The Start of The T-Shirt
It’s safe to say that everyone owns a t-shirt and probably even wears it more than any other item. But, how many people can tell you how the t-shirt became the ubiquitous garment that it is today?
The start of the t-shirt in everyday culture came about pretty organically. In the late 19th century, at the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the t-shirt was introduced as an undergarment to be worn under workwear. It was quickly adopted by minors and other laborers working in especially hot environments.
In 1904 the Cooper Underwear Company ran a magazine ad promoting the t-shirt to bachelors as an alternative to the button-clad undergarments that were in fashion. The shirt was stretchy enough to pull over the head and fit most frames, and it didn’t require frequent repairs. The no-fuss undergarment quickly gained popularity and became truly essential when the U.S. Navy began to issue t-shirts as a part of their uniform in 1913.
The t-shirt carried us through the 20th Century, penetrating popular culture when worn by icons like James Dean and Marlon Brando.
Today, the t-shirt is worn in work, leisure and exercise. Modern developments have made the t-shirt more suited for the wearer, and wherever they wear their tees. The market offers countless t-shirts to choose from, from the classic breathable 100% cotton to the sweat-wicking and durable polyblends, and in styles varying from crewnecks to v-necks.