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T-Shirt

T-Shirt

Background

T-shirts are durable, versatile garments with mass appeal that may be worn as outerwear or underwear. Since their creation in 1920, T-shirts have evolved into a two-billion dollar market. T-shirts are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles, such as the standard crew neck and V-neck, as well as tank tops and scoop necks. T-shirt sleeves may be short or long, capped, yoked, or raglan. Additional features include pockets and decorative trim. T-shirts are also popular garments on which to display one's interests, tastes, and affiliations using customized screen prints or heat transfers. Printed shirts may feature political slogans, humor, art, sports, as well as famous people and places. T-shirts are also inexpensive promotional vehicles for products and special events.

T-shirts fit just about anyone in any size, from infants to seniors. Adult sizes are generally small, medium, large, and extra-large, while sizes for toddlers are detennined by month and weight. In addition, to compensate for the larger heads of infants relative to their bodies, shirts are specially designed with shoulder openings that may be fastened with buttons or snaps.

Raw Materials

The majority of T-shirts are made of 100% cotton, polyester, or a cotton/polyester blend. Environmentally conscious manufacturers may use organically grown cotton and natural dyes. Stretchable T-shirts are made of knit fabrics, especially jerseys, rib knits, and interlock rib knits, which consist of two ribbed fabrics that are joined together. Jerseys are most frequently used since they are versatile, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive. They also are a popular material for applying screen prints and heat transfers. Some jerseys come in tubular form, simplifying the production process by reducing the number of seams. Rib knit fabrics are often used when a snugger fit is desired. Many higher quality T-shirts are made of durable interlock rib knit fabrics.

Neckbands add support to the garment and give the neckline of the T-shirt a more finished look. Neckbands are generally one-by-one inch rib knits, although heavier fabrics or higher quality T-shirts may require two-by-two rib knits. Neckband fabrics may be tubed rib knits of specific widths, or flat fabric that must be seamed. Additional T-shirt materials include tape or seam binding, made of a twill or another stiff fabric. Binding reinforces the neckline and shoulder seams and by covering the seams, it protects them from ripping apart under tension. Alternatively, elastic may be used at the shoulder seams so they remain flexible.

Thread is of course an essential element in sewing any garment. Several types and colors of thread may be used to make a single T-shirt. Some manufacturers use white thread for seams on all their shirts, regardless of color, thus eliminating the extra labor involved in changing the thread. Visible topstitching is done with a color of thread that blends with the fabric. Colorless, or monofilament, thread could be used for hems of any color fabric, again eliminating the need to change thread often, though monofilament thread may irritate the skin somewhat. Finally, optional decorative features may include trim, such as braiding, contrasting cuffs, appliqués, and heat transfer or screen print designs.

The Manufacturing
Process

Making T-shirts is a fairly simple and largely automated process. Specially designed machines integrate cutting, assembling, and stitching for the most efficient operations. The most commonly used seams for T-shirts are narrow, superimposed seams, which are usually made by placing one piece of fabric onto another and lining up the seam edges. These seams are frequently stitched with an overedge stitch, which requires one needle thread from above and two looper threads from below. This particular seam and stitch combination results in a flexible finished seam.

Another type of seam that may be used for T-shirts are bound seams, in which a narrow piece of fabric is folded around a seam, as at the neckline. These seams may be stitched together using a lockstitch, chainstitch, or overedge stitch. Depending on the style of the T-shirt, the order in which the garment is assembled may vary slightly.

Styling

  • 1 The T-shirt style is designed and the dimensions are transferred to patterns. Adjustments are made for size differences and stylistic preferences.

Cutting

  • 2 The T-shirt sections are cut to the dimensions of the patterns. The pieces consist of a tubed body, or separate front and back sections, sleeves, perhaps pockets, and trim.

Assembling the front and back

  • 3 For fabric that is not tubed, the separate pieces for the front and back sections must be stitched together at the sides. They are joined at the seam lines to form a simple, narrow, superimposed seam and stitched together using an overedge stitch. Care must be taken to avoid a needle cutting the yarn of the fabric, which can lead to tears in the garment.

Assembling the sleeves

  • 4 The hems of sleeves are generally finished before they are fitted into the garment, since it is easier to hem the fabric while it is flat. An automated system moves the sleeves to the sewing head by conveyor. The edge may be finished by folding it over, forming the hem and stitching, or by applying a band. The band may be attached as a superimposed seam or folded over the edge as binding.
  • 5 If the T-shirt body is tubular, the sleeve material is first sewn together, and then set into the garment. Alternatively, if the T-shirt is "cut and sewn," the unseamed sleeve is set into place. Later during the final stage of sewing the shirt, the sleeve and side seams are sewn in one action.

