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Sleeveless shirt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kartik Aaryan, an Indian actor, modelling with a sleeveless shirt.
Sleeveless shirt in a clothes shop

A sleeveless shirt is a shirt that is manufactured without sleeves or with sleeves that have been cut off. Depending on the style, they can be worn as undershirts, by athletes in sports such as track and field and triathlon, or as casual wear by both men and women.

Tank top[edit]

A man wearing an A-shirt

In the United States and Canada, any casual sleeveless shirt can be called tank top[1] or tank shirt,[2] with several specific varieties. It is named after tank suits, one-piece bathing suits of the 1920s worn in tanks or swimming pools.[3] The upper garment is worn commonly by both men and women. The build of a tank top is simple: the neck and armholes are often reinforced for durability. They often have large armholes and neck holes, which may reach down as far as the bottom of the chest; particularly low armholes are referred to as "dropped armholes." Women's tank tops have smaller holes, to conceal their breasts. They are also sometimes made long to make tucking into pants easier. In almost all cases, they are buttonless, collarless, and pocketless.

A sleeveless T-shirt, also called a muscle shirt, is the same design as a T-shirt, but without sleeves.[4] Some sleeveless T-shirts, which possess smaller, narrower arm holes, are traditionally worn by both women and men. 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 commonly associated with surfers and bodybuilders (hence the name "muscle" shirt) and often bore the names and logos of gyms.[citation needed] Such shirts without logos are now more commonly worn as casual wear.

The tank top designed for a tight fit and often made of ribbed cotton is also colloquially called an A-shirt. Other slang terms include wifebeater, beater, guinea tee or dago tee (guinea and dago being American ethnic slurs for people of Italian ethnicity).

The term wife-beater reportedly became synonymous for an undershirt after a 1947 criminal case where a Detroit man was arrested for beating his wife to death, and newspapers printed a photo of the "wife beater" wearing a stained undershirt.[5][6][7] Another claim was spread by Paul Davidson, a filmmaker, in a blog post where he claimed that the term had evolved from a medieval chain mail undergarment called a "waif-beater", and this was picked up as fact by other outlets.[8] Davidson openly admitted in 2018 that the "waif-beater" story was a hoax, created to trick people who believed unquestioningly anything they read on the Internet.[8]

In the UK, especially when used as an undershirt, it is known as a vest (compare the American usage of vest).[9] It is called a singlet in Australia and New Zealand, and a banian or banyan in the Indian subcontinent. In the Philippines, a sleeveless undershirt is called a sando.

In addition to athletic usage, tank tops 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. Tank tops are often worn alone under very casual settings, as lounge wear, and/or while completing yard work or other chores around the home.


A teen girl wearing a camisole as outerwear.

A camisole, also abbreviated to simply cami, is a sleeveless shirt worn traditionally by women, normally extending to the waist. Camisoles often have spaghetti straps. Originally worn as an undershirt, like the A-shirt, they have become increasingly used as outerwear. The camisole is usually made of satin, nylon, or cotton. Historically, camisole referred to jackets of various kinds,[10] including overshirts (worn under a doublet or bodice),[11] women's négligées, and sleeved jackets worn by men.[12] In modern usage, a camisole or cami is a loose-fitting[13][14][15] sleeveless undershirt which covers the top part of the body but is shorter than a chemise. A camisole normally extends to the waist but is sometimes cropped to expose the midriff, or extended to cover the entire pelvic region. Camisoles are manufactured from light materials,[16] commonly cotton-based, occasionally satin or silk, or stretch fabrics such as lycra, nylon, or spandex.


A dudou (Chinese: 肚兜; lit. 'belly cover'), known as a yếm in Vietnamese contexts, is an item of East Asian and Southeast Asian clothing resembling a silk apron or bib but traditionally used as an undershirt or bodice to flatten the figure and, medicinally, to preserve stomach qi. Beginning around the year 2000, Western and Chinese fashion has also begun incorporating them as a sleeveless and backless shirt for women.

Halter top[edit]

Examples of halterneck styles

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.

Tube top[edit]

A tube top is a shirt with no sleeves or shoulders, essentially a tube that wraps around the wearer's torso. Some versions cover most of the torso while others leave a large midriff. In British and Australian English, they are informally known as boob tubes.[17]


  1. ^ "Tank Top". Cambridge Dictionary. 5 June 2023. Archived from the original on Jun 3, 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Trägershirt". Beolingus. 6 June 2023. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  3. ^ "definition of tank top by The Free Dictionary". Farlex. Archived from the original on June 6, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  4. ^ "muscle shirt". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 6 June 2023. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  5. ^ "The 'Wife Beater' Is More Than Just a Tank Top". MEL Magazine. May 22, 2018. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  6. ^ "Why Do We Call It A "Wife Beater" Shirt?". Dictionary.com. January 16, 2018. Archived from the original on May 18, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Velasquez-Manoff, Moises (May 25, 2018). "Opinion | Are We Really Still Calling This Shirt a 'Wife Beater'?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Zimmer, Ben (2 August 2018). "That Meme You're Sharing Is Probably Bogus". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 26 April 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Cambridge Dictionaries Online – Cambridge University Press". Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
  10. ^ Little, William G.; Coulson, Jessie Senior; Fowler, H.W. (1975). Onions, C.T. (ed.). The shorter Oxford English dictionary on historical principles. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 272. ISBN 0-19-861126-9. 1816.... 1. Formerly applied to jackets of various kinds. 2. A woman's underbodice 1894.
  11. ^ Timothy J. Kent (2001). Ft. Pontchartrain at Detroit: A Guide to the Daily Lives of Fur Trade and Military Personnel, Settlers, and Missionaries at French Posts. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 553. ISBN 978-0-9657230-2-2. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  12. ^ "camisole definition: Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)". Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Random House. 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 1. a short garment worn underneath a sheer bodice to conceal the underwear. 2. a woman's negligee jacket. 3. a sleeved jacket or jersey once worn by men. 4. a straitjacket with long sleeves.
  13. ^ "AskOxford: camisole". Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved 2009-01-15. a woman's loose-fitting undershirt for the upper body. — ORIGIN French, from Latin camisia 'shirt or nightgown'.
  14. ^ "hawaiian shirt". koolteee.com. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  15. ^ Scott, Lucretia M. (1987-09-22). "Camisole underwire bra garment description - US Patent 4798557". Archived from the original on 2009-04-03. Retrieved 2009-01-15. Up until the present time when a woman wished to wear a camisole due to its loose fitting nature and she still required support for her breasts, she was required to wear a bra underneath her camisole to achieve the desired results.
  16. ^ Thatcher, Virginia S., ed. (1970). The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of The English Language. McQueen, Alexander. Chicago: Consolidated Book Publishers. p. 116. ISBN 0-8326-0021-0. A short light garment worn by ladies when dressed in negligee;strait jacket for lunatics or criminals condemned to the guillotine.
  17. ^ "Define Boob tube at Dictionary.com". Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.