A sleeveless shirt tank top or singlet (sometimes vest) is a shirt manufactured without sleeves, or one where the sleeves have been cut off. Sleeveless shirts can be worn by either gender, depending on the style.

The T-shirt is thought to have evolved in the United States during World War I when US soldiers noticed the light cotton undershirts European soldiers were using while they were sweating in their wool uniforms. Since they were so much more comfortable the undershirts quickly became popular among the Americans, and because of their design they got the name T-shirt.

Other experts credit the U.S. Navy’s “light undershirt” from 1913, described as having an “elastic collarette” on the neck opening, called “crew neck“. During World War II the T-shirt had become standard issue underwear in both the U.S. Army and the Navy. Although the T-shirt was formally underwear, soldiers often used it without a shirt covering it while doing heavy labor or while stationed in locations with a hot climate, just like their former underwear. As a result, the public was frequently exposed to pictures of members of the armed forces wearing pants and a T-shirt. This became gradually more acceptable, as the cover of the July 13, 1942 issue of Life magazine shows, which features a picture of a soldier wearing a T-shirt with the text “Air Corps Gunnery School“.

After WWII the T-shirt started appearing without a shirt covering it in civilian life. Young film stars like John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean all wore them on national TV. At first the public was shocked, but by 1955 it had become acceptable.

T-Shirt, T Shirt, Tee Shirt – however you write it, it sounds the same! 4 holes, 2 sleeves, 1 hell of a garment!

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