10 Iconic Men In History... Who Knew
How To Rock A T-Shirt!
T-Shirt wearing sailors aboard the US Submarine A2-215 in Philippine waters in 1913
The now iconic t-shirt was born way back in 1913, when the U.S. Navy began issuing white crew neck t-shirts for all men to wear underneath their uniforms. Before too long the U.S. Army would also adopt the same plain white t-shirt as standard issue for all men.
This simple article of clothing has been worn throughout most of the 20th century and doesn't look like disappearing anytime soon. In 1920, the noun ‘t-shirt’ was officially added to the English Dictionary and would soon become the unofficial uniform of workers across the country, from mechanics and miners to farmers and factory workers.
Guide To Men's Style
The T-Shirt: An Enduring Influence On Modern Fashion
Charlie Chaplin wore a white t-shirt in Modern Times (1936) playing a factory worker struggling to live in the the modern industrialised world.
The T-shirt began as work clothing, and found its way into the wider world thanks to its simplicity and affordability. Cheap and functional, it would soon become fashionable as well. Eventually this meant new styles, new manufacturers and new ways of packaging.
Let's take a look at some of the coolest men in history who rocked the t shirt and some
of those who continue to do so...
Men's Style In The 50s
Marlon Brando (April 3, 1924 – July 1, 2004)
It was the brooding and sullen Marlon Brando who really took the t-shirt from workwear worn by the military to the mainstream market when he appeared in a crew neck in the 1951 film, A Streetcar Named Desire, prompting t-shirt sales to hit a total of $180 million in the U.S. that year.
Initially the t-shirt was a working garment. It was associated with the working class… and on a more erotic level, of muscles and strength and manliness. That was almost definitely helped along by Marlon Brando’s appearance in A Streetcar Named Desire.
“Be comfortable. That’s my motto up where I come from,” his character says. He removes his jacket, revealing a sweaty and tight shirt, before changing into another in front of his flustered sister-in-law.
James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955)
James Dean was an American actor. He is remembered as a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark.
Dean made the white T-shirt a wardrobe essential. He simply paired a slim, white T-shirt with jeans. The rest is history. Sadly, Dean would not be around for long losing his life in a car crash at the young age of just 24.
Men's Fashion In The 1950s
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) rocks a white t-shirt in King Creole, his third movie back in 1958.
When Elvis Presley began his film career in 1956, he was at the peak of his popularity... In 1958 he released the third and arguably best film of his career, King Creole.
It would be fair to say that Elvis as a young man was definitely one cool dude. Therefore it can also be safe to assume that Elvis wearing a white t-shirt in King Creole would most likely have caused many young men at the time to also adopt this same look.
Gene Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996)
Gene Kelly was an American actor, dancer, singer, filmmaker, and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likeable characters that he played on screen.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)
Often referred to by his initials JFK, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
JFK was a head of state during the Sixties and he overhauled the former presidential dress code of big power suits and even bigger ties. Instead, he favoured slim-fitting tailoring and his ties were skinny, preppy and delicately patterned. JFK also rocked the T-Shirt.
Men's Fashion In The Sixties
Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980)
Steve McQueen, nicknamed the "King of Cool", was an American actor.
His anti-hero persona, emphasised during the height of the counter-culture of the 1960s, made him a top box-office draw during the 1960s and 1970s. McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles.
Paul Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008)
Paul Newman was an American actor, film director, race car driver, and entrepreneur. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards.
Modern Men's Fashion
George Clooney (born May 6, 1961)
George Clooney is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter and philanthropist.
He is the recipient of three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, one for acting in Syriana and the other for co-producing Argo. In 2018, he was the recipient of the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.
Men's Fashion Urban
Brad Pitt (born 18 December 1963)
Brad Pitt is an American actor and film producer. He has received multiple awards, including two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award for his acting.
In addition, he would win another Academy Award, another Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award as a producer under his production company, Plan B Entertainment.
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