T-Shirt History

A trip through T-shirt history reveals this universally loved garment to be a truly remarkable triumph of modern design. This most humble garment is easily the world’s favorite item of clothing, but how did it get here? Why is it so popular and what are its origins?

In this series of posts we’ve delved into T-Shirt history to uncover this fascinating story and reveal the curious details surrounding the development of this wonderful, ubiquitous garment. As you will discover, a T-shirt is not just a another item of clothing, it is also a common cultural canvas upon which we declare ourselves: Our loves, our politics, our memories and our passions. A trip through T-shirt history reveals it to be a masterpiece of fashion design and a testament to modernist design principles. But how did the humble T-shirt conquer the world and come to be so widely loved, worn and decorated? Follow our series below to see the true T-shirt history unfold.

Part One: The Early History

A look into the Victorian era and beyond, where the T-shirt as we know it starts to emerge from fashion’s primordial ooze, the first bathing costumes and the U.S. Navy.

Part Two: The T-Shirt Goes to War

T-shirt History: Part 2 sees the t-shirt come home from the war, cosy up to synthetic fibers, become the uniform of the working classes and completely take over the military.

Part Three: The T-Shirt Grows Up

The t-shirt grows up to become a powerful weapon of persuasion and political affiliation for brands, politics and protesters alike.

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