WWI American soldiers entrenched in mud used the t-shirt as an undergarment. The features of the mild cotton lingerie were easily followed by the US military. By WWII the US Military and Navy had provided the shirt as standard issue. T-shirts at the time were still regarded lingerie and maybe not used casually.
With the aid of a perspiration Brando in the 1951 picture “A Streetcar Called Want”, and later a brooding James Dean in “Rebel with no Trigger” the shirt had moved to main-stream youth culture. By the time Elvis had gyrated, the young revolt seed was planted and along side denim trousers the t-shirt had become the warm fashion statement.
The 60’s were well-known for cultural upheavals and political events. Many subcultures produced from Beatniks, Mods, Rockers to ultimately Hippy’s. During the first 60’s The Beatles had dismissed the shirt opting for their logo suits. But by the late 60’s the haze of the Hippy technology had developed the wrap dyed t-shirt. Dunked in a number of containers of vibrant colors it turned a symbol of the psychedelic age and possibly among the worst style crimes of the century. Different t-shirt variations were born such as the ringer, muscle, v-neck and reservoir t-shirts. The innovation of screen making saw cultural and political slogans expressed on clothing especially for the anti war sentiments of Vietnam.
Steel emerged defeating to demise the Hippy’s with their own sandals. The dark shirt was today standard issue with produced images of stadium stone Supergroups such as for instance Light emitting diode Zeppelin, ACDC and Green Floyd. In the course of the middle 70’s Search attire began appearing. Niche exploring manufacturers such as Lightning Secure, Billabong, Rip Curl and Quiksilver would later become big corporations. Athletic leaders Adidas, Puma, Reebok and Nike also obtained prominence with their branded produced t-shirts, shoes and apparel.
The decade was also known for it’s several basic shirt motto’s like the Smiley experience, “Sh*t Happens” and “I enjoy NY” which will see a revival following 911. Fonzie in the TV sitcom Pleased Days compensated respect to Brando and Dean twenty years before by reintroducing the empty white tee. In 1977 the Star Wars phenomenon had exploded. Star Wars t-shirts were every where for the tween. But for the twenty something’s there clearly was of course Disco. With films like Saturday Night Fever and Thank Lord it’s Friday the flared trousers and tight t-shirts became the typical 70’s silhouette.
The effect of music had an extreme effect on fashion in the 80’s. The New Passionate motion in early 80’s had passed on the straightforward tee, choosing a far more luxurious look. Remember Group of Seagulls? On the alternative spectrum the Punk movement was entirely flight with dark cut up tops, Doc Marten boots, piercing and lots and lots of hair gel.
By the mid 80’s the Western fashion influence had caught on. Manufacturers Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake had reinvented the shirt to a sizable oversized kimono design cut. Katherine Hamnett in 1984 took it further with the notable “Select Life” print that has been straight away embraced by Wham! in their video “Wake Me Up Before you Move Go “.Not long after Frankie claimed “Curl up” and The Smiths said “Beef is Kill” regurgitating the political t-shirt.
From the large tee stemmed the woman’s “t-shirt gown” which progressed into neon and day shine colours. Springsteen produced the trousers and a shirt back to essentials with folded up macho sleeves all through his Born in the USA phase. For the MTV technology Armani needed the shirt to large fashion wearing the tee underneath a match jacket. Of course the suit coat sleeves were rolled up ala Crocket and Tubbs Miami Vice fashion (parodied excessively in that Friends episode).
Search tops found a restoration pioneered by new models Stussy and Mossimo. Also followed by Skaters long sleeve t-shirts became ever more popular. The Hypercolor t-shirt fad where in fact the fabric changed color with heat was really popular. Entertainingly if the wearer upset a sweat huge unattractive areas of colour modify would happen around the armpits.
Again the influence of music got back into play. Trendy Hop proved it wasn’t a stage adopting initially Adidas as a brand. Later different Reputation unique manufacturers surfaced such as for instance Sean David and Phat Farm. Dance, Trance and DJing received prominence and stronger and sleeveless t-shirts utilized with baggy trousers become the mode. Grunge anti-fashion also took the tee in still another path with a dark used appearance.