Stitching the hem

  • 6 The garment hem is commonly sewn with an overedge stitch, resulting in a flexible hem. The tension of the stitch should be loose enough to allow stretching the garment without tearing the fabric. Alternative hem styles include a combination of edge finishing stitches.

Adding pockets

  • 7 Pockets may be sewn onto T-shirts intended for casual wear. Higher quality T-shirts will insert an interlining into the pocket so that it maintains its shape. The interlining is inserted into the pocket as it is sewn onto the T-shirt front. Pockets may be attached to the garment with automated setters, so the operator only has to arrange the fabric pieces, and the mechanical setter positions the pocket and stitches the seam.

Stitching the shoulder seams

  • 8 Generally, shoulder seams require a simple superimposed seam. Higher quality T-shirt manufacturers may reinforce seams with tape or elastic. Depending on the style of the T-shirt, the seams at the shoulder may be completed before or after the neckband is attached. For instance, if a tubular neckband is to be applied, the shoulder seams must first be closed.

Attaching the neckband

  • 9 For crew neck shirts, the neck edge should be slightly shorter in circumference than the outer edge where it is attached to the garment. Thus, the neckband must be stretched just the right amount to prevent bulging. Tubular neckbands are applied manually. The bands are folded, wrong sides together, stretched slightly, and aligned with the neckline. The superimposed seam is stitched with an overedge stitch.

    Bound seams are finished with a cover stitch and are easy to achieve. Bound seams may be used on a variety of neckline styles. The process entails feeding ribbed fabric through machines which fold the fabric and apply tension to it.

    Some neckbands on lower-priced shirts are attached separately to the front and back necklines of the garment. Thus when the shoulder seams are stitched, seams are visible on the neckband.

    V-necks require the extra step of either lapping or mitering the neckband. In the former process, one side is folded over the other. A mitered seam is more complex, requiring an operator to overlap the band accurately and stitch the band at center front. An easier method for a V-neck look is to attach the band to the neckline and then sew a tuck to form a V.

Finishing the neckline

  • 10 Necklines with superimposed seams may be taped, so that the shirt is stronger and more comfortable. Tape may be extended across the back and over the shoulder seams to reinforce this area as well and to flatten the seam. The seam is then cover stitched or top stitched.

Label setting

  • 11 One or more labels are usually attached at the back of the neckline. Labels provide information about the manufacturer, size, fabric content, and washing instructions.

Optional features

  • 12 Some T-shirts will have trim or screen prints added for decorative purposes. Special T-shirts for infants have larger openings at the head. The shoulder seams are left open near the neck, and buttons or other fasteners are attached.

Finishing operations

  • 13 T-shirts are inspected for flaws in the fabric, stitching, and thread.
  • 14 High-quality T-shirts may be pressed through steam tunnels before they are packaged. Packaging depends on the type of T-shirt and the intended distribution outlet. For underwear, the shirts are folded and packaged in pre-printed bags, usually of clear plastic, that list information about the product. Shirts may be boarded, or folded around a piece of cardboard, so that they maintain their shape during shipping and on the shelf. Finally, they are placed into boxes by the dozen or half-dozen.

Quality Control

Most of the operations in manufacturing clothing are regulated by federal and inter-national guidelines. Manufacturers may also set guidelines for the company. There are standards that apply specifically to the T-shirt industry, which include proper sizing and fit, appropriate needles and seams, types of stitches, and the number of stitches per inch. Stitches must be loose enough to allow the garment to stretch without breaking the seam. Hems must be flat and wide enough to prevent curling. T-shirts must also be inspected for proper application of neck-lines, which should rest flat against the body. The neckline should also recover properly after being slightly stretched.

The Future

Exposure to sun's harmful rays has become a concern to many people who enjoy outdoor activities. In addition to sunscreen and sun glasses, sun-blocking T-shirts are now available. Founded by Harvey Schakowsky, SPF Wear company has introduced a line of clothing, including T-shirts, that blocks out 93-99% of ultraviolet rays. A typical T-shirt blocks out only 50% of the rays. Using a fabric called Solarweave, these new T-shirts are made out of synthetically woven nylon treated with a special chemical substance.

