Xxii) White Cotton T-Shirt

. The white cotton T-shirt has had many incarnations on its journey from humble long-johns in the 19th century to actors' shirt of choice in the 1950s and since then a ubiquitous item for both men and women.

. The type of T-shirt worn indicates the wearer's personality and their social tribe. Rappers and skaters wear them long and baggy; some men prefer them tight across the pecs and biceps; surfies sport them as out-wear, often with a simple slogan printed across the front; professionals wear them as undershirts to stop their work shirts yellowing under the armpits (one of the original aims of the garment). Today, hundreds of labels compete for customer loyalty, offering various cuts and fabrics and a range of prices, ie from $570 (Gucci) to around US 5 (Target) The sequence of incarnations is

- Coopers Underwear Company advertises a new undershirt, without buttons, for bachelors (1904)
- US Navy instructs sailors to wear undershirts when in uniform (1905) and this is followed by men in the US, favouring new "crew neck cotton pullovers"
- F. Scott Fitzgerald coins the term "T-shirt" in his first novel, ie "This Side of Paradise" (1920)
- T-shirt popularity increases after actor Marlon Brando wears one in a play/movie named "Streetcar Named Desire" (1951)
- Rebellious middle-class teenagers wear white T-shirts after James Dean's iconic role in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955)
- Cultural crossover is achieved when little-known US punk band "Plain White T's" have a Platinum hit with "Hey there Delilah" (2007).
. An estimated US$ 20b. spent on T-shirts in 2014.

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