A T-shirt (or tee shirt) is a shirt with short or long sleeves, a round neck, put on over the head, without pockets. It was originally used as undershirt. This is still done, but it is also often worn as the only clothing on the upper part of the body (except that women often wear a bra under it).
The length varies, but it typically reaches the waist. One fashion is an "oversized" T-shirt, a more recent trend are tight and short T-shirts for women that frequently show part of the lower abdomen with the belly button. T-shirt fashions include styles for men and women and styles for all age groups, including baby, youth and adult sizes. T-shirts are often decorated with text and/or pictures.
T-shirts are manufactured by the textile industry. The surface feel of most t-shirts is due to the jersey stitch knitting method used to commercially produce the fabric, typically using either cotton, polyester, or a mix of the two fibers.
The idea of the T-shirt came to the USA during WWI when US soldiers noticed the light cotton undershirts European soldiers were using while the US soldiers sweated in their wool uniforms. Since they were so much more comfortable they quickly became popular among the Americans, and because of their design they got the name T-shirt. During WWII the T-shirt had become standard issue underwear in both the US army and navy.
After WWII the T-shirt started appearing without a shirt covering it. John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean all wore them on national TV. At first the public was shocked but by 1955 it had become acceptable. The T-shirt became cool when James Dean wore it in the film Rebel Without A Cause.
T-Shirts with bold slogans were popular in the UK
in the 1980s
In the 1960s people started to tie-dye and screen-print the basic T-shirt and variants such as the tank top, muscle shirt, scoop neck, V-neck etc. became popular.
Since then T-shirts have become an accepted medium for self-expression and advertising, with any imaginable combination of words, art and even photographs on display.
Other methods of decoration used on t-shirts have included airbrush, applique, embroidery, and the ironing on of either flock lettering, heat transfers, or Dye sublimation transfers.
- Scott Fresener, Earl Smith, Nancy Hall (1995). The T-Shirt Book. Gibbs Smith Publisher. ISBN 087905686X.
- Learn how to fold your T-shirt in 2 seconds (http://www.fold-your-shirt.com/)