T-shirts are something of a weird entrant into the world of fashion and everyday wear. Like Leggings they were originally created to be an undergarment worn under the shirt, waistcoat and blazer/jacket. It was warmer but was basically another vest. Things were evidently colder in the old days and as the world warmed, and attitudes became less formal the t-shirt began to be worn openly and even on its own with a pair of trousers. It was even seen as something of an open act of rebellion to show it. James Dean in Rebel without a Cause and Marlon Brando in the Wild One both showed it as a mark of defiance against the authorities, who all kept there’s buttoned up underneath their shirts.
The t-shirt is a marketer’s dream and the exposed flat front is immediately a space that they can own and use. We’re quite happy to do this. The t-shirt has become a part of our identity. It shows what band we’re into. What political causes we celebrate, where we’ve been on holiday, and if we’ve attended a special event. It also tells people what TV shows we like. When you see a t-shirt on someone it helps you make up your mind about them.
It also means we like to wear brands. Look at Levi t-shirts for men, like those from EJ Menswear and you can soon see what I mean. T-shirts over every other kind of clothing are a massive indicator of how you are and what you stand for. Don’t believe me? Try walking into a Trump rally without an official bit of merchandise and see how far you get.