King of Cool : History of the T-Shirt

Even the t-shirt has a history. 

In 1910, the U.S. Navy started issuing them to sailors. They’d originated in New York from the “union suit,” a onesie with leggings and buttons down the middle that men wore as an undergarment.  By this time, men had already begun cutting the bottom part off their own union suits and wearing only the top. The Navy just cut to the chase. The T shape of the shirt made its name pretty inevitable. By the 1920s, “t-shirt” had made it into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and other industries like farming and mining.  It was the veterans of WWII who popularized t-shirts as something men could wear in public. Service men started wearing them with uniform trousers while doing chores and other activities outside the house. Soon, the mainstream caught on.

It doesn’t get much more mainstream than Hollywood. When Marlon Brando hit the silver screen in his iconic t-shirt during 1951’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” it was clenched. The t-shirt craze had officially begun, and the year that movie was released…it was reported that over $180 Million in t-shirts were sold.  Before Streetcar, there were only loose t-shirts. But Brando’s costume crew decided to shrink his t-shirts before sewing him up in them from the back. It was in this pivotal movie-making moment that the fitted t-shirt was born.  Brando no doubt took these new t-shirts to a whole new level when he began wearing them offscreen. Paired his rugged boots, bad boy motorcycle, and devil-may-care grin, the white fitted t-shirt became the ideal for men everywhere.

The heritage behind such an iconic piece certainly hasn't gone un-noticed at Ace Rivington.  We've worked very hard to come up with our perfect tee, in a number of options.  Like everything with the brand, there was lots of thought, research and history that went into planning our tees business.  We finally landed with a great Made in America tee that we love.  This video shares how we got there…and how your feedback helped, keep it comin.  

Thanks Much,




Now that you've got the story, take a look at the tees we have to offer by clicking the image below.

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1 comment


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