T-shirts as we know them today have a relatively recent origin. The T-shirt's evolution can be traced back to the late 19th century when they were used as undergarments for laborers in various industries, such as miners and dockworkers. The T-shaped design made them practical and comfortable for physical work. The term "T-shirt" itself emerged in the early 20th century. In the United States, it gained popularity as an undershirt for the U.S. Navy during World War I. After World War II, veterans returning home continued to wear T-shirts, and their popularity began to spread. The 1950s marked a turning point for T-shirts when they started to be worn as standalone garments, not just as undershirts. This shift was partly influenced by pop-culture, as actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean began to wear T-shirts in movies. The 1960s further solidified the T-shirt's status as a casual and fashionable piece of clothing, with tie-dye and screen printing techniques contributing to its popularity. Since then, T-shirts have become a ubiquitous and versatile item of clothing, worn for various purposes, including as casual wear, sports attire, and as a medium for expressing personal and cultural identity.
From a conversation between Frederick Kinski and OpenAI's GPT-3.5 language model.