Whether you're into fashion or planning to start an RTW or custom-made clothes business, having a good background in the different types of clothing is essential. This knowledge will surely help you pick the right clothes for your daily activities, hobbies, special occasions, and venues. As a business person, it will help you categorize your products properly or choose what type of clothes you want to specialize in.
- Dress Silhouettes - Best 15 Types To Choose From
- Types of Tops & Blouses - 40 Best Styles for Women
- Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023
- 21 TYPES OF SKIRTS - A to Z of Skirts
- Types of Pants - A to Z of PANTS
- Types of Bags - The A to Z of Bags & Purses
- Types of Hats - Best for Protection & Style
- Types of T-shirts - Necks, Fits, Lengths, Decorations
Types of Clothing: Tops
Aren't you amazed at the number of options when you look into the different types of tops women can wear? With these many choices, I'm not surprised to find that they're categorized into different sub-types based on fit, sleeves, length, bottom hem, and more. Read more about the types of tops.
That said, here are tops that I highly suggest every woman should have in their closet to ensure you have something to wear for every occasion, from casual to formal:
Undoubtedly, all of us are familiar with the basic t-shirt or tee that we love wearing at home, when running our errands, and doing several other daily activities. You will surely agree with me that it's the easiest top to put on. Not only can you pair it with any bottom and footwear. It's also one of the most comfortable tops to wear, whether it might be summer or spring. Read more about the types of t-shirts.
Yes, we can consider the polo as a type of t-shirt. However, I chose to separate it because it is more formal than the basic tee, thanks to its collar.
A tank top is a type of pullover that rests at your waist, perfect for the summer. It usually has a scoop neckline and is often sleeveless and racerback.
Blouses are pieces of clothing you'll love to wear at work, even as semi-formal or formal wear. But did you know that you can also wear them on casual days, especially since they're usually loose and made from comfortable fabric like chiffon, polyester, knit, and cotton?
These tops are typically made from knit fabric, so grab them sweaters when it starts to get cold! You'll also see that they're available in several fashion styles, so you can find one that you can wear casually or formally.
Like a sweater, cardigans have long sleeves and are usually made from knit to provide coziness and warmth. The difference is that a cardigan has a full-length front opening that you can fasten with buttons or a zipper. Cardigans are also available in different styles, allowing you to wear one that matches the occasion.
Hoodies are like sweaters with the addition of a hood to provide more warmth. They are usually made from brushed fleece or terry cloth.
Often confused with sweaters, sweatshirts are generally made from fleece or cotton and are loose, collarless, and long-sleeved with a closed fit. They also usually have ribbed or elastic cuffs, necklines, and bodice hem. Sweatshirts are generally casual pieces of clothing.
Like the T-shirt, you won't need a formal introduction to jackets because you're surely familiar with them. Whether you have a denim or leather jacket in your wardrobe, this garment will keep your upper body warm, from your shoulders to your waist or hips. This clothing style has a full-front opening that you can close with either buttons or a zipper. Jackets are available in several fit styles, such as loose, semi-fitted, and fitted, and are either collared or collarless.
The blazer is like a jacket but has a semi-formal to formal style and is available in short, three-fourth, and long sleeves. Plus, it usually has collars to give it a formal, classic style.
Coats are like jackets and blazers but are longer; they will rest at your thighs or above your knees. A coat is also meant to keep you warm, so it's usually worn over other clothes.
A vest is a sleeveless top that can be either fitted or loose and has long been worn over or under another top. However, as the fashion trend changed, vests are no longer just for layering; you can already wear them like a t-shirt and tank top.
Types of Clothing: Bottoms
Like with tops, you have several choices when it comes to the types of bottoms, but some of them that I highly recommend you should have in your dresser are:
From trousers to leggings, you're sure to find different types of pants that will match your body type, height, and fashion style. They will cover your lower body from the waist to right above, below, or way below your ankles.
While we can consider long types of jeans as pants, I find that it's best to categorize them separately because they're made of denim instead of cotton, linen, silk, and other fabric types. They come in several lengths, from below your knees to below your ankles, and can be either fit or loose.
Shorts are like pants or jeans with a shorter cut that can rest right above your knees or thighs and be either loose or fitted. Read more about the types of shorts.
Have you seen wide-leg pants that look like a skit that rests on the knees or calves? These are your culottes! They're comfortable bottoms that come in casual and formal styles.
These tube-like types of bottoms are worn around your waist and come in different lengths, from minis to floor length. They're also available in different styles, from an A-line to a preppy style. Read more about the types of skirts.
Types of Clothing: Dresses
I would say that dresses are some of the most convenient types of clothing because you usually don't need to mix and match, as you already have a top and a bottom. While there are several types of dresses, here are some styles that you must have in your closet. Read more about the types of dresses and dress silhouettes.
Usually made from some of the most luxurious fabrics, like chiffon, satin, velvet, and organza, the evening dress is a semi-formal to formal attire worn during special occasions. They can be cocktail, tea-length, ankle-length, or floor-length dresses.
