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With that said, in honor of our first blog post, we found it only appropriate to provide our t-shirt enthusiast community with a quick historical lesson . . .
The Invention of the T-Shirt
- It was thought that the t-shirt evolved from a kind of all-in-one underwear made from red flannel known as the “union suit” which was popular with workers in the 19th century.
- People making these type of undergarments began experimenting with fabrics that could stretch back into shape to make the product more comfortable. This resulted in the creation of button-less undershirts made from wool and cotton that you could pull over your head without ruining the collar.
- At the time, there were even laws in places stating that it was illegal to wear these pullover tops exposed in public. These pullovers were strictly meant to be used an undergarment.
- However, the fate of what would become the t-shirt began to change in 1904, when the Cooper Underwear Company began marketing them to single men as “bachelor undershirts” with a tagline that simply read: “No safety pins — no buttons — no needle — no thread".
- Shortly after this advertisement ran (about a year), the US Navy, who employed many young bachelors with limited sewing skills, officially incorporated the button-less white undershirt into its uniform.
- The undershirt then came to the attention of other military branches and within a few years, during WWI, the undershirts were soon worn by tens of thousands of soldiers, many of whom took the fashion home with them.
- By the time WWII started, the “modern” t-shirt had become commonplace in high schools and universities across the states, though it wasn’t yet ubiquitous and was still commonly worn by adults, at least, as an undershirt. It got its iconic name from its shape resembling the letter "T".
- T-shirt popularity further surged thanks to Marlon Brando and his role as Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 movie A Street Car Named Desire which featured Brando wearing a tight fitting, bicep caressing t-shirt. Brando’s performance caused a nationwide spike in sales of t-shirts, proving to the world that the t-shirt could be a “sexy, stand-alone, outer-wear garment".
And as they say, the rest is history…
The basic tee, after all, is the simplest, easiest piece of clothing imaginable—its blank-page quality functions like an easel on which we can project our imagination and self-expression.
Wear your shirt with pride! Shop tees geek!
Source Credit: Smallwood, Karlhttp://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/surprisingly-recent-invention-t-shirt