I've red some definitions of the word "blouse" and not all of them agree. From Wikipedia

A blouse is a loose-fitting upper garment that was formerly worn by workmen, peasants, artists, women and children.1 It is typically gathered at the waist (by a waistband or belt) so that it hangs loosely ("blouses"2) over the wearer's body.1 Today, the word most commonly refers to a woman's shirt[3] but can also refer to a man's shirt if it is a loose-fitting style (e.g. poet shirts and Cossack shirts).[4] Traditionally, the term has been used to refer to a shirt which blouses out or has an unmistakably feminine appearance.

From the Oxford dictionary

a woman’s upper garment resembling a shirt, typically with a collar, buttons, and sleeves. 1) loose linen or cotton garment formerly worn by peasants and manual workers, typically belted at the waist. 2) type of jacket worn as part of military uniform.

It appears to be technically correct to say a blouse can be a man's article of clothing, but is this accepted in common usage? For example would it be considered offensive (or feminine) to describe a loose t-shirt a man is wearing as a blouse? The following picture is of a man wearing a loose t-shirt but I don't think many would consider it a blouse:

http://supersklep.com/i127980-element-t-shirt-man-machine-sea (image upload not working)

  • 1
    Definately not a blouse. That's a t-shirt and nothing else. Unless you are speaking from a specific context in which it is usual to call the thing a man wears a blouse (and I don't know of any) don't ever call it a blouse if it's a piece of guys clothing.
    – Jim
    Oct 28, 2013 at 6:08
  • 1
    It is certainly used in French to mean a man's short jacked e.g. 'blouson d'aviateur'. Young men of the 1950s sub-culture in France, a bit like the British 'Teddy Boys', were known as 'les blousons noirs', from the black jackets they wore.
    – WS2
    Oct 28, 2013 at 6:24
  • 2
    A t-shirt is never a blouse, because the following is essential: "with a collar, buttons, and sleeves". Oct 28, 2013 at 12:08
  • @Cerberus the definition says "typically with" so not necessarily...
    – Celeritas
    Oct 28, 2013 at 15:32
  • Celeritas - That "typically with" is to allow for a blouse like this one, which is sleeveless and without buttons. But @Cerberus is exactly right when he points out that a t-shirt is never a blouse, because the "typically with" part is essential. A t-shirt is a t-shirt and not a blouse.
    – J.R.
    Oct 28, 2013 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


In the US, blouse is regularly used to refer to women's shirts. It is never used to refer to men's civilian clothing. It is sometimes used for men's military uniform shirts, but not T-shirts.

  • 1
    Blouse may also be used technically for some non-military uniforms as well. But probably only in the garment business, not among the people wearing them.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 28, 2013 at 13:06
  • @GEdgar - Spot on. I never donned a blouse for work – no matter what the lady at the dry cleaners wrote on the slip.
    – J.R.
    Oct 28, 2013 at 21:06
  • @J.R.: No matter what kind of flowers and pink patterns were on it...but, yeah, shops use the darnedest words. Oct 28, 2013 at 21:17
  • Not to mention the buttons being on the wrong side...
    – polarysekt
    Oct 5, 2014 at 8:17
  • @polarysekt Too bad for us left-handers.
    – bib
    Oct 5, 2014 at 14:05

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