From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Business shirtA shirt is a piece of clothing for the trunk of the body.
Look up Shirt on Wiktionary, the free dictionaryIn the UK, it refers most often to what Americans call a dress shirt or tailored shirt, i.e., a garment with a collar, cuffs, and a full vertical opening with buttons. In the US it 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:
T-shirt — a casual shirt without a collar or buttons, usually short-sleeved.
polo shirt — a v-neck shirt with a full collar; opening often closed with buttons or zipper. Short or long sleeve.
shirt or dress shirt — a shirt with collar and full vertical opening with buttons; left and right sides of this shirt meet with the placket front.
tank top — a sleeveless T-shirt.
wife beater — a tank top worn as an outer layer, also called an "A-shirt" or athletic shirt
construction shirt — essentially a sleeveless t-shirt with large armholes. Often worn by construction workers for increased movability.
camisole — woman's undershirt with narrow straps, or a similar garment worn alone (often with bra). Also referred to as a cami, shelf top, spaghetti straps or strappy top.
tunic — primitive shirt, distinguished by two-piece construction. Initially a men's garment, is normally seen in modern times being worn by women.
blouse — lady's shirt; the term is also used for some men's military uniform shirts.
nightshirt — often oversized, ruined or inexpensive light cloth undergarment shirt for sleeping.
sweatshirt — cotton or synthetic athletic shirt, with or without hood.
rugby shirt — typically a rugged long-sleeved polo shirt, of thick cotton or wool.
Hawaiian shirt — a colourful short-sleeve dress shirt. Actually called an Aloha shirt, but is often also called a "tropical shirt," hawaiian shirts are often not fitted and are woven from very light fabric.
guayabera — an embroidered dress shirt with four pockets.
golf shirt — same as polo shirt, typically embroidered with club or designer insignia; maybe be short or long-sleeved. Often worn with a sweater vest.
halfshirt — a high-hemmed t-shirt.
baseball shirt — usually distinguished by a three quarters sleeve, team insignia, and flat waistseam.
fishnet shirt, transparent, initially popular fashion item of punk culture or goth culture. See e.g. 
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 or by a single strap that is attached to the front of the tube. 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.
diaper shirt — a shirt for infants which includes a long tail that is wrapped between the legs and buttoned to the front of the shirt.
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, jackets, 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:
no buttons. See closed placket cuff.
buttons — single or multiple. A single button or pair aligned parallel with the cuff hem is considered a button cuff. Multiple buttons aligned perpendicular to the cuff hem, or parallel to the placket constitute a barrel cuff.
buttonholes only for use with cufflinks.
Typically a french cuff, where the end half of the cuff is folded over the cuff itself and fastened with a cufflink. This type of cuff has four buttons and a short placket.
More formally, a link cuff is worn. A link cuff is fastened like a french cuff, except is not folded over, but instead hemmed, at the edge of the sleeve.
With regard to level of the lower edge:
leaving the belly button area bare (much more common for women than for men. See halfshirt.
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 (in Western culture mainly worn by women)).
and levels in between.
With regard to opening or front:
vertical opening on the front side, all the way down, with buttons or zipper. When fastened with buttons, this opening is often called the placket front.
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
mens' shirts are often buttoned on the right while womens' are often buttoned on the left.
With regard to the neck:
with plunging neck
with open or tassel neck
windsor collar— or spread collar, a dressier collar designed with a wide distance between points (the spread) to accommodate the windsor knot tie. The standard business collar.
tab collar — a collar with two small fabric tabs that fasten together behind a tie to maintain collar spread.
wing collar — best suited for the bow tie, often only worn for very formal occaisions.
straight collar — or point collar, a version of the windsor collar that is distinguished by a narrower spread to better accommodate the four-in-hand knot, pratt knot, and the half-windsor knot. A moderate dress collar.
button-down collar — A collar with buttons that fasten the points or tips to a shirt. The most casual of collars worn with a tie.
band collar — essentially the lower part of a normal collar, first used as the original collar to which a separate collarpiece was attached. Rarely seen in modern fashion. Also casual.
turtle neck collar A collar that covers most of the throat.
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.
With or without hood
Some combinations are not applicable, of course, e.g. a tube top cannot have a collar.