There are two main styles of t-shirts available:
a) straight cut, often known as “men’s” or “unisex”
b) a fitted cut, also known as “women’s”.
Overall the women’s shirts are cut smaller, but have a fashion feminine fit. The women’s tees are true to size, but we suggest you order one size up if you need additional room. The unisex tees are sold in standard men’s sizes. Women will typically need to order one size down in these tees.
Men’s t-shirts (unisex)
Also known as unisex. The shape of men’s t-shirts is mainly straight up and down. The shoulder area has a sloping effect down from the collar and the sleeves also slope down but from an angle. The basic design of a men’s t-shirt is to provide a comfortable fit at the neck, over the shoulders and around the sleeves. As the cut is straight for the bulk of the t-shirt, it should hang down over the torso comfortably. As the average male torso lacks definition, there is no additional tailoring at the waist of a men’s t-shirt. Bodies come in all shapes and if a larger size is required, the shape remains the same – straight up and down only there is more fabric to accommodate a larger frame.
Women’s shirts (fitted cut)
Also known as fitted cut. Women’s t-shirts are tailored very differently than men’s mostly to accommodate the very different shape of the female body. The waist of women’s t-shirts is probably the biggest difference as it is designed to be much narrower than a men’s t-shirt. This is to provide a definition and a better fit to the natural female body shape. Essentially, the narrower waist also eliminates loose, bunching fabric at that location.
What are the key differences?
The Sleeves Are Different
The sleeves are also very different between the two gender designs. On women’s t-shirts they are much shorter – often referred to as cap sleeves – and are meant to be comfortable on the arms. Men’s sleeves are much longer and sometimes extend to near the elbow. Women’s t-shirt sleeves are almost non-existent, and the arm openings are located slightly differently than on men’s t-shirts. Plus, women’s t-shirts also feature a three-quarter length sleeve that is not typically an option for men. The idea is that the longer sleeve is a flattering feature as it displays the slimmer part of the arm and covers the larger part.
The Hips Are Different
Remember that we called the cut and shape on men’s t-shirts straight up and down? The same goes for the hips. The t-shirt, when properly fit, just hangs down from the chest and requires no additional changes to the design. For women’s t-shirts, this is not the case. Again, to flatter the natural female body shape, the hip area of a women’s t-shirt has a slight flaring. It eliminates a tight, possibly uncomfortable fit in the hip area and also creates an attractive visual.
The Chest Is Different
One more difference in women’s t-shirts, and this is more obvious in ‘fitted’ t-shirt designs, is addition space in the chest. Naturally, this is to be flattering to the female form. Typically there is a gentle flaring in the chest design of all women’s t-shirts but it becomes more obvious in larger sizes.