Women’s T-shirts gained popularity in the 1940s and 50s not just for cotton comfort, but as a statement of rebellion and freedom. Up until this point, T-shirts had been worn predominantly by sailors in the United States Navy and were later made famous thanks to male icons like James Dean. But the women who rocked T-shirts in those days weren’t rebels without a cause. They were pioneers who were redefining women’s fashion and who ultimately paved the way for more variety in fashion for everyone.
Today there are many different types of women’s T-shirts and ways to style them. With so many options and styles, it’s best to think of women’s T-shirt guides like this as sources of inspiration. The torch of innovation is in your hands. How will you carry it forward?
Check out this video for ways you can style our women's V-neck shirts!
Now let’s go over some of the most common types of women’s T-shirts:
CREW NECK OR CLASSIC T-SHIRT
Crew necks, also known as Classic T-shirts, are a fashion staple that can either be layered or worn as a standalone piece.
T-shirts worn as undergarments should fit comfortably snug to your body so that your other clothes fit to your body rather than your clothes. High quality T-shirts are best suited for this because the fabric is thinner and more breathable. So while the T-shirt clings closer to you, your skin isn’t suffocating.
Many women like to pair a classic T-shirt with a smart outer layer or wear their T-shirt beneath a slip dress. Try pairing a T-shirt with a blazer, or follow our stylist tips for a trend-setting look.
The best bra to wear with a classic T-shirt would be a plain, basic bra or a sports bra. You might want to avoid wearing lace if you’re going for a seamless look. Did you know that we've made our white Classic T-shirts heavier so you don’t need to worry about your T-shirt being see-through?
THE BOYFRIEND T-SHIRT OR BOXY
Women’s T-shirts tend to be cut tighter to the body than men’s T-shirts; but women’s T-shirts with looser fit are known by variants of “boyfriend T-shirts” or “boxy.”
The women’s T-shirts we offer are both comfortable and stylish. Our boyfriend cut features dropped shoulders, slightly lengthened sleeves, and a clean neckline. The result? A casual vibe with plenty of attitude.
V-necks are T-shirts that feature the neckline shaped like the letter V, and as you can see in the photos, most V-neck designs for women are fairly shallow unless you find what some call a “deep V-neck”. These T-shirts work well to slim down your physique, make you look taller, and are essential to pair with V-neck sweaters and other outer garments. Like the classic T-shirt, women’s V-neck shirts pair really well with a blazer.
V-necks are a great fit for all body types and bust sizes. Keep in mind that every V-neck shirt has a different depth in the V. If you’re concerned about the depth of the V, you can always wear a cami or pretty bralette top beneath your T-shirt.
A deep V-neck T-shirt is a dressier alternative than the standard V. With an accentuated plunge in the neckline, this is a top that looks great for a casual night out. Wear it on its own with a pair of jeans or tailored pants, or layer with your favorite jacket if you need to layer up. As the V-neck has more depth to it than a typical T-shirt, if you’re a person wearing bras, you’ll want to consider your choice of underwear. A plunge or multiway bra will ensure the center gore remains hidden.
Polo T-shirts typically have a collar and placket with buttons beneath the collar. They’re usually made of wider threads of cotton, giving them more weight than classic T-shirts. Polo T-shirts can be unisex (and often are), but there are also specific cuts for women featuring narrow shoulders, a wider chest area, shorter sleeves, and flares at the bottom. Polos lean into formal wear and are the go-to T-shirt to wear on golf fields and tennis courts. Keep in mind that the polo collar should always go down, never held up.
Boat neckline T-shirts feature a wide neckline that runs horizontally across the collarbone. Like the classic T-shirt, they’re inspired by nautical designs but go back farther in time and usually feature stripes instead of a plain color. They create an optical effect that is particularly good for women with smaller shoulders and rectangular or pear-shaped bodies.
3/4 SLEEVE BOAT NECK
3/4 sleeves are an easy way to transition from your day to night style. Instead of your sleeves reaching down to the wrist, they stop just past the elbow, offering the perfect amount of coverage–neither too much, nor too little. With a boat neckline running straight across the collarbone, this is a flattering T-shirt design suitable for many body shapes.
Cap sleeve T-shirts cover the shoulder but are “capped” under the arm, unlike longer sleeves which extend longer. These T-shirts are great for warm weather as standalones but don’t offer the same protection for outer garments when layering. They don’t really qualify as informal T-shirt styles per se, so you could wear them with a pencil skirt for a dressed-up look, perfect for work. But if you prefer longer sleeves but are worried about wearing them in warmer weather, there’s one simple solution: choose the right fabric. Here’s why organic cotton should be your go-to material for maximum breathability.
Long sleeve T-shirts were once layering staples for colder seasons, and are now becoming popular as standalone pieces both for comfort and style. Some brands recommend making sure the sleeves don’t go past your elbow, and some women prefer their long sleeve T-shirts to be on the larger side to maximize comfort and coziness. Our women’s long sleeve T-shirts fall somewhere in the middle.
It’s important to note that high quality cotton T-shirts will not necessarily feel heavy like woolen clothing, but they can still do a fine job keeping you warm on their own. If you’re spending time outdoors in the cold, long sleeve cotton T-shirts are especially great for layering as they help regulate moisture and temperature. They’re also good to be worn directly over your skin when it’s freezing in winter; under cozy knits would otherwise be itchy. Find out more about why cotton is so comfortable.
