The History of the T-Shirt

How often have you picked out a t-shirt when determining what to wear? I know I take action daily.

The t-shirt has long been a staple of the contemporary attire for as long as most folks can keep in mind. Most people alive today have grown up in an environment where the t-shirt is an element of day life. The term t shirt didn’t get into the English Dictionary until the 1920’s and did not go into mainstream culture until the 1960’s.

Initially the t-shirt was labeled as an undergarment, and also in the 19th century the t shirt progressed from a single piece “union suit” underwear garment in to a two piece best rated and bottom. In World War I, the American Troop were wearing wool uniforms during the warm summer days until they seen the European troops sporting cotton undershirts. The t shirt caught on quick and by World War II the Army and Navy included them in the uniforms of theirs.

At the moment the t shirt was still considered underwear and it was not until the 1950’s when mainstream actors such as Marlon Brando, John Wayne, James Dean resolved to shock America by using their “underwear” on Television. James Dean helped to come up with the t-shirt an American standard inside the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause.
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The t-shirt was low-cost and in style. It could even make a statement. In the 1960’s decorating techniques like screen printing and the tie-dye became popular. In the late sixties, realizing their was revenue to be made in printed t shirts, the t shirt business did start to sky rocket. Rock Bands, Sports Teams, and Artists led the way with the t shirt to be sealed into American tradition and also the officially licensed t-shirt came into this world.

In the 80’s and 90’s the production volume of t-shirts, especially screen printed shirts, increased dramatically. This caused the t-shirt to be an investment within the apparel world. As we go into the 2000’s and beyond the pattern will continue. We’ve already experienced the shift in the clunkier t-shirts of the 80’s as well as 90’s to an form fitted t-shirt with a much softer cotton.


It’s difficult, or even can I say impossible, to leave your house not and anymore observe someone in a t-shirt. They are a staple of the American wardrobe. They are available in all colors, shapes, sizes, and also could cause emotion as well as stand for a brand. Whether you are using funny t shirts or t-shirts from your preferred brand, they are a component of the culture of ours and are not going away any time soon.

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