A shirt is a sort of top,
i.e. a piece of
clothing for the trunk
of the body.
UK, it refers almost exclusively
to what Americans call a dress shirt, i.e. a garment with
a collar and a full vertical opening with buttons. In the
US is tends to have a vaguer
meaning, being applied to many types of (mainly men's) tops,
leaving the word "top" generally for ladieswear.
Some common types or synonyms of shirts and tops:
Tops which would generally not be called shirts:
tube top or
a shoulderless, sleeveless "tube" that wraps
the torso (not reaching higher than the armpits, staying
in place by elasticity, see e.g
a shoulderless, sleeveless, backless garment for women.
It is mechanically analogous to an
apron with a string
around the back of the neck and across the lower back
holding it in place.
Other tops which are not generally referred to as
Many terms are used to describe and differentiate
types of shirts and their construction. The smallest
differences may have significance to a cultural or occupational
Recently, (late 20th century) it has become common
to use tops to carry messages or advertising. These
can be screen printed or embroidered.
For such clothing, including
jacket, etc. one can
With regard to covering the shoulders
with no covering of the shoulders or arms
tube top (not reaching higher than the armpits,
staying in place by elasticity, see e.g
- with only bands on the shoulders
- covering the shoulders, but without sleeves
- with short sleeves
- with half-long sleeves
with long sleeves, may further be distinguished