Named after their T-Shape Design, T-shirts are a common piece of clothing worn by millions of women, men, children, and even pets all around the world. They are a versatile piece of clothing, generally inexpensive, and easy to clean. From undergarments to high fashion pieces, the T-shirt is popular and here to stay.
A Piece of History
The T-shirt was first seen in the 19th Century when it evolved from a one-piece undergarment known as the “union suit” and was cut into two separate parts. The top part was long enough to tuck into the bottom part and was eventually worn my miners as an effective way to keep cooler in hot places. It could be worn with or without buttons.
The U.S. Navy made the slip-on T-shirt popular. Crewmen began wearing the T-shirts underneath their uniforms around the time of the Spanish American War. In environments where it was hot, such as on submarines or in tropical locals, the service men would remove their uniform jackets and only wear the T-shirts. This protected the uniform and made it more bearable for the crew.
By the time the Great Depression rolled around, the T-shirt was being already being worn by service industry workers and was now a popular clothing choice for ranchers and farmers. The T-shirt was inexpensive, lightweight, and provided some protection from the elements. At the end of World War 2, it was a common site to see veterans wearing their T-shirts tucked into their uniform trousers, and worn as a casual piece of clothing.
During the 1950’s the T-shirt gained a little piece of fame, when Marlon Brando wore it as a part of his wardrobe in the film A Streetcar Named Desire. The popularity of this movie and actor pushed the T-shirt into the main stream. Of course, in the 1960’s & 70’s Tie Dye T-shirts were all the rage as was the expression of free love and people weren’t afraid to flaunt it. They expressed themselves with T-shirts that said Make Love Not War & Peace with the emblematic sign.
By the 1980’s all members of the household were wearing T-shirts. Although it wasn’t really until the late 1990’s when Womens T-Shirts started to become more mainstream.
Women’s T-shirts were cut shorter than men’s, which allowed for a better fit. Then there was also the baby doll T-shirt, which was not only shorter but much gave a much tighter fit.
1000 Uses for Today’s Threads
T-shirts today are more popular than ever. They are still worn as undergarments, holding true to their original purpose, but they’ve evolved into so much more. They are practical for every day use, and trendy with the fashionably inclined. They range in price from a few dollars to thousands. Many people walk around as human billboards for large companies, without giving it a second thought. It’s a lucrative way to market a business, from the small mom & pop stores to the billion dollar industries. Just about every part of the world is selling T-shirts. Towns, Restaurants, Bars, Concerts, Theme Parks, Museums, and the list goes on and on.
Today personalized T-shirts are trending. You no longer have to be stuck with someone else’s design. You can create your own design and someone else will bring your T-shirt to life. T-shirts offer people a way to share their freedom of expression with the world.