Learn all about the type of t-shirts. There is nothing more comfortable than wearing a t-shirt. Dress it up or dress it down, the humble t-shirt has come a long way and has a place in every wardrobe.
Types of T-shirts
The types of t-shirts can be classified according to its neck, sleeves, the fit and decorative options. This results in an enormous amount of combinations.
Types of T-shirts Necks
Necks can vary by style, height and shape. Here are the 8 most common types. T-shirts in the first row tend to be unisex and the second row is more commonly found in women's styles. But there are always exceptions - wear what you love.
- Crew neck t-shirts are what first come to mind when we think of a t-shirt. It is a rounded high neck made from rib fabric or binding. Crew necks are popular for men and women alike and are considered a more casual look.
- V-Neck t-shirts can vary from sitting close to the neck to ending quite low to show a bit of chest. They can be trimmed with binding or rib-knit fabric.
- Polo t-shirts are popular for workwear and are considered a more formal or conservative type of t-shirt. Their collar is made from a rib-knit fabric and they have a short placket with buttons or studs.
- Henley t-shirts have a placket with buttons combined with a high round neck. You can also have henley styles combined with a v-neck.
- Scoop neck t-shirts have a lower rounded neck that is a little wider on the shoulders. Once mainly a part of women's t-shirts, it is now quite common to find it in men's styles as well.
- Cowl - Cowl necks are featured in women's t-shirt styles where the neck is draped in a fine stretch fabric.
- Boat - Boat necks are mainly but not always found in women's t-shirts and go straight across from shoulder to shoulder. A classic boat neck t-shirt is made in blue and white stripe stretch fabric and is styled on a sailor's look.
- Off-shoulder t-shirts is a women's style. It may fall off just one shoulder (think Flashdance in the 1980s) or both.
Types of T-shirts Sleeves
Raglan sleeves have a seam from the collar bone to under the arm. They are also referred to as baseball shirts and may have the sleeves sewn in a different contrasting color.
Set-in sleeves have the seam on or below the shoulder. T-shirts are often oversized and the shoulder seam may fall at the upper arm.
Attached sleeves are joined to the main body of the t-shirt and include cap sleeves and dolman ( or batwing)sleeves.
Sleeve lengths vary from sleeveless, cap, short, ¾ and long.
- Sleeveless is great for the hot weather and showing off your arms. Sleeveless t-shirts can be referred to as muscle shirts or even singlets.
- Cap sleeves end at the upper part of the arm.
- Short sleeves end at mid-arm to just above the elbow. Because of the oversized nature of many t-shirts, a short sleeve is often referred to as anything above the elbow.
- ¾ sleeves end midway between the elbow and wrist. They are a popular fall and spring option.
- Long or full-length sleeves end at the wrist.
T-shirts can vary in lengths. Torso lengths may be referred to as cropped, standard or longline. Cropped (or crop) t-shirts end below the bust and above the navel. When purchasing t-shirts, if there is no mention of the length it is probably a regular or standard length that ends at the hips. Longline t-shirts end at or below the bottom and may be referred to as tunics.
Types of T-shirts Fit
There are 3 main types of fit - loose, standard or tight.
- Loose or oversized t-shirts are extremely baggy.
- Standard fit t-shirts have some ease but are not so loose that it swallows you up. This is the most common t-shirt fit. A good example of this fit can be found in the grey t-shirt in the photo above. A standard-fit combined with a crew neck is probably the most popular type of t-shirt on the planet.
- Tight t-shirts are often smaller than your actual body measurements. This is called negative ease and means that when stretched, the t-shirt will hug the body. Tight t-shirts need some spandex or Lycra incorporated into the fabric so they don't go out of shape when worn. On the label, you might see wording such as 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Tight t-shirts normally have 3-5% spandex or Lycra composition.
Types of T-Shirts Decorations
Why settle for plain and boring? T-shirts can be used to promote a brand or something you believe in or make a statement about who you are or want to be.
Here are some of the decorations that can be used for t-shirts.
- Hoods - I love a hooded t-shirt. It makes me feel cozy and warm.
- Prints/Graphics - This is a massive category. A different print or color can transform a t-shirt from feminine to rock to grunge and everywhere in between. Stripes are frequently used for t-shirts and logos can be found everywhere. If you have a business or something to promote, design a clever logo and give out some of your shirts.
- Pockets - T-shirts can have pockets on the breast on either side or both. When used in conjunction with a polo neck, pockets can give a t-shirt a dressier look.
- Embellishments - T-shirts can be altered with sequins, applique, embroidery, smocking, tie-dying and even rips and slashes. You pay more for carefully placed rips! (Read fabric manipulation techniques)
Types of T-Shirts - In Conclusion
So go out and buy or sew your favorite t-shirt that fits your lifestyle and personality. Dress it up or down, the humble t-shirt is here to stay.
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