If you ever decide to start your own boutique clothing brand, you might want to think about making T-shirts one of your core products. Plurawl is a New York City apparel brand that started out with ladies’ and unisex T-shirts designed for the LatinX community. They started with T-shirts because they knew that just about everyone buys them. In fact, some of us wouldn’t even know what to wear without a good selection of T-shirts to choose from.
T-shirts are literally everywhere. They are in our closets and drawers. We stash them on shelves and leave them lying on the furniture. And in terms of buying them, the choices are literally endless. You can shop for T-shirts at the big-box department store. You can find them at bargain outlets and flea markets. Heck, even grocery stores and corner pharmacies sell them.
The thing about T-shirts is that they are ubiquitous as both practical daily wear and fashion statements. They are seen as commonly on the street as on the runway. At the risk of being repetitive, some of us wouldn’t know what to wear if not for the proliferation of T-shirts in the modern culture.
Graphic Tees and Rock Concerts
Fashion historians still debate the origins of the American T-shirt. Though exact details haven’t been ironed out, the common thinking suggests that T-shirts began as industrial garments created by manual laborers whose one-piece undergarments made them uncomfortable. Whether or not that’s true, we do know that the U.S. military began issuing T-shirts to service members as early as World War II.
T-shirts really took off as daily wear in the 1960s. What happened to change things? Music promoters discovered that graphic T-shirts would sell very well at rock concerts. The Grateful Dead and its promoters are largely credited with starting the graphic tee movement with Deadhead T-shirts for their legions of fans.
As the story goes, most of the bands and promoters active during that time were very wary about merchandising. They were afraid that pirates would cut into their merchandising profits by making and selling knockoffs. The Grateful Dead didn’t care. They felt that a Deadhead T-shirt made for great marketing no matter who manufactured and sold it. They were apparently the first band to go all-in on merchandising with graphic T-shirts.
The Grateful Dead and 1960s rock concerts aside, T-shirts are still popular today because they are all-purpose clothing. Moreover, that doesn’t even have to be explained. You know full well what it means just by your own experience. You wear T-shirts on all sorts of occasions and to participate in all sorts of activities.
Maybe your thing is the graphic tee. Maybe Plurawl is your favorite brand. On the other hand, you might be the kind of person who prefers plain T-shirts in solid colors. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your T-shirts are comfortable and functional.
You also want them to look good – at least when new. But a few years down the road you are ready to relegate that once favorite T-shirt to the drawer where you keep your work clothes. You will pull it out next time you have to paint the house or work on the car.
T-shirts are such an integral part of American attire that we almost feel naked without them. If it were not for the T-shirt, we would be left wondering what to wear. Then again, the world got along just fine before T-shirts were a thing. It is just that T-shirts have made the world a better place. Wouldn’t you agree?