A Brief History of an American Classic: The T-Shirt

Ever since the US troops adopted it during WWI, the short-sleeved crew neck has become an essential part of the American wardrobe. They noticed the European soldiers wearing a comfortable and lightweight cotton t-shirt during the hot and humid European summer days. Compared to the wool uniforms they had to wear, those garments were cooler and more comfortable, and so they quickly caught on with our troops.

Not long after that, the T-shirt became the go-to top for dockworkers, farmers, miners and other workers who appreciated the comfortable, lightweight cotton and short sleeves. And by the 1920s, the word “T- shirt” became official in the American-English Merriam-Webster dictionary!

Then for a time, the t-shirt’s general use remained as an undergarment to be worn under a proper dress shirt or work shirt until the early 1950s, when Marlon Brando popularized the plain white t-shirt as a sexy outerwear in A Streetcar Named Desire. This sexy-rebellious-cool trend was later followed by James Dean, Elvis Presley and so on.

Then the t-shirt industry is forever changed when the first custom printed t-shirts appeared. The Smithsonian Institute has in the display the oldest printed custom t-shirt on record, imprinted with the phrase “Dew-IT with Dewey” from New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey’s 1948 presidential campaign.

As it was usual for him, the visionary Walt Disney came up with the idea of printing simple designs of Mickey Mouse and its friends on t-shirts and selling them as souvenirs. And later on, music bands and professional sports teams realized they could also make insane lots of money by selling shirts with their names and logos. The t-shirt became one of the easiest and cheapest forms of clothing to buy and dye in the 60’s, thus becoming a popular and colorful clothing item within the hippie movement and later evolving into a sort of personal message board for displaying peace signs, feelings, views, and opinions.

Curious t-shirt facts (study conducted by JERZEES)

  • 62% of Americans own more than 10 custom t-shirts
  • 70% of men and 54% of women have more than 10 tees
  • White is the favorite color among 34% of the respondents
  • 97% of those surveyed have a favorite tee they would never part with
  • Comfort is the #1 reason Americans love custom t-shirts, followed by a
  • Pleasant memory of a person, places, or occasion

Affordable Custom T-Shirts in Denver

In its more than 100 years of history, the T-shirt has grown up from a workwear staple to one of the most flexible garments known to mankind. Nowadays, the custom T-shirt use in the advertising, marketing, and corporate worlds is so common that you might even take it for granted. An increasing number of businesses use embroidered or imprinted corporate logos on all types of shirts, and custom T-shirts are always popular giveaways for corporate promotions and contests.

So if you are looking for a place in Denver to get your custom t-shirts, come to Victory Print & Design. We are printing experts for t-shirts, hats, mugs, and thousands of promotional items; and have been known over the years for our quality prints, low-prices, and great customer service.

Contact Number and New E-mail Address
The phone number for our Lakewood shop is 303-233-1400, and we also have a new e-mail address. Please write to sales@victoryprintdesign.com

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