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T-SHIRTS AND TUXEDOS

Do you like to wear T-shirts?

What do you wear with T-shirts?

When do people wear tuxedos?

 

1. Styles are constantly changing. Fashions come and go. But few have had the popularity or permanence of the T-shirt and tuxedo. Both of these well-known American garments share a history of French influence and American daring.

2. The story of the tuxedo goes back to the summer of 1886, in Tuxedo Park, New York. A Frenchman named Pierre Lorillard was living in the small town. He was heir to the Lorillard tobacco fortune and an important New York blueblood, a person of high distinction. Pierre had been invited as always to the Autumn Ball. However, he was tired of wearing the accepted formal attire of a coat with tails. He wanted something more informal. So he asked a tailor to make him several jackets in black without tails. They were modeled after the red riding jackets worn by the British for fox hunting.

3. On the night of the ball, Lorillard was too timid to wear one of his tailless dinner jackets. But his son and his young friends were bolder. They all put on the jackets and went to the ball. Needless to say, everybody was talking. Some people were shocked by their outfits. Others, however, were quite interested. They saw how much easier it was to pass the evening in a coal without tails.

4. No doubt, if the tailless coat had been worn by anyone other than a Lorillard, it would never have appeared again. But as Lorillard had so much influence, tailors started copying the informal jackets. After a while, they became standard evening attire. The tuxedo got its name, of course, from the town in which it was born. The name Tuxedo came from the native Americans. The Algonquians who had inhabited the area called it P'tauk-Seet, meaning "wolf." The colonists changed it to "Tucksito." By 1800, when Pierre Lorillard's grandfather arrived in the area, it had already been changed to Tuxedo. In spite of the original meaning of the word, however, good manners are always expected while wearing one.

5. T-shirts made their entrance much later than tuxedos. But they too took a bit of courage to wear. Once again, the French had a role in the story. It seems the French kept their soldiers cool during World War I by giving them cotton knit undershirts. Meanwhile the Americans were hot and scratchy in their wool underwear. By World War II, the Navy and Army had learned a lesson from the French. The cotton shirt in a T shape became part of the uniform for all soldiers and sailors. After the war, T-shirts came home with the soldiers. By then, all the men were wearing them. But they remained out f sight, as underwear should in polite society.

6. But Hollywood and rebellious young men know no rules. In 1951, actor Marion Brando wore a T-shirt in the movie A Streetcar Named Desire. Everyone talked about it, and the T-shirt became a sort of trademark for him. Then in the mid-1950s, the young James Dean performed in Rebel Without a Cause. He wore a T-shirt too. Then Elvis Presley hit the screen in his T-shirt. It was too much for young people to ignore. Every boy in town wanted to look like James Dean and Elvis Presley. White T-shirts and baggy pants became the cool, or stylish, thing to wear.



7. The 1960s and another generation of rebellious youth arrived. T-shirt and blue jeans worn by both males and females were their special fashion style. They dyed T-shirts different colors and put pictures and words on then. T-shirts would never be the same again.

8. Today, the T-shirt has made its way to every corner of the world. They're worn by infants, teenagers, and senior citizens. They tell others what we like, where we've been, the things we've done, and races we've won. They can be old and worn, or new and fancy. They can be made of cotton or of silk. They're worn with skirts, pants, and shorts. And something that would have surprised even Lorillard is that T-shirts are even worn with tuxedos.

 


Date: 2015-12-17; view: 926


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