha
- 21. Flannel
- 22. Golf/Polo
- 23. Tunic
- 24. Sleeveless
- Different Styles of T-Shirts
- 25. Crewneck
- 26. Long Sleeve
- 27. V-Neck
- 28. Fitted, Muscle, or Regular Cut
- 29. Off-Shoulder
- 30. Raglan
- 31. Cap Sleeve
- What Types of Shirts are Trending?
- What are the Four Types of Clothes?
- What are Different Types of Tops Called?
- What are Thick Shirts Called?
- How to Wear a Shirt
Different Types Of Shirts: 31 Popular Styles
Shopping for shirts gets much easier when you understand the differences in the most popular styles for men and women. Even something as simple as a t-shirt comes in various types these days!
Types of Shirts for Women
Next time you flip through a rack of tops in a clothing store, keep an eye on the different shapes of the shirts you look through. Women’s tops actually come in a huge range of cuts and styles!
A blouse is a kind of women’s top that does not have a full button closure, though it may include a button placket with one or two buttons. Blouses for women cover a broad range of shirt styles. You can find peter pan blouses, ruffle blouses, bow-tie blouses with a tie closure, and many more!
This type of shirt usually has a full body meant for tucking into a waistband. Still, the shirt may have a collar or no collar, short or long sleeves, and a variety of decorative features such as ruffles, laces, or embroidery. Blouses come in many different types of fabric, but sheer or semi-sheet printed fabric like rayon and polyester make the top of the list.
A button-down shirt for women has a button closure down the front, usually has a tailored or fitted body, and has a folded collar and cuffs. This type of top pairs well with a pencil skirt and a blazer for the office or with a pair of jeans for a casual night out.
You may also see it called a dress shirt. Women’s dress shirts come in various styles, such as the Oxford, which is made out of Oxford cotton and the spread collar, which has a longer folded collar.
3. Tube Top
A tube top has no sleeves or straps to hold it up. This style became popular in the 1950s when famous people like Marylyn Monroe wore them! They provide a fun summer fashion perfect for the beach or hot weather.
A peplum top has a flared or ruffled strip that forms the lower portion of the blouse. The peplum often has a bias cut to make it drape well. This style provides a fitted waist under the bust and then sweeps out in the flared peplum.
A gypsy or peasant-style top often has a gathered or pin-tucked front with long, gathered sleeves. The body of the blouse has a lot of fullness and often looks best when tucked into the waist of a skirt or pair of pants.
This type of top may have a collar or may have drawstring ties. It often features vibrant embroidered decoration as well.
6. Pin Tuck
A women’s pintuck top looks a lot like a button-down or dress shirt, except that it has two rows of tiny pin tucks that run parallel on either side of the buttons. These give the top a more formal look, and this style often goes well with a women’s business suit.
7. Tank Top
Tank tops, camisoles, and halter tops are all sleeveless shirts for women. Tank tops often feature knitted fabric and have a close fit. Camisoles usually go beneath another top, but silky camisoles with thin shoulder straps sometimes serve as a shirt on their own. Halter tops have straps that wrap around the neck instead of lying over the shoulders.
8. Ruffle Front
A ruffle front shirt is a type of women’s blouse with large ruffles running vertically down the front, often on either side of the button closure. You can also find ruffle blouses with a narrow ruffle running horizontally beneath the yoke portion of a blouse, usually just above the bust.
Polo shirts use knit fabric and have a collar and narrow sleeve hems made of ribbed knit material. They also usually have short sleeves and a placket at the front of the collar with two or three buttons. A polo shirt presents a sporty, casual style.
A western-style button-down for women often has two pockets on the front and a V-shaped seam offsetting the yoke. You often see this type of shirt made out of denim or flannel to play up the country vibe. In some cases, western shirts also feature tassels or rawhide ties as added decoration.
Types of Shirts for Men
Men’s shirts also come in many different types and styles, ranging from classic button-downs to rustic flannel shirts and comfy baseball shirts.
