The Evolution of T-shirts and Their Designs
For many people, T-shirts are a wardrobe staple. Aside from being comfortable and fashionable, they're now designed to be highly versatile - so they can be dressed up or down, and worn to create a number of different looks. T-shirts weren't always what they are today. In fact, despite being considered one of the most basic and comfortable things anyone can wear, they have evolved immensely through history.
T-shirts - named so because of their shape - were commonly worn by miners and dock workers in the 18th century, with variations also adopted as undergarments. However, at the start of the 20th century, American troops noticed European soldiers wearing the light, soft garments, and quickly adopted them as part of their own uniform. By the 1950s, T-shirts were appearing on film stars like Marlon Brando and James Dean, turning the garment into a symbol of rebellion and youth. By the 1970s, the T-shirt was a common and accepted article of clothing, and was seen on people of all ages across the world.
However, it wasn't just the purpose, image, or acceptance of the T-shirt that changed over the years. As time went by, various designs and trends began to emerge - something that has continued on to this day. For instance, in the 1960s, it was common to tie dye and screen print plain cotton T-shirts, while the 80s saw a heavy influx of T-shirts bearing the names of rock bands. Throughout the 90s, the mechanics of t-shirt printing improved significantly, enabling higher quality prints and longer wear of T-shirts. Decorations evolved along with the actual shape and fit of T-shirts - for example, seen in tanks, muscle shirts, scoop necks, fitted tees, and baggy fitting T-shirts. By this point, it was common for consumers to custom order T-shirts with designs of their choice, as well as for consumers to use T-shirts as a standard form of marketing.
Of course, as is the way in the world of fashion, trends tend to repeat themselves - and many older T-shirt trends have made their way back into today's designs. For instance, it's now common to see vintage motifs and images on T-shirts. Older T-shirt designs - for example, cropped styles and baggy fitting tees reminiscent of the 80s - have also come back. However, while T shirts used to be one of the most casual pieces of clothing on the market, they can now be dressed up or down to create a whole range of looks for the wearer.