Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.Whether you call it a shirt or top or blouse, women’s fashion isn’t as simple as a label. Each garment is distinct and expressive. We've compiled a list of 24 types of women’s shirts. Knowing the differences between each kind of garment is helpful when determining how to create the perfect outfit.
Here’s our list of 24 types of women's shirts -
- Tube Top
- Sports Bra
- Tank Top
- Sleeveless Shirt
- V-neck Shirt
- Western Shirt
- Ruffle Front
- Henley Shirt
Let's take a closer look at these types of shirts.
Legend has it the tube top, a sleeveless shirt that exposes the shoulders in full was an accident. Imagine a band of fabric, no sleeves or straps. These tops were introduced in the early 1970s and became quite popular with the disco era. Tube top material is stretchy and designed to securely wrap around your torso. Tube tops come in a wide variety of clingy fabrics like spandex that help hold your shirt in place. These tops can be short, covering just the bustline or they can provide full tummy coverage.
Tube tops are part of a classic style. They can be worn solo or under a sweater or blazer for a pop of pizzazz.
Sports bras are like a typical everyday kind of bra, offering support for your bust. They are, however, designed with activity in mind. Whether your activity is light or intense, a sports bar will minimize breast movement. These bras are also crafted with moisture-wicking materials that let your skin stay dry during physical activities.
Sports bras are also a fashion style. They are often worn solo as a top paired with leggings or capris for exercise. They can also easily transition from gym wear to streetwear. There are many style choices. Straps, colors, patterns and support levels vary widely.
A tank top is a sleeveless shirt that evolved from a one-piece swimsuit, known as a tank suit, in the 1920s. Tank tops don’t have sleeves, but they have shoulder straps that vary in width which provides support to the shirt. These tops are also collarless and usually form fitting to your figure.
Tank tops are ideal for warmer weather and are often worn during exercise. They also serve as a base layer under a jacket or sweater.
Read more: How To Wear A Tank Top – The Ultimate Guide
A sleeveless shirt is exactly that, a shirt without sleeves. The terms “sleeveless shirt” and “tank top” are often used interchangeably. Though they can look alike, they are different garments.
A sleeveless shirt will generally cover to the edge of your inner shoulder. A tank top offers less shoulder coverage with narrower straps that support the top. Sleeveless shirts usually have collars or high necklines. Tanks tops tend to be lower cut without collars.
Sleeveless shirts are ideal to wear casually in warmer weather. They are also a perfect laying item under a blazer.
Click here to see a sleeveless, patterned shirt on Amazon that is perfect for everyday wear.
The V-neck shirt has been around since the 1960s. The main design feature of this shirt is that the collar is shaped like a “V”. Compare that to a typical t-shirt where the collar is round. The “V” shape isn’t just used in t-shirt design. You will find this collar in many different shirt styles including long and short sleeve blouses.
V-necks create a visual that elongates a woman’s neck. If you have a large bust, a short neck, broad shoulders or are short, a V-neck top is a flattering fashion choice.
T-shirts are one of the most popular clothing items to own. You probably have at least a dozen in your closet. The T-shirt looks like the letter “T” when laid out. The simplest shirt is a short sleeve with a round or crew neckline.
T-shirts come in many different colors and fabrics. These tops are highly customizable, allowing you to express your personality or deliver a message. T-shirts can be worn casually, or they can be dressed up to meet any occasion.
The terms “blouse” and “shirt” are often used interchangeably. But they only share being an article of clothing worn on top. The simplest way to describe a blouse is as a loose-fitting top. But, that’s not to say it’s a simple garment.
Blouses generally do not button-down and rarely have collars. Fabrics used in designing blouses are soft and flowy. The range of silhouettes is almost endless making blouses ideal for any shape or size. And, sleeves and hems have no rules, there are many style choices in this category of clothing.
Click here to see a colorful puff sleeve blouse on Amazon. Click here to see a short flare sleeve style blouse on Amazon
A “shirt” is commonly used to describe just about any kind of top. But a “shirt” refers to a button-down, collared top. The fabric used in the design of a shirt isn’t loose. Rather, it’s more rigid and tailored compared to a flowing fabric used in blouses. Shirts are perfect for a professional look. But they are a smart look with jeans too.
Traditional shirts work well for women that are less curvy, narrow-shouldered or have smaller busts. Remember, these tops need buttons to close. Even if your shirt stretches a bit, you want the fabric to lie flat and not gape.
Western shirts are button-down tops that are designed with an iconic yoke, a pattern, around the neck and shoulders. Western wear is a fashion style. The modern Western shirt is commonly made with denim materials. These shirts are long sleeve and sometimes have snap pockets.
