Shirts - Shirt  Definition of Clothing

T-shirt Definition T-Shirt Factory  Women's Shirt Stores  T-Shirt Distributors Fashion Directory  Definition List   Clothing Industry Glossary  Shirt Factories  Shirt Packing Materials  Shirt Machinery  Women's Shirts 

A shirt is a sort of top, i.e. a piece of clothing for the trunk of the body.

In the 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:


polo shirt
a shirt with collar but only a partial vertical opening with buttons

shirt or dress shirt
a shirt with collar and full vertical opening with buttons

tank top
a sleeveless T-shirt

wife beater
a tank top worn as an outer layer

ladies shirt
the term is also used for some men's military uniform shirts.

for sleeping

sweater, sweatshirt
with or without hood

rugby shirt
typically a rugged long-sleeved polo shirt

Hawaiian shirt
a colorful short-sleeve dress shirt

an embroidered dress shirt with four pockets

golf shirt
a polo shirt

baseball shirt
usually distinguished by a three quarters sleeve

fishnet shirt, transparent, see e.g.

first shirt
the "shirt" is a nick-name for a First Sergeant

Tops which would generally not be called shirts:

  • tube top or boob tube
    a shoulderless, sleeveless "tube" that wraps the torso (not reaching higher than the armpits, staying in place by elasticity, see e.g  (
  • halter top
    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 shirts include vests, sweaters, jackets and coats.

    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 group.

    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 vests, sweaters, jacket, etc. one can disinguish:

    • With regard to covering the shoulders and arms:
      • with no covering of the shoulders or arms
        a 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 by the cuffs:

Clothing & Fashion Industry Definitions
fabric & Textile Industry Definitions
Fashion Terms / Fashion History / Fashion Designers / Fashion Brands etc.
Dye & Dyeing Industry Terms
Embroidery & Embroidery Industry Terms
fibers & fiber Industry Definitions
Sewing Terms & Definitions
yarns & yarn Industry Definitions
Hat & Headwear Definitions
Footwear & Shoe Industry Definitions
Shipping Industry Freight Definitions
Miscellaneous Apparel Industry Terms
  • With regard to level of the lower edge:
    • leaving the belly button area bare (much more common for women than for men)
    • until the waist
    • covering the crotch
    • covering part of the legs (essentially this is a dress; however, a piece of clothing is either perceived as a shirt (worn with trousers) or as a dress (worn by women, and by men just in the special case of cross-dressing).
and levels in between.
  • With regard to opening:
    • vertical opening on the front side, all the way down, with buttons or zipper.
    • left and right front side not separable, put on over the head; with regard to upper front side opening:
      • V-shaped permanent opening on the top of the front side
      • no opening at the upper front side
      • vertical opening on the upper front side with buttons or zipper
  • With regard to the neck:
    • with polo-neck
    • with collar. Furthermore the collar may have buttons at the tips for a "button-down collar".
    • without collar
  • With regard to pockets: how many (if any), where, and with regard to closure: not closable, just a flap, or with a button or zipper.

Some combinations are not applicable, of course, e.g. a tube top cannot have a collar.

See also:




Henley Shirts

Types of Shirts




Tank Top

Valentines Day Shirts

Shirt Studs


Clothing Definitions



Cufflink / Cufflinks

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (  11/10/04
Discussion boards are a great place to meet other members of the fashion industry, get advice, and share information.  This forum was created to discuss the topic of this page.  If you have questions, or information to improve this page, please join in the community discussion below.  Please keep the communication on topic and for the purpose of education.
comments powered by Disqus
Fashion Industry

Apparel Search   Add Your Company   Contact Us   About Us   Advertise   News Letter   Legal   Help
Copyright © 1999-2022  Apparel Search Company.  All Rights Reserved.