HISTORY OF THE T-SHIRT
Ah, the classic T-shirt: a staple of any True Fashionista wardrobe since it first made its debut in 1913. Back then, it was nothing more than a humble undershirt meant to provide extra warmth under your shirt and jacket. Today, however, the T-shirt has become an iconic fashion statement – proving that even the most straightforward garments can have quite an impressive legacy. Shop the diverse selection of T-shirts at True Fashionistas, Naples' best consignment store.
We've come a long way since its primitive beginnings, with designers now creating True Fashionista collections centered entirely around this essential wardrobe piece. While the fashion world continues to evolve and transform the humble T-shirt, it's interesting to take a moment and recognize where it all started. The next time you put on your favorite t-shirt design, consider the intriguing fashion history that got us here today.
HISTORY OF THE T-SHIRT – PROPER SPELLING
Let's jump in with the question that's burning at the top of your mind right now: What is the correct way to spell the thing: T-shirt, t-shirt, T shirt, tee-shirt, or tee shirt? This very heated discussion no doubt happens at coffeehouses and kitchen tables worldwide. Therefore, to avoid a meltdown over a perfectly perfect cup of cappuccino, here's the oh-so-democratic answer: they're all correct! Using the upper-case T most closely resembles the garment's shape, so we'll just go with that one. At least for today, but moving on…
HISTORY OF THE T-SHIRT – HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It's hard to believe that such a fashion staple of recent times had its simple origins as an undergarment for 19th-century men! Workers would slice their jumpsuits to the waist to keep cool during the spring and summer months. Sometime between the Spanish-American War in 1898 and 1913, the U.S. Navy began issuing them as standard undershirts. In 1905 they were being marketed as "bachelor undershirts."
In 1920 the term 'T-shirt" was inducted into the English dictionary, thanks to F. Scott Fitzgerald's use of the word in his novel This Side of Paradise. And we quote,
"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."
HISTORY OF THE T-SHIRT – A WARDROBE STAPLE
From these humble origins, the ordinary T-shirt has undergone drastic changes. As fashion trends shifted and evolved, so did this trusty wardrobe staple found in abundance at True Fashionistas consignment store Naples. In the 1920s, for example, they became popular amongst college students who wanted something comfortable yet fashionable to wear while lounging around campus; thus began the 'unisex' look.
The 1940s saw t-shirts evolve again – this time into what we now recognize as a 'muscle shirt,' complete with short sleeves and an athletic fit. Then in 1950, Marlon Brando famously rocked a white t-shirt as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, followed by James Dean in 1955's Rebel Without a Cause. Thanks to these two legendary performances, the popularity of the T-shirt as a stand-alone outerwear garment skyrocketed.
It was in the 1950s that t-shirts first became art canvases for custom designs, giving rise to the 'printed t-shirt' trend that remains popular today. Find them at the best designer consignment store, True Fashionistas.
HISTORY OF THE T-SHIRT – GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING
In the 1960s and beyond, the standard T-shirt continued to morph and adapt in tune with current fashion trends. From granny shirts and psychedelic prints of the sixties to wild colors and bold graphics of the seventies – no trend was too outlandish for this True Fashionista wardrobe staple!
By the eighties, T-shirts had become the go-to for anyone looking to showcase their style. Whether it was rock bands, sports teams, celebrities, or cartoon characters – if it could be printed onto a t-shirt, you could guarantee someone would wear it.
HISTORY OF THE T-SHIRT – DESIGNER-LEVEL STYLE
Today, the everyday t-shirt has become an icon of fashion and culture. Though no longer just a simple undershirt, its versatility remains unchanged; it can be dressed up with smart trousers or layered over jeans and still look equally stylish.
High fashion designers have put their True Fashionista touches on them, with T-shirts from Gucci to Moschino and Marc Jacobs among the many offerings. It's no wonder that after all these years, no matter how you spell it, the T-shirt is still one of our most beloved garments!
Find your fave authentic designer T-shirts at True Fashionistas, Florida's largest lifestyle consignment store. Shop in-store or 24/7 online, and sign up for our email list to score exclusive discounts.