How did the humble t-shirt become our favourite piece of clothing? From a garment that was originally worn by manual labourers in the pre-industrial era, to a symbol of rebellion and independence for punks, to an item of casual dress - it's safe to say that this simple item has come a long way.
In this article we'll explore how the humble T-shirt became so popular.
The t-shirt has a long and complex history. The t-shirts we wear today have their roots in the cotton t-shaped undergarments worn by male manual labourers to protect themselves from harsh weather, rough seams and chafing during work.
In the late 19th century these t-shirts were adopted as outerwear for sports teams, military units, and physical labourers.
Worker’s t-shirts were made of the cheapest cotton fabric available at the time - which was usually around 0.48cm in width meaning they had to be pieced together by hand using needlework techniques called t-sewing or t-stitching.
The t-shirt as we know it today was first introduced to the public by Jesse Langsdorf who patented a t-shirt design that included a button placket and neckband.
It wasn't until Robert Nelson, an entrepreneur from Oklahoma City saw these t-shirts being worn around Los Angeles in 1929 - and decided they would make perfect casual wear for Hawaiian labourers working on his new hotel, that t-shirts started to become popularised.
He would later introduce the t-shirt into department stores and shops across America, where it became a fashion misfit among teenagers for its comfortability and casual aesthetic appeal.
T-Shirts were soon adopted as an undershirt by American soldiers during World War II because of their low price and durability. It was also during the 1940s that t-shirts became a symbol of independence and rebellion for rebellious youth as they were worn by gangs such as the Hell's Angels in California as well as black t-shirts being popularised among African American civil rights activists at protests.
In the 1970s t-shirt sales started to become more commercially driven as t-shirts were sold in shopping malls from specialised t-shirt stalls. The t-shirt soon became a fashion statement during the 1980s with brands such as Benetton and Tommy Hilfiger popularising preppy t-shirts that could be paired with chinos or jeans to create fashionable outfits for events, parties, and casual days at work.
Today t-shirts continue to be popular not just as an outer garment but also worn by celebrities and athletes alike for their comfortability, versatility and affordability which is why they will always remain our favourite piece of clothing!
The t-shirt has become one of the most iconic pieces of clothing over time, and really became popular in pop culture when it started to be printed with logos or brand names on them.
Off World Tees has an impressive range of movie and TV inspired t-shirts and clothing. What makes Off World Tees unique is that we create unique and original concept designs inspired by the best entertainment of the last 40 years.
So, if you are looking for a gift, or just looking to upgrade your wardrobe, check out Off World Tees.
Off World Tees is the best Movie and TV T-Shirt store in the UK!