Shirts & Blouses

Timeless, stylish and durable, shirts and blouses are a staple within the workplace. Designed for comfort and uniformity whilst giving a more formal air, work shirts and blouses are a great selection for use in a range of workplaces. Here at Cromwell, we have a wide range of men's and women's shirts and blouses from our trusted own brand Kennedy® as well as leading brands such as Mascot®, Kustom Kit® and Double Two©.

What are shirts and blouses?

Shirts and blouses are often used interchangeably as terms and refer to - generally - the same item of clothing although a blouse has become a gendered term, usually referring to a shirt designed for women that are less boxy in shape and design and often gathers slightly at the waist to create a different silhouette than a shirt. Blouses also do not always have a completely full button opening and can sometimes have no buttons at all and be put on over the head. However, shirts will always have a full button down opening and some form of collar, whether it be a full collar or what is known as a 'grandad collar'. Both items are available in a range of colours, sizes and with a variety of sleeve lengths.

When are shirts and blouses used?

Shirts and blouses are a staple item of clothing to wear around the workplace. Functional, able to be dressed up for a more formal look or dressed down for a more casual look and timeless, work shirts can be purchased in a host of colours, sizes and styles to ensure that personnel across your workplace are comfortable and have a uniformity whilst also being allowed to stand out depending on your workplace's dress code and guidelines.

Considerations when choosing shirts and blouses

Size - It's important to select the right size when choosing a shirt. If it is to be part of your everyday workwear, it's important that you are comfortable wearing the work shirt for extended periods of time and aren't restricted in your movements. If the shirt is too loose, it runs the risk of being caught in machinery; if it's too tight then it can restrict your movements and hinder your manoeuvrability.

Gender - Although most shirts are of course, Unisex, some blouses and shirts are designed specifically for a woman's silhouette. These generally feature gathering or a dart so that the shirt is more fitted around the waist or hips. Its best to check the gender that the shirt manufacturer states the shirt is intended for to ensure you find the product that makes you most comfortable when wearing.

Material - Shirts and blouses are generally manufactured from a breathable, comfortable and washable fabric such as Cotton or Polyester, or a blend of the two. They have similar properties, but Polyesters does not absorb moisture like Cotton does and is generally stronger and possesses better stretchability. Cotton is also a natural fibre, whereas Polyester is synthetic.

Sleeve length - Depending on the weather conditions, your own personal preference or the guidelines of your workplace, a long or short sleeve shirt or blouse may be preferable.

Shirts and blouses jargon buster

We want to make it easy for you to shop our range of shirts and blouses, so here are some key terms that will help you understand the range and applications a little better.

What does an Oxford shirt mean?

Traditionally, an Oxford shirt is manufactured from a particular type of fabric called Oxford cloth that features a basket weave construction that is hardier than other forms of fabric. They also feature button down collars, which aren't always a feature of regular shirts. They are also often referred to as an OCBD (Oxford Cloth Button Down) for short.


What is a grandad collar?

A grandad collar is the name given to a small, thin collar that doesn't have a fold over like a standard full collar. Instead, it is a strip of fabric at the top of the shirt, like the neckline on a T-shirt. They are a good alternative for those who feel uncomfortable in a collared shirt, but are still looking for a more formal finish.