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Old 11-12-2019, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Fairfield of the Ohio
725 posts, read 533,071 times
Reputation: 2132

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
"Wifebeater" in reference to a man who beats his wife is over a hundred years old. Suffragettes wrote about "wifebeaters."

Cool. I had no idea. I only knew the origin of the term being used for the shirt.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:08 AM
 
Location: the heart is!
4,569 posts, read 3,894,208 times
Reputation: 9944
I grew up in Chicago and never heard those referred to as wife beater shirts but rather **** T's
(a derogatory term for a person of Italian origin).

My father used to wear them under his shirts or work uniforms (he did physical labor work) to absorb sweat. RIP, he certainly wasn't a wife beater, that's for sure!

**** T.

**** T n. a ribbed, white cotton tank-style undershirt; a wife-beater; a boy-beater. Editorial Note: A synonym is guinea T, which, like **** T, is often perceived as derogatory or offensive. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

https://www.waywordradio.org/****_t/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrolman View Post
"Wife Beaters"? In my family, they are referred to as "Italian Dinner Jackets".
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
I never heard the term "wife beater" in reference to shirts began until the last 15 or so years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sspistol View Post
Cool. I had no idea. I only knew the origin of the term being used for the shirt.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Redneckville, NJ
6,972 posts, read 10,338,233 times
Reputation: 3438
My husband wears one ever day as an undershirt. It's more comfortable form him than a regular t-shirt type of undershirt.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:35 AM
 
11,307 posts, read 6,624,169 times
Reputation: 6234
Yeah, I think the tank top, wife beater, **** undershirt...etc, is the worst look ever. And I thought the whole idea for an undershirt was to keep underarm sweat from showing through , not sure how a sleeveless shirt accomplishes this.

Also, I thought the whole "Wifebeater" thing originated when Cop's started airing on TV.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:47 AM
 
20,914 posts, read 11,725,323 times
Reputation: 21070
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarabchuck View Post
Yeah, I think the tank top, wife beater, **** undershirt...etc, is the worst look ever. And I thought the whole idea for an undershirt was to keep underarm sweat from showing through , not sure how a sleeveless shirt accomplishes this.

I personally don't see the point because my own reasons for wearing a tee-shirt is to control armpit perspiration. But what I always knew as "athletic undershirts" have sold well for longer than tee shirts, so go figure.


Quote:
Also, I thought the whole "Wifebeater" thing originated when Cop's started airing on TV.

As, specifically, a colloquial designation for a particular kind of shirt, I've only heard it since the 90s or so. I never watched "Cops," but the timing is about right.



It certainly didn't surprise me, and I understood immediately how it was derived, because the quadruple conflation of ethnic group/economic level, propensity for spouse abuse, and that style of shirt had already been embedded in the American consciousness.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,903 posts, read 12,985,913 times
Reputation: 20765
Quote:
Originally Posted by delunsa View Post
Not many males can pull off the 'wifebeater' without looking like a dirtbag.
You don't wear them to be cute, you wear them because tank tops are comfortable in hot weather. If you want to be cute, put more clothes on.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:45 AM
 
Location: The BA & l o v e it
2,146 posts, read 484,608 times
Reputation: 1659
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
You don't wear them to be cute, you wear them because tank tops are comfortable in hot weather. If you want to be cute, put more clothes on.




Wife beaters aren’t tank tops tho....they are white undershirts....so if a guy is going to wear that in hot weather, why can’t he just wear a tank top instead with no undershirt? It makes no sense.....ita with the O.P. they are awful........
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,611 posts, read 2,462,349 times
Reputation: 1508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Msgenerse View Post
Do men today still wear those? Yeah I get not judge men because of fabric, but nevertheless it still has a awful connotation.
They are only awful if you don't have the body for them. I think lots of guys wear T-shirts under their shirts. Especially in the winter they provide a nice insulating layer. Also, many men wear them under light color dress shirts I think generally for propriety, as the shirts can be otherwise see through, and the button gaps.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:16 PM
 
20,914 posts, read 11,725,323 times
Reputation: 21070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taynxtlvl View Post
They are only awful if you don't have the body for them. I think lots of guys wear T-shirts under their shirts. Especially in the winter they provide a nice insulating layer. Also, many men wear them under light color dress shirts I think generally for propriety, as the shirts can be otherwise see through, and the button gaps.

Okay, so now I'm getting an idea that makes sense.


From what I've seen of old photographs--going back a hundred years--a couple of points are salient:


1. Men tended to dress heavily and more formally at all times. If not engaged in fairly heavy manual labor, men wore suit jackets for virtually every occasion.


2. There was no air conditioning.


They wore undershirts to deal with the issue of button gaps and other issues that made two layers more socially appropriate. Going without an undershirt was simply as socially inappropriate as a woman going without a slip.



But there was no air conditioning. So I can see the athletic shirt becoming popular as the least amount of cloth a man could wear under both shirt and jacket.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
9,565 posts, read 8,240,663 times
Reputation: 13461
I have worn them as an undershirt but never by itself.
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