What Does the “T” in T-Shirt Stand for?

You might be wondering what that letter stands for. It’s not just a random letter, it actually has a meaning! Well, here at T-shirt stand we want to help you out so with this blog post we will answer your question and its history.

A t-shirt is a form of shirt that has sleeves at the top and resembles the letter “t.” The word “T” stands for what it looks like – not just because people are wearing shirts. In fact, this type of cotton undershirt was worn way before any sleeveless variety so they weren’t really called anything other than an undershirt or underwear. It wasn’t until 1913 when sailors started requesting something to wear under their jumpers in order cover chest hair does our modern day T-Shirt take shape!

The shirt we call “a tee” is actually just one type of what people used 20 years ago would’ve referred to back then as underwear: a white undershirt, usually cotton.

Gildan Men’s Heavy Cotton T-Shirt

  • Solids: 100% Cotton; Sport Grey & Antique Heathers: 90% Cotton, 10% Polyester; Safety Colors & Heathers: 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester
  • Pull On closure
  • Machine Wash
  • Longer dropped shoulder, straighter armhole, and wider, shorter sleeves
  • Neck tape reinforces the t-shirt in the area that needs it most
  • No twisted side seams after wash

Civilian men have been wearing sleeveless undergarments called a singlet for centuries. It wasn’t until the late 1930s that Hanes and Sears Roebuck produced this article of clothing, widely recognized as today’s t-shirt (though it was originally known by names like ‘union undershirt’), designed to be worn with trousers or shorts. 

The Sears gob shirt was a low cut, button up garment with long sleeves. The design of the t-shirt is reminiscent of sailors’ undergarments and it became popular as an outerwear piece in 1938 when it first emerged on to the fashion scene!

The Marine’s white t-shirts were not enough to camouflage themselves, as they became a target for the enemy. Military men used coffee grounds on their own shirts in order make them more camouflaged and blend in with the environment. This was an effective strategy that soon led to green military t-shirts being issued out among Marines and then Army personnel!

The tight t-shirt, once a masculine symbol of power and virility, has become an article of clothing for everyone. Originally worn by actors like Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Elvis Presley or James Dean, it was quickly adopted as a national sportswear style during the 1950s with felt letters decorating school team shirts. It might not have been considered feminine attire if not for its adoption by female tennis stars.

T-shirts are a staple of American culture that have been around for decades. In the 1960s, people wore brightly colored tie dye t shirts and in the 1970s they loved their television stars on printed tees. T-shirt styles changed over time to include scoop necks with vee necklines or long sleeves like your favorite band’s logo while remaining true to its original “t” shape design!

These days you can find all sorts of variations: from designer decorated t-shirts made out semi precious stones at an affordable price point – perfect for any occasion (from workwear to being casual) as well as staying comfortable this summer season without breaking the bank.

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