From its humble, practical beginnings in the U.S. Navy, the simple T-shirt has come a very long way and has become an absolute must in anyone’s wardrobe. Initially used as an inexpensive, easily cleaned undergarment worn by sailors so that they can get down and dirty without having to worry about getting a bit of muck on the uniform, the T-shirt quickly became a staple for every sailor, factory worker and labourer across the land. Little did those grubby grafters, who probably wouldn’t know their George from ASDA to their GUCCI that they were actually at the forefront of fashion.
Walk down your local high street and I can guarantee you will see at least 5 million people wearing some style of T-shirt; slogan, band, rolled up sleeve, tie dye, studded, pinned, cropped, cut the list goes on. The T-shirt is as versatile as the prints printed on them.
I have a very fond memory from my childhood of going to a church fate and cutting out a, quite wonky, love heart and this magical man doing some trickery with a piece of glass and some paint and suddenly my heart was on a shirt! I couldn’t believe it, I was a fashion designer! I walked home so proud, drenched in this ugly mustard yellow t-shirt with a wonky, miss-shaped love heart. I looked a mess but felt amazing!
Put on a blue top with a red and yellow “S” on the front and suddenly you’re Superman, Wear a plain black T-Shirt and suddenly you’re a few inches thinner (apparently). T-shirts can change our identity and change our perceptions; a plain white tee is no longer a simple cut that provides a practical overall, smack a celebrity name on or popular brand and suddenly is the coolest thing since sliced bread, the sliced bread you take to the baker and they put it through the slicer machine and you just think “WOW”.
Or is that just me?
I am writing this piece as an open thank you note to the T-Shirt, without you I wouldn’t have the option to go from bed to work without just putting on a pair of jeans, I mean the option to wear a t-shirt to bed then after a wash and a fresh iron wear the T-Shirt to work…
Thanks to T-Shirts I can copy my favourite style icon and pretend that I’m as cool as them, I can pretend to be an action hero or even change the way people think. So next time you look in your wardrobe to pull “that old top” ask yourself, who are you going to be today?
Today I’m a Beatles fan.
See you next time!
*Previously posted in 2013 Removed for university reasons. Edited and re-posted 25/07/2015