top of page


KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THE T-SHIRT. Do you know the real story of the T-shirt? This garment daily worn by more than 2 billion people.


DEFINITION. Etymologically, the word T-SHIRT means a T-cut shirt.

The T is pronounced [ ti ] in English and SHIRT means "shirt". The t-shirt can optionally be made with long sleeves. It is usually made of cotton or polyester.

ORIGINS. The t-shirt appeared at the beginning of the 19th century. It belonged to the popular class, it was the underwear of workers and peasants.

In 1913, this universal basic was chosen by the American Marines for its innovative technical and hygienic functions, since it absorbed perspiration, dried faster and was easy to wash.

In Europe, it was not until the Second World War that it arrived on our lands and made a place for itself among the knitwear and shoulder-pad jackets of the time. It is therefore to the Americans that Europe owes this democratization of the t-shirt.


Before the 1930s, walking around in a T-shirt was synonymous with walking naked.

Over time, thanks to a wider neckline and shorter sleeves, it becomes more popular.

Endorsed by the American actor James Dean, it made the cover of LIFE magazine in 1942.

In this article, we are not specifically talking about the actor, but about the iconic white T-shirt. This must, it is then recognized for what it is: a staple !

Historically, the emblematic manufacturers of t-shirts are: GILDAN and FRUIT OF THE LOOM.

Initially, these brands offer this model under the name of Gob shirt

before renaming it T-shirt a few years later.

In the 1940s, the sports industry and in particular American football succeeded in imposing the t-shirt as an emblematic piece of "sportswear". Indeed, many American brands like CHAMPION are jumping at the chance to seize this new phenomenon.

The same year, we also witnessed a transformation of the model with the popularization of the "V" collar, which then became a real fashion item.

But it was really in the 1950s that Hollywood propelled the t-shirt to the rank of high-end clothing.

Elia Kazan's 1951 film In A Streetcar Named Desire, we see Marlon Brando the molded torso in his faithful fitted white t-shirt.

The T-shirt then becomes the symbol of phlegm and sexy relaxation. This reputation will never leave him, since the T-shirt is today one of the most appreciated and worn wardrobe pieces in the world.


bottom of page