T-Shirt History

It’s Patrizia Pepe t-shirt week, and there certainly have been a lot this season, each one a huge hit. We were thinking though, what actually is a t-shirt? Where did it come from? Why do we all have a favourite one? Or a t-shirt that reminds us of something, maybe something special (a good or bad memory), or just evokes a particular emotion.

T-Shirts are a piece of clothing that look like a T. It can have long or short sleeves, be a plain colour, printed or multi-coloured. They’re pretty much ubiqitous wherever you go in the world, and have been in production since the early 20th century, even if they only achieved global popularity from the 1940′s when the US Navy adopted shirts (crew tops) as part of their uniform. The white shirt worn by US soldiers spread to Europe during the second world war.
T-shirts became popular because, being so practical to wear, they gradually replaced shirts, especially among younger people. The shape of the sleeves (especially short sleeves) gave them their distinctive T shape, which is more evident when the garment is laid out on a surface, hence the name. They are made from jersey cotton or sometimes from synthetic fibres.

So, being so practical and the huge variety of situations in which they can be worn made them a huge hit… there’s no doubt about it: you can wear them day or night, with shorts and sandals or even with skinny trousers and mega heels, and that’s not all… what gives them that extra wow factor?

Well, we think there are loads of things… you can get inspirational t-shirts, i.e. ones that show the wearer belongs to a specific group, something we’ve chosen ourselves and are proud of, so much so that we want to shout it out on our fronts, whether it’s a brand, a famous person, a city, or just a sentence that we identify with or want to be associated with… it doesn’t matter what, just wearing it is exciting!

Then there are personal t-shirts, maybe not the prettiest at the end of the day, but bearing something that has a special meaning to us; sometimes we don’t even wear them, but under no circumstances would we ever throw them out, maybe we don’t even wash them too often just in case they get ruined or someone touches them…. just as long as we know they are there in the wardrobe. Perhaps they remind us of something, a memory or a feeling, or just simply a particular occasion… an old friend from university had one to sit exams… a lucky charm that she couldn’t be without, and you know, it used to work, she never used to study that much but she never failed an exam! ….even now, I know she wore it under a Patrizia Pepe suit to an interview. … and Shontelle said the same thing, …it was his t-shirt, but that’s just a minor detail…

It would be great to hear all your comments on this and if you want … you could also tell us what makes one of your t-shirts really special…
In the meantime…we’ll keep on making them and we like to think that there might even be a Patrizia Pepe t-shirt in your wardrobe that you are sentimentally attached to!!

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1 Comment

  1. Paolo - 25/05/2010

    Mi piace, non conoscevo la storia.
    Viene da pensare che tanto di quello che usiamo nella vita di tutti i giorni è di derivazione militare…..

    LaKarlo, grazie per il piacevole articolo che, come altre volte, ha rinnovato ricordi sopiti dal tempo!

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