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Originally an undergarment worn exclusively by men, it has become, in American English, a catch-all term for a broad variety of upper-body garments and undergarments. In British English, a shirt is more specifically a garment with a collar, sleeves with cuffs, and a full vertical opening with buttons or snaps (North Americans would call that a "dress shirt", a specific type of collared shirt). A shirt can also be worn with a necktie under the shirt collar.


The world's oldest preserved garment, discovered by Flinders Petrie, is a "highly sophisticated" linen shirt from a First Dynasty Egyptian tomb at Tarkan, dated to c. 3000 BC: "the shoulders and sleeves have been finely pleated to give form-fitting trimness while allowing the wearer room to move. The small fringe formed during weaving along one edge of the cloth has been placed by the designer to decorate the neck opening and side seam."[1]

The shirt was an item of clothing that only men could wear as underwear, until the twentieth century.[2] Although the women's chemise was a closely related garment to the men's, it is the men's garment that became the modern shirt.[3] In the Middle Ages, it was a plain, undyed garment worn next to the skin and under regular garments. In medieval artworks, the shirt is only visible (uncovered) on humble characters, such as shepherds, prisoners, and penitents.[4] In the seventeenth century, men's shirts were allowed to show, with much the same erotic import as visible underwear today.[5] In the eighteenth century, instead of underpants, men "relied on the long tails of shirts ... to serve the function of drawers.[6] Eighteenth-century costume historian Joseph Strutt believed that men who did not wear shirts to bed were indecent.[7] Even as late as 1879, a visible shirt with nothing over it was considered improper.[2]

The shirt sometimes had frills at the neck or cuffs. In the sixteenth century, men's shirts often had embroidery, and sometimes frills or lace at the neck and cuffs and through the eighteenth-century long neck frills, or jabots, were fashionable.[8][9] Coloured shirts began to appear in the early nineteenth century, as can be seen in the paintings of George Caleb Bingham. They were considered casual wear, for lower-class workers only, until the twentieth century. For a gentleman, "to wear a sky-blue shirt was unthinkable in 1860, but had become standard by 1920 and, in 1980, constituted the most commonplace event."[10]

European and American women began wearing shirts in 1860, when the Garibaldi shirt, a red shirt as worn by the freedom fighters under Giuseppe Garibaldi, was popularized by Empress Eugénie of France.[11][12] At the end of the nineteenth century, the Century Dictionary described an ordinary shirt as "of cotton, with linen bosom, wristbands and cuffs prepared for stiffening with starch, the collar and wristbands being usually separate and adjustable".

The first documented appearance of the expression "To give the shirt off one's back", happened in 1771 as an idiom that indicates extreme desperation or generosity and is still in common usage. In 1827 Hannah Montague, a housewife in upstate New York, invents the detachable collar. Tired of constantly washing her husband's entire shirt when only the collar needed it, she cut off his collars and devised a way of attaching them to the neckband after washing. It wasn't until the 1930s that collar stays became popular, although these early accessories resembled tie clips more than the small collar stiffeners available today. They connected the collar points to the necktie, keeping them in place[13][better source needed]

Many terms are used to describe and differentiate types of shirts (and upper-body garments in general) and their construction. The smallest differences may have significance to a cultural or occupational group. Recently, (late twentieth century, into the twenty-first century) it has become common to use tops as a form of advertisement. Many of these distinctions apply to other upper-body garments, such as coats and sweaters.

There are two main categories of fibres used: natural fibre and man-made fibre (synthetics or petroleum based). Some natural fibres are linen, the first used historically, hemp, cotton, the most used, ramie, wool, silk and more recently bamboo or soya. Some synthetic fibres are polyester, tencel, viscose, etc. Polyester mixed with cotton (poly-cotton) is often used. Fabrics for shirts are called shirtings. The four main weaves for shirtings are plain weave, oxford, twill and satin. Broadcloth, poplin and end-on-end are variations of the plain weave. After weaving, finishing can be applied to the fabric.

In addition, red shirts have been used to symbolize a variety of different political groups, including Garibaldi's Italian revolutionaries, nineteenth-century American street gangs, and socialist militias in Spain and Mexico during the 1930s.

