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The history of the printed t-shirt

Posted October 17th, 2019 at 02:08 AM by DTG Merch

The humble undergarment

T-Shirt, or simply tee: the unisex garment made normally of light fabric, typically cotton in a jersey knit. The “T-Shape” of its body and short sleeves gave it its name.
Did you know that t-shirts were undergarments? Named union suit, this one-piece underwear was cut into the separated top and bottom garments, with or without buttons. Miners and stevedores adopted the t-shirt as the clothing of choice for work, in the lates of the 19th century.
The t-shirt creation
The very first t-shirt – a slip-on, and buttonless version of the top of the union suit – dates back to somewhere in between 1898 and 1913 when the US Navy began to issuing them as undergarments.
These were crew necks, short sleeves, white cotton garments to be worn under the uniform. The creation of the t-shirt just happened!
Popular with sailors and marines who started to remove their uniform jackets and wearing only the undershirt when in tropic climates, they soon became the undergarment of choice for workers in various industries and farmers.
Cheap, with an easy fit and, easy to clean, the t-shirt became the favorite garment for young boys. Later on, t-shirts would be available in different patterns and in assorted colors.

The Marlon Brando effect

Worn during the Great Depression as a default garment by farmers or ranchers, during the WW II when soldiers started to combine them with their uniform trousers as casual clothing, it was only in 1950 when it exploded.
After Marlon Brando wore a t-shirt on the movie A Streetcar Named Desire, the t-shirt became a fashion and outwear garment.
In the 60s the t-shirts gained popularity to self-expression as well for protests, advertisements, and souvenirs.
T-shirts are among the most worn garments of clothing used today. They came in different designs, colors, and fabrics and are available in crew-neck and v-neck. And everyone has one of them. Including you!


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