The Difference Between A T-Shirt And Shirt: A Complete Guide
When you're looking for something to wear on your upper body, there's two obvious choices: A shirt or a T-Shirt.
But what's the difference, and which should you wear?
The difference between a shirt and a T-shirt is the construction, the dress code formality, material and patterns.
The most obvious difference is front. A T-shirt is a pull over style of top, while a shirt has a button placket for you to button up.
Next comes the collar. A shirt will have a collar, whereas a regular T-shirt does not.
A shirt is often viewed as a more formal option, with a t-shirt being casual.
Both a shirt and T-shirt can be long sleeve or short sleeve. But a short sleeve T-shirt is more often worn, whereas a long sleeve shirt is often preferable, and is more formal than it's short sleeve version.
Shirts vs T-Shirts Comparison Table
|About||A button up garment worn on the top half of the body.||A casual piece of clothing pulled over the head and worn on the top part of the body.|
|Fabric||Different weaves of cotton including poplin, twill, flannel, and others.||Cotton, Polyester and a mix.|
|Design||Usually plain or a patterned fabric||Plain or printed via vinyl, screen printing, embroidered or digital|
|Construction||A shirt has a button placket to the front, a collar and cuffs.||A T-shirt is collarless, has no placket and pulls over the head.|
|Sleeves||Short or long sleeved with long sleeved being more formal and popular.||Short sleeved far more popular with long sleeve options available.|
|Dress Code||A shirt is usually worn as a formal, semi-formal or smart casual option.||A T-shirt is usually worn as a sports, casual or smart casual option.|
What Is A T-Shirt
A T Shirt is often seen as a casual item of clothing for men and women. Typically it's a short sleeve garment worn over the head made from cotton.
It's a wardrobe staple, meaning that it's an essential piece of clothing that we all have in our wardrobe.
The style of a T-shirt can be either plain or decorated usually with print. Printed t-shirts include logos, slogans, graphics, embroidery or all over prints.
A basic T-shirt is so versatile. You can wear it on it's own, as part of a casual outfit. You can wear a t-shirt as a layer, with a shirt, jumper or something else over the top.
You can also dress up a T-shirt. This is usually done with a smart plain T-shirt with a blazer or suit jacket over the top.
There are several necklines of T-shirts. The most common are the V-neck T-shirt and the round neck T-shirts, also known as a crew collar.
T-Shirts are usually made of cotton for every day wear, with active and sports t-shirts being made from polyester.
There's so many different types of t-shirts, suited to everyone young and old, casual and smart as well as having many different uses.
What Is A Shirt
A shirt is a button up piece of clothing with either short or long sleeves worn by men and women.
Shirts have a button up front, collar and cuffs. The collar is can be a button-down collar which is seen as less formal, or not have buttons.
Shirts are usually made of cotton fabrics, with different weaves including twill, poplin, flannel and more. These weaves give the shirt a different feel to a t-shirt, and are usually thicker and heavier and a T-shirt.
To differentiate between the two, a shirt can be viewed as more formal while a T-shirt is more casual. But this is not always the case.
For example a short sleeve patterned shirt can be viewed as a casual shirt. This would not be worn for a formal event.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you could wear a smart plain T-shirt with a blazer turning your outfit into smart casual.
Dress For The Occasion
If you're deciding whether to wear a t-shirt or a shirt, the most important thing is to dress for the occasion.
As we've discovered, a shirt is usually seen as a more formal choice. This is what you'd pick for formal events such as weddings, funerals and when you want to dress up.
For casual events especially in the summer, a T-shirt is the perfect choice. Going to the beach, going to the local pub or just to a friends house, a T-shirt is going to be a good choice.
Verdict: Difference Between A T-Shirt And Shirt
The biggest differences between a shirt and T-shirt is the formality and design of the shirt. Button up vs pull over, and smart vs casual, they're two basic essentials that you'll want to have in your wardrobe.
You can learn more about this in our T-Shirts blog where we talk about everything to do with T-shirts and clothing so you know all there is about the humble garment.