Recently a link to T-shirt Hell was put on this website. Out of curiosity I clicked on it and could not believe the t-shirts that these people are selling. Really unbelievable! Take a look at them, do people really wear these shirts??? Would you buy one?
But anyway it got me thinking about t-shirts and about what a large part of our culture they have become. When I was a little kid, the only t-shirts we had were Hanes or Fruit of the Loom and they were strictly worn as underwear. You certainly would not have worn a t-shirt as your outer garment.
Even as a little child, the only person who saw you in your t-shirt (called undershirt) was your parents and maybe your little brother.
Then James Dean came along and made the t-shirt sexy and rebellious by wearing it on the outside with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve.
The t-shirt as a medium for expressing your views and opinions about everything from religion to sex had arrived. Now everyone wears t-shirts. You can plaster your favorite band, sports team, designer, or event on your shirt. You can make a political, religious, sexual, or social statement. You can boast about your travels, athletic endeavors, educational achievements, or career .You can display your taste in food and drink, literature, music, computers, designers, cars, boats, airlines, politicians, etc. Every event that you attend now sells t-shirts. One report on the web states that 2 billion t-shirts are sold worldwide each year.
When my kids were in junior high the big thing was to have a t-shirt from “The Hard Rock Cafe”. If you were fortunate enough to travel or know someone who did, and could get a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt from some far off place, you were not only lucky, you were cool! The lines to buy t-shirts at the Hard Rock Cafes would wind around and around city blocks. What a marketing homerun that was!
And of course every kid got the t-shirt that said, “My parents went to blah blah and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”. That was the ultimate insult, in my opinion.
So many t-shirts are just downright tacky. One time my husband bought me this t-shirt from some bar that said,” Liquor in the Back, Poke her in the rear” and he actually thought it was funny and that I would wear it! NOT!! (It actually became a very popular White Elephant gift at the annual family Christmas party, now how tacky is that?) WWJD
And then there was the time he bought one that had a picture of an obviously intoxicated cat that read, “Happiness is a tight pussy”. OMG I am glad to report that now he mostly wears t-shirts that sport hunting and fishing logos. Some things definitely improve with age, husbands being one of them.
Next time you are out and about, notice the people around you and the t-shirt that they are wearing. It really does tell you a lot about them. They are great conversation starters. I have met great people while traveling or just at the market because of the t-shirt that one of us is wearing.
I love t-shirts and what they represent about us and our beliefs and our sense of humor.
This website sells some really good looking t-shirts as a means of advertising. Check them out.