Men’s shirts are among the largest selling clothing items in the world today. There are many types of shirts, each of which have their own style statement. All these varieties can be basically classified into two categories: formals and casuals.
Formal Men’s Shirts are the shirts that are suitable for wearing for official and formal occasions. These are elegant and suavely designed, and generally exude an air of class and power. On the other hand, casuals are those shirts that are suitable for wearing on informal occasions and for personal gatherings. These are more colorful and can have a wide variety of designs that can create an impression of fun and playfulness.
Today, shirts have become a major tool for impression management for men. It is only fair to say that shirts define the fashion outlook of men. Interestingly, this was not been the case until a couple of centuries ago. Till then, shirts had been used as undergarments.
Revealing the shirt had been a taboo act for several centuries. These garments had all the erotic connotations at that time which the undergarments such as lingerie have today. So, men’s shirts have literally come a long way in the manner in which they are worn.
Shirts have been in use from time immemorial. An early specimen of its use was discovered at the tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh. As you might be aware of, the Pharaohs popularized the trend of preserving the dead bodies in specially prepared tombs called mummies. Historians have found a sophisticated and neatly designed shirt in one such tomb – the origin of which has been traced back to around 3000 BC.
Until the 20th century, men’s shirts had been used as undergarments, usually worn under some other garment or exclusively in bed. One can find people wearing shirts in the paintings of the 17th century. Up until then, revealing shirts in paintings was unfashionable. Even on 17th and 18th centuries, only men from low section of the society such as servants or shepherds were portrayed in paintings with a shirt on. No trace of shirt can be found in the paintings of monarchs and ministers. However, shirts were revealed in some paintings exclusively to suggest erotic undertones.
Redemption Of Men’s Shirts
The use of shirts as an outwearing garment started towards the end of 19th century. Shirts became an accepted outerwear during the early stages of 20th century. By 1920, these became widely accepted. Fabric designers started showing more attention to the style elements of shirts as it became the most visible fabric of men. It must be noted that fabric design elements like frills and embroidery were early forms of shirts, even in their undergarment days. However, the growth in design and style was more rapid and pronounced in the last one hundred years or so. By the 1980s, shirts had become one of the most commonly used fabrics.
Today, one can find a mind-boggling array of shirt designs and styles. Different eras are marked by different trends in collar, sleeve, color, and pleats in men’s shirts. It has been a long journey from the obscurity of an undergarment to the prominence of being a major outerwear.