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A tube top (British: boob tube) is a shoulderless, sleeveless women's garment that wraps around the upper torso. It is generally tight over the breasts, usually by means of elastic bands at its top and bottom, to prevent it from falling.
The garment was invented by American World War II veteran Murray Kleid, owner of S & M Fringing Inc. (named for Sol Makowsky & Murray Kleid) located at 50 West 17th Street in NYC. At the time, S & M Fringing was the largest women's accessories manufacturer throughout New York City's garment district, with three floors of his company dedicated to the manufacturing of these and other garments and accessories.
The first tube top was actually made in error. Nonetheless, Kleid saw potential in the new garment and had samples of it sent to local distributors. Within months, tube tops were on clothing store shelves worldwide.
Though it was created in the 1960s, the tube top reached its highest popularity in the late 1970s. By the mid-'90s it had largely vanished. Soon after the turn of the 21st century, it made a major reappearance in the wardrobes of American teenage girls and young American women, especially college-age women.
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