A T-shirt, or tee shirt, is a style of fabric shirt named after the T shape of its body and sleeves.
Traditionally, it has short sleeves and a round neckline, known as a crew neck, which lacks a collar.
T-shirts are generally made of a stretchy, light and inexpensive fabric and are easy to clean.
The T-shirt, now unisex and all-purpose, began its life as an undergarment worn by men.
In the Middle Ages, T-shaped shirts made of woven cotton or linen provided a layer between the body and the garments worn over top. These shirts were easy to wash and provided a hygienic barrier for the skin. Wearing a clean, laundered shirt showed off a gentleman’s wealth.
The shape of the shirt — large, rectangular pieces of cloth sewn into a “T” shape with long shirt tails that tucked between the legs — changed in the 19th century when the shirt tails were removed and the body of the shirt slimmed down to a tighter fit.
T-shirts were first introduced in United States sometime around the time of the Spanish World War. They were given to members of the US Navy to be worn as undergarment beneath their uniforms.
By the Great Depression, the T-shirt was often the default garment to be worn when doing farm or ranch chores, as well as other times when modesty called for a torso covering but conditions called for lightweight fabrics.
Following World War II, it was worn by Navy men as undergarments and slowly became common to see veterans wearing their uniform trousers with their T-shirts as casual clothing. The shirts became even more popular in the 1950s after Marlon Brando wore one in A Streetcar Named Desire, finally achieving status as fashionable, stand-alone, outerwear garments.
Often boys wore them while doing chores and playing outside, eventually opening up the idea of wearing them as general-purpose casual clothing.
Printed T-shirts were in limited use by 1942 when an Air Corps Gunnery School T-shirt appeared on the cover of Life magazine. In the 1960s, printed T-shirts gained popularity for self-expression as well for advertisements, protests, and souvenirs.
In 1950, Marlon Brando famously donned a white t-shirt as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, only to be followed by James Dean in 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause. Thanks to these two founding fathers, the popularity of the t-shirt as a stand-alone outerwear garment skyrocketed.
By the 1970s, consumers could have personalised, custom-made T-shirts. Businesses soon realised the potential of T-shirts for marketing, as did bands and music management companies.
Many notable and memorable T-shirts produced in the 1970s have become ensconced in pop culture. Examples include the bright yellow happy face T-shirts, The Rolling Stones tops with their “tongue and lips” logo, and Milton Glaser’s iconic “I ♥ N Y” design. In the mid-1980s, the white T-shirt became fashionable after the actor Don Johnson wore it with an Armani suit in Miami Vice.
Pop artists Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jenny Holzer pioneered the use of the T-shirt as a work of art. In the 1980s contemporary fashion’s inclusion in museum exhibitions considered the many designer versions. Also in the 1980s, with the explosion of marketing of museums, masterworks of art were reproduced on T-shirts and sold in their gift stores.
The current evolution of T-shirts started in the 1990s, when T-shirts emerged in high fashion. Chanel’s 1992 collection showed a ribbed knit tank top with the mirrored pair of C’s logo on the front. In 1996, Sharon Stone wore a Gap T-shirt with a ball gown skirt to the Academy Awards.
As companies such as Hanes, Fruit of the Loom and Jockey currently churn out millions of shirts per year, the T-shirt is a proven commodity in American culture.
The rise of online shopping in the early 2000s caused a proliferation of new T-shirt ideas and trends. While several brick-and-mortar chains included these items in their inventories, many of these shirts were pioneered by online start-ups. Innovations included the flip-up T-shirt, which the wearer can lift and stretch over their head to display an interior print, and all-over print clothing.
T-shirts are very economically cheap to produce and are often part of fast fashion, leading to outsized sale of T-shirts compared to other attire. For example, two billion T-shirts are sold per year in the United States, or the average person from Sweden buys nine T-shirts a year.
The Superlative T-shirt with sixteen certified diamonds is the most expensive of all T-shirts at $400,000. The uniqueness of this clothing lies in the very way this is manufactured using varied sources of power &
solar energy. Moreover, the production of this pricey T-shirt takes 100 percent less CO2 in comparison to what it takes in producing regular T shirts.