Fits you to a Tee?

A friend at work told me that some friends of his were engaged in conversation, and one of them wondered aloud about how a Tee-Shirt (or T-Shirt) got it’s name. It doesn’t LOOK like a tee, or a T. So someone, lay that Straight Dopage on me!

Yer pal,

Actually, it does sort of look like a T. Lay the shirt out flat with the arms sticking out to the sides… It looks like a “T” with a very thick stem.

OTOH, I heard it was short for “Tennis” Shirt.

“Drink your coffee! Remember, there are people sleeping in China.”

Dennis Matheson —
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb —

Actually, it’s suppossed to. that’s where the name came from.

All this science, I don’t understand. It’s just my job 5 days a week-- Rocketman

Here’s another theory. I asked “jeeves” for the “history of the t-shirt.” One of the links that little gnome provided gave me this info.

In 1901, the P.H. Hanes Knitting Company (now just Hanes) introduced two-piece men’s underwear for catalogue sale. But it was the U.S. Navy, 12 years later, that inadvertently accelerated the evolution of underwear by issuing a revolutionary new item to its sailors. Seeking to avoid sexually scandalous sights exposed by its V-necked uniforms (read: hairy chests), the Navy issued a garment that featured short sleeves, a “crew” neckline (hence “crew neck”) and a vaguely “T”-shaped silhouette (hence “T-shirt”).

A few years later, the influx of sailors on leave during World War I brought about the truncating of the popular civilian “union suit” into a “singlet” or “jersey.” The price: 24 cents. The trend soon spread, and by World War II 12 million men were wearing the Navy’s newer, less expensive tee, which quickly became known as “skivvies.”

Take it for what it’s worth.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

OED goes with the "shaped like the letter T explanation.

T-shirt orig. U.S. Also tee-shirt.
[f. the letter T (see below) + shirt n.]
A simple kind of garment, orig. a man’s undershirt, typically short-sleeved, round-necked, buttonless and made from knitted cotton fabric, and forming the shape of a letter T when spread out flat; now a similar garment of various designs, widely worn as a shirt by men, women, and children for sport or as casual wear.

The earliest reference they give is for 1920, from F. Scott Fitzgerald.