European and American women began wearing shirts in 1860, when the Garibaldi shirt, a red shirt as worn by the freedom fighters, was popularised by Empress Eugenie of France. Today, shirts come in a vast array of styles and shapes which have evolved through history. Below we have untangled the most common types of shirts and blouses found within women’s designer shirting.
A camp shirt is a short-sleeved, casual buttoned shirt with a loose fit and a “camp collar”.
A dress shirt is, as the name suggests, a more formal shirt with a slightly stiff collar, long sleeves and a button down fastening.
With aristocratic and romantic undertones, the poet shirt is a loose-fitting shirt or blouse with full bishop sleeves, and normally features a ruffle design by the collar.
With a world-spanning, ancient history, the tunic is a simple shirt made with a two-piece construction. The style is a recurring women’s Summer staple.
Also called a “tailored waist”, the shirtwaist is an historical women’s tailored shirt.
Stripped off men’s shirts’ formal detailing (eg. cuffs, defined collars, pockets) or not, the shirt and blouse are very versatile garments that can be worn informally unbuttoned with tank tops or formally buttoned underneath sweaters and blazers, as effortlessly evidenced by countless style icons over the decades.
OfV says: The power of a good shirt should not be underestimated. Staples like the classic white, striped and gingham checked vintage shirt (think Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent) transition perfectly between the seasons; and statement vintage shirts or vintage blouses with novelty, retro-nodding or ethnic-inspired prints make up the ultimate go-to vintage shirts for leisured days. With the right styling, both smart and casual vintage shirts – be they oversized, slim fit or asymmetrical – co-function as office and leisure wear. Worn with smart trousers and a blazer between 9-5, simply roll up the sleeves and swap trousers with your favourite jeans for the weekend. At Open for Vintage, we have a special penchant for vintage statement shirts in luxurious materials, such as Versace’s bold 1980s printed vintage women’s shirts, Emilio Pucci’s psychedelic print vintage silk shirts, and embroidered vintage linen shirts by floral-heavy designers like Dries van Noten.
At Open for Vintage, we consider everyone as a collector with a desire to possess beautiful things with a story worth living on. Our curated edit of unique and contemporary vintage and pre-owned fashion pieces are hand-picked for their individuality, relevance, and of course, style appeal.