The Old-School Military History of a T-shirt


Probably every man has a T-shirt in their closet. And it seems impossible to think there was a time they didn’t exist. But the T-shirt has an interesting history.

“The modern tee as we know it was issued as an undergarment by the US Navy around 1913, to keep soldiers’ sweat off of the more expensive pieces of uniform. The name, in case you hadn’t already figured this out, comes from the simple “T” shape design of the body and short sleeves. And although the style was issued by the military, it quickly became the symbol of youthful rebellion when adopted by soldiers returning to civilian life in their blue-collar jobs.

Icons of 1950s teenage angst Marlon Brando and James Dean elevated the simple cotton number into an indicator of sexuality and danger, at a time when wearing something so simple and revealing was a major statement.”

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