13 Types Of Shirts For Men You Need

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There’s a wide variety of shirt styles for men, and sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the terminology. While dress shirts, polo shirts, and T-shirts are widely recognized, can you name the other ten types? Let’s explore all the types of shirts for men.

What Are The Different Types Of Shirts For Men?

The 13 different types of shirts for men include dress shirts, casual shirts, flannel shirts, denim shirts, mandarin collar shirts, Hawaiian shirts, henley shirts, overshirts, polo shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, undershirts, and sleeveless shirts.

Types Of Shirts For Men

In this article, you’ll not only learn what differentiates each shirt style but also the dress codes they fit into and the types of garments to pair with them. I always aim to combine learning with practical advice.

Dress Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Dress Shirt

A dress shirt is a staple in every man’s wardrobe (we all have at least one or two pairs right?), designed with a formal aesthetic that typically features a stiff collar, long sleeves with cuffs, and buttons down the front. Dress shirts come in various fits, including slim, regular, and tailored, to ensure a sharp, polished look.

Dress shirts are your go-to for formal occasions – think business meetings, weddings, and upscale events. They fit into dress codes like business formal, business casual, and even black-tie optional, depending on how you style them. You can pair a white dress shirt with a dark suit and tie for a corporate setting, or go for a colored or patterned one to add some personality to a semi-formal event.

When it comes to styling a dress shirt, the key is to balance formality and comfort. I like to pair it with a well-fitted suit, a coordinating tie, and dress shoes for a classic look. For a business casual outfit, opt for chinos or dress pants and skip the tie. Accessories like cufflinks and a stylish watch can elevate the ensemble. Ensure the shirt is properly ironed and tucked in for a crisp, clean appearance.

Casual Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Casual Shirt

A casual shirt offers a relaxed, versatile alternative to dress shirts, characterized by a softer collar, varied sleeve lengths, and an array of patterns and fabrics. These shirts can feature button-down or spread collars and are often crafted from materials like cotton, linen, or flannel.

Casual shirts are perfect for informal settings such as weekend outings, casual Fridays at work, or social gatherings with friends. They fit well within dress codes that are smart casual or purely casual, but also for casual business meetings. Whether you’re heading to a summer barbecue, a beachside lunch, or a casual dinner date, a casual shirt can be your go-to piece.

I usually style a casual shirt with jeans or chinos for an effortlessly cool look. For a summer-ready outfit, choose a short-sleeved casual shirt with shorts and loafers. Layering is also key; throw on a lightweight jacket or cardigan over a long-sleeved casual shirt for cooler weather. Footwear can range from sneakers to boat shoes, depending on the occasion and your personal style.

Flannel Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Flannel Shirt

A flannel shirt is the epitome of rugged comfort, crafted from soft, brushed cotton or wool that provides warmth and coziness. Known for its distinctive plaid patterns and earthy color palette, flannel shirts feature a relaxed fit and can come with either button-down or spread collars. Some designs include chest pockets with button closures, adding a functional and stylish element.

Flannel shirts are perfect for casual, outdoor-oriented occasions such as hiking trips, camping, or casual gatherings during the fall and winter. They fit seamlessly into dress codes that prioritize comfort and functionality, like smart casual and casual (in rare exceptions some business casual gatherings).

Not that flannel shirts are my favorite garment, but I would pair them with dark jeans or rugged chinos for a timeless, outdoorsy look. Layer it over a plain T-shirt if you like that casual style vibe. For footwear, opt for sturdy boots or sneakers that complement the shirt’s casual vibe. Accessories like a beanie or a scarf can enhance the ensemble, making it perfect for colder weather.

Denim Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Denim Shirt

A denim shirt combines the durability of denim with a stylish, casual aesthetic. Typically made from cotton denim fabric, these shirts can range from light to heavy weights and feature details such as snap buttons, chest pockets, and Western-style yokes. The rugged texture and various washes of denim shirts make them a popular choice (I love a denim shirt) for adding a touch of edge to any outfit.

Denim shirts are perfect for casual occasions and work great as an extra layer during those in-between seasons. Denim shirts belong to dress codes that allow for personal expression and a relaxed look, making them a great choice for casual dinners, concerts, and informal gatherings.

