What is the Difference Between a T-Shirt and a Shirt?

Some clothing terms could be a little confusing sometimes. Like the times whenever we hear or read the words shirt and t-shirt, are they the same? Are we using the right term when we shop? Well, if you find yourself asking the same questions, this article is meant to give you answers. Plus, we also added some fun facts and other information about the famous shirt vs. t-shirt.

For everyone’s information, the t-shirt and shirt greatly differ from each other, although it’s both a clothing piece. The basic difference between a Shirt and a T-shirt is that the shirt is considered formal wear attire while the T-shirt is an informal wear attire.

Also, a t-shirt is usually made of flannel with no buttons, and a shirt is usually made of cotton or silk and can be buttoned at the front.

Types of T-shirts

Aside from the things we mentioned above about T-shirts, it is also called a T-shirt for an excellent reason. Well, it is just a simple garment made in the shape of a letter T.

It has a straight body and two short arms. It doesn’t open, and it has no fancy shaping, no buttons. You can pull it on and off over your head. It’s made out of soft cotton, the same as an undershirt.

And you can differentiate what T-shirt it is based on its necklines, types of sleeves, sleeve length, and body fit. Yes, we know. That’s a lot. But don’t worry, we sorted it out for you to avoid confusion.

T-shirt Type Base on Necklines

Crew Neck/Round Neck

For T-shirts, round necks are the most popular and conventional style of neckline. It sits under the collar’s base, making it perfect a perfect choice for men with long, narrow faces and sloped shoulders to create a well-rounded silhouette. A crew neck is indeed a modest style of neckline.

V Neck

As the name suggests, this kind of T-shirt forms a pointed V shape on the collar. The V shape gives it a little more space and offering a trendier neckline than the traditional round neckline. Guys with round faces and broad shoulders should take advantage of this neckline as it gives them a slimmer look by emphasizing their body shape.

V-neck shirts will come in various sizes, with some of the V being very low-cut and very high cut by others.

Y Neck/Henley

The Henley or Y-neck t-shirt is best characterized as a variation between the crew and the V necklines. It comes with a buttoned placket that fits perfectly over a well-built, muscular chest and runs several inches deep. The inclusion of buttons, while retaining an enigmatic kind of machismo, increases its visual appeal.

Douche Bag Neck/Scoop Neck

It is a T-shirt with a deep scoop neckline that reveals more of the body than a simple t-shirt. While not as rough as the other necklines, it has a subtlety that complements the preppy look.

T-shirt Type Base on Sleeves

Short Sleeves T-shirt

You’re probably thinking of a typical shirt with short sleeves when you think of a T-shirt. The sleeve covers about half of your upper arm, but this varies according to the shirt. Short-sleeve T-shirts can fit either loosely or tightly.

Long Sleeves T-shirt

Long sleeves stretch all the way to your wrist, and most of them are cut in a straight line but are neither too tight nor too loose. A few other long-sleeve T-shirts have a slightly tighter cuff around the wrist than the rest of the sleeve, and these are particularly popular in men’s T-shirts.

Sleeveless T-shirt

Sleeveless T-shirts leave your shoulders bare but still have some strap, usually a wide one. It is often thought of as a sort of tank top. This type of t-shirt is perfect for the summer season or for layering other styles of shirts, including long-sleeve shirts, on top of them. It is also called a muscle tee for men as it displays the muscles.

Half/Three Quarter Sleeves T-shirt

The half-sleeve t-shirts for men are the most conventional style of sleeves but the most flattering on men. The best way to wear it is to ensure that the sleeve reaches your upper arm’s midpoint and tightly fits the biceps. The sleeve protects the upper arm that ends below the elbow and reaches various lengths on the forearm.

Raglan Sleeves T-shirt

In the cut and design part, this kind of t-shirt takes influence from baseball uniforms. On a diagonal seam, the sleeves are attached to the shirt rather than the traditional straight-up-and-down seam that is more usual. In certain cases, two different colors are the bodice and the sleeve, and the shirts are made this way to draw attention to the lines.

Types of Shirt

Just when we thought there’s only one type of t-shirt, then we discovered that the list is long. But so are the types of shirts. We listed the common types of shirts for your easy reference.

Oxford Button-Down Shirt

The Oxford button-down, produced by John Brooks in 1896, was an instant classic. This shirt, distinguished by the thicker fabric and button-down collar, is a relaxed take on the conventional clothing style. It is usually in solid colors.

Dress Shirt

A dress shirt is just what you need when you want to get a good impression. It has a pointed, wing or cutaway collar and double cuffs, and is usually thicker than a normal shirt.

A tuxedo or three-piece suit, complete with a bow tie and cufflinks, can make the dress shirt look best. Black or white tie activities, it is also seen. This is a wardrobe staple of almost all fashion-conscious men.

Flannel Shirt

The flannel shirt, also known as the plaid shirt, is made of casual, lightweight flannel that is warm at the same time. The distinctive characteristic of this shirt style is the rugged-looking checkered flannel fabric. Other features also include a convertible collar and patch pockets.

Chambray Shirt

One of the most versatile items to have in your closet is Chambray shirts. It is woven in a light fabric and plain-weave construction, unlike denim, making a casual and cozy clothing piece. These shirts are ideal for any casual event that is laidback or smart.

Golf Shirt

Golf shirts are knit fabric shirts with a short placket, with two or three buttons and a collar. It has loose double-stitched sleeve cuffs (banded sleeves) and often a left breast pocket. A golf shirt usually has a loose fit, elbow-length sleeves, and a double-stitched collar.

Polo Shirt

A polo shirt is very similar to a golf shirt since it is often a knit fabric shirt with a short placket, a collar, and two or three buttons. The distinction is that it has a shorter-sleeve than a golf shirt. This shirt is also better tailored, and it is possible to have the collar stand up to cover the back of the neck.

Denim Shirt

The denim shirt is a piece of clothing that can put an ensemble together instantly. It generates an effortless feeling of cool, whether it’s a casual gathering or a smart-casual event. For those days, when you want to feel relaxed but look cool at the same time, the denim shirt is a timeless and stylish alternative.

The Bottom Line

There is indeed a huge difference between a T-shirt and a shirt. And sometimes, we really get confused on which is which. That is why knowing the difference between the two and learning their types and distinct styles will help you to understand your wardrobe better.

READ ALSO: Is a Beanie a Hat? Unraveling Facts About Beanies

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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