Few pieces of clothing have affected American culture as much as the humble t-shirt. Throughout the years, tees have been dyed, printed, painted, ripped, cut, drawn on and bejeweled. T-shirts are a blank canvas, and their versatility has led to their popularity.

            Today, it’s not unusual to see people dressed in tee shirts. But originally, the tee had other purposes. T-shirts evolved from union suit style undergarments. The tee was originally meant to be worn tucked in, under other clothing. The shirt became popular for workers in many industries including mining, shipping, and agriculture.

            The U.S Navy had issued t-shirts since 1913, but it took until World War II for all military branches to issue tees. The Marines took to dying their tees with coffee because the white shirts made them too visible. Eventually, military shirts were dyed before they were issued.

            Though considered underwear, military personnel began to sport just tees with their military trousers. This look was practical as it was cooler and made it less likely that the outerwear would get dirty.

            After WWII, many veterans continued to wear tees as outerwear.  Films such as “A Streetcar Named Desire” help to popularize the look. Eventually, the t-shirt became appropriate casual attire.

            The “t” in t-shirt comes from “t” formed by the body and sleeves. Tees are usually made with a jersey knit, which makes them highly flexible. They are also usually knit on a circular loom in order to eliminate side seams. Today, t-shirts can be found in all shapes and types. There are t-shirts that can be bought in a pack, and shirts that are sold by high end designer brands. Many people DIY their shirts to personalize them. In addition, t shirts are bought as souvenirs, given as gifts, and made into bags, blankets, and other items when they are outgrown. T-shirts are also integral to advertising. The first tee made for a company was a shirt made for Budweiser in the sixties.

            Whether you have a business or a non-profit, you need to have t-shirts on hand. They can be sold for fundraisers or they can be given away at booths, special events, and open houses. Make sure to order your tees from ABR Print today!