When styling a denim shirt, you can either double down on denim by pairing it with jeans (which I am a big fan of) or mix it up with chinos or khaki pants for contrast. Layering options include wearing it over a T-shirt or under a sweater or jacket. For footwear, consider sneakers, boots, or loafers, depending on the overall vibe you’re aiming for.

Mandarin Collar Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Mandarin Collar Shirt

A mandarin collar shirt, also known as a band collar shirt, features a short, stand-up collar that gives it a distinct and minimalist look. This style is often associated with Asian-inspired fashion and offers a modern, sophisticated alternative to traditional collar designs.

Mandarin collar shirts are versatile enough to be worn for both casual and formal occasions, depending on their fabric and design. This shirt style can be a refreshing choice for dress codes that allow for a touch of individuality and contemporary flair, such as creative business environments or semi-formal gatherings.

To style a mandarin collar shirt, pair it with slim-fit trousers or tailored chinos for a sleek, modern look. For a more casual outfit, wear it with jeans or shorts. Footwear can range from loafers and brogues to casual sneakers, depending on the occasion and the overall style you’re aiming for.

Hawaiian Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Hawaiian Shirt

A Hawaiian shirt, also known as an Aloha shirt, is renowned for its vibrant, tropical prints and relaxed fit. These shirts are typically made from lightweight fabrics and feature bold patterns such as floral, island motifs, and colorful landscapes. The design usually includes a camp collar, short sleeves, and a button-down front, making it perfect for warm-weather wear.

Hawaiian shirts are ideal for casual, fun-filled occasions such as beach parties, summer barbecues, and vacation outings. I have to admit, I own two of them and love wearing them on beach days. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, attending a luau, or simply embracing the summer spirit, a Hawaiian shirt brings a touch of the tropics to your outfit.

To style a Hawaiian shirt, keep the rest of your outfit simple to let the shirt be the focal point. Pair it with solid-colored shorts or lightweight chinos and finish the look with flip-flops or espadrilles for a laid-back vibe. For a more polished summer look, tuck the shirt into tailored shorts and add boat shoes or loafers. Accessories like sunglasses and a straw hat can enhance the tropical feel.

Henley Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Henley Shirt

A Henley shirt is characterized by its collarless design and a placket with a few buttons at the neckline. This style combines elements of T-shirts and polo shirts, offering a comfortable yet slightly refined look. Typically made from soft, breathable materials like cotton or blends.

Henley shirts are perfect for casual and smart casual occasions, making them a great choice for weekend wear or leisurely outings. Whether you’re heading to a brunch, a casual date, or simply running errands, a Henley shirt provides effortless style.

When styling a Henley shirt, pair it with jeans or chinos for a classic, laid-back look. For cooler weather, layer it under a cardigan, jacket, or even a blazer for added warmth and sophistication. Footwear options include sneakers, boots, or loafers, depending on the occasion. Accessories like a casual watch or a beanie can further enhance the outfit’s relaxed yet stylish appeal.


Types Of Shirts For Men - Overshirt

An overshirt is a hybrid garment that combines the elements of a shirt and a jacket, offering a versatile layering option. Typically made from heavier fabrics like wool, flannel, or denim, overshirts feature button or zip closures, chest pockets, and a relaxed fit. They are designed to be worn over other clothing, providing extra warmth and a stylish, rugged look.

Overshirts are perfect for casual and smart casual occasions, especially during transitional seasons like spring and fall. They are suitable for dress codes that prioritize comfort and layering, making them ideal for weekend outings, casual office days, or outdoor activities.

To style an overshirt, wear it over a T-shirt, Henley shirt, or lightweight sweater for a casual, layered look. Pair it with jeans, chinos, or cargo pants, depending on the level of ruggedness you want to achieve. Footwear can include boots, sneakers, or loafers, based on the occasion. Accessories like a beanie, scarf, or casual watch can complement the overshirt, adding to its utilitarian appeal.

Polo Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Polo Shirt

A polo shirt is a timeless staple in men’s fashion and the garment I wear the most, known for its comfortable yet polished look. Characterized by a soft collar, a two or three button placket, and usually short sleeves, polo shirts are typically made from breathable fabrics like cotton piqué or jersey.

