Craft: Research

Myth vs Fact

I love Daniel Delis Hill’s American Menswear. It’s one of my go-to sources for men’s fashion in the 20th century. However, I came across an interesting myth this author chose to perpetuate.

Clark Gable in the movie: It Happened One Night (1934) killed the undershirt industry (1).

Did he cite underwear salesmen or stock owners? Letters from men saying, ‘hey if Clark Gable isn’t wearing an undershirt, I don’t have to either.’


In fact, he didn’t cite where he got this information at all.

I guess it comes down to always check your sources whether it’s in print or online. Myths are still myths even if they did have slivers of truth to them.

Normally, I would take the time to debunk this myth myself. But Cliff Aliperti in 2013 did that already (here).


(1) Hill, Daniel Delis. American Menswear: From the Civil War to the 21st Century. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech University Press, 2011, 195.

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