Where To Learn More

Books

Carr, H. and B. Latham. Technology of Clothing Manufacture. Oxford BSP Professional Books, 1988.

Glock, Ruth E. and Grace I. Kunz. Apparel Manufacturing: Sewn Product Analysis. Macmillan, 1990.

Solinger, J. Apparel Manufacturing Handbook. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980.

Periodicals

Callahan, Peter. "Sunday Best: Protective Wear for Your Day in the Sun." Omni, October 1992, p. 35.

Kopkind, Andrew. "From A to Tee." Harper's Bazaar, July 1993, pp. 34-36.

Audra Avizienis

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T-Shirt

T-Shirt

Originally designed to be hidden under other clothes, the T-shirt has become one of the essential elements of casual fashion in the United States and around the world. The T-shirt, so-called because of its T-like shape, was issued as an undergarment to servicemen during the first two world wars (191418 and 193945). The short-sleeved T-shirt was made of soft cotton fabric, much more comfortable than the woolen undergarments typical since 1880, and it quickly became a favorite with soldiers and sailors alike.

The hard work of war soon found military men stripping down to their white T-shirts to do their jobs in relative comfort. By the end of World War II in 1945, pictures of sailors and soldiers working in nothing more than pants and T-shirts had become quite common. In 1942 T-shirted military men even appeared on the cover of Life magazine, one of the most popular magazines of the time, marking the transition of the T-shirt from undershirt to an acceptable outer shirt.

The return home of servicemen soon made the T-shirt an essential part of working men's wardrobes. The popularity of the T-shirt was further fueled by Hollywood. Films featuring male film stars in T-shirts associated the shirts with masculine power, sexuality, and youthful rebellion. Handsome Marlon Brando (1924) wore a T-shirt that showed off his muscular build in the 1951 feature film A Streetcar Named Desire, and James Dean's (19311955) role in Rebel without a Cause (1955) linked the T-shirt with youthful distrust of authority figures.

Soon T-shirts were used to make political statements or simply to express a point of view. During the Vietnam War (195475) plain white T-shirts worn by young men associated them with a conservative political attitude, while more liberal (progressive) men wore tie-dyed or painted T-shirts. Women began to use the T-shirt to make their own statements during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. The T-shirt's clingy fabric accentuated women's shapeliness.

The symbolism of T-shirts became much more obvious when T-shirts started carrying written messages. T-shirts displayed the widest range of opinions and messages, from the pleasant "Have a Nice Day" to offensive profanity and from college university names to professional sports teams. T-shirts turned their wearers into walking billboards for popular brands such as Nike or Old Navy. Whether you wanted to show your love of a local college, a brand of soda pop, or a favorite rock band, there was a T-shirt for you. At the beginning of the twenty-first century T-shirts continued to be an essential component of wardrobes around the world and were, along with blue jeans, the foremost examples of American fashion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Harris, Alice. The White T. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

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T-shirt

T-shirt (also tee shirt) • n. a short-sleeved casual top, generally made of cotton, having the shape of a T when spread out flat.

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T-shirt

T-shirtadvert, alert, animadvert, assert, avert, Bert, blurt, Burt, cert, chert, concert, controvert, convert, curt, desert, dessert, dirt, divert, exert, flirt, girt, hurt, inert, insert, introvert, Kurt, malapert, overt, pert, pervert, quirt, shirt, skirt, spirt, spurt, squirt, Sturt, subvert, vert, wort, yurt •Engelbert • Colbert • sweatshirt •nightshirt • pay dirt • Frankfurt •miniskirt • underskirt • expert •Blackshirt • redshirt • T-shirt •Brownshirt • undershirt • extrovert •ragwort • milkwort • pillwort •nipplewort • lungwort • bladderwort •liverwort

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T-Shirt

T-Shirt



The T-shirt is one of the beacons of American casual fashion. Popularized by U.S. Navy sailors during the first two world wars, the T-shirt has become an essential element of the American wardrobe.

In 1913, the U.S. Navy issued short-sleeved, white cotton crewneck undershirts to sailors. Sailors returning from World War I (1914–18) had grown to prefer the T-shirt to the woolen undershirt that had been the most typical undergarment since 1880. The popularity of the garment grew. By World War II (1939–45), twelve million men were wearing the shirts. News photographs and newsreels showed sailors and soldiers working in only pants and T-shirts. Underwear was exposed to the public for the first time. America had become quite used to the display of American muscle under a thin layer of white T-shirt by war's end.

