Let me begin with a question: how often do you wear a T-shirt, or when was the last time you wore one? Wait, if I am not wrong, it might be a couple of days ago, yesterday, or co-incidentally now when you are reading the blog.
There is no doubt that T-shirts are one of the most popular items of clothing in the world. Stats of nearly 2 billion T-shirts being sold in a single year proves that. But have you ever wondered what the T in the T-shirt means?
In this blog, we'll be going through in detail what the T in the T-shirt means, along with some brief history about the origin of the T-shirt.
The origin of T-shirts
To know the reason about what the T in the T-shirt means, we first should know how T-shirts originated. For this, we need to go back to the 1900s.
T-shirts were first used as undergarments by labourers of various industries in the early 1900s. With American labourers cutting their union suits in half in order to cope with summer heat, T-shirts started their journey.
With its features of flexibility, breathability, and lightness, it was the U.S. Navy that started the official use of T-shirts. It then became popular among American soldiers during World War II.
The credit for making T-shirts a popular outer garment goes to Marlon Brando and James Dean. Marlon Brando, in his film A Streetcar Named Desire, followed by James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause, made t-shirts a sign of rebellion and masculinity.
During the 1960s, with the invention of screen-printing technologies, T-shirts began their journey as a medium to convey messages and information. Commercial companies, brands, and music groups then used surface-printed T-shirts to convey social and political messages.
By the 1980s, the T-shirt was considered a unisex outer garment, and in the 1990's it made an appearance as a high fashion appearance along with its use as casual wear.
Since then, T-shirts have been modified and used in different ways. With multiple changes in forms and designs today, T-shirts are one of the favorite and commonly used apparel all around the world.
Views on the meaning of T in the T-shirt :
Now, moving ahead, let's get into our topic of interest: what does the t in the T-shirt mean? So, to tell you the truth, there is no one and the only reason that I can give for the meaning of T in the T-shirt.
There are various viewpoints on the meaning of T in the T-shirt. Let me tell you the viewpoints on what the T in the T-shirt means :
T for shape
The first reason behind the t in the T-shirt is the shape. The T in the T-shirt originated because of the shape it forms when you place a T-shirt on a flat surface, pulling the arms out to the sides of it.
So, it's quite simple: the T in the T-shirt means the shape it has got, and yes, of course, it sounds quite logical, too. A prefix T was added to the shirt simply because of the shape it makes when you place it on a plane surface.
T for training
As we know the origin of the T-shirt, T-shirts were widely used by soldiers and military personnel. The history of T-shirts originated from their use by military personnel, and there's a strong view on the meaning of the T in the T-shirt for training.
Soldiers widely used T-shirts during their physical activities and training. Since the military accepted the use of these shirts, there is a high chance that the term T means training, as the garment was used mostly for training and physical activities.
An interesting fact!
Is it a T-shirt or a t-shirt?
After making you clear about what the T in the T-shirt means, I have another thing to discuss that's quite interesting.
How do you write T-shirts, whether it's uppercase "T" or "t"? In my case, I usually write T-shirts, as you can notice in this blog. But if you write a T-shirt using lowercase t, then it's wrong, neither.
In reality, there are two viewpoints regarding the T in the T-shirt, too. Some argue that lowercase t should be used as t is not a noun or specific brand name. But in common, using capital T with a hyphen is predominant as it is argued that capital T emphasizes the shape of the shirt.
Although you have your own choice of using small or capital T, my suggestion is to use capital T, as dictionaries typically have T-shirts with T capitalized and are most often used.
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The T in the T-shirts originated because of its shape as well as its use. From undergarments to one of the most used items of clothing, T-shirts have come a long way. But whether the T is for shape or use, the thing that makes T-shirts most popular in clothing is their usefulness, affordability, and comfort it provides.
I hope you are now clear about what T in T-shirt means. In addition, I expect that I have cleared your confusion regarding whether you should write a T-shirt or a t-shirt.
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