An actual “military” shirt is worn, well, by the soldiers in the Armed Forces. The world of fashion borrows a “military” look in designed shirts. The influences of style on these tops include a button-down closure, chest pockets, fastened cuffs and sometimes a patch or logo. Patterns vary but include solid colored shirts as well as camouflage.
A pintuck is a simple fold. A blouse or shirt designed with pintucks will feature a pattern of narrow pleats or folds that usually run up and down or side to side. The pleats can be either pressed or stitched into place. Either way, it’s a fashion statement, the tuck is a style choice that can enhance your look.
You’ll find that tops with pintucks can have a few folds or many. And, there is a wide range of cuts and fabrics to choose from. These tops offer a flattering look for any woman.
A tuxedo shirt is designed for a formal occasion. Sure, there are elements that make this top look like an ordinary shirt. For instance, it’s a button-down collared shirt. But, look a bit closer at the details. These tops have spread collars where the distance between the collar points varies. Collar design might have tips or points that fold out to look like wings. And, then, there is the option of a pleated bib, where vertical pleats run up and down both sides of the buttons.
There are also different options for buttons and cuffs. Buttons can be covered or uncovered. Tuxedo shirts also designed with a placket where the top four buttons can be replaced or covered with tuxedo studs. Cuffs might be the French style, where they are rolled back and secured by cuff links. Or, cuffs can be barrel style and simply buttoned.
The variations for tuxedo shirt design are almost endless.
A top with a ruffled front, where the fabric is gathered and attached can come in the form of a shirt or blouse. Sometimes a ruffle front shirt is referred to as a “poet blouse” or “pirate shirt.” No matter what you want to call it, there will be flouncy frills attached to the front. These tops come in many luxurious fabrics and levels of flair.
The muse for a Cossack shirt is folk dancing. These shirts are usually handcrafted with intricate woven detailed patterns around the collar, hem, and cuffs. Cossack shirts are also belted at the waist. Women generally don't wear cossack shirts. But, the shirt below is a nod to the traditional Slavic blouse.
By definition, a smock top is a loose-fitting blouse worn over other clothing as a proactive layer. Smocks were traditionally worn by rural workers. In modern-day, a smock might be worn by a painter or a medical industry professional such as a nurse.
Fabrics used to design smocks are durable but also lightweight and flexible.
Blouses designed with a peplum hem have fabric gathered at the waist that flares out at the hip level. The material can be flouncy and flowy falling over your hips. Or the flare might be modest. A peplum top is figure-flattering as it cinches your waist. A lovely silhouette is created by wearing this style.
The definition of a gypsy is a person that belongs to a traveling group. A gypsy’s lifestyle is carefree and so is her choice of clothing. A gypsy top is a colorful loose-fitting blouse that might have puffy sleeves.
Drawing inspiration from actual sailor’s uniforms, these blouses sometimes feature a broad collar with a tapering V-neck. Some blouses simply borrow elements from the uniform to create a unique look.
Tunics are stylish loose-fitting tops. They drape elegantly to just below your hips or to your knees. These tops might be designed with long or short sleeves. They can be crafted from almost any type of fabric. Tunics can be dressed up or down. They are flatting for any type of figure.
Also known as a golf or tennis shirt, a polo is usually short-sleeved, has a collar and several buttons at the neckline. Breast pockets are optional in the design.
The Henley style shirt is collarless and features buttons below a round neckline. It’s like a polo shirt with its pullover design but the Henley doesn’t have a collar.
Turtlenecks have high collars designed to run up along and hug your neck. The collar material folds down to suit your neck length.
A sweatshirt a long sleeve and collarless top that is meant to make you sweat or keep you warm. It’s a casual and sporty top usually made from cotton, fleece or polyester.
Sweatshirts might be designed with hoods, front zippers or pockets. They are often a canvas for highlighting graphics and logos.
Similar to a sweatshirt or jumper, a sweater is a long sleeve collarless top that designed to keep you warm. A sweater is commonly knitted from soft fabrics. While the sweatshirt has one standard silhouette, the sweater has thousands of ways to be designed. You can choose from long sleeve, short sleeve, V-neck, turtleneck or cardigan styles, just to name a few.
Sweaters might be worn casually or formally.
Wow! We just covered 24 types of women’s shirts. That’s a plethora of fashion. We hope that you’ve learned a thing or two about how many options there are for you to wear. Next time you shop, you just might impress your friends with your knowledge of what to wear on top.