The t-shirt that is nowadays so popular everywhere on the planet had to endure many controversial disputes until it was accepted as a piece of clothing on its own.
As funny as it might sound today, t-shirts started as underwear. It wasn’t the bra; it wasn’t the zephyr or the knickers, but the t-shirt. During World War I, the American soldiers were dealing with heats in their mission and they saw the Europeans dealt with the summer heats much easier, because they had light cotton t-shirts as underwear, while the Americans had wool flannel. So, the first place where the t-shirt was spotted was Europe, and through there, it reached in the entire world. During World War II, every soldier had a t-shirt as underwear.
Those times fashion was not accepted as easily as it is today, every new clothing element had to endure harsh criticism before being tolerated and therefore worn.
Hollywood industry considerably contributed to t-shirts evolving from underwear status to that of a clothing element on its own. John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean were the first ones who shocked the audience by wearing their underwear on national TV.
Marlon Brando wore his t-shirt ripped off in his film “A streetcar named desire”, while James Dean wore his t-shirt without anything covering it in his movie “Rebel without a cause”. Due to the movie’s theme, the t-shirt was also considered a symbol for youth rebellion and it was considered cool and finally accepted.
Its name, t-shirt, came from its simple shape, the letter “T”, and at the end of the World Wars, the t-shirt history is about to end.