How do we decide whether to call a shirt a ワイシャツ or 背広 ? What's the difference in nuance between the two terms?

Side question: EDICT claims that a ホワイトシャツ is a white business shirt but even if it's a gray or black (or what-have-you) colored business shirt, we can still call it a ホワイトシャツ or ワイシャツ right?

  • These terms are not synonymous, as any dictionary would tell you.
    – Amanda S
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


I think you're confused here. 背広 is a suit, not a shirt. As to the second question, ワイシャツ is the generic name for a dress shirt, button-down shirt, oxford shirt, etc. Color doesn't enter into it. Also, ホワイトシャツ is archaic now.

  • @@rdb ok thx =D
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 5:49

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