The Multi-purpose Fashion Statement: One T-shirt, Many Styles

The Multi-purpose Fashion Statement: One T-shirt, Many Styles

Brahmesh JainJul 1, '221 comment

The Multi-purpose Fashion Statement: One T-shirt, Many Styles

For most of us, if ever there were a go-to outfit that remains, come rain come shine, it’s in all likelihood a t-shirt. Like fine wine, t-shirts have this inexplicable tendency to get better with age and more wear and tear. Oftentimes, the more holes a t-shirt has in them, the harder it is to let go; there’s always a story there. In such contexts, one can go so far as to say that t-shirts are a lot like poetry. A t-shirt has seen us in our thick and thin, in our good and bad days and it has stayed. A t-shirt is more than just an attire, it’s more than an outfit, it’s a vibe, it’s a feeling, it’s a relationship. And that is the reason why finding that perfect t-shirt is almost always a task, and when we find it, it’s quite the find such that we never want to part ways with it ever again. In simple words, a t-shirt carries more than we know and realise - it’s one of the most loved yet understated and unpretentious outfits that we find in our wardrobes. A t-shirt is truly a feeling more than being a mere outfit one wears. 


The world-wide phenomenon that is the t-shirt - 

Back in the 19th century, before the t-shirt first became the norm, they were treated and used as undergarments or the lining beneath regular clothes. Having evolved from the union suits, which were those one piece suits that became the attire of the working class of the 19th century they eventually turned into comfort wear by separating the torso from the legs. Soon enough the one-piece union suit became a two-piece outfit with the top half standing in and of itself. The top part which soon came to be called the t-shirt was much longer than the t-shirts of today and would be tucked into the bottom pants to stay in shape while men toiled hard in their labour. As seasons got warm, this became the go-to attire as it filled all the criteria of comfort wear and was perfect to wear during the peak hours of warm summer days. The outfit was adopted by miners, dockworkers and other professions where hard physical labour was part of the job and sweating was an everyday thing. 


The t-shirt as an undershirt - 

It is said that the earliest evidence of a t-shirt goes all the way back to Spanish American war between the years 1869 to 1904, around the time the Cooper Underwear Company ran its first ever advertisement promoting the t-shirt as underwear for bachelors. The advertisement made a run for money because of the way it was targeted at bachelors who had to deal with the buttons of shirts coming off, and safety-pins were their safety nets in such circumstances. The ad showed the buttoning part of the shirt as the problem statement and compared it to the t-shirt that allowed men to sit back and relax over a cigarette without having to worry about buttons falling off. "No safety pins — no buttons — no needle — no thread", is what the slogan said to the bachelor men and men who lacked their own sewing skills. The t-shirt which was used as an undershirt soon became a symbol of masculinity and popular culture started echoing the same message in movies like A Streetcar Named Desire that starred the well-known actor Marlon Brando. 




Soon after, in 1913, even the US Navy joined the suit and used the t-shirt as an undergarment. The t-shirts of the time were stretchy, crew-necked and short-sleeved and men used them as the lining under their shirts. From there on the cult of the t-shirts spread far and wide and it was being used in farming as an attire for agricultural labour and other industrial heavy-lifting work. Sailors and the marines, even, started to use it as their attire wherein they could take off their shirt during seasons where it got unbearably warm. What made the t-shirt such a phenomenon was how easy it was to handle. It could be washed really quick and dried really quick, the fabric easily absorbed sweat and could be worn and re-worn many times. Not just that, it was light-weight and easy to carry so it made utmost sense to own more than just a few pairs. By the 1920s the phenomenon of the t-shirt spread far and wide and was finally the reason to include the t-shirt as a definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. 


T-shirt image


The t-shirt as a runway trend - 

Fast-forward to today, and the trend of wearing just the t-shirt as an undershirt hasn’t died down. The undershirt continues to grace the runways of top fashion houses and remains a favourite among action stars who like to show off their fit bodies both on set as well as off-set. T-shirts now come in multiple different colours, shapes, patterns, sizes, styles and fabrics. Each one can be adapted to an outfit depending on the style, colour and fabric. 

Happy T-Shirt

Source: Harper’s Bazaar


Apart from just the style, colour or fabric, a t-shirt can be worn in different ways as well. Back in the nineties the t-shirt was a go-to grunge outfit with many rockstars sporting t-shirts as crop tops, some sporting them with a knot along the waist, the others creating their own fringe style by cutting alongside the bottom hemline to give it a very different look. Today, t-shirts are also worn with waist belts, and sported as dresses without having to pair it with any bottom. 


Baggy is in, and so are baggy t-shirts - 

One thing that the fashion of 2021 saw was the rise in baggy clothes as compared to the skinny figure-hugging attire that became the norm in the nineties. As fashion is evolving and people are re-defining what the terms of fashion and what it means to them, the t-shirt came as a refreshing change. From loose baggy sleeved oversized t-shirts that seemed like they were borrowed from the wardrobes of our fathers to the evolution of the sneakers - 2021 proved that there’s a lot more in store for fashion in terms of t-shirts and that the t-shirt will forever remain the one attire that pans across season and is never going to fade out of fashion. 