Comfortable, loose, flowy, and lightweight are four words to describe a sundress, making it a perfect choice for spring and summer. It usually has a cinched waistline, thin straps, and a wide neckline. But, of course, you'll also find sundresses with different strap and neckline designs and those without a cinched waistline.
Are you slender or lean and tall? The shift dress is one of the best types of clothing for you! It's a popular boxy dress in the 1960s, so it doesn't have a defined waist and will fall straight from your shoulders.
As its name implies, this type of dress is a shirt with a longer length, resting on your thighs or longer. It's usually collared and has buttons either all the down or from the neck to the chest, much like a polo shirt. While most wear sweatshirt dresses casually, you can also wear them at work. Just make sure you pair them with the right shoes and accessories.
Do you have an hourglass, rectangular, or pear-shaped body type? Wrap dresses are among the ideal clothing for you. The dress's tie wraps around your waist, accentuating your smaller waist and balancing out your wide hips. Since it's typically made from fabric that drapes freely, the dress creates a smooth silhouette that helps complement your body type.
Also known as a pinafore dress, this is a collarless, sleeveless type of clothing you can wear over any type of top, depending on your fashion style and mood.
Types of Clothing: Undergarments
I can't emphasize enough the role of your undergarments not only because they offer protection for your private areas. They can also make or break your outfit.
Whatever type of bra you're comfortable wearing, these undergarments will support and cover your breasts.
Like bras, there are several types of panties, from full panties to thongs and high to low waist.
Underpants or Briefs
If you want more coverage, women's briefs are better than panties. Compared to men's briefs, they lack the fly or pouch. Read more about the types of underwear.
Boyshorts are undies that look more like shorts, from style to length. Some women wear them under loose pants and skirts or even as sleepwear.
The long underwear is like tights but is a bit loose and insulated to keep you warm. You can wear it as an undergarment while working outside or hiking during winter.
The camisole is the perfect undergarment when wearing see-through tops. However, some women today already wear it as a top itself.
Like the camisole, the slip is also a great undergarment you can wear under see-through skirts. You can also find full slips that can provide coverage from your chest to your thighs or legs.
Types of Clothing: Activewear
When engaging in physical activities, like running and playing sports, you should make sure you wear the right activewear. These types of clothing will provide the right support and protection to avoid discomfort and possible injuries.
The sports bra is a type of bra that provides more support to the breasts and is usually made from stretchable fabric.
These pieces of clothing are tight-fitting and usually made from spandex that you can wear for several activities like biking and running. They help reduce muscle oscillation, swelling, and soreness while improving blood flow and joint awareness.
These types of shorts are breathable and moisture-wicking for better comfort while performing physical activities.
Tracksuits are loose pairs of jackets and pants made from comfortable fabrics like nylon and cotton. Athletes typically wear them during warm-ups and while waiting for their game to keep them warm. However, it's not uncommon to find people wearing them while jogging, running, and even as everyday casual wear.
From bikinis to a one-piece swimsuit and rashguards and trunks, these garments will ensure you're comfortable and protected while swimming.
Types of Clothing: Sleepwear
We can all agree that quality sleep is critical for us to function properly. That's why you should make sure that you have a few pieces of sleepwear to keep you comfortable, such as the following:
This type of sleepwear refers to a pair of loose pants (sometimes shorts) and tops that some of us even wear as loungewear. They're made from comfortable, soft fabrics like satin, cotton, and silk.
This sleepwear comes in different lengths, from minis to maxis, and is loose enough to hang from your shoulders. The nightgown also usually has embroidery or lace appliques at the hem and/or the chest area.
Well, you don't really wear the robe to sleep; it is usually paired with your nightgown. It's worn over the gown when you get out of bed to keep you warm and cover your private parts if your gown is see-through or too thin.
You can already tell from its name that this sleepwear is a shirt, but it's much longer, reaching the knees. To ensure you stay comfortable while sleeping, the nightshirt has a loose fit and is made from soft fabric like cotton.
Types of Clothing: Outerwear
Outerwear is, well, a type of clothing you wear over other clothing to keep you warm. I have already introduced some of them earlier, such as jackets and cardigans, but the following are designed specifically for extreme weather conditions:
Overcoats are thick pieces of outerwear that you should wear when it's freezing cold and snowing. They usually rest right below the knees, but you can find ones that will rest at your ankles.
Raincoats can be short or long-sleeved and short or long with a hood to help protect you from the rain. They can be made from thin or thick waterproof fabric.
Have you seen sailors and navies wearing dark blue blazer-like coats made from wool? These are your peacoats, the perfect outerwear for semi-formal to formal venues and occasions.
This type of coat has the same length as the overcoat but is a bit thinner. Compared to the standard coat, the trench coat is thicker and longer, offering more protection from the cold.
This type of jacket resists the wind and light rain and keeps you warm when the temperature drops. It's usually made of lightweight, synthetic fabric, has ribbed or Velcro cuffs and a close-fitting neck, and is often bulky.
