The T-shirt is something that has not always been around. It was introduced to the USA in the early 20th Century. Back in World War II US soldiers saw workers in Europe wearing them and fellow European soldiers had them on under their uniforms. When summer came these soldiers would take off their top shirts and wear only the cotton “T” shirt underneath. US soldiers had wool shirts on, even in the summer, so of course they wanted that lightweight cotton shirt too. Its popularity spread quickly and soon became a standard piece of underwear in the US when they started bringing them home.
As early as the 1940’s politicians printed slogans on them. What really made the t-shirt cool was the movie industry. In Hollywood, actors like John Wayne, James Dean and Marlon Brando (he actually tore his t-shirt off in the film “Streetcar Named Desire”), dared to wear their “underwear” out in the open and made it look so good that people imitated them.
In the 1960’s artists tie-dyed them and through the decades that followed many kinds of businesses and bands printed their logos and art on them turning this simple garment into huge money-makers.
There are many varieties to choose from now and designers put their own spin on them with embellishments and alternative shapes. Some well known styles are the Tank Top, Muscle Shirt, Scoop Neck and V-Neck among others. The T-Shirt is considered an essential addition to a wardrobe for men, women, children and babies, and no one thinks twice when it is worn alone over fashions like jeans. This is one trend that isn’t going away anytime in the near future.
Some fun sites on T-shirts:
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