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So What Is the Difference Between a Shirt and a T-shirt?

Multicolored short sleeve shirts hanging on a wooden rack.

Most of us own at least a couple of shirts and t-shirts, and along with jeans and hoodies, they are a must-have in any wardrobe.

It is just so easy to slip on a t-shirt while lazing about at home or to make a small bit more effort and wear a printed tee with funky artwork for a night out with friends. 

We love them for their versatility, and when styled correctly they are the perfect choice for almost every casual occasion. 

For formal occasions though, we might want to go for a more formal option. They give you a polished look and are perfect for business meetings, dinner dates, or social events such as girlie brunches or family get togethers at the in-laws!

So what makes a T-shirt different from a shirt? Let’s dive in and find out.

What Is a Shirt? 

lady wearing white tshirt and blue collared shirt 

Shirts go back, way back in fact to 3,000 B.C. in fact. 

They have withstood the test of time to become an essential item of clothing in wardrobes worldwide for millenia.

Women’s shirts are commonly made from natural fibres such as cotton and silk, with adornments like ruffles and lace often added to bling them up.

Here are some of the most stylish versions of ladies’ shirts.   

  • Dress shirt: This is the classic, button-up shirt of choice for both men and women when looking for office wear or formal. They feature a row of buttons down the front and a folded collar that can sometimes be starched.  
  • Peter Pan Collar Shirt: This is a softer, more whimsical type of shirt that has rounded collars instead of sharp points. Inspired by Wendy’s outfit in PeterPan, you can find them in playful colors and patterns to add a dash of color to a formal outfit.   
  • Polo: These are timeless unisex garments with a soft collar and two to five buttons beneath the neck. They are more formal than a tee-shirt and appropriate for semi-casual gatherings at social clubs. 

The classic polo has been transformed to flatter women’s figures and the ladys’ version usually has shorter sleeves and might flare at the bottom.  

  • Henley: This is essentially a collarless polo shirt and is regarded as business casual or casual wear for women. 

You can never go wrong with a plain black or white shirt paired with a smart blazer and sleek pants for a formal dinner or meeting. 

But if you want a more casual look, let’s see what T-shirts are all about, shall we?

What Is a T-Shirt? 

Four deep V-neck, short-sleeved T-shirts colored white, black, pink, and grey.

Originally made as an undershirt for U.S Navy soldiers, t-shirts need no introduction. Named after the “T” shape formed when it’s laid out flat, they became wildly popular in the 1950s as part of a revolution in women’s fashion.  

A tee shirt is significantly different, and often more comfortable than a shirt because it has no buttons or collars. It tends to be a much more relaxed option.

If you are a fan of layering with a long sleeve shirt, choose a high-quality T-shirt that is breathable and does not stick to your body. 

Let’s look at some of the most popular types of t-shirts. 

  • Crew-neck Tee: This is the most common style of t-shirt with either long or short sleeves. It features a rounded neck and can be worn as an undergarment or standalone piece. 
  • V-neck: These T-shirts feature a V-shaped neckline for a more classy look and are perfect for pairing with an eye-catching necklace. In general women with a larger bust find V-Neck tees more flattering on their body shape.
  • Graphic Print Tee: Printed T-shirts go through a printing process that adheres images and slogans to the tee-shirt. They have become a centerpiece for modern wardrobes as a form of self-expression. 

Ready to Find Your Next Great T-Shirt? 


In this fashion-forward world, it’s sometimes difficult to find the basics that will last you season after season. The biggest challenge is balancing affordability and durability.

Yes, you could splash out on a designer brand T-shirt but these often have an array of embellishments — you’ll be lucky to find a plain white designer tee. 

The other option is a cheaper, mass-produced t-shirt. They might be affordable but are generally of lower quality which means the fabric will be inferior and will likely lose shape after a few washes. 

So what to do?

Arlo Blue’s got you covered with our fairly priced, high-quality T-shirts that cater to all body types.   

Our organic classic tees are a firm favorite and more than just a t-shirt. We know because our customers can’t get enough of them!

arlo blue reviews

Check out The Outlet, our discount page for crazy bargains in a wide range of clothes such as white and colored tees, muscle tops for warmer months, and long-sleeve T-shirts for those chilly nights.  

Can’t find what you’re looking for in our store? Contact us and we’ll do our best to find it for you!

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