History Of Fashion – The T-shirt

James Dean Marlon Brando

Today, a staple in the wardrobe of both genders, is the T-shirt which started off as a long undergarment for men. First called a union suit, at the beginning of the 1900’s, it was a basic one-piece white under-garment that buttoned-up in the front. Quickly gaining popularity, two other versions were soon released, one of which was called a gob. By the 1950’s, Hollywood had picked up on the trend, with actors such as James Dean and Marlon Brando, increasing the popularity of the T-shirt. Moreover, in 1948, there was the introduction of print on T-shirts which is still used, today. The psychedelic generation of the 1960’s saw the introduction of bright colours on T-shirts, as well as tie-dye patterns and embroidery. Mass production started during the 1970’s when pop culture recognised the importance of T-shirts for branding and to promote sales. During this time, we see a breakthrough with the introduction of wrinkle-free T-shirts, made from a mix of polyester and cotton.

Over the past few decades, the creation of new materials and techniques has ensured that the popularity of the T-shirt has constantly remained high. Today, T-shirts can be found in various designs, colours and materials. They are custom-made for companies, organisations and sports. They are also used by some as a tool for branding and self-expression. Getting a custom-made T-shirt is also easily available from the internet, where a whole array of designs and colours are available for purchase.