What is a blouse?

I’m not playing idiot at all when I tell you that I have no idea what a blouse is.

I hear people refer to women’s shirts as blouses all the time, and, admittedly, it’s getting less and less the farther we move from 1976, but the word still comes up, and it seems to refer to all different kinds of shirts for women.

I put my feelers out on twitter (why does that sound a little creepy?) to see what people have to say about the topic.

Help me twitter: is there a difference between a shirt and a blouse?

I was quite surprised by the responses.

Here are some:

  • Yes…a man can only wear a shirt. A woman can wear either a shirt or blouse. A blouse is nicer than a shirt.
  • A blouse is loose & flowey.
  • A blouse is looser and more feminine in design. It’s also usually made of a silky or polyester fabric; a shirt is probably cotton.
  • If you use the word “blouse” you’re probably chilling my mom in 1984.
  • For women, a shirt is more casual. Blouse is for work. Like a dress shirt for men.
  • yeah, if you’re a chick.
  • All blouses are shirts. Not all shirts are blouses.
  • It depends on the style and material. Generally men wear shirts and women wear blouses if dressy.
  • Blouse is usually used for women’s tops, but it can be used for men as well. I think the difference is the fit.
  • A blouse is any womens shirt that bottoms from top to bottom.
  • I thought any woman’s shirt was a blouse. Especially if she is 70. Except t-shirts.

And these responses came in from men and women.

So there’s apparently a huge confusion over when a woman’s shirt becomes a blouse.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and for the discussion to continue, but I don’t think we’re going to come to a true consensus here.

(Not that I care or anything, but I enjoy debates over words that mean nothing to me.)


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