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T-shirt – also "tee shirt", a casual shirt without a collar or buttons, made of a stretchy, finely knit fabric, usually cotton, and usually short-sleeved. Originally worn under other shirts, it is now a common shirt for everyday wear in some countries.
A T-shirt (or T shirt, tee-shirt, or tee) is a style of soft shirt, named after the T shape of the body and sleeves. It is normally associated with short sleeves, a round neck line known as a "crew neck", and no collar.
Typically made of cotton fibers knitted in a jersey stitch, they have a distinctive soft texture compared to woven shirts. The majority of modern versions have a body made from a continuously woven tube, on a circular loom, so that the torso has no side seams. The manufacture of T-shirts has become highly automated, and may include fabric cutting by laser or water jet.
The T-shirt evolved from undergarments used in the 19th century, through cutting the one-piece "union suit" underwear into separate top and bottom garments, with the top long enough to tuck under the waistband of the bottoms. With and without buttons, they were adopted by miners and stevedores during the late 19th century as a convenient covering for hot environments.
As slip-on garments without buttons, they originally became popular in the United States when they were issued by the U.S. Navy during or following the Spanish–American War of 1898. These were a crew-necked, short-sleeved, white cotton undershirt to be worn under a uniform. It became common for sailors and Marines in work parties, the early submarines, and tropical climates to remove their uniform "jacket", wearing (and soiling) only the undershirt.
They soon became popular as a bottom layer of clothing for workers in various industries, including agriculture. The T-shirt was easily fitted, easily cleaned, and inexpensive, and for those reasons it became the shirt of choice for young boys. Boys' shirts were made in various colors and patterns. By the Great Depression, the T-shirt was often the default garment to be worn when doing farm or ranch chores, as well as other times when modesty called for a torso covering but conditions called for lightweight fabrics.
A V-neck T-shirt has a V-shaped neckline, as opposed to the round neckline of the more common crew neck shirt. V-necks were introduced so that the neckline of the shirt does not stand out when an outer shirt is worn over it, thus reducing or eliminating the visible cloth above the outer shirt of a crew neck shirt.
T-shirts, made of a light, inexpensive fabric, were easy to clean. The earliest T-shirt dates back to sometime between the Spanish–American War and 1913, when the U.S. Navy began issuing them as undergarments. The word "T-shirt" became part of American English by the 1920s, and appeared in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Following World War II, it became common to see veterans wearing their uniform trousers with their T-shirts as casual clothing. They became even more popular in the 1950s after Marlon Brando wore one in A Streetcar Named Desire, finally achieving status as fashionable, stand-alone, outer-wear garments. Often boys wore them while doing chores and playing outside, eventually opening up the idea of wearing them as general-purpose casual clothing.
Printed T-shirts were in limited use by 1942 when an Air Corps Gunnery School T-shirt appeared on the cover of Life magazine. In the 1960s, printed T-shirts gained popularity for self-expression as well for advertisements, protests, and souvenirs.
Current versions are available in many different designs and fabrics, and styles include crew-neck and V-neck shirts.
T-shirts were originally worn as undershirts, but are now worn frequently as the only piece of clothing on the top half of the body, other than possibly a brassiere or an undershirt (vest). T-shirts have also become a medium for self-expression and advertising, with any imaginable combination of words, art and photographs on display.
A T-shirt typically extends to the waist. Variants of the T-shirt, such as the V-neck, have been developed. Hip hop fashion calls for "tall-T" shirts which may extend down to the knees. A 1990s trend in women's clothing involved tight-fitting "cropped" T-shirt or crop tops short enough to reveal the midriff. Another less popular trend is wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt of a contrasting color over a long-sleeved T-shirt, which is known as "layering". T-shirts that are tight to the body are called fitted, tailored or "baby doll" T-shirts.
Parts of shirt
Many terms are used to describe and differentiate types of shirts (and upper-body garments in general) and their construction. The smallest differences may have significance to a cultural or occupational group. Recently, (late twentieth century) it has become common to use tops to carry messages or advertising. Many of these distinctions apply to other upper-body garments, such as coats and sweaters.
Sleeves Shirts may:
Cuffs Shirts with long sleeves may further be distinguished by the cuffs:
Lower hem leaving the belly button area bare (much more common for women than for men).
Some combinations are not applicable, e.g. a tube top cannot have a collar.
Know more about Tshirt at Chris Weidman Walkout Shirt
Types of fabric tshirt
There are two main categories of fibres used: natural fibre and man-made fibre (synthetics or petroleum based). Some natural fibres are linen, the first used historically, cotton, the most used, ramie, wool, silk and more recently bamboo or soya. Some synthetic fibres are polyester, tencel, viscose, etc. Polyester mixed with cotton (poly-cotton) is often used. Fabrics for shirts are called shirtings. The four main weaves for shirtings are plain weave, oxford, twill and satin. Broadcloth, poplin and end-on-end are variations of the plain weave. After weaving, finishing can be applied to the fabric.
Shirts and politics
In the 1920s and 1930s, fascists wore different coloured shirts:
Black shirts were used by the Italian fascio, and in Britain, Finland and Germany and Croatia.
In addition, red shirts have been used to symbolize a variety of different political groups, including Garibaldi's Italian revolutionaries, nineteenth century American street gangs, and socialist militias in Spain and Mexico during the 1930s.
In the UK, the Social Credit movement of the thirties wore green shirts.