T-Shirt Is Here To Stay
Many of our contemporary mass-used products and services, like for example the Internet, are the outcome of military research or cultural intervention. In out case, the American fashion item that was introduced by the US soldiers at the beginning of the twentieth century and is a century later still considered a must-have piece in every person’s wardrobe, is simply referred to as the “T-shirt.” Sold in a variety of styles, colors, sizes and printed layouts, the T-shirt frenzy has over the years spread across the globe making people feel “cool” and “trendy” when wearing this comfortable outfit. In fact, today, any variation of this upper-body garment is considered an essential part of men’s and women’s clothing; making it one of the longer fashion trends alive.
The T-shirt industry came into existence during WWI, as the returning American troops introduced the lightweight cotton undershirt worn at the time only by European soldiers. In comparison to the wool uniforms the US Navy and Army soldiers had to wear, this piece of garment allowed the skin to breathe and provided a cooling sensation when worn; especially in hot summer days and nights. Due to its simple, button-less, collar-less and pocket-less design, the shirt introduced by the US Navy in 1913, quickly became known as the “T-shirt,” since it covered most of a person’s torso. By 1920, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary included the word T-shirt in its English language version and during WWII it has become a standard undergarment for US and European soldiers.
But the tremendous appeal of this piece of clothing and the actual boom of the T-shirt industry is mainly attributed to the movies. Worn by the big screen movie stars of the 50s, the masses were accustomed to the idea of wearing such a lightweight garment above their bare skin without another shirt on top. Actors like John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean wore T-shirts on movies as well as on national syndicated television. Although shocked at first, the US public quickly endorsed this clothing item and as sales skyrocketed it was apparent that the T-shirt had become one major success-story of the twentieth century fashion history. In fact, T-shirts made their way through the political landscape of the time when in 1948 Thomas E. Dewey and in 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower used them in their promotional campaigns with the printed logos “Dew It for Dewey” and “I Like Ike” respectively.
The youthful, anti-establishment attitude of James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause,” took an unexpected twist when T-shirts were reintroduced in the 1960s and 1970s as a symbol of youth and rebellion during women’s sexual revolution. Later, T-shirts became personal billboards, carrying names, logos, phrases, famous quotes, anecdotes, wishes and all kinds of printed messages. Due to its inexpensive and stylish nature, the T-shirt created a multibillion dollars industry, expanding from Rock and Roll bands to athletes and construction workers. In fact, the T-shirt became a commodity item in the apparel industry marking generations, attitudes and personal lifestyles.
Comfortable, casual, and always in style, the T-shirt has now entered cyberspace and is created, bought and sold via online stores all across the globe. As the new millennium brought information age one step closer to the masses, T-shirt varieties will continue to be produced and worn in different occasions carrying diverse themes anywhere in the world. From war protestors to busy family men the jersey stitch of cotton and/or polyester fibers of contemporary T-shirt is here to stay.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of T-shirt resources
For more information on T-Shirts check out http://www.t-shirt-info-and-guides.info