The Russian telnyashka (Russian: тельня́шка) is a undershirt horizontally striped in white and navy blue colors. Telnyashka be sleeveless or not. It is an iconic uniform garment worn by the Russian Navy, the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV) and the Russian Naval Infantry (marines).
First telnyashkas appeared at the days of sailing fleet and the stripes were of various colours. This pattern allowed sailors on board to see the actions that the sailors are making working high up with the sails. The sailors often knitted teylnashkas themselves to entertain themselves off the shift. This was a calming and relaxing pass-time.
In the beginning of XVIII century almost outfit in almost all European fleet was standrartized. In Russia telnyashka was then abandoned, the sailors were to ware tight leggings, kaftan robe and cylinder hats. Wearing stripped telnyashkas was punishable.
The new outfit was not comfortable, but telnyashka got back to favour only in XIX when the Dutch sea suites got populrazied. The Dutch outfit comprised of short pea coat, blue flannel jacket with a low neckline, shirt and black bell-bottomed trousers.
Russian sailors were wearing telnyashka under the Dutch-style shirt with a V-neck вырез (the stem Telnyashka <- telo (rus. Body) ). The sailors were treating this outfit with pride and wore it on special occasions, when they were to dress up.
Dating back to the 19th century Tsarist Navy it was subsequently worn by the Soviet successors of these troops.
Telnyashkas are worn today by fashionistastas who like to combine the white and navy blue garment with other accessories and matching colours.