Different colored shirts signified the major opposing sides that featured prominently in the 2008 Thai political crisis, with red having been worn by the supporters of the populist People's Power Party (PPP), and yellow being worn by the supporters of the royalist and anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movement the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). Each side is commonly referred to as the 'red shirts' and 'yellow shirts' respectively, though the later opponents of the later Thaksin supporting groups have largely ceased wearing yellow shirts to protest rallies.

The Archer Button Up is a loosely fitted button up shirt with slightly dropped shoulders and long sleeves. View A has a traditional box pleat at the back yoke and angled cuffs while View B has a gathered lower back detail and straight cuffs.

Suggested Fabrics: Light to medium weight woven fabrics ranging from silk charmeuse, crepe de chine, cotton shirting, poplin, chambray, sateen, lightweight to midweight denim, linen, linen blends, and flannel. Extra fabric may be needed to match plaids, stripes, or one-way design prints.

View A is cropped with a wide-faced hem, View B is a tunic length shirt inspired by classic men's oxfords, and View C is a stylish shirtdress with a high-low hem. All versions feature a subtly curved yoke, short dolman sleeves with arm cuffs, and a dramatically shaped hem.

I'm 79, and clearly in the minority with what I am going to say: I am used to pattern pieces more clearly marked with more notches. I have been confused with the directions...My Vogue pattern instructions are right side shaded (opposite Closet Core). Vogue instructions are clearly marked View A, View B rather than button placket, hidden placket, popover placket. I think that I will like the shirt, once I figure it all out. Just saying, you asked...

Next time, and there will be a next time, I will cut and sew before washing. There is enough stretch to allow of this. I used this to sew a button down shirt with collar. I can hardly bear to part with to when I need to wash it. In chilly No Cali, a wonderful snuggly shirt.

Charles Tyrwhitt shirts are world-famous for more than one reason: quality, perfect fit, and options. Choose from work shirts that dress you for meetings, tuxedo shirts for those special occasions, linen shirts for those easy days, and more. Order them your way; collar, cuff, size, fit, and style.

I purchased gift cards for your shirts for two new Dads that I know and they loved them! The process was simple and the shirt is a perfect way for Dads to bond with their newest love. I wish I had one when my girls were small.

My mother in law bought my husband and I gift cards for the shirts and it was such a great surprise! They are so cool and I love that I can use the shirt just as a nursing tank top even when she grows out of the pouch!

The Husband Shirt is an oversized white cotton button-up shirt with tuxedo-style studs. It features elongated cuffs, a classic stitched tuxedo pleat, and the signature MN logo embroidered on the back of the neck.

Carrying a plate carrier or backpack? The Striker XT Gen.2 Combat Shirt includes detachable UF PRO air/pac shoulder inserts to evenly distribute the weight (making it easier and more comfortable for you to lug around those heavy pieces of hardware). Each insert is 8mm thick, meaning extra air can readily flow through to help speed up drying if the shirt gets wet.

We're a few guys and a gal trying to make it big one shirt at a time. Do you play fighting games for the "gameplay"? Yes of course and so do we, physics are really important. Check out our gallery for your favorite "gameplay" inspired designs. We even threw in a dash of other 90s video games and anime filled with "plot" too.

Gather 'round, me warriors! Rocking you with Heavy Metal mashups on shirts! Usually for videogames but also the occasional non game character. Look inside for designs that are already classics, like our Ganon X Ghost, Final Fantasy X Black Sabbath, and K.K. Slider X Slayer tees. These really feel like they came right from the band merch table.

Add some nerdy-chic to your wardrobe with this snazzy button down short sleeve shirt, adorned in a pattern featuring the Mighty Nein's crest and signature weapons... Yes, books are very dangerous weapons.

Long term large critter. Was stoked to see the larger sizes available but was disappointed to see that the size I ordered was incredibly small. I would guess in the range to 3 sizes too small. It is a great looking shirt and well made; it just may be a very large (or small) disappointment when you order plus size.

Shirt Kong is a locally-owned screen printing and embroidery shop in St. Louis that specializes in custom screen printing and embroidery for all occasions in the Greater St. Louis Area. We understand that not all custom T-shirts are created equal, and it's our job to provide you with the best-feeling and greatest-looking apparel for your upcoming event. We excel in screen printing and embroidering T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, tank tops, polos, hats, you name it! Visit our website at or give Shirt Kong a call today at 636-926-7777 for a free screen printing quote! 041b061a72


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