Parts of a Shirt
There are many constituent parts to a shirt and many terms are used to describe and differentiate types of shirts and their construction. Developed over time for reasons of both practicality and style, the smallest differences in a shirt may often have great significance to various national, cultural or occupational groups.
A shirt may: have no covering of the shoulders or arms - a tube top (not reaching higher than the armpits, staying in place by elasticity)
A shirt may: have only shoulder straps, such as spaghetti straps, cover the shoulders, but without sleeves
A shirt may: have shoulder-less sleeves, short or long, with or without shoulder straps, that expose the shoulders, but cover the rest of the arm from the biceps and triceps down to at least the elbow
A shirt may: have short sleeves, varying from cap sleeves (covering only the shoulder and not extending below the armpit) to half sleeves (elbow length), with some having quarter-length sleeves (reaching to a point that covers half of the biceps and triceps area)
A shirt may: have three-quarter-length sleeves (reaching to a point between the elbow and the wrist)
A shirt may: have long sleeves (reaching a point to the wrist to a little beyond wrist)
Shirts with long sleeves can be further distinguished by their cuffs:
A shirt may have no buttons – called a closed placket cuff.
A shirt may have buttons (or fasteners) - 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.
A shirt may have buttonholes designed for cufflinks
A shirt may have 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.
A shirt may have a formal link cuff — fastened like a French cuff, except it is not folded over but instead hemmed at the edge of the sleeve.
A shirt may have asymmetrical designs, such as one-shoulder, one-sleeve or with sleeves of different lengths.
Lower hem of shirt
The lower hem of a shirt may leave the belly button area bare (more common for women than for men).
The lower hem of a shirt may hang to the waist, or cover the crotch.
The lower hem of a shirt may cover part of the legs and be worn like a dress.
The lower hem of a shirt may reach the floor, as a night or pyjama shirt.
A vertical opening on the front side, all the way down with buttons or zip. When fastened with buttons, this opening is often called the placket front.
A shirt can also have similar opening, but at the back.
A shirt can have left and right front side joined, so it must be pulled on over the head (like a T-shirt).
A shirt can have a V-shaped permanent opening on the top of the front side
A shirt can have no opening at the upper front side.
A shirt can have vertical opening on the upper front side with buttons or zip.
Men's shirts are often buttoned on the right while a women's shirt is often buttoned on the left.
A shirt can have a polo neck
A shirt can have a v-neck but no collar
A shirt can have a plunging neck
A shirt can have an open or tassel neck
A shirt can have a Windsor collar or spread collar, a dressier collar designed with a wide distance between points (the spread) to accommodate the Windsor knot tie.
A shirt can have a standard business collar.
A shirt can have a tab collar - a collar with two small fabric tabs that fasten together behind a tie to maintain collar spread.
A shirt can have a wing collar - best suited for the bow tie, often worn for formal occasions.
A shirt can have a straight or point collar, a version of the windsor collar distinguished by a narrower spread to better accommodate the four-in-hand knot, pratt knot and the half-windsor knot.
A shirt can have a button-down collar - a casual collar with buttons that fasten the points or tips to a shirt.
A shirt can have a band collar - essentially the lower part of a normal collar, first used as the original collar to which a separate collar piece was attached. Rarely seen in modern fashion.
A shirt can have a turtleneck collar that covers most of the throat.
A shirt can have no collar - the neckline protrudes down the chest and to a point, creating a "V" looking neckline.
A shirt can have no pockets, a single pocket or many, mostly situated at the front right of the shirt but can be placed anywhere, they can be closable, with just a flap or with a button or zip.