We say that the T-Shirt is a must in our basics, yet how many of us know the history of this staple apparel?
Fun fact, the t-shirt that we wear as is, in today’s date, originated as an undergarment in the nineteenth century during World War I. Essentially, the term used was a ‘union suit’ which we now call a onesie, worn by both men and women (mostly men) in the USA at the end of the nineteenth century to keep themselves warm in the colder temperature. But as the summer heat arrived, these frustrated workers cut them in half, tucking the upper into the bottoms.
In two shakes, the Cooper Underwear Company began marketing the top-wear-sans buttons, as bachelor undershirts. The United States used this garment to wear beneath their uniforms. Later, it became common for marines, workers of various industries, and farmers to wear the t-shirt as an undershirt. It featured a crew neckline and short sleeves and had the resemblance to the shape of a T, giving the name T-shirt. Now that you think about it, yes, it does look like a T!
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TEE – A REBEL WITH A CAUSE
The actual term “T-shirt” was inducted into the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, later in 1920. This was brought into action when F. Scott Fitzgerald used the term ‘T-shirt’ in his novel “This Side of Paradise.” Then came the famous Marlon Brando flaunting the t-shirt as an outer garment in the movie “A Street Car Named Desire” in 1950, followed by James Dean in 1955, in the movie “Rebel Without a Cause.”
Dennis Nothdruft, the curator of Fashion and Textile Museum, London, says, “It’s just a white T-shirt, but it already has that kind of disruptive potential.” According to him, “It was rebellious, because [T-shirts] were undergarments … It was a tough political statement.”
Needless to say, Brando and Dean nailed this style and the popularity of the t-shirt as an outerwear garment touched the skies.
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The Birth of Graphic Tees
The plain white T-shirt may have caused a stir in America in the 50s, but it had miles to go in realizing its full potential. By the time Marlon Brando’s movie screened in theatres, graphic tees were already in trend. T-shirts with the name “Oz” appeared in The Wizard of Oz in 1939 and Thomas E. Dewey, a Republican presidential candidate perhaps created, which happens to be the first slogan t-shirt, “Do it with Dewey.” And though the t-shirt printing began in the 1950s and ‘60s, not until the ‘70s that they become the source of the powerful messaging platform we see today! We do thank the Punk Movement for this evolution! A T-shirt was, and is still a way of shocking and outraging people and challenging the status quo. These garments allow us to flaunt our taste for designer brands printed or embellished on the tees.
Needless to say, this quintessential garment is worn around the world and no doubt has a unique way of conveying a strong message across, as and when needed.
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We have seen that throughout history, different types of t-shirts have proven themselves to be accessible and flexible choices of clothing.
That is why there are so many distinct t-shirt styles available nowadays. With varied necklines and graphic motifs, you may be creative with t-shirt style. They’re great for layering beneath cardigans and over tanks. You may also wear them with almost any type of bottom, from leggings to cropped suit pants.
T-shirt designs for men and women have progressed significantly. T-shirts are the fashion choice of today’s startup generation — and a statement on a particular way of living.
It’s an entrepreneurial and innovative way of life. T-shirts are comfy, casual canvases for designs, funny phrases, and creative branding in today’s culture.
Follow this comprehensive guide to all you need to know about the many styles and types of t-shirts to get into t-shirt culture. You’ll also learn how to pick the best t-shirt for you, as well as how to dress it for the most typical uses and occasions.
SELECTING THE PERFECT T-SHIRT
How can you tell if a t-shirt is appropriate for you? The sheer variety of styles and shapes available for men’s and women’s t-shirts makes it difficult to pick just a few favorites.
Your body type will not be appropriate for every fit or style. T-shirt designs vary in four ways:
These orienting aspects will help you make the greatest selection about whatever type of shirt to buy, regardless of which of these you choose.
Once you’ve figured out what looks best on you, you may stick to the basics and mix in various shirt types as needed.
With that in mind, here are five general guidelines to follow when looking for the perfect t-shirt:
1. Go for fit
2. Check the occasion
3. T-Shirt Styles to Match Your Body Type
4. Accessorize wherever necessary
5. And lastly, Fabric first
Before we classify them into various cuts and styles, let us explore the materials that could be used to make T-shirts.
We wear T-shirts especially in the summers while bearing the scorching heat! 100% cotton makes this both comfortable and breathable at the same time! Cotton doesn’t irritate the skin. So this is an amazing material for those who have sensitive skin and are usually allergic to blends. Also, cotton tees are easy to work with when it comes to having graphics, or even a unique print to emboss over the t-shirt. It is easier to play around with a variety of color palettes with cotton fabric. 100% cotton t-shirts can also be worn in the wintertime as the first layer to all your winter clothes. By wearing cotton instead of some other blends, you won’t overheat and get uncomfortably sweaty when you go indoors where it’s warmer.
