When the t-shirt first came on the scene in the 19th century until shortly after World War II (the 1940s), it was without variation: a t-shirt was a tight-fitting white crew-neck shirt made for men and boys. Following World War II and during the post-war economic boom, the plain white t-shirt gave way to countless varieties to suit different tastes and occasions. T-shirts are now worn by men and women, and boys and girls…and also pets too!
One of the most common variations to come from the t-shirt is the tank top. Tank tops have no sleeves, and can have so-called ‘spaghetti straps’ or thicker shoulder straps. The wider versions of these thick straps are sometimes referred to as ‘wifebeaters’. While tanktops are often worn on a hot summer day or as a top underneath another shirt, wifebeaters are usually worn as undershirts unless it’s being worn by those who require extra exertion in their jobs, in which case they will usually work with nothing else but the tank on top in order to keep themselves cool. Tank tops and their variations like a-shirts and muscle shirts are without exception casual wear. The line of work in which they’d usually be acceptable is hard labour.
The v-neck and scoop neck are two popular variants of the t-shirt. They both have sleeves. They get their names from the kind of neck outline they carry. While the classic t-shirt has a crew neck, which is a circular neckline close high up and tight-fitting, both the v-neck and scoopneck plunge further down to the décolletage. For this reason, they are common in women’s fashions, though men are sometimes seen wearing v-necks. They are commonly seen as sweaters, and men usually wear a shirt underneath their v-necks. While the classic t-shirt is casual, many v-necks and scoop necks for women are formal enough to be worn in a smart casual setting, allowing not just variation in style but in occasion to the wearing of the t-shirt.
The ringer t-shirt is where the ribbing on the collar and sleeve bands are a different and contrasting color from the shirt’s body. Ringer t-shirts became popular in the 1960’s among rock-and-rollers. They stayed immensely popular until the 1980’s but experienced a comeback in the early 2000s. The baseball t-shirt is similar to the ringer t-shirt in that it also has contrasting colours, but the baseball tee is often ¾ or long-sleeved. Both shirts are casual, and as one may expect, the latter got its name from being worn by American baseball players on the field.
For women who think the t-shirt is too masculine or at least doesn’t accentuate female curves and beauty, the babydoll t-shirt was made for them. The babydoll t-shirt is a tight-fitting shirt with short sleeves and a crew-neck. They are often short in length, exposing the midriff for added sexiness. The silhouette of the babydoll highlights the shape of a woman’s upper body.
Whatever your style, lifestyle, and needs, there’s a t-shirt in Australia for you.