The History of T-Shirts
The origin of T-shirts dates back to the late 1800s when underwear, which initially was made from cotton and knitted together in a jersey stitch giving it the soft texture, lend itself excellent for being worn underneath the other, rougher clothing and prevented the wearer from itching.
It was worn as one-piece underwear throughout the 19th century and the biggest change came when these undergarments were cut from one piece into two: the top, which was long enough to tuck under the waistband, and the bottoms. Named after its shape, the T-shirt became popular by miners and dockworkers by the end of the 19th century.
Its popularity grew when T-shirts became a part of the uniform of the U.S. Navy during the Spanish American War of 1898 and were issued for sailors and Marines. By that time, manual laborers in Southern Europe already wore the shirts during the hot summer and this habit was quickly adopted by the U.S. army personnel after they came to Europe.
From there, it quickly made its way through the entire U.S. and was soon worn by workers in many other industries, since it was easily fitted, cleaned, and cheap. It didn't remain underwear for long, as you are about to find out. Oh wait, you actually already did; all you have to do is take a look at your outfit and in your closet!