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A sleeveless shirt is a shirt manufactured without sleeves, or one whose sleeves have been cut off. Sleeveless shirts are worn by either sex, depending on the style. They are often used as undershirts, are often worn by athletes in sports such as track and field and triathlon, and are regarded as acceptable public casual dress in most warm weather locales.
Types of sleeveless shirts
The term "A-shirt" is short for "athletic shirt" because it is often worn in sports, such as basketball and track-and-field events. In the United States and Canada, it is also known colloquially as a tank top or by its pejorative nicknames, wife-beater (sometimes beater) or guinea tee (which come from the cultural stereotype where they are considered an underwear-only type of clothing and wearing one in public is alleged to connote low social class; guinea is an ethnic slur for an Italian). In the UK an A-shirt, especially when used as an undershirt, is known as a vest (compare the American usage of "vest"). Another term, used in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Nigeria, New Zealand, and parts of Hawaii is singlet. In the Philippines, when used as an undershirt it is called a sando. In India it is known as a banian, and is used extensively to absorb sweat and prevent its penetration to outer layers of clothing.
In addition to athletic usage, A-shirts have traditionally been used as undershirts, especially with suits and dress shirts. They are sometimes worn alone without a dress shirt or top shirt during very warm and or humid weather, mainly in North America where the climate is warmer and more humid in the summer. A-shirts are often worn alone under very casual settings, as lounge wear, and or while completing yard work or other chores around the home.
The build of an A-shirt is simple: the neck and armholes are often reinforced for durability. One usually has large armholes and neck holes and a neckline that can reach down as far as the bottom of the chest. They are also sometimes made long to make tucking into a pair of jeans/shorts easier. In almost all cases, they are buttonless, collarless, and pocketless. An A-shirt worn as an undershirt is designed for a tight fit and is often made of ribbed cotton.
A tank top consists of a sleeveless shirt with low neck and different shoulder straps width. It is named after tank suits, one-piece bathing costumes of the 1920s worn in tanks or swimming pools. The upper garment is worn either by men or women, having a greater variety of models available for women. In men it is usually used as underwear.
A camisole, also called just cami, is a sleeveless shirt for women, normally extending to the waist. They often have spaghetti straps. Originally worn as an undershirt, like the A-shirt they have become increasingly used as warm-weather outerwear. The camisole is usually made of satin, nylon, or cotton.
A halter top is a sleeveless shirt in which a strap goes around the back of the neck, leaving the upper back uncovered. Halter tops are worn mainly by girls and women.
A sleeveless T-shirt, also called a muscle shirt, is the same design as a T-shirt, but without sleeves. They are primarily worn by men since the large open sleeve holes would expose the female breast under certain circumstances. They are often worn during athletic activities or as casual wear during warmer weather. They are colloquially known as shooter shirts in the southern United States. They were quite popular in the 1980s and were stereotypically associated with surfers and bodybuilders (hence the name "muscle" shirt) who often bore the logo of their gyms on these shirts. Muscle shirts/shooter shirts without logos are now more commonly worn as casual wear.
A tube top is a shirt with no sleeves or shoulders, and is, basically, a tube that wraps around a woman's torso. In Great Britain, it is called a "boob tube" (not to be confused with the identical American slang for television set).
Tye dyed sleeveless shirt.
Various styles of halterneck attire.
Andrea Petkovic wearing a sleeveless shirt.
- "Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press". Retrieved 2008-06-19.
- "Tank Top." Thefreedictionary.com. The Free Dictionary, n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2013. <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tank+top>.