The History of the Tee shirt

The number of times have you chosen a t-shirt when deciding what to use? I know I do it on an everyday basis.


The tee shirt has been a staple of the contemporary wardrobe for as long as many people can remember. Most individuals alive today have actually matured in a world where the t-shirt belongs of every day life. Yet the word tee shirt didn’t get in the English Dictionary until the 1920’s and didn’t go into mainstream culture up until the 1960’s.

The t-shirt was billed as an undergarment, and in the 19th century the t-shirt advanced from a one piece “union match” underwear garment in to a 2 piece top and bottom. In World War I, the American Troop were using wool uniforms throughout the hot summertime days until they saw the European troops using cotton undershirts. The tee shirt caught on quick and by The second world war the Army and Navy included them in their uniforms.

At the time the tee shirt was still considered underwear and it wasn’t till the 1950’s when mainstream actors such as Marlon Brando, John Wayne, James Dean chose to shock America by wearing their “underwear” on Tv. James Dean helped to make the tee shirt an American standard in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause.

In the late sixties, understanding their was money to be made in printed tee shirts, the t-shirt market began to sky-rocket. Rock Bands, Sports Teams, and Artists led the way for the t-shirt to be sealed into American culture and the formally licensed tee shirt was born.

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In the 80’s and 90’s the production volume of t-shirts, specifically screen printed t-shirts, increased drastically. This caused the t-shirt to become a commodity in the apparel world. As we move into the 2000’s and beyond the pattern will continue. We have actually currently seen the shift from the clunkier t-shirts of the 80’s and 90’s to a more type fitted tee shirt with a softer cotton.

It’s tough, or ought to I state difficult, to leave your home anymore and not see somebody in a t-shirt. They are a staple of the American wardrobe. They can be found in all colors, shapes, sizes, and can cause emotion or represent a brand. Whether you wear funny tee shirts or t-shirts from your preferred brand, they are a part of our culture and aren’t disappearing at any time soon.


The tee shirt was billed as an underwear, and in the 19th century the tee shirt advanced from a one piece “union suit” underclothing garment in to a two piece top and bottom. Rock Bands, Sports Teams, and Artists led the way for the tee shirt to be sealed into American culture and the formally certified tee shirt was born.

We’ve currently seen the shift from the clunkier t-shirts of the 80’s and 90’s to a more type fitted t-shirt with a softer cotton.

Whether you use funny t-shirts or t-shirts from your preferred brand name, they are a part of our culture and aren’t going away any time soon.

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