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A T-shirt (or tee shirt) is a shirt, usually buttonless, collarless, and pocketless, with a round neck and short sleeves, that is pulled on over the head and covers most of a person's torso. The sleeves of the T-shirt extend at least slightly over the shoulder but not completely over the elbow. A shirt that is either longer or shorter than this ceases to be a T-shirt, at least in the classic sense.

T-shirts are manufactured by the textile industry. They are typically made of cotton or polyester fibers (or a mix of the two), knitted together in a jersey stitch that gives a T-shirt its distinctive soft texture. T-shirts are often decorated with text and/or pictures.
T-shirt fashions include styles for men and women, and for all age groups, including baby, youth and adult sizes.

History

In the 19th century, the idea of underwear developed, which had not been common before. At some point near the turn of the century, the underwear shirt was developed; the shirt was always a part of clothing since ancient Egypt, though it slowly became more and more popular. Hence there have been many garments that resemble the T-shirt, Though the general trend supported the possibility of less clothing, which prudent morale had forbidden until the 19th century. The origin of the T-Shirt is obscure — claims reach at least from California to Britain, and from 1913 to 1948, and it was most likely a slow development during that time.
Most research mentions this possibility that the idea of the T-shirt came to the United States during World War I when US soldiers noticed the light cotton undershirts European soldiers were using while the US soldiers sweated in their wool uniforms. Since they were so much more comfortable they quickly became popular among the Americans, and because of their design they got the name T-shirt. Other experts credit the U.S. Navy's "light undershirt" from 1913, described with "elastic collarette on the neck opening, called "crew neck". The Los Angeles Times claimed in 2006 that the Navy shirt as described in 1913's regulations state that the "light undershirt" was different from what is commonly worn today, with the Navy's version boasting an "elastic collarette on the neck opening" and other odd features.
On these grounds, the LA Times relates that Howard Jones asked the underwear company "Jockey" in 1932 to develop a sweat absorbing shirt for the USC football team, which they propose was the "modern T-Shirt".
The origin of the name is uncertain: many refer to the shape of the shirt as a "T", while it could also emphasize the use of the army as a "training shirt". The shape-based theory is supported by the existence of an A-shirt in the 30s USA, which was the usual undershirt later labelled the tank top.
During WWII the T-shirt had become standard issue underwear in both the U.S. Army and the Navy. Although the T-shirt was formally underwear, soldiers often used it without a shirt covering it while doing heavy labor or while stationed in locations with a hot climate, just like their former underwear. As a result, the public was frequently exposed to pictures of members of the armed forces wearing pants and a T-shirt. This became gradually more acceptable, as the cover of the July 13, 1942 issue of Life magazine shows, which features a picture of a soldier wearing a T-shirt with the text "Air Corps Gunnery School").
After WWII the T-shirt started appearing without a shirt covering it in civilian life. According to the New York Times, the 1948 presidential campaign of New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey produced a "Dew It for Dewey" T-shirt, which was followed in 1952 by "I Like Ike" T-shirts in support of Dwight D. Eisenhower. John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean all wore them on national TV. At first the public was shocked, but by 1955 it had become acceptable.
The record, as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, for Most T-shirts worn was broken on October 12, 2006 by Matt McAllister a radio DJ of 99.9 KTYD in Santa Barbara, California. He put on 121 t-shirts, sized small to 10XL, on The Late Show with David Letterman, breaking his own record of 120.

Messages

Since the late 1980s and especially the 1990s, T-shirts with prominent designer-name logos have been popular, especially with teenagers and young adults. These garments allowed consumers to flaunt their taste in designer brands in an inexpensive way, in addition to being decorative. Examples of designer T-shirt branding include Calvin Klein, FUBU, Ralph Lauren, and The Gap.
Screen printed T-shirts have been a standard form of product advertising for major consumer products, such as Coca-cola and Mickey Mouse, since the 1970s. However, since the 1990s, it has become common practice for companies of all sizes to produce T-shirts with their corporate logos or messages as part of their overall advertising campaigns.
The early 2000s saw the renewed popularity of T-shirts with slogans and designs with a strong inclination to the humorous and/or ironic. The trend has only increased later in this decade; embraced by celebrities, such as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and reflected back on them, too ('Team Aniston').
T-shirts with bold slogans were popular in the UK in the 1980s
T-shirts with bold slogans were popular in the UK in the 1980s
The story of the message tee embraces the modern phenomenon of “personal branding” (indicating, in this case, the wearer’s sense of humor), as well as a climate in which statements—political or personal—are generally preferred to be catchy than true. Notable was the popularity of political slogans and messages on T-shirts coinciding with the presidential election.
The political and social statements that T-shirts often display have become, since the 2000s, one of the reasons that they have so deeply permeated different levels of culture and society. The statements also may be found to be offensive, shocking or pornographic to some. Many different organizations have caught on to the statement-making trend, including chain and independent stores, websites, and schools.

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This is an extract from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia



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