Women T-shirt

Source: Daily Mail


The t-shirt as a gender-fluid attire - 

Today, the undershirt is no longer marketed as an outfit for just men, but one can find it to be one of the most gender-fluid outfits out there. The undershirt is sported by both men, women and queers and they’re designed so close to each other that one can’t make a gender out of it even if they tried. It throws the slate for creativity wide open in the sense of how a t-shirt lets you be anything you want to be. You can dress-down in a tee, or dress up in a tee and it’ll still be a look that is one for the books. 

Sid T-shirt Image

Source: Times of India 


The t-shirt as a jean’s best friend - 

The undershirt goes perfectly well when paired with a stylish pair of jeans, be it the slim-fit jeans, hipsters, high-waist/ mid-waist or low-waist or even retro styled baggy boyfriend jeans. In fact, the t-shirt has become so versatile in pop-culture that it can be paired with just about anything outside of jeans too. Think of a skirt and the t-shirt makes perfect sense, think of a dress and a t-shirt as an overcoat, and it still makes perfect sense. 

From tank tops to full sleeved, three-fourth sleeved and half sleeved t-shirts, a jean is a sure way to pull off your favourite t-shirt devoid of its colour, size or fabric. Whether it’s a walk down the park, a stroll to work or just your cozy work from home outfit, one thing is for sure: a t-shirt encompasses all. 

T-Shirt Image

Source: Budget Fashionista 


Come 2022, fashion is not going to be all about dressing up to the nines and looking perfect in terms of your shape and size. 2022 brings with it a fresh perspective where you dictate the terms of your own style and fashion. It’s no longer the time to fit into your clothes and get on crash diets and starve yourself to fit into a body-hugging t-shirt, but rather the other way round. 


The t-shirt that lets you be your own boss - 

2022’s fashion is going to be all about how you make your style work for you and how you decide to choose your comfort over someone else’s idea of what is trendy or stylish. Magazines aren’t the boss of you, neither are fashion houses. 2022 is here to remind you that you are the boss of you and what works is first going to be what works for you. And baggy clothes have come as a refreshing reminder of our own sense of expression. Baggy t-shirts and pants are here to show how much we have grown in terms of setting our own standards for fashion. 

Fashion T-shirt



How to choose the perfect t-shirt - 

Since we’ve established that this fashion season is an invitation to be your own boss, it instantly throws open the flood gates of your own individual style and expression. And that’s one of the best places to begin. Now that we’re clear that we choose what works for us and that we refuse to force-fit our bodies into the fashion norms set by others, it brings us to the big question: how and where do I begin if I want to choose the perfect t-shirt for me? 


Choose fabric over style - 

A t-shirt is one that goes for all seasons. Be it a warm summer day or a cold winter’s day, a t-shirt still goes. One of the best fabrics you can choose that is both style-friendly as well as comfortable on the skin is cotton. A 100% cotton t-shirt will not disappoint and is one of the most economic options out there. Not just that, cotton absorbs colour perfectly and you don’t have to be afraid of fabric dyes leaking and oozing into your whites. 


Another great fabric choice for your t-shirts are cotton-polyester blends. A polyester comes with multiple benefits as it is said to be heat-resistant, water-resistant and also saves you time because of its wrinkle-free nature. Whether you’re playing sports or going away for a long hike, a polyester t-shirt can be designed to be sweat-absorbent and also easily washable. Not just that, they are known to dry up really quick so it makes the perfect fabric with low maintenance properties for those who might be travelling or play sports. Polyester blends are also designed to be a lot more stretchable than your regular cotton t-shirt, giving it more room for flexibility. 

Fashion T-shirt

Source: Teen Vogue


Once you’ve chosen the fabric that best suits you, finding the perfect style is a no-brainer. You can pull off a t-shirt with an empowering quote or a joke, or anything you may like. Funky prints never run out of style, neither do tie-dyes. So once you’ve figured out a fabric of your choice, finding a t-shirt with the right print, quotes, design, and colour becomes a whole lot easier. 


One can buy T-shirts in branded stores like Gap, HM, Levis and so on or consider custom made T-Shirts with your own design and message. Usually branded companies make at least 1-2 lakh T-shirts of the same design and sell them in their stores across the globe. Custom T-Shirts are one of their kind specially designed and printed for you. If custom T-shirts interest you, consider learning more about them at gubbacci - a custom t-shirt store

Gubbacci T-Shirts

You can visit our Design Studio to design your own custom T-shirt. And you can also browse some best selling collections like Birthday T-shirt Collection, Anniversary T-shirt Collection,Stock Market Collection & Mental Health Collection.

Comments (1)

Manisha Sahu on Nov 29, '22

Nice Raksha Bandhan gifts idea

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