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T-shirts made out of 100% cotton are great but then tend to shrink with every wash. So the manufacturing companies have come up with the solution of cotton blends, that is, partly cotton blended with some other material, like polyester, rayon, linen, spandex, or others. These are as comfy as pure cotton tees and bear with a considerably lesser shrinkage problem! Cotton-polyester blends are known for being long-lasting, and durable by nature. It won’t fade away quickly; it also won’t lose its shape or come apart as quickly. It is also less likely to pill over time. All in all, it’s a great fabric to work with, especially for a t-shirt.
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The knit T-shirts are usually made of one flat side and one piled side. These types of t-shirts are stretchy because the make of the fabric is such that they are comfortable to wear. Though t-shirts can be made out of double-knit as well, they are usually of single-knit variety to lend durability to the style. Jersey can be single-knit or double-knit, stretch interlock, or jacquard. Double-knit Jersey is generally used for polo-style T-shirts as it is more of a rigid fabric.
Now that we know what materials are used, let us categorize and dive into the plethora of t-shirt styles classified according to their sleeves, necklines, the fit, and so on.
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In terms of style, an ill-fitting t-shirt can be the ultimate deal-breaker. A well-fitted t-shirt, on the other hand, will transform your appearance. A decent fit refers to the t-shirt fitting snugly around your torso but still allowing adequate room for air to flow and flatter your body form.
If your t-shirt is sloppy, with the sleeves flapping down and slung lifelessly across your torso, you’ve gone up a size too big. On the other hand, if your tummy and arms seep out of the tee in strange directions, it appears that you are trying too hard with a small tee.
Slim Fit T-Shirt
A slim-fit tee is essentially known for its body fit tee because it hugs the shape of your body. There are so many ways to wear this fitted t-shirt and let us scroll through a few of them!
A slim-fit t-shirt with a pair of trousers gives a classy appearance. Pair them up with the perfect sneakers and you are ready to go out for any casual occasion, may it be to the movies or for a date.
A t-shirt with a denim jacket and denim jeans is one of the favorites when it comes to an airport look.
Do you want a streetwear look? A slim-fit t-shirt with a complimentary color hoodie can do wonders!
Bored with a casual look and want to try something edgy and cool? A checkered shirt in an open shirt style with a plain or even a graphic slim-fit t-shirt will be your friend.
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Baggy style t-shirts are a 90’s style and have evolved in the field of fashion along with slim fits. People have the misconception that baggy means oversized, but with style, the evolution has brought about its definition. Wider and looser sleeves are a good example of baggy tees.
Tuck in a loose t-shirt into a relaxed tailored pair of pants for the chic-casual look.
You could also wear them as it is with a pair of shorts or three-fourth pants. They look relaxed and comfortable and give you beachy vibes!
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Muscle Fit T-Shirt
The name implies that it is solely intended for gym enthusiasts! This sort of tee is ideal for men with broad shoulders and muscular bodies since it highlights their best features. Pair it with a pair of chinos to complete the look.
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The baby doll t-shirt is short in length, tight in fit, and with little sleeves. It shows your belly button with pride.
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Crew Neck T-Shirt
The crew neck t-shirt is by far the most popular t-shirt you’ll come across. It has a round, round neckline that fits snugly around the neck and looks the best on guys with long, slender faces and sloped shoulders. Nothing beats a crew neck t-shirt for a classic style.
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V Neck T-Shirt
This sort of t-shirt has a V shape at the neck, as the term suggests. Guys with broad features and shoulders can impact by this neckline since this slims them down and flatters their body type. It can be paired with an unbuttoned shirt with the V neckline hidden beneath the shirt.
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THE HENLEY – Y Neck T-Shirt
The Henley t-shirt is a cross between the crew and V necklines. It has a deep buttoning placket that fits wonderfully over a well-built, strong chest. The inclusion of buttons enhances its aesthetic appeal while preserving a macho attitude.
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Turtle Neck T-Shirt
T-shirt styles with a silky stretch fabric draped over the neck feature turtle necks.
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Polo Collared T-Shirt
Golfers certainly made polo t-shirts famous, and the collared variety with buttons adds an element of formality to the style. This sort of t-shirt is best suited to someone with a slim frame.
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Another version of the crew neck is the scoop neck, which has a round neckline that hangs a few inches below the collarbone. It has a subtlety that complements the metrosexual appearance, yet not being as gruff as the other necklines.
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The halter t-shirt features an inward-curving neckline that ties or wraps at the back of the neck.
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Raglan Sleeves T-Shirt
Since raglan sleeves are constructed in a particular design, this name does not refer to the length of the sleeve. Since it is the style utilized in many baseball jerseys, it is commonly referred to as a baseball T-shirt. Raglan sleeves are linked to the shirt diagonally rather than having a straight up-and-down seam. The bodice and sleeve are often two different colors, and the shirts are created this way to draw attention to the lines. T-shirts with raglan sleeves are sportier in appearance for both men and women, and they are extremely popular since they are also very comfortable.
