Alexandra Kometovna

The white T

Alexandra Kometovna
The white T

Photographed by MARIANO VIVANCO
Styling by JULIE RAGOLIA
Model JUSTICE JOSLIN

The white T Shirt is one of those things that are so natural it appears to have invented itself. You slip one on and, like magic, you’re Marlon Brando. It is timeless and useful – wear it under wool, while changing your oil, use it to shine your shoes, or spread it out on the grass to lie on. It is as close to perfection as cotton will get. It is always the right choice. It is casual, uniform, durable, masculine, classic, versatile. It goes with a pair of jeans, dirty or clean, wrinkled or ironed, patched or torn. Oversized to fitted, from plain to graphic, the white T Shirt will always be it.

White cotton T Sunspel

White cotton T Sunspel

1913: US Navy. Standard Issue. 1920’s: Listed in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. T Shirt becomes an official American English word. 1930: Hanes, Sears Roebuck. T Shirts sell for 24 cents. 1933: The T Shirt becomes so fashionable at the University Of Southern California that students begin filching them for casual wear. The school stencils “Property Of USC” on the T’s to prevent theft. 1935: Great Depression. The white T Shirt is documented by Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans as workaday clothing, which is worn as a threadbare uniform of defiance.1941: US Enters WWII. Twelve-thousand servicemen issued “skivvies” with their uniforms. 1948: Adopted by the Army to protect against sunburns and bug bites. 1946-57: Baby Boom. The T Shirt becomes wash-and-wear, and all-purpose. 1950: Tropix Togs, Miami. Original license to print Walt Disney Characters on T Shirts. 1951: A Streetcar Named Desire. Marlon Brando. Stand-alone outer garment. 1955: Rebel Without A Cause. James Dean. 1956: Federal Aid Highway Act. Built by men in T Shirts 1960: Working Class Hero. 1970: Standard marketing for Coca Cola. 1975: Keith Alms develops Hanes 5000 line, specifically selling to screen printers. 1980: Katharine Hamnett pioneers the oversized T Shirt with large print slogans.