Although the military persuaded America to embrace the T-shirt as an essential element of a man's wardrobe, films turned the T-shirt into an American cultural phenomenon. In 1951, the sculpted muscles of Marlon Brando (1924–) bulged under his T-shirt in A Streetcar Named Desire; his character Stanley Kowalski's powerful masculinity was reflected in Brando's physique and perfectly displayed under his T-shirt. In 1955, James Dean (see entry under 1950s—Film and Theater in volume 3) brought a youthful, anti-establishment attitude to the T-shirt in Rebel Without a Cause. This anti-establishment theme continued into the 1960s with Peter Fonda (1939–) in Easy Rider (1966). The sexual and rebellious characters that actors portrayed in films translated into the behavior of American youths. T-shirts became associated with youthful, American attitudes.

Women made T-shirts their own symbol of youth and rebellion during the sexual revolution (see entry under 1960s—The Way We Lived in volume 4) of the 1960s and 1970s. The teasingly revealing anatomy of a T-shirt–clad Jacqueline Bisset (1944–) in The Deep (1977) is perhaps the best illustration of women's adoption of the T-shirt. Since the 1970s, young braless women have lined up in wet T-shirts in bars across the country to display their own sexuality.

Soon T-shirts displayed attitudes in type. Although some T-shirts carried printed messages before the 1960s, in the 1970s T-shirts became personal billboards for individual expression. Anything from "Have a Nice Day" to swear words could be found on T-shirts. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, T-shirts were a staple garment of Americans and many others around the world. Offered in a variety of colors, styles, and with unlimited messages, the T-shirt can still be seen adorning young and old alike.


—Sara Pendergast


For More Information

Grey, Ian. "Tee-Construction a Brief History of the T-Shirt." Vintageskivvies.com.http://www.vintageskivvies.com/pages/archives/articles/readersubmissions/historyofthet-shirt.html (accessed January 15, 2002).

"The History of a T-Shirt." Teehive.com.http://shop.store.yahoo.com/teehive/hisoftshir.html (accessed January 15, 2002).

Stern, Jane, and Michael Stern. The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990.

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T-Shirt

T-SHIRT

From its origins as men's underwear to its complex role in modern fashion, the T-shirt is today one of the most universally worn items of clothing. Cheap, hygienic, and comfortable, the T-shirt has become an essential basic wardrobe item worn by people of all social classes and ages. Technically, the T-shirt evolved and proliferated at an astonishing rate, aided by the increased availability of American cotton and the invention of the circular knitting machine in the mid-nineteenth century. Its current shape and style developed during the 1930s and it became universally worn as an outer-garment after World War II. In 2004 over two billion were sold worldwide. Contemporary versions range from inexpensive multi-packaged units to haute couture editions to high-tech fiber versions used in sports and health industries.

Shirts of T-shaped construction were worn as early as the medieval times to protect the body from chafing by heavy, metal armor. Civilians adopted the shirt as a protective and hygienic barrier between the body and costly garments. Made of cotton or linen, the shirt was more easily washable than silk or woolen outer garments with complex ornamentation. These shirts were made with long tails that wrapped around the body serving as underpants. The shirt was still always worn with a waistcoat or vest and jacket over the shirt. Wearing a clean, laundered shirt showed off a gentleman's wealth and gentility. Shirts changed very little in shape from their introduction in medieval times through the mid-nineteenth century. They were loose fitting, made of a woven fabric, and constructed with rectangular pieces that formed a T shape.

In the late nineteenth century when health-oriented concerns became prevalent, doctors and physicians advised wearing warm undershirts to protect from colds and rheumatism. Dr. Jaeger lauded the healthful benefits of wearing knitted underwear made of wool and manufactured his own line of knit undershirts. The circular knitting machine patented in 1863 made it possible to mass-produce knit jersey undershirts and hosiery for wide distribution. This technology created a greater range of types and refinement in undergarments. Its closer fit looked more like the modern T-shirt than earlier loose-fitting, woven shirts.