11. Button Up
You can think of the classic button-up as the shirt you wear with khakis or under a blazer for an office job. Button-downs come in many different cuts, from a tailored or fitted style with curved side seams to a loose, boxy style with an extra pleat at the center back to provide generous room for movement.
You can find these shirts with short or long sleeves, though long sleeves remain more popular for a business casual style. They also come in many different fabric options ranging from polyester to cotton to broadcloth.
12. Button Down
A button-down is the same as a button-up or dress shirt, but in this case, the collar points are always buttoned down. Not every dress shirt comes with a collar that has buttons at its points, but a button-down does!
A formal button-down or dress shirt always has long sleeves and typically features french cuffs and a stiffly folded and starched collar. If you like more expensive brands or can afford to order bespoke clothing sewn to fit you, you can get tailored formal shirts that often have shaped side seams. You may also find that high-end formal shirts use cufflinks instead of buttons at the wrists.
Good-quality formal shirts do not usually contain synthetic fabrics like polyester, so keep an eye on that as you read the product description for the garment!
14. Dress Shirt
A dress shirt is another name for a button-up or button-down shirt, one of the most popular types of shirts worn by men for business casual or formal attire. You can find dress shirts made in all kinds of fabric, from cheap synthetic polyester to pricey cotton. They often come in solid colors or unobtrusive patterns, as they pair best with more formal outfits like suit jackets and ties.
Because so many men wear dress shirts for so many different occasions, you can find them in multiple cuts suitable for every kind of body type. For instance, if you have muscular shoulders and a broad chest, you may want to try an athletic or muscle-cut dress shirt designed to accommodate the shape of your body.
Technically, a casual shirt has the same overall cut as most button-down shirts, but you usually find this shirt in an informal fabric choice such as denim. You will typically wear it unbuttoned over a plain tee to play up the casual vibe. Casual or sports shirts look good with the sleeves rolled up to the elbow or in a short-sleeved style.
The only big stylistic difference between a sports shirt and a button-down is that a casual shirt often has a shorter hem, making it ideal for wearing untucked.
An Oxford shirt is yet another type of dress shirt. This one features a button-down collar and also always uses a special type of cotton fabric. This fabric, called Oxford cloth, uses cotton threads woven in a special basketweave-like pattern that creates a slightly shinier appearance on the surface of the cloth.
Oxford shirts work great with a jacket or blazer because the collar stays tucked down out of the way, and the cool cotton makes them ideal for keeping you comfortable under an outer layer!
A tuxedo shirt is the most formal type of shirt most men will ever wear. These shirts almost always come in a thick white fabric such as sturdy cotton or heavier broadcloth. They have a stiff, formal collar, french cuffs that may require cuff links and often feature a fancy pint-tuck placket at the front or a row of ruffles.
This kind of shirt would look too fancy to wear to the office. You should save it for wearing to black-tie events.
A henley may look like nothing more than a long-sleeved t-shirt, but this shirt has some unique characteristics. It usually features a soft knit material, just like most tees, but it always has a button placket at the front of the collar. It does not have a collar and usually offers a comfortable crew-neck style opening at the neck.
Henleys remain a super popular casual style of shirt for men and often come in various colors and a loose cut. Unlike t-shirts, you do not find prints or designs on the front very often.
A baseball shirt can mean two different things in men’s fashion. First, it can mean a baseball jersey with a shiny athletic fabric, a button closure down the front, and short sleeves. Think of the kind of uniform baseball players wear on the field.
Second, the term “baseball shirt” has also come to mean any shirt featuring raglan-style sleeves. This type of sleeve originated in the baseball uniform as it allows wider arm movements but is now popular in t-shirts for all kinds of casual activities.
An “aloha” or Hawaiian style shirt is a button-down with short sleeves that features a vibrantly printed fabric. Typically, these come in bold colors and feature floral patterns or tropical birds and motifs.
