We, the T-Shirt Lite

Silk screen inks gave rise to the rampant slogan and art trends that appeared on t-shirts in the 1960s. Photo: Nardine Saad

Did you know…

  • European nobility wore the t-shirt’s predecessor under their fancy garments and for recreational activities.
  • The t-shirt as we know it today was developed by Jockey International, Inc. for USC’s football team in 1932.
  • Clark Gable started the no-undershirt trend by revealing he wasn’t wearing the undergarment in the 1934 film “It Happened One Night.”
  • Silk screening inks are likely the reason that t-shirts gained popularity in the 1960s, allowing them to become universal billboards and symbols of a consumer society.
  • T-shirts were banned at schools in the 60s. Then in the 70s, the t-shirt, jeans and leather jacket trio became symbols of social protest.
  • In 1984, British designer Katharine Hamnett was photographed in London with the slogan “58% Don’t Want Pershing” printed on a plain white t-shirt in 1984. Droves of slogan t-shirts
  • A t-shirt is one of the best ways to maintain successful brand management.
  • In 2005, the Los Angeles fashion industry made $32.9 billion in revenue.
  • American Apparel is the largest clothing manufacturer in the U.S., but most t-shirts are still made overseas.
  • Four out of five Americans has a favorite t-shirt.

About the Author

Nardine Saad Nardine Saad is a t-shirt aficionado and has nostalgically hung on to tees dating back to middle school (she usually sleeps in those). Her favorite t-shirts are a loose fitting white tee and one that says "Rock Like An Egyptian." She is a candidate for a master's degree in online journalism at the University of Southern California. These stories comprise her master's thesis project.