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The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of T-Shirts

CEO Tinh Phung
There are so many types of t-shirts in the world! Take a look in anyone’s closet, and you are more than likely to find a sparkly white Oxford shirt, a versatile blazer that can be...

There are so many types of t-shirts in the world! Take a look in anyone’s closet, and you are more than likely to find a sparkly white Oxford shirt, a versatile blazer that can be worn for any occasion and a comfortable, durable shirt that can withstand even the hardest working conditions. You will find one ingredient missing from the mix, a t-shirt! Throughout history, different types of t-shirts have proven themselves to be accessible, flexible, and versatile choices of clothing.

The Different Types of T-shirts Necklines

Man and woman modeling white t-shirts against a brick wall. Photo credit: pixelshot

That’s why there are so many different t-shirt styles today. You can get creative with your t-shirt style, whether it be with different necklines, graphic designs, or distressing them to make them your own! You can also use them to layer under cardigans, over tank tops, or under the ever-fashionable bomber jacket. Furthermore, you can pair them with just about any kind of bottoms, from leggings to distressed jeans, to slacks.

Both men’s and women’s different t-shirt styles have come a long way in today's industry. From unisex to a long-body urban t-shirt, today’s unique t-shirt cuts are the different shirt cuts of choice for the startup generation. They are affordable and easily accessible—and a statement on a type of lifestyle . Take, for instance, the v-neck style. There is a short v-neck and a deep v-neck. Both are great alone or layered above that crisp oxford shirt hanging in your closet! Check out the edgy, raw neck t-shirt and elevate your brand to a whole new level of cool!

It’s the lifestyle of innovation and entrepreneurship. In today’s culture, different shirt cuts are comfortable canvases to express your creative vision with witty quotes, statements or showcasing your art for the world to see! Not just for showcasing art, different kinds of t-shirts can also be used to promote your start-up business. What a great way to get the word out!

To learn everything you need to know about t-shirt culture, follow this guide about the different styles and types of t-shirts. You’ll also learn how to choose the right t-shirt for you and how to style your t-shirt choice for the most common uses and occasions.

Types of T-Shirt Sleeves

Men modeling the Hanes 5286 or 5280 long-sleeve and short t-shirts Shirts pictured: Hanes 5286 and 5280.

When it comes to choosing the right shirt for you, sleeves are just as important as the body and neck of the shirt. There are cap sleeves, sleeveless tees, 3/4 sleeves, and long sleeves! The fit and look of these will be your preference, of course!

  • Long Sleeves: Men and women both wear long-sleeved shirts, but there are often different variations. Women's long-sleeved t-shirts are mainly non-cuffed, whereas the men's version are usually seen with some form of a cuff at the wrist.
  • ¾ Sleeves: More common during the spring and autumn months, these sleeves go just past the elbow but not quite meeting the wrist. As the name suggests, it covers around three-quarters of the arm. Shirts known as raglans, or baseball tees, often have 3/4 sleeve lengths.
  • Cap Sleeves: This sleeve covers the shoulder but doesn’t quite continue down the arm or under the arm as a longer sleeve will.
  • Sleeveless: Sleeveless tees, often referred to as ‘muscle T’s, get their name from the ‘T’ shape, which is created by the sleeves.

Types of T-Shirt Length

Woman outside in sunglasses and a white short sleeve crewneck t-shirt Photo credit: Andrey Grigoriev

There are many types of t-shirt lengths to choose from when looking for a shirt. There are cropped t-shirts, urban long-body shirts, oversized and hemmed shirts. A crop top is typically a women's shirt cut short so that it reveals the stomach. These can be a longer crop top or a shorter version. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Long-body urban t-shirts feature side seams and a rounded drop-tail hem. Comfortable and stylish if you are looking for a longer in length t-shirt. It really is all about personal preference and what makes you comfortable!

Choosing The Right T-Shirt For You

Purchasing a t-shirt and want to make sure you are getting the perfect fit? We find ourselves asking whether we size up or down or order the exact size we wear every day. Whether it’s men’s, women’s, or even unisex t-shirts, the sheer number of styles and cuts makes it difficult to narrow down to just a few choices.

Don’t stress; not every kind of fit or style is going to flatter your body type. There are so many to choose from! Below are the four different areas that t-shirt styles differ:

  1. Neckline
  2. Fit
  3. Fabric
  4. Function

No matter which of these you’re choosing, these factors will help you make the best decision about which type of shirt to buy to best flatter your body type.

Once you know what looks naturally suits your frame, you can stick to the staples and incorporate other shirt styles as occasional wear. With that in mind, here are five basic rules to keep in mind when finding the perfect t-shirt:

1) Go For Fit

Woman trying on a red t-shirt in a fitting room and admiring her physique Photo credit: dusanpetkovic

People think that “fit” means “fitted,” but it’s actually about how a t-shirt fits you. For a t-shirt to fit you well, it needs to conform to the contours of your natural body shape. Length is important when looking for fit. When you lift your arms up, the hem of the shirt should not ride up too much, exposing your belly. It also shouldn’t restrict your movement or cause you any discomfort — which is why there are different kinds of fit and types of shirts.

Some types of shirts are designed to be baggier. Baggy t-shirts allow for movement and air circulation, which means they can be a lot more comfortable than their fitted cousins! Others, like a muscle tee, offer a form-fitting cut to show off (and enhance the look of) a toned body. Slim-fitting t-shirts give a clean, presentable look. Plus, slim fit t-shirts are designed to hug your body without being overly tight, creating a polished look.

Fit is a crucial part of overall personal style. So use these tips to vet the fit of your t-shirt, regardless of the t-shirt style:

  • It should fit closely without tightness around your chest and waist.
  • The shoulder points on the t-shirt should match the endpoints of your shoulders — if they’re too droopy, the t-shirt is too loose and if the points hike up higher than the end, the t-shirt is too tight.
  • The sleeves should cover about one-third of your biceps, and they should lightly hug your biceps, not cut off circulation.
  • Raise your arms — does your t-shirt expose your midsection? Well, it shouldn’t. It should be long enough to lift your arms without showing your midsection, but it shouldn’t fall well below your waistline either.

2) Check The Occasion

Man wearing a navy blue blazer over a white crewneck t-shirt Photo credit: mimagephotography

Knowing when and where to wear a t-shirt is half the skill you need to master when choosing what types of t-shirts to buy. You don’t want to be the one person showing up wearing a t-shirt when it’s a formal event. Trust us!

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