What is Crew Neck TShirt - Raw Revel

The Crew Neck T Shirt: A Journey Through History

The neckline of your tee or tunic can make or break your look. But how do you choose the right neckline from the plethora of styles that are available in the market? Should you go with a scoop neck, V-neck or turtleneck? Or, pick up one of the modern styles, like the boat neck, sweetheart neck, or collared neck? If the history of fashion is to be believed, the crew neckline has been the wardrobe staple for men and women alike. Although just a basic piece of clothing, the crewneck t shirt’s simple shape and versatile look have made it essential in every person’s everyday style. 

With its humble beginnings in the 19th century, the crew neck t shirt has traveled through history to become a wardrobe favorite all around the world. In the present day, this classic piece has also jumped on to the bandwagon of sustainability. Sustainable brands like Raw Revel are redefining this style by using organic and recycled materials, making it more environmentally friendly and long-lasting. 

So, let’s find out what is a crew neckline and how its origins and history have made it a timeless piece that will not go out of style anytime soon. 

What is a Crew Neck T Shirt

Any type of shirt, tee, or sweater that has a round neckline, without any collar, is known as a crew neck (crewneck, crew-neck) top. It is often worn under other layers of clothing. It does look similar to a round neck or scoop neck, but it has subtle differences from both these styles. A crewneck shirt has a rib-knit piece sewn all around the round neck and fits snugly at the base of the neck. The comfortable T-shape and the crew neck design make these tees a popular pick for casual dressing for both genders. 

The History of the Crew Neck Shirt

Now that we know what is crew neckline, let's find out how it originated and became such a big contributor to casual fashion. The crew collar’s history dates back to over a century when it was created as an undergarment that could absorb sweat and keep the wearer relaxed. It was first developed for American football, as it had the added advantage of preventing chafing of the players’ shoulder pads.

However, the crewneck shirt, that we know today, was popularized by sailors, boatmen, and oarsmen who were looking for a simple and comfortable garment to support their demanding work. Hence, the crew neck meaning, quite literally, comes from the crew members of the ship, emphasizing its nautical beginnings. 

But, that’s not the end of it. In the 19th century, the “union suit’ worn by miners and stevedores was split into a two-piece outfit. The crew neck T-shirt became the go-to choice as the top part of this set as it was comfortable, breathable, and easy to clean. Its use spread amongst agricultural workers and farmers, eventually being adopted by the U.S. Navy in 1913 as a gob shirt, an undergarment required as part of the uniform.

Since the crew neck t shirt was easy to manufacture, required cheaper materials, and lasted long, it became a common piece of clothing during the Great Depression (1929 -1939). In 1938, Sears, the American department store chain, began advertising these ‘gob shirts’ as T-shirts because of their T-shape, and that marked the entry of the crew collar into the retail market.

The Crew Neckline as a Versatile Fashion Staple

In the 1950s, fashion icons like Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, and James Dean started sporting the crew neck tee as outerwear. Its appearance in the movie “A Streetcar Named Desire” solidified its status as a fashion staple and an icon for cool dressing.

Other factors that cemented the crew neck T-shirt’s popularity as an everyday casual choice were: 

  • Versatility – The basic crew neck has a simple design that can be paired with any style of clothing, easily transforming from a casual to a semi-formal look.
  • Comfort Crewneck t shirts are crafted from breathable and soft fabrics, like cotton for a comfortable and relaxed fit, thus, making them a great choice for everyday attire. 
  • Adaptability – A minimalist design and easy adaptability to different styles ensures that the crewneck t shirt maintains its timeless appeal year after year.

The Crewneck T Shirt in Modern Times

In this day and age, with the induction of sustainability into the world of fashion, the crew neck t shirt has also seen a significant upgrade. So, what is crewneck t shirt in today’s time? The modern crewneck t shirt is an eco-friendlier adaptation of its predecessor. Sustainable fashion brands, like Raw Revel, are manufacturing these wardrobe staples ethically and sustainably. Some of the changes they have made to the production of the basic crewneck tee are: 

  • Using organic materials: Instead of regular cotton which requires a lot of water for irrigation, sustainable brands use organic cotton fibers.
  • Supporting slow fashion: Since the crew neck t shirt is already a timeless favorite, it is not difficult for fashion brands to design these basic pieces in simple and elegant looks that will stay relevant through the years. 
  • Reducing wastewater creation: Sustainable fashion brands use non-toxic, natural dyes to colour basic crew neck t shirts, thus, reducing the flow of harmful chemicals into water bodies.

Styling the Crew Neck T Shirt According to Your Style

Wearing the crew neck t shirt to make a personal style statement is easy-peasy, as it is that versatile. Here are five ways you can style the crew neck tee to establish your go-to look.

  • Laidback Casual: Style a basic crew collar t shirt with jeans or shorts and pair it with sneakers for a relaxed look.
  • Dressy Way: Dress up the crew collar by pairing it with skirts and dress pants. Throw over a blazer for loafers or heels to complete the look.
  • Sporty Vibe: Team up the crew neck with yoga pants, tennis shorts, or joggers for the perfect athleisure appeal.
  • Layering it up: Put on a button-down shirt or sweater over your crewneck t shirt for a stylishly warm look.
  • Beach day: Pull on a crew collar tee over your bikini or swim shorts on a lazy day soaking in the sun on the beach.


The crew neck t shirt has come a long way from workwear to the eco-friendly and sustainable wardrobe staples of today. They are versatile and comfortable pieces that provide endless possibilities for styling. Whether it's for a casual day out or a special occasion, you can sport this timeless outfit anytime and make a unique fashion statement. 

So, go ahead and explore Raw Revel’s collection of sustainable crew neck t shirts that bring together style and ethics. Pick these eco-friendly pieces for your wardrobe and make a conscious fashion choice to let your style shine through.

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