When considering all the many types of t-shirts, we’re not just talking about band t-shirts, brand t-shirts, snark t-shirts, dark t-shirts, and the like. We’re talking about the actual cut and build of t-shirts. There’s a whole damn lot. Let’s break down 20 of the most popular types of t-shirts.
1. Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt
The short sleeve crew neck t-shirt is by far the most popular kind of t-shirt. This is more or less what everyone thinks about when they hear the word "t-shirt." It has a standard crew neckline with short sleeves and a typical length. It almost feels like the starting point for t-shirts as a whole. Everything feels like a variation of this somehow.
2. Long Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt
The long sleeve crew neck t-shirt is simply the standard crew neck with long sleeves. Long-sleeve tees are less common, but this style feels like a standard t-shirt’s older brother, especially since the “Bachelor Undershirts” that preceded the common t-shirt (more than a century ago) did, in fact, have long sleeves to match that crew neck.
3. V-Neck T-Shirt
The v-neck t-shirt comes with a bit of subtle built-in flair. The neck forms a V to reveal hints of the collarbone rather than a standard circle neckline. However, this can go a little too far, with what is called a deep v-neck t-shirt. A v-neck is a sharp look; a deep v-neck goes past your nipples and seems like someone spaced out while cutting.
4. Pocket T-Shirt
The pocket t-shirt comes with flair as well. It’s both fashionable and functional. Whenever you want a blank or mostly blank t-shirt to have a little extra umph to it without going all graphics, patches, and fringe, this has a nice little pocket at the chest, which allows you to hold tiny trinkets (or gum or pens or scraps of paper with someone’s phone number if people still do that).
5. Polo T-Shirt
The polo t-shirt goes bigger in the opposite direction, adding a vertical placket of buttons at the neckline and real-life collar atop. This is a t-shirt that can shift in its usage, from office meeting to weeked goofing. It’s gotten known as a golf garment, but it basically combines the comfort of a t-shirt with the arguably more professional vibe of a button-up.
6. Short Sleeve Henley T-Shirt
The short sleeve henley t-shirt is more or less a collarless polo, also known as a y-neck. It keeps the buttons and ditches the collar, so it remains a more chill version of that professional-playful hybrid. It’s like the most formal a short-sleeved t-shirt can get before reaching collar status.
7. Long Sleeve Henley T-Shirt
The long sleeve henley t-shirt is, of course, a henley with long sleeves, so it’s the most formal a long-sleeve t-shirt can get before reaching collar status.
8. Split Hem Longline T-Shirt
The split hem longline t-shirt runs long. Hell, it's in the name. Made popular via streetwear, this style of t-shirt is often presented as slightly different lengths between front and back, with the front being just a bit shorter than the back.
9. Curved Hem Longline T-Shirt
The curved hem longline takes that length difference and joins them with a stylish curve upward. This style was also made popular via streetwear.
10. Scoop Neck T-Shirt
The scoop neck t-shirt is like if you blurred out the straight lines of v-neck. Also known as a u-neck, this t-shirt is basically just one big, smooth dip at the neckline.
11. Short Sleeve Raglan T-Shirt
The short sleeve raglan t-shirt has the sleeves of the t-shirt run diagonally, so the seams end at the collarbone, rather than the shoulder. This unique cut is more defined by the fact that the sleeves are typically a different color from the torso portion of the t-shirt.
12. Long Sleeve Raglan T-Shirt (Baseball Tee)
The long sleeve raglan t-shirt is readily recognized because of the t-shirts they sell at sporting goods stores, given that the style has been notably characterized by baseball players wearing them under their uniform or more casual in practice, pre-game, or post-game. The style didn’t start with baseball though. It was actually named after Lord Raglan, who supposedly wore a coat in this style after he lost his arm in the Battle of Waterloo.
13. Sleeveless T-Shirt (Tank Top)
The sleeveless t-shirt is better known as a tank or a tank top. It has slim runs of fabric on both sides of the neck, showcasing the shoulders and much of the neck and chest. It’s particularly beloved for summer when you just need to wear a very breezy layer, even though it’s bonkers hot.
14. Cut-Off T-Shirt
The cut-off t-shirt is like a tank top, except the fabric runs neck to shoulder’s end, so it’s a fuller sleeveless shirt. It almost looks like the sleeves were torn off. It’s popular for athletes and drummers.
15. Ringer T-Shirt
The ringer t-shirt has ribbed collars and sleeve bands that are rather pronounced in a different color from the rest of the shirt. You can spot a ringer a mile off.
16. Hooded T-Shirt
The hooded t-shirt is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a t-shirt with a hood, and it nails very specific situations, like when it’s drizzling on a sunny day.
17. Boat Neck T-Shirt
The boat neck t-shirt has other names, such as the bateau neck t-shirt or the Sabrina neckline t-shirt. It features a sizable neckline that nearly runs the width of a person, pretty much to respective shoulder ends.
18. Cap Sleeve T-Shirt
The cap sleeve t-shirt has sleeves that end just slightly below or beyond the shoulder. The sleeves are barely there. They’re like...well, caps.
19. Babydoll T-Shirt
The babydoll t-shirt is short in length, tight in fit, and with little sleeves. It shows your belly button with pride.
20. Your Favorite T-Shirt
Your favorite t-shirt is the one that’s been there for you in times of victory and in times of crisis. You love how you look in it. You love how it feels on you. It’s a t-shirt that beats all your other t-shirts, straight up. If you’re heading out for a special occasion and the dress code allows t-shirts, your favorite t-shirt is what you’ll be wearing. It’s the best t-shirt ever.
— Jake Kilroy