In the last 100 odd years, the flexible T-shirt has changed itself again and again, from its lowly beginnings as men’s underwear; to becoming the unofficial uniform for the working classes, the T-Shirt has now evolved into an emblem of youth and style. Men, women, girls and boys – we all wear the tee and can’t think of our wardrobe without it!
With this article, we are celebrating the evolution of the versatile t-shirt by taking a look at some of the most iconic t-shirts through history.
I am sure you will be able to recognize some of them!
First the U.S Navy made the t-shirt a part of their Uniform and then the Army followed suit, paving the way for the T-shirt to become the go-to upper-wear for dockworkers, farmers, miners and other workers who appreciated the comfortable lightweight cotton and short sleeves instead of restrictive clothing and itchy wool.
By the 1920s “T-shirt” became an official American-English word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Mechanics and miners to farmers and factory workers, everyone adopts the easy-breezy comfortable tee!
The T-shirt makes its Hollywood debut. In the film ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ Marlon Brando dons the tee and reels in the youth. The tee catches on like fire and by year’s end; T-shirt sales total $180 million!
A new rebel start James Dean follows up on the sexy T-shirt trend in “Rebel Without a Cause.”
In the 50’s, Mickey Mouse t-shirts are printed to promote tourism in Florida and thus, the advertising T-shirt is born.
Screen printing industry evolves and Rock bands like The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead have dedicated iconic tees and the fans keep them alive forever and ever!
The T-shirt gets a political makeover with these t-shirts by Warren Dayton!
Woodstock comes and the free-hippy ‘70s are about to happen and tie-and-dye t-shirts prevail over all others.
We <3 t-shirts! T-shirts for a marketing campaign for New York State starts its “I” followed by a heart symbol and the state abbreviation. The logo is quickly adopted by souvenir T-shirt makers, taking tourists by storm and initiating hordes of imitators.
The T-shirt goes designer with candy-colors, rolled-up jacket sleeves and slip-on sockless loafers, takes off like wildfire. To this day, the T-shirt-and-jacket combo persists.
The “Three Wolf Moon” T-shirt or the “Big Face” animal T-shirts trends which are vying for the t-shirt trend of this decade.
World’s first programmable T-shirt, tshirtOS, is collaboration between Ballantine’s and wearable tech company CuteCircuit. These high-tech T-shirts boast an LCD screen that lets you display Facebook statuses, tweets and even Instagram snaps.
In 2013, French fashion house Hermès debuted a crocodile T-shirt with the price tag of $91,500.
You too can be a part of T-shirt history with zero upfront costs. Create and sell t-shirts to show your attitude, to spread a message, to support a cause.