Home » Here’s How the T-shirt Came About

Here’s How the T-shirt Came About

by Nathan Zachary

Have you ever passed by a custom t shirt shop and wondered about the origin of t-shirts?

Well, you don’t have to wonder any longer. Here’s how this ubiquitous item of clothing came about.

History of T-shirts

An iconic staple in the US fashion and culture scene, the tee (as T-shirts are colloquially called) was designed originally as an undergarment.

It came about in the late 19th century when laborers found wearing jumpsuits in the summer too hot and cut them off in half. In 1898, tees were manufactured for the first time during the Spanish-American War.

In 1913, the US Navy started issuing them as standard undershirts. However, they weren’t called T-Shirts then. In 1920, the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald introduced it in his novel, This Side of Paradise.

The tee didn’t gain too much prominence in those times. While World War II veterans were seen wearing them tucked into their trousers, they were mostly worn under formal clothes.

Two famous names turned this scenario around – Marlon Brando and James Dean.

The uber-masculine Marlon Brando wore a white tee in the 1950 movie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and in 1955, it was worn by the hot and handsome James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause.

They rocked it so much that it gained popularity all over very soon as a standalone garment.  

And then came the concept of custom t shirts. Soon, tees started becoming known as vehicles of rebellion.

This started with the slogan ‘Do it with Dewey’ – employed by the Republican presidential candidate, Thomas E. Dewey.

Soon, graphic tees started becoming the rage, and technological innovations, especially in the field of screen printing, helped the humble tee to become the powerhouse it is today.

In the 1970s, the punk movement turned it into a powerful medium that got the message across. Not just sporting rock band logos, tees also helped spread the word about the Vietnam War amongst the masses.

After all, a tee is a blank canvas. You can make your own shirt by getting whatever you want to be printed on it and start your own movement.

This fluid garment has a worldwide appeal. It has slowly moved into high fashion wear, and many famous celebs and influencers use it to float brands.

Here to Stay

The T-shirt is not just an American garment; it is a clothing staple all over the globe. It is an essential piece found in wardrobes everywhere, and most teens use the custom t shirt to make a statement and stand out from the crowd.

Whether the message is rebellious or joyous, or eye-opening, the tee is here to stay. If you, too, want to jump on the bandwagon and use this garment to spread the word, all you have to do is visit Custom Shirts Printing.

The experts will understand your exact needs and perfectly print them on the tee of your choice. Whether for personal or professional use, the tees will always stand much above the rest.


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