The world’s oldest discovery of a fully preserved garment is a highly sophisticated linen shirt found by Flinders Petrie from the First Dynasty Egyptian tomb at Tarkan, dated to 3000 B.C.
These days every man has one shirt or the other in his wardrobe, a different variety of shirts like full sleeves, and others have short sleeves and are worn on the upper part of the body, often under a tuxedo, coat, jacket, and with other garments too. Let’s start the journey of how The Evolution of a Shirt: Where it starts from to what we see today.
The evolution of men’s fashion is quite interesting how a shirt played an important role in history and became an elite symbol of white-collar men. In the seventeen century, shirts were just used as undergarments to preserve their expensive waistcoat from dirt, debris, and sweat because their waistcoat is expensive. By the coming of the eighteenth century, the cloth, which was known as an undergarment, may have been seen as a garment in the men’s fashion industry, thus this is the invention of the shirt.
The significance set down by Beau Brummel and other boulevardiers wearing clean, perfectly styled linen brought the shirt into increased prominence as a crucial male garment. Prior to the nineteenth century, only those contemplating to be elite or gentlemen could afford to buy a white linen shirt because they were spoiled easily by dirt and sweat and were impossible to clean, men in manual labor had found them impractical pieces of clothing. Most of the people bought shirt pieces for men or they called them fabric and custom stitched their shirts.
In the early nineteenth colored shirts came to life but their nature is impractical for wearing them daily affecting their market, and shirts are only limited to the elite class or upper-middle class of the exclusive societies. The development of cleaning products and laundry techniques in the middle of the nineteenth century expanded the market of shirts but the cleaning supplies cost was very high and the middle class could not afford them. Once more shirts became symbolic to an elite group of white-collar men.
In the British Raj, Western fashion arrived in India and influenced and challenged traditional markets. Shirts play an important role in spreading men’s fashion in India due to their diverse Indian market accepting them with ease.
In Indian history, linen shirts are expensive, that’s why they are only worn by elite group members of Indian society. In the middle of the eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century, the shirts became a uniform for government and non-government offices and gradually shirts became formal dressing or dress code for elite restaurants, hotels, parties, communal gatherings, etc.
The demand for casual shirts arose which are not super fitted as shirts and soft and comfy and easy to lounge in then the creation of t-shirts and comfortable new trending shirts for men came to place in the Indian market.
After independence, in 1950 liberty brand launched the first shirt in the Indian market which became the first branded shirt in business soon the inundation started with other brands like Double bull and followed by charagh din, cliff Heusen, etc.
In current markets shirts had lots of variety of camp shirts, Dress shirts, Dinner shirts, poet shirts, t-shirts, half shirts, onesie, punishment shirts or today we had known as straitjackets and there are more upcoming in future.
From the 1920s to the 1930s, authoritarians wore different colored shirts. Let’s Find out:
- Blackshirts were worn by the Italian fascists, and in Britain, Finland and Germany, and Croatia. In India, only the party leaders of Dravidar Kazhagam wore black shirts to denote atheism.
- Brownshirts were worn by German Nazis of the Sturmabteilung.
- Blue shirts were a fascist movement in Ireland and Canada, and the color of the Portuguese Nacional Sindicalistas, the Spanish phalanx, the French solidarity, and the Chinese Blue Shirts Society.
- Green shirts were used to wear in Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Brazil, and Hungary.
- Golden shirts are worn in Revolutionary Mexicanist Action in Mexico.
- Red shirts were worn by the and antisemitic and racist Bulgarian ratniks.
- Silver Shirts were worn in the USA.
- Members of the fatherland League in Norway wear Gray shirts.
In inclusion, red shirts were used to symbolize the diversification of political groups including nineteenth-century American street gangs, Garibaldi’s Italian revolutionaries, and socialist militias in Mexico and Spain during the 1930s.
Shirts Play an important role in the history of men’s fashion. You definitely learn more about it after reading this blog on The Evolution of a Shirt: Where it starts from to what we see today.