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Cap Sleeves T-Shirt
Cap sleeves, which cover only the upper part of the shoulder but do not go under or around your arm, are only encountered on women’s T-shirts. The sleeve is frequently puffy, giving it a very feminine appearance, and this sort of T-shirt makes women appear slimmer, which most ladies enjoy.
They offer a more feminine appeal when paired with a fitted bodice, and they have a dressier look because of the way the sleeves are cut and structured, so you can wear a cap-sleeve T-shirt to a picnic, brunch, or a girls’ night out.
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Half, Three quarter, and Full-length Sleeves T-Shirt
One of the most distinguishing features of short-sleeve T-shirts is the wide range of designs available on the front, which can contain everything from company logos to rock bands, fashionable quotes to classic motifs, and much more.
The half sleeve t-shirt for men is the most classic form of a sleeve, but it is also the most flattering on guys. The best approach to wearing it is to make sure the sleeve reaches your upper arm’s middle and tightly grips your biceps.
Sleeves of this style encompass the entire upper arm, finishing just below the elbow, and varied in length on the forearm.
Long sleeves need no introduction because they are a common feature on most men’s t-shirts. Long sleeves have long been associated with shirts, but they’ve made the transition to t-shirts, and the result is a fashion favorite.
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Sleeveless T-shirts, often known as tank tops, expose your shoulders but still have some type of strap, usually a wide one. Sleeveless T-shirts are ideal for the summer or for layering with other clothes, such as long-sleeve shirts.
Men’s sleeveless T-shirts are known as muscle shirts, while women’s sleeveless T-shirts come in several styles, ranging from spaghetti straps – known as camisole – to those that are highly ornate. Furthermore, sports jerseys are frequently available in a sleeveless T-shirt form, which can be basic or decorative.
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Cold Shoulder T-Shirt
The off-shoulder trend will last a long time. Women adore having a cold shoulder t-shirt in their wardrobe, whether it’s a shirt, top, or t-shirt. For a fashionable look, most young females or college students prefer to wear a cold shoulder t-shirt. To finish the ensemble, add round silver earrings and a white shoe.
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One Shoulder T-Shirt
The cheeky and humorous one-shoulder t-shirt style is a casual and sporty design for ladies. These are particularly popular in the summer, and they make excellent workout companions when worn over a performance tank-top.
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We have already spoken about the graphic t-shirt in its essence. Yet, to elaborate on the same we would like to introduce graphic t-shirts as a decorative type of t-shirt.
A graphic T-shirt is any T-shirt having an image of some kind printed on the fabric, and as you might expect, they are incredibly popular among men and women, especially teenagers and young adults. Screen printing or direct dyeing of the designs is an option.
Band and concert T-shirts are a great example of a graphic T-shirt because they can feature band photos, logos, lyrics, and even tour dates. These graphic T-shirts are collectors’ items for some bands, and the design can be on the front or back of the T-shirt, and sometimes both sides are printed.
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Pocket tees are exactly what they sound like: they have a pocket on the left chest of the garment. The pocket is an unusual touch that may bring a splash of color to any monotonous t-shirt when it’s in a complementary hue.
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Hoodies give a level of refinement to your outfit that you won’t find in any other style. Its athleisure appeal is ideal for going to the gym or playing football with your buddies.
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Wear your heart on your sleeves, err, tee, by adding spunk to your monochrome ensemble, from popular slogans to bespoke patterns. To complete the outfit, pair it with blue jeans and trendy sneakers.
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Split Hem Longline T-Shirt
The longline t-shirt with a split hem runs long. It’s even in the name. This style of t-shirt, promoted by streetwear, is frequently presented with slightly varying lengths between front and back, with the front being somewhat shorter than the rear.
Striped T-shirts can never go out of style! These, just like the classic tees are a must in everybody’s closet. Half-sleeves or full sleeves, horizontal stripes or vertical, a striped t-shirt with a pair of jeans or shorts can never go wrong! Add a jacket to this outfit and you get the trendy feel to the look.
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The boyfriend t-shirt is popular among young women. An oversized t-shirt can be worn in several ways. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It’s a great choice for everyday wear because it’s flowy and comfortable. It’s also appropriate to wear while strolling through the garden. For a casual hangout with friends, pair it with shorts.
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T-shirts that have been embellished with something other than dye. They’re particularly popular with women because they have embellishments like bows, sparkles, lace, rhinestones, and even studs. Some decorations spell out phrases or create images, and they can be both casual and sophisticated.
If the embellishments are on your sleeves, seams, or cover your shoulder, for example, they can produce a very elegant design on your shirt. Embellished T-shirts feature loose components that should always be purchased from a trustworthy manufacturer, but they are dressier than other T-shirts and can thus be worn in more formal situations.
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OUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE
Let the basic tee make the noise! Don’t we all love a plain t-shirt in a plethora of color shades? Solid colors are easy to play with any bottom wear. Also, a solid color helps you style your OOTD with different options, may it be a denim jacket or a blazer, a scarf to tie around, or a jewel piece to play around with. A plain t-shirt is essentially a diamond in the rough!
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