Often confused with the windbreaker, the parka is outerwear with a hood and often has faux fur or fur lining. It's more resistant to water than a windbreaker because it was initially designed to be worn for kayaking and hunting.
Types of Clothing: Specialty Wear
You'll find that some pieces of clothing are made for special occasions and venues. A few examples of these are:
Needless to say, these are types of clothing that will help identify one's association with an organization or institution, such as the military, company, or school.
Who isn't familiar with costumes? From Halloween and Christmas parties to 1920s-themed parties and anime events, you'll find a particular design for the occasion.
Weddings are probably the occasion wherein specialty wear is very common. From the bride's wedding dress and groom's tuxedo to the entourage's apparel, most attendees wear specially designed pieces of clothing.
Religious Clothing (e.g., burqa, habit, yarmulke)
While some might think that religious clothing is only worn by those with religious duties like preachers, these types of clothing also refer to those that some religious groups wear in accordance with their traditions and practices, such as burqas and yarmulkes.
This type of clothing ensures that moms-to-be are comfortable while they're pregnant. Maternity dresses and underwear are the oldest maternity wear, but pregnant women can now be as stylish as they want to be, thanks to other garments introduced, like maternity pants, shorts, and more.
Types of Clothing: Ethnic or Traditional Wear
Every country and ethnicity has a specific type of clothing with significance to their culture, traditions, and even history. With the many types of ethnic or traditional wear, here are some of the most famous ones:
The kimono is a loose type of robe or dress with wide or square sleeves and a rectangular shape. It comes with a broad sash that wraps around the waist to fasten the kimono.
Sari (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal)
This is a piece of unstitched fabric with a length ranging from five to nine yards that is usually passed down as a heirloom. One of its ends is attached to the waist, while the other will rest over the wearer's shoulder.
This traditional clothing worn by Scottish men resembles a knee-length, wrap-around skirt made from woven wool. It has side and back pleats and tartan patterns. This traditional wear is designed as it is because it also serves as a blanket or sleeping mat when Scottish men travel.
This colorful traditional piece of clothing with long sleeves and rests at the ankles or feet. It's colorful, and each color or color combination symbolizes something, such as singlehood and fortune. Nowadays, most Koreans only wear them on special occasions.
The cheongsam is a closed-neck, tight-fitting, long gown typically worn during special occasions like weddings, engagement parties, and Chinese New Year. Like the hanbok, different colors symbolize something, such as luck, power, and prosperity.
Types of Clothing: Accessories
When we talk about pieces of clothing, we shouldn't forget accessories because your outfit won't be complete without them!
A scarf is a small piece of clothing wrapped around your neck to help keep you warm. Some women even use it to accessorize their bags.
Who says men are the only ones who can wear ties? Women can, too, for a preppy style.
While belts are accessories meant to hold pants and skirts in place, you can wear them to add style to your outfit or even cinch your waist when wearing loose-fitting dresses and tops. Read more about the types of belts.
Protect your head from the sum and the cold with the help of a hat. You can find different hat styles, from buckets to berets, that will match your outfit and activity.
I'm sure most of you will think about gloves as protective items while gardening and doing other activities, but some gloves are worn on special occasions like weddings. Just make sure you choose the right pair for the occasion and venue.
Who isn't familiar with socks, right? They protect your feet from the cold, whether wearing footwear or not. Read more about the types of socks.
Stockings or Tights
Stockings or tights are types of clothing that you can wear instead of socks. They're available in different lengths and colors, so choose which works best for your needs and styles.
Types of Clothing: Footwear
The right footwear will not just protect and support your feet. It can also make or break your outfit. Some of the types of footwear you should consider having in your arsenal are:
Different sneakers are designed differently. You can find one for running, walking, hiking, sports, and more. They're usually made from comfortable, moisture-wicking material, but you'll also find ones made from leather.
Like sneakers, boots are closed-toe footwear made from different materials and available in various lengths. You can find pairs that will cover most parts of your lower extremity, from thighs to toes, while some will rest right above your ankle.
These shoes are elevated with thin or thick heels attached to the outer sole.
These shoes stay flat on the ground and can have casual, semi-formal, and formal designs. They can range from doll shoes to ballerinas.
Loafers are slip-on flat shoes usually made from leather typically paired with office and school uniforms.
These ladies' shoes are either flat or heels that have no constraints around the heels or back or any straps to secure the shoe to your foot. They can also be either open-toe or closed-toe.
This open-toe footwear will keep you comfortable during hot weather while protecting your feet. It comes with straps to help secure your feet to the shoes' soles.
Slippers are footwear that you can easily slip on and off. You can find ones that you can wear indoors, outdoors, and even for outdoor activities like walking at the beach.
Types of Clothing - In Conclusion
There you have it! The most common pieces of clothing you need to be familiar with to ensure you wear the right outfit for your activity, event, and a specific venue. Not only that but to ensure you provide the parts of your body the necessary protection and support as and when needed.