You would wear an aloha-style shirt for an informal or outdoor gathering. You can wear it unbuttoned over a plain tee or buttoned and paired with boat shorts or your swimsuit!
You may also see a flannel shirt called a plaid or lumberjack shirt. These shirts feature warm, soft flannel material made out of cotton brushed with stiff wire brushes that raise a soft, felted nap on the surface of the material. Typically, flannel shirts come in a plaid color pattern with crisscrossing stripes of color.
These shirts work great for keeping you warm in chilly weather. They have a more casual vibe, though, and often pair well with jeans and boots.
Golf and polo shirts look quite similar as they both always feature a knitted fabric and have a collar and button placket. Golf shirts usually have slightly longer short sleeves, though, while polo shirts have very short sleeves that end halfway to the elbow. Polo shirts also often have more fitted side seams than golf shirt, which has a slightly boxier cut.
A tunic has long sleeves and a long hem that may fall to hip length or even to mid-thigh. This style usually has no collar but features a button placket with three or more buttons at the center front of the neck. You may also see this shirt with a Chinese-style collar or an open-throat placket with no buttons.
Tunics come in all kinds of different fabrics, from a cool, loose cotton weave to a fancier brocade style of material.
You can find a pretty wide range of sleeveless shirts for men. These range from the super casual tank top to a sleeveless muscle tee or a button-down with no sleeves for a slightly less informal look.
Fashion icons do often create unique looks like sleeveless shirts made out of crocheted yarn, but in general, sleeveless tops remain firmly in the casual category. They work best for athletic activities or wearing around the house in hot weather.
Different Styles of T-Shirts
Everyone wears t-shirts, but did you know you can find these iconic shirts in all kinds of different shapes and styles?
A crewneck t-shirt has the traditional ribbed knit circle around the round neck hole. The crewneck typically lies close to the point where your neck meets your body and does not have a wide opening.
Crewneck tees almost always feature jersey knit fabric. This can contain either cotton, polyester, or a blend of the two materials. It feels soft and stretchy because of its knitted structure.
You can find these tees with long or short sleeves, though it is much more common to find a short-sleeve crewneck tee.
26. Long Sleeve
You can find many different cuts and styles of tees with long sleeves. You can also get tees with three-quarter length sleeves, where the sleeve ends halfway between the elbow and the wrist. You don’t see long-sleeved tees nearly as often as the short-sleeved version.
One of the most popular variations on the classic t-shirts is the tee with a V-shaped neck hole. You may sometimes also see this type of tee called a football shirt because it looks a bit like a football jersey.
For women, V-neck tees often come with fitted sideseams so that the shape does not look boxy and instead sculpts to the outline of the body.
28. Fitted, Muscle, or Regular Cut
T-shirts often come in a variety of different cuts. This means that the tee will offer the same color and print or logo but can come in different shapes to fit different bodies. Popular t-shirt cuts include a fitted style with side seams that curve inward, a muscle cut that provides extra room in the chest and shoulders, and a regular or universal cut that usually has a boxy shape.
For women, an off-the-shoulder tee provides a fun variation on the more traditional t-shirt. This style has a very wide neck designed so that the neck hole actually slides off one shoulder.
Raglan-style t-shirts have sleeves that attach to the shirt differently. Raglan sleeves attach in a diagonal sleeve from the armpit to the collar in a straight line. To highlight this unique style, raglan tees often have sleeves in a different color of fabric from the body of the shirt.
Sometimes you also see this type of shirt called a baseball-style tee.
31. Cap Sleeve
Women’s tees sometimes come with cap sleeves, a small half-circle sleeve that lies over the shoulders. This style most commonly goes with a fitted or V-neck tee.
What Types of Shirts are Trending?
T-shirts with graphics or vintage-style tees in soft pre-washed fabrics remain super popular this year. Timeless classics like button-down shirts for men and women remain the staple of the workplace. Contrasts in style like clashing colors or pairing a tee or hoodie with a blazer offer a trendy vibe for streetwear.
