We can’t imagine our wardrobes without a t-shirt, but have you ever thought about where does this garment come from and what’s its history? T-shirts date back to the 19th century, and their purpose and style have changed a lot through the years, making it an exciting fashion study. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 different kinds of t-shirts and their history.
Crew Neck Tees
The crew neck is the most common style of t-shirts. It has a round neckline close to the neck and looks great on almost anyone, but especially on guys with narrow shoulders who want to look a little bigger. What sometimes is a fashion statement today has started a simple undergarment covering the whole body and protecting clothing from all kids of bodily grime.
With time crew neck t-shirts shrunk to the size familiar to us today, though they were worn as undergarments all the way until the early 20th century. At that time, the crew neck tees became part of the official U.S. Navy attire and American football player uniform. Soon after that, celebrities such as Marlon Brando and James Dean made white crew necks the ultimate bad boy uniform and wore them not as an undershirt but as the central part of their outfit.
The second most popular style of t-shirts is V-necks. Just as crewnecks, these have started as undergarments with a collar that was not visible under unbuttoned shirts. V-necks gained popularity in the mid 20th century as an alternative to crews and as a fashion statement. With time more and more young guys opted for V-necks to look more put together and follow changing trends.
It’s probably fair to say that the early 2000s were the ultimate peak for a V-neck but also a cause for its temporary decline. The Vs just got too deep for their own good!. Luckily, fashion has fixed its own mistakes, and today V-necks are back! This neckline is great for guys with rounder faces or those who want to look taller as the V-neck elongates the neck and creates the illusion of height.
While the Henley t-shirt is not as popular as the previous two styles, it definitely holds its ground. This collarless tee with a button placket down the neck is an excellent option for looking slightly different yet not too overdressed. Today a Henley tee can be dressed up or dressed down, worn under a blazer or on its own, but for a long time, just like its cousins, it was an undershirt.
It became widely available during the Industrial Revolution and protected the top clothes from bodily dirt. Later the Henley was noticed by rowers and, due to their breathability, became a preferred uniform for races. It actually got its name from the town of Henley-on-Thames, the home of the largest rowing races in England. Other sports athletes followed suit, and usually what athletes love, so does the general public! Now Henleys are beloved by men all over the world.
Scoop Neck T-Shirt
The scoop neck is a style of tee that’s not too common but beloved by guys who want to show off their gym efforts! A scoop neck is basically a crewneck with an extra-wide neckline and is usually made from lighter fabric. It’s also looser fitting and is most often worn during the warm months. It’s not clear exactly when the scoop neck joined the t-shirt club, but it’s gained the most popularity in the new millennium.
Your dad’s favourite Polo tee has a collar and a placket neckline with one or two buttons. These tees usually come in various bright colours and have made quite the comeback in recent years.
The polo t-shirts were initially worn by the Polo players in India in 1859 and Great Britain in the 1920s. It later became common as leisurewear too. Polos differ from the other tees because they’re usually made from knitted cotton and are thicker.
These are great a choice when you want to look more put together but still relaxed and comfortable.