Sailors in the nineteenth century wore white flannel undershirts under their woolen pullovers. These shirts were worn alone on deck for work that required freedom of movement. The white cotton knit T-shirt was adopted as official underwear for the U.S. Navy in 1913. Fast drying, quick, and easy to put on, sailors responded positively to the new garment. The U.S. Army adopted it in 1942, in its classic form. Nicknamed skivvies, each soldier's name was stenciled on. In 1944 the army colored the shirt khaki to camouflage with the extreme tropical environment of the South Pacific. The vast media coverage of World War II popularized the T-shirt as a symbol of victorious, modern America and glorified it as a masculine, military icon. Returning soldiers retained the style after the war because of its comfort, practicality, and image. A Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog slogan in the 1940s took advantage of the heroic image that had developed during the war, "You needn't be a soldier to have your own personal T-shirt." Since that time it has been used in every war and has been appropriated by paramilitary factions. Like the trench coat it has also become an integral part of civilian dress from street fashion to haute couture.

Fruit of the Loom was the manufacturer who began marketing T-shirts on a large scale in the 1910s, first supplying the U.S. Navy and then universities with white T-shirts. The company manages its own cotton fields and yarn production. Each shirt undergoes 60 inspections before it is packaged. From the rebels of the 1950s to preppies who paired them with pearl necklaces in the 1980s, the company remained a number one producer of T-shirts through the 1990s and is still a competitive brand. The P. H. Hanes Knitting Company, founded in 1901, introduced a new style of men's two-piece under-wear. They have been a major supplier of T-shirts to the military and to the Olympics in addition to vast civilian distribution.

An increase in sports and leisure activities gave rise to new forms of clothing in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Close-fitting knitted woolen swimsuits made in the tank-shaped style of undershirts accustomed the eye to seeing more skin and one's body shape in a public place. By the 1930s T-shirts were standard sporting wear at colleges and universities. The earliest shirts printed with school logos served as uniforms for school sport teams. These sport uniforms encouraged a new casualness in dress among the middle classes that was important to the T-shirt's general acceptance. The cotton T-shirt has remained a mainstay of sports activities because it is absorbent, quick-drying, and allows free range of movement. The T-shirts' role in sports has moved beyond team identification and practical function; it is crucial to the marketing, promotion, and profitability of the sports industry.

In post–World War II years, the T-shirt was primarily worn for athletics, informally at home, or by blue-collar workers for physical labor. Marlon Brando's portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), wearing a visibly sweaty T-shirt clinging to his musculature, captured an erotic power of the shirt. The strong associations of masculinity developed earlier in patriotic form in military images, now had an amplified sexual expression. The silver-screen images of Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones (1953) and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) embodied the spirit of American youth in the 1950s. The impact of these movies was profoundly influential on society in solidifying a language and image of rebellion. Through these movies the white T-shirt, blue jeans, and black leather motorcycle jacket became the uniform of nonconformists searching for meaning in conservative postwar consumerist society. Other important musicals, films, and television programs from West Side Story (1961) to Happy Days (1974) to American Graffiti (1973) repeated and confirmed the rebellious meanings. Young people recognized this style as a new American fashion. Administrators prohibited wearing the T-shirt to school in an era when most people still wore shirts with collars. Not only was it rejected because of its informality, but the knit quality of the T-shirt is more clinging than a shirt or blouse. The Underwear Institute declared in 1961 that the T-shirt had become a dual-purpose garment that was acceptable as both outer-wear and underwear. In the early 1960s, a female image was promoted in the pivotal French film, Breathless (1960). Jean Seberg was featured as a young American selling the Herald Tribune, wearing a white T-shirt silk-screened with the newspaper logo that showed off her curvaceous figure and at the same time embodied a new, youthful androgynous style of seduction and feminine power. This film did much to introduce the style into female fashion. The erotic aspect of the T-shirt has been exploited in wet T-shirt contests that not only make use of the clinging quality of the fabric, but also its semi-transparency when wet.

Since the late 1960s and 1970s, the T-shirt has evolved and proliferated at a rapid rate. Decorative techniques used to create expressive statements on T-shirts became popular from the 1960s onward. Graphic designs, novelty patterns, and written words lionize rock 'n' roll bands, promote products and places, and express political and community-minded causes. Rapidly made and inexpensive, imprinted T-shirts can respond quickly to popular and political events. The first political use was in 1948 when the Republican candidate Thomas Dewey distributed T-shirts that read "Dew it with Dewey." The graphics for one of the most printed and widely copied designs, "I Love New York," was created in 1976 by graphic artist Milton Glaser.

