The Origins of Clothing (from Loin Cloth to T-shirt)

Egyptian Loin Cloth

Yesterday, I set the premise of how clothes originated from the Neanderthals. Today, I will continue to talk about the development of clothing from the early human civilization to the modern times – from the basic loin cloth to the branded Port Authority shirts.

The Ancient Loin Clothes
The Egyptians, Israelites, Mesopotamians, and the Persians were the first people to wear loincloths. It is the most appropriate type of clothing for them because of the region’s hot and humid weather.

In Egypt, the wearing of loincloths soon fell out of fashion. Middle and upper class people started wearing draped clothes. Pharaohs, members of the royal family, high priests, government officials, and other aristocrats crafted their clothes using Muslin (a kind of cotton fabric). Hard to find animal skins, furs, and leathers were also exploited. In particular, skins of leopards, lions, and crocodiles were used.

In 14th Century BC, the Egyptians fashioned the wearing of robes, skirts, and short-sleeved shirts. During this time, only the lower class citizens still wore loincloths.

The Byzantines’ Fashion
Around 300 AD in Rome, the Byzantines designed their clothes with patterns and different colors. Just like in Egypt, social status dictates the type of clothing a person must wear. The nobles and rich wore clothes made of Byzantine silk, while the poor were dressed with resist-dyed textiles. The Roman toga and tunica became the most popular types of clothing during this era.

The Period of T-shirts
Fast-forward to 20th Century, a different kind of dress entered the mainstream clothing market, the T-shirt. The t-shirt was popularized by American soldiers during World War I as an undergarment. They named the dress T-shirt because of its design and outline, which is shaped like the letter “T”.

After World War I, t-shirt was fashioned by many Americans as a standard underwear. In the early 1950s, it evolved to something else – and not just an undergarment. It was James Dean, John Wayne, and Marlon Brando that popularized the wearing of t-shirts as a casual wear.

At present, many brands and types of t-shirts are available for men, women, teens, children, and babies. There are camisole, V-neck, crop top, muscle shirt, ringer t-shirt, tank top, half shirt, scoop neck, and A-shirt. Some of the most famous brands include The Gap, Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Guess, Hanes, Nike, and Port Authority shirts.

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