How did the T-Shirts Come into Being?
Be it the universe or the Apple phone in your hand, everything has an origin story. Hence, it is only appropriate that the most ubiquitous piece of clothing also has its own birth story. Since its origin, t-shirts have reserved the throne of the most pervasive clothing. Not only is it unisex, but also can be worn in a wide range of occasions. So, what is the origin story of the t-shirt and how did it become so famous among both the genders?
Before t-shirts for men and women became a universal affair, they first started as undergarments for men. However, what was once a piece of undergarments meant to be worn inside other shirts transgressed all fashion boundaries and became one of the most recognized clothing articles. Today, designer t-shirts are available in all shades and sizes. From band t-shirts to graphic t-shirts, there is an option for everyone.
Although a new addition to men’s and women’s wardrobe, they have quickly secured the favorite spot. T-shirts are thought to have descended from what was known as the “union suit”. The garment was mostly worn by the working class and had buttons in the front. A prototype of the present day t-shirt was launched in 1904 by the Cooper Underwear Company and was marketed for their ease of use and overall efficiency. They were dubbed as “bachelor undershirts”.
It was F. Scott Fitzgerald who is known to coin the term “t-shirt” which was soon added to the dictionary of all fashion conscious males and subsequently, females as well. By the advent of the Second World War, t-shirts became a common sight among adolescents as a part of sports uniform in their alma mater. By the end of the war era, the style permeated the wardrobe of common men and became the staple clothing choice for men across the world.
The popularity of t-shirts grew exponentially in the 1970s and 1980s when the textile companies started to manufacture t-shirts on a mass scale. The world probably owes it to Marlon Brando for giving the ensemble the necessary push. With his charming looks and bulging biceps, his black and white photos in simple white t-shirts still create the benchmark for male beauty.
The advent of the internet and the era of customizations have shoved the t-shirts into a mass popularity. T-shirts have seized to become the go-to choice of clothing for anyone too lazy to find “real” clothing. While people wearing graphic t-shirts were dubbed as immature in the past, they are seen as a bold fashion statement, that is not only easy to replicate but also imbues “cool vides” along with keeping your cool from inside.
Adept for sports, leisure, casual parties, a trip to the market or simply for sleeping, there are debatable any other piece of clothing that can replicate the diversity of t-shirts. When paired with the right accessories, they can even be worn outside without looking like you just rolled out of the bed not five minutes ago.
T-shirts have come a long way from being tagged as undergarments for men. But the radar of all fashion experts point to one truth – the garment still has a long way to go.