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History has shown that the first "T-shirt" appeared  in the United States during the Spanish American War.  They were issued by the U.S. Navy featuring crew-necks and short sleeves and were meant to be worn as underwear beneath the uniform. The Army soon adopted the t-shirt as a standard issue clothing item given to recruits.

The garment got the iconic name of T-Shirt from its shape resembling the letter "T". It was so popular that farmers, dockworkers, miners, and construction workers also adopted the T-shirt due to their lightweight fabric in hotter weather conditions.

As T-shirts were made from inexpensive cotton and were easy to clean, they quickly became the shirt of choice by mothers for their sons to wear for chores and play.

The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary then officially made "T-Shirt" an American-English word by the 1920's.

It is believed that the earliest printed t-shirt may have appeared in the movie the "Wizard of Oz" which caused them to become very popular and highly sought after collectible item.

On 13th July 1942, the cover of LIFE magazine featured the first image on the cover of a printed T-Shirt being worn by the Air Corps Gunnery School. 
Aside from the popularity of T-shirts by blue collar workers and veterans, their popularity went through the roof after Marlon Brando wore a T-Shirt in the movie "A streetcar named desire".  This resulted in T-Shirts becoming the fashionably cool to wear outer garment of choice.

T-shirts then became a means of self expression as wearable art in the late 1960's.  They also became a very effective way to convey commercial advertising, souvenir messages, and protests.

Today designs from the 1970's are still as popular as new designs however fabric colours and variations in cuts and styles have added to the options available.