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Fashion Fact #22- T-shirts

Curators’ Corner

Fashion Fact #22- T-shirts

The t-shirt evolved during the 19th century when the “union suit” was cut into two separate pieces: one for the top and one for the bottom. Miners in hot temperatures wore t-shirts, with or without buttons, to cover up their shoulders and back. The t-shirt became popular with the U.S. Navy as an undershirt. The t-shirt was crew-necked; short sleeved, and did not have buttons. Soon the t-shirt became popular as a bottom layer among workers, farmers, and young boys, because it fit well, could be cleaned easily, and was inexpensive.

Today, many t-shirts are replicated from popular t-shirts in the 1970s and are often made to look and feel vintage. They are also used to advertise, protest, and display messages.