By: Sophia Shain
The go-to when you’ve got no idea what to throw on? A pair of dark wash skinny jeans, a nude bra, some comfortable flats or combat boots, and a loose fitting, comfortable V-neck white T-shirt: aka my favorite outfit. There is even a band called the “Plain White T’s.” The where classic meets perfection; the white T-shirt goes with everything. Any color pants, a pencil skirt, shorts- you name it- it literally looks great with anything and everything. It is a style that will never be retired. There is something about a white Tee, you can dress it up or down- but it always seems so effortless, like you just threw it on and walked out of the house.
Coming in a crewneck, V-neck, cap sleeve, boyfriend, destroyed, pocket, super soft and scoop neck-everyone most likely owns one of these suckers if not them all. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, rap and hip-hop artists began wearing “tall-tees”, and a group called DEM FRANCHISE BOYZ, produced a hit song called “In my white Tee.”
Just last year, the famously fashionable chic and simple T-shirt turned 100 years old. The T-shirt started out as men’s underwear sometime in the early 19th century when someone decided to cut his long johns into a short sleeved two-piece (Tee Time). It was a comfortable, soft, lightweight knit item men could wear under a uniform or around the house, it was viewed as an undergarment. The U.S Navy made the T-shirt apart of their uniform in 1913 and the U.S army soon followed suit. When men came back from the war, it was what they were wearing.
We all know how something so plain and simple can be turned into a timeless fashion icon. In 1932 USC’s football coach Howard Jones wanted to create a lightweight material that wouldn’t cause a rash on his players skin after they sweat. “Property of USC” became the next biggest thing (LA Times). Every school had their name on that design and still does years later. The White T became a game changer, as the idea “less is more: became more and more popular. When James Dean wore the white T in Rebel without a cause in 1953 under a black leather jacket, the world was in love (Tee Time). Disney used the white T when screen print became popular with Mickey Mouse on the front. Designers were plastering their name all over T-shirts, and it became a thing to wear under a bomber jacket. White T shirts range from $10 to $200. Kanye West most recently designed one that retailed for $120, and no shocker here- sold out instantly. Celebs are pictured daily in tabloids sporting the white T with just about anything. The Tee may have been considered underwear at once point, but now it is a forever-famous fashion staple item.