History of the T-Shirt
A T-shirt is a type of shirt that looks like English ‘T’ shape, hence the name T-shirt. It covers most of the area from the neck to the upper part of the body up to the waist. T-shirts usually do not have any buttons or collars. It is usually round and has short sleeves.
Polo shirts or other collared shirts are not really T-shirts. This is because the sleeves of such shirts have a slight extension to the side of the shoulders, and in the case of short sleeves it can be up to the elbows. T-shirts are usually made of cotton or polyester. In some cases, T-shirts are also made of yarn blended with both ingredients. The combination of these two makes the T-shirt more soft and comfortable. There is also a role for such shirts in advertising. In some cases, pictures, sayings, cartoons, etc. are used in T-shirt design on the front or back or on both sides.
You will be amazed to know how a simple dress like a T-shirt came about and how it was named. Looking back at the history of clothing, one has to wonder how T-shirts have become the everyday wear of people all over the world, pushing the crowd of such glamorous clothes.
In the beginning it was basically made to be worn under a shirt. T-shirts are made for bachelors without any sewing skills. For bachelors only, Cooper Underwear advertised in early 1904 to promote a new product. The ad was a picture of a man wearing an undershirt before and after. The slogan of the ad was ‘Safety Pinless – Buttonless – Needleless – Threadless’, aimed at unmarried and inexperienced men sewing. In the previous picture, the man in the picture is looking shy and uncomfortable outside the camera. Because he is wearing an undershirt without a button whose two parts are fastened together with a safety pin. And in the next picture, a masculine man is seen holding a cigarette with his hand on his mustache and the clothes he is wearing are named ‘Bachelor Undershirt’.
The first T-shirts were introduced in the nineteenth century as underwear. The use of this type of clothing originated from those who worked as miners or porters on ships due to the hot environment. It was introduced during the Spanish-American War of 1897. In the United States, the Navy began using white cotton T-shirts with short sleeves as their underwear in 1913, which they wore under uniforms. Later, however, the use of this type of T-shirt became quite popular among sailors. Soon the value of this garment increased for the workers of various industries including agriculture. Because these were cheap and easy to clean. And that’s why it has become a favorite shirt for young people. That is why they are called ‘boys shirts’ which are made with different colors and designs.
F. Scott Fitgerald used the word ‘T-shirt’ in the first printing. In 1920 the garment appeared under a different name. According to the Oxford Dictionary, he was the first to mention the word ‘T-shirt’ in print. It is mentioned in the form of a thing in his novel ‘This Side of Paradise’, which the character takes with him to boarding school. He may have thought that this would enable his readers to imagine the character as a young man in a white woolen dress from elementary school in England. Fitzgerald named the garment a “T-shirt” which could be due to its shirt-like shape.
With the development of textile printing technology, especially among rock music fans, T-shirts with a variety of slogans and images of young people have become more popular. Screen printed T-shirts are used as advertisements in product marketing. T-shirts have been used to advertise products such as Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse since the 1980s.
From the 8th onwards, companies started producing and marketing their product and company advertisements with product images, logos and commercial slogan T-shirts. In the 1960’s, designer Katherine Hamnett began designing T-shirts with the slogan “Large”. T-shirts have been widely used since the 1960’s as a means of expressing personal feelings.
The introduction of slogan-rich T-shirts began in the 2000s. The introduction of humorous messenger T-shirts also began. By the end of this decade, its popularity is growing. T-shirts were introduced in China in the 80’s and 90’s. And then people didn’t call this dress a T-shirt, they called it a “cultural dress”. Because different words or letters can be printed on it and through it one’s character and variety can be highlighted. And celebrities like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton started using such T-shirts. Various social and political messages also began to find a place in T-shirts. During the 2008 US presidential election, famous artists created election posters specifically for Obama and also designed election T-shirts based on them.
Originally, T-shirts became a popular garment in the 1940’s. T-shirts have been widely used since then as a means of expressing personal feelings. Nancy Pepper, a newspaper columnist, writes that teenagers fill their own room with T-shirts and cover it with extra clothes and fringes.