History of the T-shirt 23.11.2016

Everything goes for a reason. The T-shirt’s history started back in 1868. Miners, dockers and other US workers had to wear red flannel jumpsuits as undergarments. It was a good warm during wintertime, but it was too hot to wear in summer.

So, the workers solved the problem: they cut the jumpsuit in two parts. The bottom is now called pants and the top is so-called longsleeve.

You can see only black or white tees here, just imagine that this jumpsuit is red.




30 years later the short sleeve tee appeared. The United States Navy SEALs wore it under their uniform during the Spanish-American War of 1898. The T-shirts were only white at that time.




The first official mention of T-shirts dates back to 1913. But in the Oxford Dictionary of English word «T-shirt» appeared in 1920 when Francis Scott Fitzgerald mentioned it in «This Side of Paradise»:

«So early in September Amory, provided with «six suits summer underwear, six suits winter underwear, one sweater or T shirt, one jersey, one overcoat, winter, etc.,» set out for New England, the land of schools».




After the Second World War soldiers began to wear T-shirts every day, but still as an undershirt. The T-shirt became an independent and fashionable part of the wardrobe only in 1951. The reason was Marlon Brando’s muscles in «A Streetcar named Desire» and James Dean’s charming divot in «Rebel Without a Cause».



9 years. The T-shirt was white and clean for 9 years. It was a golden time.



And then, after 1960, something terrible has happened. The T-shirt was coated with print. But we omit this part of the story for personal reasons.






Something interesting: the letter «T» resembles a T-shirt, so the English word «T-shirt» appeared. A Russian/Ukrainian «futbolka» appeared after soccer players began to wear it as a uniform. Apparently, in order to have something to pull on a head.