Polo shirts are perfect for smart casual and business casual occasions, making them suitable for a variety of settings such as casual Fridays at work, weekend brunches, or even a round of golf. They strike a balance between smart casual and informal, fitting dress codes that require a neat appearance without the need for a full dress shirt.

To style a polo shirt, pair it with chinos or tailored shorts for a clean, sophisticated look. For a more casual approach, wear it with well-fitted jeans or casual trousers. Footwear can range from loafers and boat shoes to clean sneakers, depending on the occasion. Layering a lightweight sweater or jacket over the polo can add depth to the outfit, making it suitable for cooler weather or more polished settings.


Types Of Shirts For Men - T-Shirt

A T-shirt is a foundational garment in every man’s wardrobe, known for its simplicity and comfort. Typically made from cotton or cotton blends, T-shirts come in various fits, from slim to relaxed, and feature different necklines such as crew neck, V-neck, and scoop neck.

T-shirts are suitable for a wide range of casual occasions whether you’re heading to a picnic, a casual dinner, or just running daily errands. A T-shirt provides an easy and effortless style choice.

When styling a T-shirt, the options are virtually endless. Pair it with jeans or shorts for a classic, casual look. Layering is key; throw on a denim jacket, bomber jacket, or cardigan for added style and warmth. Footwear can include anything from sneakers and sandals to loafers, depending on the overall look you’re aiming for.


Types Of Shirts For Men - Sweatshirt

A sweatshirt is a cozy and versatile garment that combines comfort and casual style. Made from soft, thick fabrics like cotton fleece, sweatshirts often feature ribbed cuffs and hems and may come with or without hoods (the latter known as hoodies). Sweatshirts can be plain or adorned with logos, graphics, or embroidery, making them a popular choice for casual wear.

Sweatshirts are ideal for casual and athleisure occasions, such as lounging at home, running errands, or casual meetups. Sweatshirts are also perfect for outdoor activities in cooler weather, providing warmth and ease of movement.

To style a sweatshirt, pair it with jeans or joggers for a laid-back, comfortable look. For a more refined casual outfit, layer it over a collared shirt and wear it with chinos. Footwear options include sneakers, boots, or slip-ons, depending on the occasion. Accessories like a beanie or a cap can enhance the outfit, adding to the relaxed, effortless vibe.


Types Of Shirts For Men - Undershirt

An undershirt is a basic yet essential piece of clothing, typically form-fitting and designed to be worn close to the body. It can be worn as everyday wear under shirts, as layering for warmth, or for sports activities if you wear an athletic undershirt. It comes in various styles, including tank tops, crew necks, and V-necks.

I am going to focus more on the nonathletic undershirts since they fit seamlessly into dress codes ranging from casual to formal, as they are usually hidden under other clothing (but I always think about them as casual). Undershirts are particularly useful in professional settings, under dress shirts, to prevent sweat marks and maintain a polished look.

When choosing an undershirt, consider the neckline based on the outer garment you plan to wear. For example, a V-neck undershirt is ideal under a dress shirt with an open collar, while a crew neck works well under T-shirts or sweaters. Ensure the undershirt fits snugly to avoid bunching or visible lines. In terms of color, white is the most traditional choice, but nude or gray undershirts can be less visible under lighter clothing.

Sleeveless Shirt

Types Of Shirts For Men - Sleeveless Shirt

A sleeveless shirt, often referred to as a tank top or muscle shirt, is a garment that offers maximum freedom of movement and breathability. Made from lightweight, breathable materials such as cotton, polyester, or blends, sleeveless shirts come in various styles, including athletic cuts, relaxed fits, and fashion-forward designs.

Sleeveless shirts are ideal for casual and athletic occasions, such as workouts, sports activities, beach outings, or hot summer days. Whether you’re hitting the gym, playing a sport, or enjoying a sunny day outdoors, a sleeveless shirt provides comfort and style.

To style a sleeveless shirt, pair it with athletic shorts or joggers for a sporty look. Footwear can range from sneakers and sandals to flip-flops, depending on the activity. Layering options include wearing a sleeveless shirt under a lightweight jacket or hoodie for added warmth and style. Accessories like a cap or sporty watch can complete the look.

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