The T-Shirt - A Fashion Item In Constant Revolution

by Andrew Regan - Date: 2007-03-14 - Word Count: 431 Share This!

As fashion launches itself headfirst into 2007, emerging musical trends - most notably indie rock and new rave - seem to have influenced the t-shirt design industry in a variety of ways. Tops and T-shirts for men found on the fashion highway are so bright, colourful and splashed across with patterns that it's hard to believe that, at one time, the t-shirt was only available in one colour - white.

The t-shirt has a long history that dates back to the nineteenth century. Primarily developed as a type of underwear, the t-shirt was popularised in European society around the turn of the century. The t-shirt then spread into the United States during World War One, when American soldiers caught sight of the soft undershirts - then made of Egyptian cotton - while the US military sweated in wool uniforms.

By World War Two, the t-shirt had become standard issue in both the US army and the Navy; and although the t-shirt was still formally issued as underwear, soldiers stationed in hot climates would often wear it without any clothes on top - hence giving birth to the modern notion of the t-shirt. As the public were exposed to photographs of men wearing their t-shirts, the fashion soon spread into American life.

In the post-World War Two era, t-shirts were popularised by global movie stars such as John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean - and since this time, t-shirt fashion trends have undergone constant revolutions. In the 1960s, Ringer T-Shirts were popular, as were tie-dying and screen-printing on basic t-shirts. In the 1970s, the black concert t-shirt became a staple with rock music fans across the world, as people began wearing t-shirts emblazoned with their favourite band's logo or symbol for all to see.

While the t-shirt trend continued well into the 1980s and 1990s, these decades also saw the advent of slogan t-shirts. T-shirt slogans like "I'm with stupid" or "Frankie says Relax" - a popular homage to the 1980s band, Frankie Goes to Hollywood - became a common fashion feature. But as these slogans became increasingly ubiquitous, it's no surprise that the early years of the new millennium saw the phenomenon of "personal branding" on t-shirts become a mainstay of t-shirt fashion.

And with both traditional fashion retailers and t-shirt websites making it easier for people to create their own t-shirt trends, the world of t-shirt design has never been brighter - in both a physical and metaphorical sense! With bright colours and bold patterns - a prominent feature of t-shirt fashion in early 2007 - t-shirt fans around the world can expect great things from the t-shirt world, both now and in years to come.

Related Tags: t-shirts, trends, t shirts, fashion t-shirts, topman t-shirts, t-shirt websites

Andrew Regan is an online, freelance journalist.

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