What type of t-shirt is most popular? T-shirts remain perennially popular, but certain styles like graphic tees with a funny image or saying on the front score as best sellers lately. T-shirts every man should own include the classic crewneck tee in solid colors for everyday use and several graphic tees promoting the shows, bands, or movies you like best.
What are the Four Types of Clothes?
The four basic types or styles of clothes are casual wear, sportswear, business wear, and formal wear. Of course, you can also add in things like sleepwear or underwear, but the four broadest categories of clothing for wearing in public are usually classified by their intended purpose.
Casual wear means anything you would wear around the house or around friends and family. This kind of clothing prioritizes comfort rather than style or appearance.
Sportswear or athletic wear uses special high-performance fabrics designed to keep you cool and less sweaty as you move. This style includes sports jerseys, running gear, and hiking clothes.
Business or business-casual style covers anything you might wear as an office worker or teacher. You could also think of this style as semi-formal as it usually includes button-downs, skirts or slacks, and khakis.
Formal wear is the fanciest clothing style intended for wearing to important events like weddings, black-tie parties, banquets, and proms. Evening dresses and tuxedos fall into this category.
What are Different Types of Tops Called?
Different types of tops for men and women are called all kinds of different things, from blouses to button-downs to muscle tees and turtlenecks. For a list of the most popular shirts for men and women, check out the guide earlier in this article!
On top of that already length list, you could also consider sweaters and hoodies, another kind of top, which broaden the definition even further.
What are Thick Shirts Called?
Several styles of shirts use thick fabric that provides extra warmth or durability.
- Oxford shirts use a thicker form of cotton than most other button-downs.
- Heavyweight tees feature thick jersey knit.
- Broadcloth shirts feel stiffer and heavier than button-downs made of poplin or plain-weave cotton.
Any shirting fabric can come in various weights and thicknesses as well.
How to Wear a Shirt
Now that you know more about the different types of shirts for men and women check out these tips for how to style your formal and casual shirts!
Formal Shirt Types
Formal shirt types include button-down, oxford, dress shirts, and some blouses.
- The most traditional use for a button-down shirt is to pair it with a suit, jacket, and/or tie.
- Tuxedo shirts almost always pair with a tuxedo jacket and polished shoes for black tie events. For women, pintuck dress shirts worn with a suit or flowing evening wear pants can have the same effect.
- For a more modern look, wear slim-fit or tailored formal shirts. For a less trendy look, go with the more comfortable classic-fit dress shirt.
- For women, blouses made of silky material or button-down dress shirts often present a formal style. Pair this blouse with a pencil skirt for the workplace or silky pants for a banquet or formal gathering.
Casual Shirt Types
Casual shirt types encompass everything from t-shirts to button-downs worn untucked and paired with jeans!
- Try wearing an untucked graphic tee with slacks and a blazer for a fun business casual outfit.
- For a trendy vibe when you’re out running errands, wear an off-the-shoulder tee with your leggings, skinny jeans, and a nice pair of flats.
- For cooler weather, wear a flannel shirt unbuttoned over a graphic tee and pair that look with your favorite jeans. You can use this outfit at the bar, at a campsite, or just around your neighborhood!
- If you want a shirt for mowing the grass or going on a job, go casual with a tank top or sleeveless shirt paired with comfy shorts and sneakers!
Different types of shirts include several popular t-shirt styles and formal and casual shirts for men and women. Popular shirt types for women include blouses, button-downs, sleeveless shirts like camisoles, and peplum tops. For men, popular styles include a variety of dress shirts like the Oxford, the button-down, and the tuxedo shirt.
Trendy t-shirt styles feature anything with a fun graphic and unique styles like off-the-should collars or raglan sleeves. You can also find tees in cuts designed to fit specific body shapes, like muscle tees, slim-fit tees, and classic fit tees.
What is your favorite type of shirt to wear to work? What about to wear at home? Leave a comment below to let us know!