Technological advancements in inks used for silk-screen printing in the early 1960s made this ancient technique easy, inexpensive, and fast. Underground artists who were decorating surfboards and skateboards on a cottage-industry level were some of the first to put designs on T-shirts. The shirts were an inexpensive canvas for expression. The hot iron transfer technique introduced in 1963 was even easier and faster to use. The fast-heat pressure-press widely available in the 1970s gave consumers the ability to choose the color of the shirt and its image or wording, and have it custom prepared in the store within minutes. In a 1976 Time magazine article, a Gimbels department store executive claimed that the Manhattan store sold over 1,000 imprinted shirts a week. Current digital processes allow for the printing of complex images with a professional appearance. Flocking, bubble coating, and embroidery are all used to create textured designs. With these two techniques the design area is coated with glue and then dusted with fibers that are attracted by electro-static means that affix them perpendicularly to the surface of the fabric leaving a velvety surface. Embroidered designs, whether done mechanically or manually, can be enhanced with beads, sequins, feathers, and other materials.

Community-minded causes were print designs that were most popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Images and messages about the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, peace and love, and feminist movements were prevalent. "Make Love Not War" and "Save the Whales" were two of the most popular messages. British designer Katherine Hamnett created a revival in T-shirts bearing political written messages in 1984 when she wore an oversized T-shirt bearing the message "98% of people don't want Pershings" in a public meeting with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the height of the Falklands War.

More than a passing fad, imprinted T-shirts have become an integral part of brand marketing, whether distributed as promotional gifts or to generate revenue. In 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer used the T-shirt to promote one of the first color movies made in Hollywood, The Wizard of Oz. Budweiser started stamping its logo on shirts in 1965 but it was the following decade that the idea was spread to all types of brands, from Bic to Xerox. In the case of the Hard Rock Café, collecting logoed T-shirts from its locations around the world has become a significant portion of the draw to the restaurant.

In 1983 the New Yorker reported that the industry sold 32 million dozen items in 1982. Although there are fads for different styles and colors, the imprinted T-shirt is unique in that men, women, and children of all ages, shapes, and social standings universally wear it.

Pop artists Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jenny Holzer pioneered the use of the T-shirt as a work of art. In the 1980s contemporary fashion's inclusion in museum exhibitions considered the many designer versions. Also in the 1980s, with the explosion of marketing of museums, masterworks of art were reproduced on T-shirts and sold in their gift stores.

High fashion adopted the T-shirt as early as 1948. A model appeared on the cover of Life magazine and ran a story that featured T-shirts by American designers Claire McCardell, Ceil Chapman, and Valentina. The article demonstrated how the sports shirt was now a street and evening style. The 1960s saw it go from street fashion to silk haute couture versions in the collections of such designers as Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior. From Woodstock to Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche to Vivienne Westwood, by the 1970s the T-shirt was part of all sectors of dress. Logoed shirts by Lacoste and Polo Ralph Lauren of the 1980s and 1990s were popular indicators of status. The black T-shirt became the uniform of the trendy and hip in the 1980s. Bruce Weber's photos of models wearing Calvin Klein's T-shirts became an icon of 1990s sexuality and minimalism. Designers such as Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Helmet Lang have worn the T-shirt as their own identifying uniform. Designer shirts are usually made from a high-quality cotton, have an elegant neckline, and well-cut and sewn sleeves. Japanese designers Issey Miyake and Yohji Yammamoto have led new ways of thinking about the T-shirt in their deconstructionist work through cutting, slashing, and knotting. Miyake's vision has ranged from his Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix T-shirt of the 1970s to his piece of cloth shirts by the yard of 1999. The T-shirt has been pivotal to the revolution in lifestyles and attitudes that formed the second half of the twentieth century and its impact on fashion continues.

See alsoPolitics and Fashion; Sportswear; Underwear .

bibliography

Bayer, Ann. "What's the Message on Your T-Shirt?" Seventeen (April 1981): 186–187.

——. "1951 T-Shirt." Life (16 July 1951): 73–76.

——. "T-Shirts: Sports Standby is Now a Street and Evening Style." Life (7 June 1948): 103–106.

——. "Imprinted Sportswear." New Yorker (11 April 1983): 33.

Brunel, Charlotte. The T-Shirt Book. New York: Assouline, 2002.

Harris, Alice. The White T. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

——. "The T-Shirt: A Startling Evolution." Time (1 March 1976): 48–50.

Russell, Mary. "The Top on Top." Vogue (March 1983): 316–317.

Dennita Sewell

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