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Beginning its forage into the arena of fashion in 1901 as nothing but a piece of underclothing, the t-shirt has – helped inadvertently by the U.S. Navy when it issued a “T” shaped undergarment to its sailors and established as a dress on its own right by actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean when they appeared on the silver screen clad in this piece of clothing – come a long way.
Printing technology changed its entire course of history and skyrocketed its popularity when simple messages began appearing on them. Now there is just no field left untouched by this simple and usually inexpensive dress.
In the fifty years since it became a popular item of wear, the t-shirt has been used in umpteen number of ways, leaving its mark on just about any subject under the sun. It is a media of expression of practically everything that you can think of and some more. Touching every possible human emotion, it has endeared it self in such a way that it is a national phenomenon. From infants to seniors every one sports them. It has evoked good healthy laughter, raised serious issues, made people smirk, ridiculed just about any topic and has also been blatantly nasty.
Fashion, inexorably, has to travel in circles; that is they revert back to an older style. Something like going forward to the past. Trends in dress design appear, fade away and make a recovery. They necessarily have to. The reasons are many. In the case of t-shirts, the jokes, messages, catchphrases, pictures that appeared on them become irrelevant as times change.
This is where “Retro T-Shirts” come in. These refer to older and exclusive designs that may or may not be still in use. Just like retro shoes and retro dresses of the 50s and 60s are making a come back, so are retro t-shirts that hark back to those former times and reproduce those unique messages, graphics or designs. These t-shirts recreate the magic of those days. The t-shirts of the era of the rock and roll symbol, Elvis Presley are just an example.
Retro t-shirts are just as fashionable as the current ones with their fancy catchphrases and, courtesy the computers, the psychedelic graphics. Some might even make a craze. Fashion is as unpredictable as the weather. Every retro-t-shirt has a message from the past that could be relevant today.
In as much as there is no discrimination of age in the wearing of t-shirts, one with a picture of Louis Armstrong could cloud the eyes of some senior citizen and there lies the potential for great gifts. The demand for these t-shirts shoots up during carnivals and sports events.
In as much as retro t-shirts are staging a strong comeback, they can be purchased off the shelf or if a person happens to find a picture, joke or catchphrase from those days of yore that one thinks is relevant to the present times or could make a unique statement, then al one has to do is get on the Internet and get a customized retro t-shirt made and delivered. Could make a happy time travel too.
By: Kathy Austin
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Remembering Retro Risque T-Shirt Iron-Ons. retro-lets-boogie-iron-on-t-shirt-transfer Back in the day, you couldn’t go to a mall and avoid a visit to (or the smell of) the t-shirt shop.
Into retro video games or gaming systems? This Atari tee will let others know you used to get down for the crown…or tried. Cost: $17 (was $24). Sizes: S -XL. Navy. Cotton. Free return and exchange. Check it out at Urban Outfitters.
Here are some rather cool retro motorsport inspired T-shirts from UK mob Slick Attire. Stocking “distinctive apparel for the discerning petrolhead” the company also offers “other goodies such as canvas prints, decals and free wallpapers.