Modern Classics: the White T-shirt

Modern Classics: the White T-shirt

From its humble origins as a protective undergarment, the white t-shirt has come a long way to become a quintessential wardrobe staple of the twenty-first century. Throughout the Second World War, the US military furnished all servicemen with plain white boxer shorts and t-shirt sets. Up until this point the white t-shirt had been a functional layer; an undergarment designed to keep its proprietor warm and to wick away sweat; it was only after the Second World War that it became an iconic piece in popular-culture.

When Rebel Without a Cause was released in 1955 it starred a young, James Dean who’s robust character defined a growing sense of post-war rebellion and kick-back on the conservative, American ideals of its time. Sadly, Dean would not live to see this cult-classic as he was tragically killed at the tender age of 24 in a car accident before the film would be released. His character, Jim Stark - who can be found donning none other than a white t-shirt – became an icon that would help disrupt societal status quo and pave the way for individualism, experimentation and liberty, and by default the white t-shirt came along for the ride.

Since then, the white t-shirt has emerged across sub-cultures, classes and identities as a metaphorical (and literal) blank canvas; some of our heroes over the years include Kurt Cobain, the legendary Sugar-Ray Robinson and The Bear’s very own, Carmy Berzatto; an award winning chef, menswear purist and vintage fashion obsessive who can be found in almost every scene of the FX production wearing a pristine, (near) perfect white tee.

The difference between our heroes of yester-year and Carmy are that that there is an heir of discernment in his style choices, it’s as much about function, practicality and ease as it is about the quality of the yarn, the shape its cut and the craftsmanship behind it that underpins the evolution of the white t-shirt and what it has become. In our opinion, it has transcended the rudimentary function of an undergarment and has become more than a cultural statement and it now sits squarely as the centre-piece in any modern wardrobe rotation; smart or casual.

Last year we launched the Heavy White T-shirt in our ‘Tavistock’ quality; a plain, organic cotton interlock jersey. We love it for it’s soft and firm texture that holds its shape throughout timeless wears and washing. You can partner it with your 501’s as easily as you can with one of our Solms Jackets and a pair of Pleated Trousers. This season for Spring 23, we’re please to introduce a variety of seasonal colours and a long-sleeved version ideal for layering up through the unpredictable, spring transition.

Short Sleeve T-Shirt

Heavy T-Shirt Tavistock White
Heavy T-Shirt Tavistock Orange

Heavy T-Shirt Tavistock Navy

Heavy T-Shirt Tavistock Grey

Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Heavy Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Tavistock White
Heavy Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Tavistock Orange

Heavy Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Tavistock Navy

Heavy Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Tavistock Grey

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