T-shirts are a wardrobe staple for most men. Whether as part of an outfit, as an undershirt, or just as something to throw on after a hot shower, there’s hardly a week that goes by without the typical guy getting dressed and putting on at least one relaxed fit print t-shirt.
Even so, it’s not often that you find so many different styles and variations on the same garment – making it surprising that they’re also one of the most popular pieces of clothing in any man’s closet. Whether you’re looking to stock up your own collection with some new tees or simply want to get a better understanding of what makes them tick, read on for everything you need to know about t-shirts:
What is a t-shirt?
A t-shirt is a casual top that is usually somewhere between knee and mid-thigh length. The name is thought to come from the “T” shape of the back of the shirt – corresponding to the width of the sleeves and the length of the body. T-shirts are made of a variety of different materials, including cotton, polyester, and viscose.
T-shirts can come in all different colors, patterns, and designs, and are incredibly versatile garments that you can wear with just about anything – making them incredibly useful for both everyday and special occasions alike. As with all clothing, quality and care are important when it comes to your t-shirts, and can make a real difference as to how long they last. As such, it’s important to pick a high-quality t-shirt that feels comfortable, fits well, and has a design, color, and pattern you like.
Brief History of the T-Shirt
While some claim the t-shirt was first invented in the early 19th century, it wasn’t until the 20th century that the garment gained traction in the United States, when the U.S. Navy began issuing them as part of their uniform. In fact, it was in the early 1910s that the U.S. Navy coined the term ‘t-shirt’, short for a “T-shaped” shirt – the same shape of the back of the t-shirt as we know it.
Between the Great Depression and World War II, the t-shirt was primarily used as an underwear garment, with the design not making its way into the mainstream until the 1950s when it was primarily used as a casual wear garment. From this point, the t-shirt’s popularity skyrocketed, with the garment being worn by everyone from prisoners to sports athletes to presidents.
Types of T-Shirts
T-shirts can be loosely divided into two categories: cotton and synthetic. While there are a variety of different types of cotton t-shirts, each with its own benefits and uses, synthetic t-shirts are primarily made of polyester. Cotton t-shirts are a tried and tested fabric that is both soft and breathable. For these reasons, cotton t-shirts are often used as undershirts, as they’re able to wick moisture away from your body, keeping you cool and dry even in warmer temperatures.
Cotton t-shirts are also generally more expensive than synthetic t-shirts but can last longer if cared for properly. Synthetic t-shirts are typically cheaper than cotton t-shirts and are often used when the garment is intended for more strenuous activities, such as sports. Despite being cheaper, synthetic t-shirts often last just as long as cotton t-shirts anyway but don’t feel as comfortable against the skin.
Why are T-shirts so popular?
While we’ve discussed the various benefits of cotton t-shirts versus synthetic t-shirts, the truth is that, while they’re certainly useful, all t-shirts are not created equal, and different people will have different preferences. So, why do so many people love t-shirts so much? The main reason that t-shirts are so popular is that they’re incredibly versatile.
With so many different styles and types of t-shirts out there, you can wear them pretty much anywhere at any time – making them incredibly useful for a variety of occasions, whether casual or professional. T-shirts can be used as a base layer for colder weather and a light layer for warmer weather – making them great for layering. They can even be worn as pajamas if you want to – though we’d recommend sticking to a cotton t-shirt for this.
What to look for when buying a t-shirt?
When buying a t-shirt, it’s important to consider the type of material you want. While cotton t-shirts are often more comfortable, synthetic t-shirts are more durable and are more likely to last longer in active situations. It’s also worth noting that synthetic t-shirts are usually cheaper than cotton t-shirts. Different cuts and styles of t-shirts can also have an effect on how the garment feels.
For example, looser cuts are often more casual and relaxed, while tighter cuts are often more formal. Similarly, the fit of a t-shirt can have a huge bearing on how comfortable it is, so it’s worth trying on a few different cuts to find the perfect fit for you.
T-shirts are incredibly versatile garments that can be worn in a variety of different styles, cuts, and designs. While there are a number of different fabrics that t-shirts can be made from, the most common are cotton and synthetic.
Whether you’re wearing it as an undershirt, casual wear, or something a little more special, the t-shirt is an incredibly useful garment that has been a wardrobe staple for decades. With so many different types of t-shirts available, there’s something for everyone, and they make a great gift – especially if you know what they like!