Just as iconic as jeans, the enduring white t-shirt celebrates a century of fashion this year.
Long live the white T-shirt! In the 100 years since its invention, the T-shirt has transformed itself many times over, from its humble beginnings as men’s underwear, to becoming a work wear staple, it’s become an emblem of youth and style today. We celebrate this most flexible of garments, demonstrating how this basic can be incorporated into the most trendy of looks and for all occasions. The T-shirt actually evolved from men’s one – piece undergarments used in the 19th century. Some genius decided to cut the one- piece underwear into separate top and bottom garments, and a fashion star was born! The white T-shirt came into widespread use in 1913 when it was included as standard-issue gear in the U.S. Navy. A generation of American men then made the short-sleeved crew neck item an essential part of their wardrobe. Not long after, the Army also followed suit, ensuring that the comfortable, lightweight, and practical cotton top with short sleeves became known to all. By the 1920s “T-shirt” entered into the vernacular. It entered cinematic history and achieved cult status when the young and hunky Marlon Brando wore it in A Streetcar Named Desire. Hollywood icon James Dean then added to the sexy T-shirt trend in Rebel Without a Cause. In the 1970s and 1980s, the T-shirt became acceptable as fashion wear when fashion designers put their names on them, and the T-shirt became an important component of an ever-changing, candy-coloured wardrobe on the hit television series Miami Vice. Unlikely as it may have seemed, the T-shirt-and-jacket combo has survived style cycles to be still relevant today.
Photography MARK LAW | Styling JEREMY TAN
STILL YOUNG AT 100 MUJI white cotton T-shirt A FLASH OF CLEAN WHITE CAN BRIGHTEN THE MOST SOMBRE OF OUTFITS PRADA silk shirt, blouson and trousers TOD’S loafers A WHITE T-SHIRT CAN REPLACE A WHITE DRESS SHIRT AS A YOUTHFUL AND COMFORTABLE BASE FOR A DARK SUIT CALVIN KLEIN suit THE WHITE T-SHIRT IS THE PERFECT BASE FOR LAYERING UNDER OUTERWEAR Z ZEGNA jacquard pants and car coat HERMES sandals PERFECT FOR ACTIVE WEAR, THE WHITE T-SHIRT REMAINS A SPORTSWEAR STAPLE FENDI PVC raincoat BALLY leather trackpants PRADA canvas shoes A WHITE-T CAN TAKE YOU TO WORK COMBINED WITH SHARP TAILORING OF A SERIOUS HUE DIOR HOMME wool suit HUGO BOSS scarf TAKE THE STUFFING OUT OF FORMALITY BY DRESSING DOWN WITH A WHITE T-SHIRT LOUIS VUITTON jacket, wool trousers and satin cummerbund BOTTEGA VENETA leather pump HERMES silk scarf