T-Shirt – A real work garment

Arnold R Fesser

The T-shirt was developed from underwear used from the 19th century. It has evolved from the old-time underwear or “one-piece”, they simply divided it into top and a bottom parts.

The top was long enough to reach below the waist. With and without buttons, they were adopted by miners and harbor workers during the late 19th century as a practical and comfortable garment for warm environments.
The earliest T-shirts, without buttons, can be found sometime between the Spanish American War 1898 and 1913, when the US Navy first gave them to their soldiers as undergarments. Then they were white with the so-called crew-neck and short-sleeved that they had under the uniform. However, in warm environments such as the tropics or in submarines, it became common to take off the uniform jacket and only wear the t-shirt (less to wash).

This eventually opened the concept of wearing the shirts as general casual garments. Printed T-shirts were in limited use until 1942, when a T-shirt from an American Air Force school appeared on the cover of Life magazine. In 1960, the popularity of T-shirts increased as political messages, self-expression and protests were often seen as print. Moreover, one must not underestimate any advertising, sports and souvenir shirts printed over the years.

Today’s t-shirts are available in a variety of different variants of both patterns and materials. Today, both the models Crew-Neck and V-neck are modern and popular.

T-shirts are among the most widely used clothing items used today.

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