What is a shrug? (& the Different types of Shrugs)

Updated on:

A shrug is an outer garment covering the shoulder, back and top of the arms, and with a center front opening; It falls open in the center front revealing the clothes inside. The shrug is usually made from lightweight and breathable fabrics such as chiffon, knit, or sheer materials. Shrugs can come in various styles, including open-front, buttoned, or tied versions.

It is usually without any fastener, but sometimes it may have a single tie with strings on one point, usually at the top. 

A shrug is a beautiful way to add interest to an ensemble. Sleeveless clothes can be changed into a sleeved version by the addition of a shrug. If made with a winter ready fabric a shrug can give you enough warmth. With its relaxed silhouette, it is a favourite for casual chic and bohemian fashion styles. 

Usually lightweight fabrics are used for a shrug but hand knitted/crocheted shrugs are also popular.

Short shrugs /Cropped shrugs

These are waist length shrugs. They particularly suit a pear shaped body shape as it can balance out a bottom heavy body shape.

As I am short, I always stay away from a short shrug as it can cut the body and make me seem shorter. But I have read that, you can pair a short shrug with a high waisted pants in the same color to bring an illusion of length. A short shrug tied at the smallest part of the body (the waist) can also give your figure curves – best to bring the look of an hourglass shape to a rectangular bodyshape. 

Long shrugs

a long shrug

Long shrugs typically extend beyond the waist length and sometimes even reaches the thighs or even the ankles. A long shrug is a favourite winter clothing – just layer it over your other winter clothes and you have adequate covering and protection from cold.

Long shrugs can elongate your body. They are also clever layering aids – the best accesory for a bohemian style of clothing. 

Cocoon Shrug

what is a shrug

Cocoon shrug is a type of shrug which is made of just one piece of fabric. A Cocoon shrug is made from a rectangular piece of fabric joined at the edges to make holes for sleeves. It can be a short one as in the picture above or a long one extending to the knees. It is a favourite piece of clothing for a casual, bohemian, or cozy-chic look.

Sweater Shrug

A Sweater shrug is a waist/hip length shrug made of sweater knit fabric.

Front tie shrug

A front tying shrug is typically made of a very light weight fabric. As it ties at the waist, it can make your waist look smaller. 

Check out the Shrug stitching pattern for a front tying chiffon shrug. 

chiffon front tie shrug sewing tutorial

You can make shrugs from a rectangular piece of fabric, it is that easy.

A shrug can be cut as one piece – front, back and sleeves can be one piece ; or as seperate as any other garment.

What fabrics are commonly used for shrugs?

Most commonly used fabrics are knits, chiffon, lace, and satin. Among knits jersey knits make very casual shrugs. Interlock twist jersey is a medium weight better quality jersey knit – soft and comfortable. Cotton / Modal Knits can make very soft and comfortable shrugs. Fancy knits like Shredded Knit, light and stretchy sweater knits can be used to make shrugs. If you like wool, choose an open weave wool like Wool gauze for your shrug.

Related posts : How to sew a blanket coat; How to sew a shrug from scarves; How to make a bolero ; What is a bolero; Different types of vests ; Clothing types and names

Did you like this post?

Click on the stars to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. 0

Subscribe to get weekly notifications of posts in your email

Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
Your opinion is important here. Leave a comment