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Common Pirate Shirt Styles

Pirates are a perennial favorite for Halloween costumes and stage costumes alike. Once you have decided you are going to play a pirate, the next conundrum is deciding what kind of pirate you want to play. Pirate shirt styles fall into three basic categories: rugged, elegant and sexy. Read on to find out which pirate shirt suits your planned pirate ensemble.

The rugged pirate

The rugged pirate shirt is easily the simplest style. This shirt is either a plain pirate staple such as black, red, brown or white or is horizontally striped. The rugged style shirt has frayed sleeves and a frayed collar. The sleeves are either t-shirt length or three-quarter length and often feature a jagged triangular design. This shirt is worn both tucked in or hanging out and is sometimes dressed up with a wide belt or sash. Smee from the popular Peter Pan cartoon is a classic example of a rugged pirate.

The elegant pirate

Old fashioned pirates are often glamorized as evidenced by the popular elegant pirate shirt style. These shirts are always made out of crisp white cotton or linen. This shirt is further embellished with ruffled necklines and full-length sleeves. A vest or jacket is usually worn over this shirt but is tailored to show the characteristic ruffles. This shirt is most often favored by pirate captains like Jack Sparrow or Captain Hook.

The sexy pirate

The sexy pirate is hardly historically accurate, and yet when most women dress up as pirates this is the shirt style toward which they gravitate. The sexy pirate falls somewhere between the rugged and elegant pirate shirt types. These shirts are fitted to flatter. A good example of this hybrid is a muscle shirt that sports the horizontal stripes and frayed sleeves of a rugged shirt, or an elegant ruffled pirate shirt that is cut low to reveal cleavage on a lady pirate or a well-defined chest on a male pirate.

Pirate shirts range from waist to hip length with sleeves ranging from t-shirt to three-quarter to full-length style. The style of each pirate shirt depends on its color, quality and fit as well as its intended purpose.

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