T-shirts have been a staple of America’s wardrobe since the early postwar years. Originally intended as work clothing, T-shirts became a preferred undergarment after the U.S. military began issuing them to soldiers and sailors. Then came the 1960s. T-shirts became casual wear, opening the door to graphic tees with all sorts of images and messages.
If you are like most people, you have owned a few graphic T-shirts in your lifetime. One or two probably stick out in your mind. You remember them because they were special. Even now, you may have one or two in your drawer that are near and dear to you. It is a strange thing how we get attached to them.
Knowing what we know about graphic T-shirts, here are five classic styles everyone should own:
Our list begins with a category rather than a particular topic or cultural icon. It is first on the list because anime is a lot older than most people realize. While it didn’t become a hot commodity in the U.S. until recently, anime films and TV series began appearing here back in the 1970s. Anime itself dates back to the early 1900s.
Umai Clothing is a producer of anime T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and more. They say anime clothing and apparel has been around for a while. Their anime T-shirts are decorated with original artwork every bit as appealing as more classic pieces.
2.Grateful Dead T-Shirts
With the animate category out of the way, let’s talk specific cultural icons. First on the list is the Grateful Dead, that legendary rock group that defined the chilled-out California lifestyle of the 60s and 70s. Though it has never been proved, rumors suggest that graphic T-shirts got their start with the Grateful Dead.
As legend has it, the band’s promoters banked on the fact that Deadheads would buy T-shirts at concerts if given the opportunity. The band agreed and history was made. Grateful Dead T-shirts were the hottest thing in rock ‘n roll merchandising for more than a decade.
Is there any single brand that enjoys the same global appeal as Coca-Cola? Probably not. The Coke logo is recognized worldwide. The soft drink itself is one of the most popular ever produced. And since the 1930s, Coca-Cola has been a staple of pop culture. From T-shirts to wall art, everybody loves Coke illustrations. Why wouldn’t you put one on a T-shirt?
4.American Flag T-Shirts
The American flag has long been a symbol worn on T-shirts. And not just the flag itself, but also interpretations of the flag in other forms. Combine the flag with a bald eagle and the word ‘freedom’ and you have the perfect combination for a graphic tee.
One of the things that makes flag-inspired graphic tees so special is their seasonal nature. They come out of the woodwork around Memorial Day and stick around till Labor Day. Then they go into hiding until the following spring. Every new flag-inspired tee represents a special acquisition for that year.
5.New York Yankees T-Shirts
At the risk of upsetting people who hate either the New York Yankees or sports in general, few brands in professional sports resonate quite like the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees can play in any major league stadium in the country and enjoy strong support among their fans. They are that popular. So are their T-shirts, baseball caps, sweatshirts, etc.
The graphic T-shirt is an American classic. So are many of the designs we have seen over the years. Do you have any grapFhic tees you would consider classics?