- ave no covering of the shoulders or arms — a tube top (not reaching higher than the armpits, staying in place by elasticity)
- have only shoulder straps, such as spaghetti straps
- cover the shoulders, but without sleeves
- have shoulderless sleeves, short or long, with or without shoulder straps, that expose the shoulders, but cover the rest of the arm from the biceps and triceps down to at least the elbow
- have short sleeves, varying from cap sleeves (covering only the shoulder and not extending below the armpit) to half sleeves (elbow length), with some having quarter-length sleeves (reaching to a point that covers half of the biceps and triceps area)
- have three-quarter-length sleeves (reaching to a point between the elbow and the wrist)
- have long sleeves (reaching a point to the wrist to a little beyond wrist)
Main article: cuffShirts with long sleeves may further be distinguished by the cuffs:
- no buttons — a closed placket cuff
- buttons (or analogous fasteners such as snaps) — single or multiple. A single button or pair aligned parallel with the cuff hem is considered a button cuff. Multiple buttons aligned perpendicular to the cuff hem, or parallel to the placket constitute a barrel cuff.
- buttonholes designed for cufflinks
- asymmetrical designs, such as one-shoulder, one-sleeve or with sleeves of different lengths.
- hanging to the waist
- leaving the belly button area bare (much more common for women than for men). See halfshirt.
- covering the crotch
- covering part of the legs (essentially this is a dress; however, a piece of clothing is perceived either as a shirt (worn with trousers) or as a dress (in Western culture mainly worn by women)).
- going to the floor (as a pajama shirt)
- vertical opening on the front side, all the way down, with buttons or zipper. When fastened with buttons, this opening is often called the placket front.
- similar opening, but in back.
- left and right front side not separable, put on over the head; with regard to upper front side opening:
- V-shaped permanent opening on the top of the front side
- no opening at the upper front side
- vertical opening on the upper front side with buttons or zipper
- men's shirts are often buttoned on the right whereas women's are often buttoned on the left.