These T-shirts feature sleeves extending all the way to the collar and neckline instead of ending at the shoulder. The sleeves of the raglan T-shirt are generally a different color than the rest of the shirt and are cut for a greater range of motion. Raglan sleeve tees or sweatshirts are usually designed with a crew neckline, and the sleeves are often made in a darker color than the core. e. These are informal garments that aren’t typically worn in a typical office setting unless it’s (very) casual Friday.
Slim fit T-shirts are a variation of the classic T-shirt; an alternative to what we offer in the boyfriend fit. Whereas boyfriend fit T-shirts are cut to fit well to your body but are slightly loose, slim fit T-shirts cling more tightly to your body. This accentuates the waistline of slim figures especially well. When it comes to layering, slim fit T-shirts often work really well under long sleeve cotton T-shirts, especially when the long sleeve T-shirts are lightweight and breathable like ours. One reason to wear both is so that you can avoid wrinkles on your long sleeve T-shirt.
A crop top or midriff top is a T-shirt cut to show off your abs. They were originally invented for swimwear for women around the time of WWII but then became iconic of the sexual revolution in the 1960s. In the 1980s crop tops were widely popular among dancers, athletes, and even men. Today, with the return of the Y2K aesthetics, crop tops are great for a night out, a walk on the beach, for sports, and any other time you want to stay cool. Wear them on their own or beneath a jacket to look fabulous.
PADDED SHOULDER T-SHIRTS
Padded shoulder T-shirts, also known as padded muscle T-shirts are cut like classic T-shirts. The difference is they’re sleeveless and appear to be resting above the shoulders as an homage to 80s-style pads. These T-shirts are gaining popularity thanks to Instagram and Pinterest trends. Wearing a padded shoulder tee is one easy way to keep your look cute and simple, and suits women with smaller shoulders and a longer neck.
Graphic T- shirts are great for showing off your personality and interests, and any cut of T-shirt can be made into a graphic T-shirt. The most common graphic T-shirts these days feature scenes from movies or TV series or slogans. If you’re into sustainability as much as we are, you may want to make sure that your graphic T-shirts have been printed using water-based or eco inks.
SPAGHETTI TOPS/TANK TOPS
Spaghetti tops or tank top T-shirts are usually lightweight and are cut to fit closely around your body. There are no sleeves, the neckline is typically low, and the straps that fall over the shoulders are thin, hence the name. These tops are usually preferred for layering as they serve to keep your core warm and dry, but are also often worn as standalone pieces in casual settings and warm weather.
HOW TO WEAR A T-SHIRT WITH JOGGERS
One of the great things about a T-shirt and jogger outfit is that it can be as casual or as dressy as you want it to be. But how should you style them?
For a casual look, try wearing a printed T-shirt with a pair of solid color joggers. Add some interest to your outfit by choosing a T-shirt with a graphic print or bold colors. Create a more put-together look by wearing a button-down shirt or polo shirt with your joggers, or tuck in your shirt to give the outfit more of a polished look.
To dress up your joggers even more, try pairing them with a blazer or sports coat. This is a great way to transition your look from day to night. And don't forget about accessories! A pair of sunglasses or a hat can add some extra style to your look.
HOW TO LAYER UP A T-SHIRT WITH FRENCH TERRY SWEATSHIRT
A Classic T-shirt is a staple in any wardrobe, but when the weather gets cooler, it's time to layer up! A French Terry sweatshirt is the perfect cover-up for chilly days. Made from a looped fabric that is great at wicking moisture away, French Terry is ideal for both warm and cold weather. But how should you style a T-shirt with a French Terry sweatshirt?
Begin by choosing colors that complement each other. A classic color combination is black and white, but you can also try different shades of the same color. You should also consider the neckline of your T-shirt. A scoop neck or V-neck T-shirt will look best with a crew neck sweatshirt. If you're wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt, pair it with a cropped sweatshirt or one that has long sleeves that can be rolled up.
WHICH STYLES ARE RIGHT FOR YOU?
So, as you'll see, there's quite an assortment of different T-shirt types to choose from. Our personal favorites? It’s a toss-up between the crew neck and V-neck T-shirts. They're both incredibly versatile and work well for layering and undergarments, but are just as fantastic as standalone pieces when the weather's working for you!
The Classic T-Shirt Company boasts quality T-shirts made from 100% organic cotton. Our customers just love the smooth and soft touch and the fact the cotton feels like it’s “breathing” well. When you're wearing your T-shirt as a base layer, it will protect your outer layers from any unsightly marks made by sweat or deodorant. Unfortunately, this isn't the case with many low-quality crewnecks you'll find in the market. These don't perform as well as our cotton garments due to the the toxic plastics and chemicals used in the production process.
Looking for that perfect T-shirt shape? Our high-quality T-shirts are preshrunk so you never need to worry about any shrinkage! Your T-shirt will maintain its perfect fit after each and every wash.
The Classic T-Shirt Company, is proud to offer timeless high-quality T-shirts, preshrunk for the perfect shape and made from 100% organic cotton. Not only do they make the perfect gift for a loved one, but our classic T-shirts are destined to become your favorite T-shirts too!