Undershirt news and trivia - six surprising facts

While researching content for blogs I've come across some weird and wonderful undershirt trivia and thought it would be fun to share. 

1. Tucking and your happiness

Did you know that a survey says men who tuck their undershirts are happier and more successful than those who do not? Yes, your quality of life is related to the tidiness of your belt area, well, that is according to a survey by Fruit of the Loom.

Apparently, they interviewed more than 1,000 men ages 25 to 60 about the quality of their lives in relation to happiness, optimism, social status, income and relationships. Survey findings suggest that men who tuck their undershirts are more positive and outgoing.

Slightly unbelievable, but if you want to check out more detail here's the source: newsok

2. How to tuck

Ever needed advice on how to tuck your undershirt? Baffled by which layer should be tucked into which layer? Fear not. Help is at hand; there is a guide. There are even tuck styles. Who hasn't heard of 'Basic tuck', 'Military tuck', 'the Underwear tuck', and the earth-shaking 'ultimate shirt tuck'? No? Well, this guide is for you.

I mean, seriously, we should all know this. It's brilliant. I love this article. I will be using the military tuck from now on and also checking out whether my work colleagues know one tuck from another. 

3. The wife-beater

A dubious name for sure, but one with a noble origin. Yes, the plain white vest or tank top was called a wife-beater from 1990's until recently in America. 

Why is this? It seems that 'wife beater' goes back to the Middle Ages. Knights who lost their armour in battles had nothing but the chain-mail undergarment (which was still strong enough to resist a sword) to protect them. When a knight lost their armour and continued to fight successfully, they were referred to as a 'waif beater' (waif, meaning an abandoned or lost individual). This was considered a noble title — an abandoned fighter, beating their way through the battle.

During the 1700s in Europe, the phrase 'waif beater' no longer had much meaning (no more knights running around). The phrase was changed to the similarly sounding 'wife-beater' and used to refer to husbands who mistreated their partners.

The term started to be used for a dirty vest in 1947 when police arrested a local man (James Hartford, Jr.) for beating his wife to death in Detroit, Michigan. Local news stations aired the arrest for months constantly showing a picture of Hartford, Jr. when he was arrested. He was wearing a dirty tank top vest with baked bean stains on it and was referred to as the 'wife-beater'.

For some reason, men wearing dirty tank-topped undershirts were then referred to as people who were 'wearing wife-beaters'.

Here's two resources: PaulDavidson.net and mic.com

More recently the term 'wife beater' has been considered politically incorrect (no way!) and we now just call our white vests plain old white vests or tank tops.

4. Clark Gable's responsibility for undershirt decline

Clark Gable taking off his shirt and showing a bare chest in 1934 is blamed for the undershirt business to go into sharp decline!

There is an undetermined theory that sales of men's undershirts declined sharply after actor Clark Gable appeared bare-chested in the 1934 film "It Happened One Night". According to popular belief when Clark Gable took off his shirt and appeared bare-chested undershirt sales went into a massive decline, some say by up to 75%. However, this theory does not have much evidence to support it; fun as it seems.

5. In Italy, it's considered offensive not to wear an undershirt

I knew, from Italian friends, that undershirts were popular in Italy. Still, it wasn't until I came across this article on the 'undershirt police' that I realised they are considered essential.

Midwives and school teachers alike expect a baby and boy to wear an undershirt to be appropriately dressed.

Maybe we have a lot to learn from our Italian friends? It also explains why our largest order to date was from Italy and why, despite not advertising in Italy, we get sales.

6. Footballers were banned from putting personal messages on their undershirts before the world cup in 2014.

In 2014 there was a growing trend for footballers to pull up their shirts to display messages on their undershirts after scoring a goal. The most popular t-shirt message is thought to be Mario Balotelli's 'Why Always Me' displayed when he scored against Manchester United, in 2011.

Due to the often political, or religious nature of these messages, this was considered inappropriate and banned in June 2014 in time for the world cup.

Source: The Guardian

Well, that's all the undershirt news for today.