The history of the T-shirt

The T-shirt:
the birth of an icon

If there is one garment that can be considered a staple of both the male and female wardrobe, it is without doubt the T-shirt. Could you live without it? It is hard to find anybody who does not own one.

But what you might not know is that the T-shirt was initially an item of underwear, before becoming a type of workwear and, eventually, a style essential and a means of expression.

of the T-shirt

The T-shirt dates from the late 19th century and was originally a long, one-piece garment with a buttoned front that workers wore beneath their workwear as underwear. Later on, it was split into two pieces so that it could be worn in the summer months as well.

It was also issued to the US army for wearing underneath soldiers' uniforms. The early 20th century saw the birth of the T-shirt as we know it today, as a garment in its own right.

of the T-shirt

The T-shirt reached the peak of its fame in the 50s and 60s following its appearance in several Hollywood films, most notably A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Marlon Brando, and later Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean. It was thanks to these film stars that the basic, plain T-shirt really took off as an outer garment. It also became a symbol of rebellion for youngsters.

In the 60s, developments in dyeing technologies combined with the emergence of screen printing led to coloured T-shirts, featuring printed text and images, beginning to catch on. By the 70s, the T-shirt had become a powerful means of expression for everything from declaring the wearer's musical tastes or political ideology, to protesting. Brands and bands seized the opportunity to use the T-shirt as a branding tool, an obvious example being the Rolling Stones' infamous Tongue logo.

The T-shirt today

Nowadays, the T-shirt is an essential in any wardrobe no matter where you are in the world, and continues to be the go-to option for conveying a message.

What makes it so special is its versatility, as it is equally at home under a suit or shirt as it is with chinos, jeans, Bermuda shorts and swim shorts, and even as part of a pair of pyjamas. In a nutshell, it can be worn in any situation and at any time of day.

When choosing a T-shirt, you probably buy your favourite basic ones in several colours and, when they have worn out, go back and buy them again. And you no doubt also like to have some with stripes, text and/or logos on them to add a touch of interest to your plainer looks.

At Façonnable, we believe that the most important thing is to select a quality T-shirt whose fabric is comfortable and soft against your skin. It is also vital for it to withstand repeated washing and, of course, for the design to be unique and exciting.

Have a browse through our vast collection, which we are sure will not disappoint.