The branded t shirts which are presently a staple of every youth’s wardrobe did not really appear before the 20th century. In the early 1900s, an innovative costume designer thought of segmenting the traditional union suit. This led to the creation of an outerwear, the t-shirts, from its top half. Since then it has undergone several transformations; the original baggy form slowly transformed into skin hugging tank top. In the process, the overall cut, fabric, technology of printing, the graphics and slogans continued to advance as well. Here is a write-up to throw some light on the evolution of t-shirt in the last 100 years.The Forerunner of T-shirt
In the 1890s, a number of garment manufacturers experimented with new types of clothing and eventually developed a new type of attire which could be stretched over the head and it could again snap back into shape all over the body. But wearing such outfit in public was considered a taboo and the lawmakers of Havana went on to ban any public display of underwear like shirts. So, the labourers in those days had to toil under the sun wearing the formal long sleeve shirts with buttons.
The Invention of T-shirt
The Cooper Underwear Company in the year 1904 ran a famous magazine advertisement and announced the new arrival of a product which was specifically targeted towards the bachelors who did not have any knowledge of sewing. The “before” photo of the advertisement portrayed a man embarrassed as he lost all the buttons of his undershirt. The “after” photo depicted a handsome man portraying a handlebar moustache, smoking a cigar and wearing the newly launched product of the company “the bachelor undershirt.” The ad read, “No safety pins — no buttons — no needle — no thread,” and aimed those men who neither had wives nor any sewing skills. The “the bachelor undershirt” could be stretched over the head and pulled over the body. This was how the t-shirt came into existence.
The Early Popularity
Lore has it, that the t-shirts were later popularised by the dockworkers and naval officers who were supposed to wear this t-shirt below their uniform and they took this fashion home and popularised the trend. Slowly the younger generation was acquainted with the comfort of wearing the first generation of the branded t-shirts. Gradually more and more apparel companies started designing their unique form of t-shirts.
T-shirts: A Fashion Phenomenon Now
Currently, the t-shirts have become a fashion phenomenon. No youth can imagine a wardrobe without a number of branded t-shirts. They are considered the most comfortable outfit by the trendy urban crowds. The t-shirts are extremely popular in India because of the hot and humid weather conditions. You can wear the t-shirts to your college, or to work or friendly evening outings. The branded t-shirts never fail to impress others and make you stand out in the crowd.
The t-shirts have seen a lot of changes in their forms and designs throughout its evolution. It started with the loosely fitted ones, mostly white in colour. Slowly the slogan t-shirts made their appearance in 1950. In the beginning, they used to depict political slogans and slowly as time progressed new innovative slogans saw the light of the day. The 1960s saw the innovation of new type of inks which could withstand daily wear and tear. During this decade, the vibrant coloured tie-dyed patterns became very popular. In the 1970s and 80s the pop culture made their presence felt in the form of the graphic t-shirt. Large images of renowned pop icons became very popular on the branded t-shirts.
The Present Form
In the 21st century, the t-shirt still rules the fashion industry. Every year new innovations are introduced in the branded t-shirts. Renowned t-shirt manufacturing companies like Bewakoof, Lee, Proline, Spyker, Ajio, etc have dedicated research and development team to upgrade their products. They spend thousands of dollars every year to introduce new innovative ways of t-shirt manufacturing. Right now the branded t-shirts are the universal choice of outfit for the modern youths.