Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday T-Shirt

We carry a handful of men's T-shirts and women's tops because we know how much the T-shirt is a huge part of the biker's wardrobe. We wear them to affiliate ourselves with a certain club or riding group and even proudly advertise our favorite motorcycle brand across our chests. They become part of our identity and who we are.

The T-shirt celebrates its 100th birthday this year so we thought we'd give you the history of this simple yet personal and much loved article of clothing.

US Navy issues first t-shirt in 1913
US Navy issues first T-shirt in 1913
1913: Launching an Icon

US Navy issues crewneck T-shirts to be worn under uniforms.  An American icon is born.

t-shirt included in dictionary
T-shirt hits the dictionary

1920: T-shirt Hits the Dictionary

The word “T-shirt” is officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The definition of T-shirt is a collarless short-sleeved or sleeveless usually cotton undershirt; also: an outer shirt of similar design.

Students start stealing T-shirts
Students start stealing T-shirts

1932: Making it Fashionable

Students steal T-shirts from their own football team when the University of Southern California prints “Property of USC” on the athletes’ workout clothes.

Clark Gable shirtless
Clark Gable Drops the T-shirt
1934: Hollywood Drops the Tee

Men everywhere follow Clark Gable’s lead in It Happened One Night. After revealing his bare chest, T-shirt sales plummet 75%.

Life magazine cover features printed T-shirt
Life magazine features printed tee
1942: Landing a Magazine Cover

The Air Corps Gunnery School logo is featured on one of the earliest printed T-shirts for the July 13th cover of LIFE magazine.

first political T-shirt Dewey
The first political T-shirt
1948: The First Political T-shirt

New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey’s campaign presses “Dew-it-with-Dewey” for the 1948 presidential election.

Marlon Brando T-shirt
Marlon Brando Gives Tees a Boost in Popularity
1951: Hollywood Boosts the Tee

The T-shirt gains popularity as an outer garment after heartthrob Marlon Brando wears one in A Streetcar Named Desire.

tie-dyed t-shirt woodstock
Tie-Dyed Shirts Were Groovy
1969: T-shirts Get Tie-Dyed

1969’s Woodstock positions tie-dye T-shirts as the voice for one’s individuality and the emblem for the era.

Logo Becomes Symbol for "New" New York

1977: "I ♥ NY" Revitalizes City

In an almost eureka moment, designer Milton Glaser sketches “I NY” on a napkin and the logo appears on T-shirts soon after.

T-shirts as Protest
1984: T-Shirts as Protest

To overrule censoring of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood song “Relax,” label owner Paul Morley prints “FRANKIE SAY RELAX” on T-shirts.

hypercolor heat sensitive tee
Hypercolor T-shirt Rage

1991: Heat Sensitive Tees

The Hypercolor T-shirt, created in the ‘80s, reaches its all-time peak selling more than $50 million worth of shirts in a four-month period.

World Record T-shirts
World Record Tees
2011: A Broken Record

Sanath Bandara breaks the Guinness World Record for the “Most T-shirts Worn at Once” wearing 257.

Happy Birthday T-Shirt

So, Happy 100th Birthday to the T-shirt! You've given us some great memories. Who knows what the next 100 years will bring?!


  1. Wow.Really great hob.This is impossible to believe for celebrating 100th birthday for tshirt.My Hartley congratulations.
    Tshirt Design

  2. It's just amazing. Mostly people don't know about this. You have provided a good source of information through your blog.

    Kevlar Motorbike Jean