Remember the days when a t-shirt was just something easy, and comfortable, something to throw under a sweater, or wear to sleep with some boxer shorts. A white Hanes t-shirt is one of my all time favorite staple items, mainly because it’s like a blank canvas. You can do so much with it, from dazzling it up with a show stopper accessory, wearing it with a pair of leather pants, or DIY-ing the crap out of it. But much more on this later, in my upcoming white t-shirt story.
The point is, t-shirts are a comfy, simple add on, not the focus. But in the last five years or so, the t-shirt has become just as much a focus as the rest of the outfit. The t-shirt can be your slogan, your billboard, your thoughts on display; be them dirty, funny, sarcastic or just plain weird. Our t-shirts can say so much about us, either on purpose, or sub consciously. And novelty tees are such a mass market, that every customer has upon hundreds to choose from. The most popular of late for the tween/teen crowd is of the I love something variety, be it boys, girls, nerds, or the oh so popular, your boyfriend. Clearly, our t-shirts are less of a statement, and more of our deepest, inappropriate thoughts, perhaps? For a slightly older crowd there are concert tee’s, t-shirts with famous images on them, tee’s with sayings, and the list goes on. I think for us, and I’ll use “us” as the aforementioned older crowd, they recall a certain memory, a moment, or a feeling.
I recall back to my younger years, I was obsessed with old college t-shirts. I remember searching ebay over and over, looking for that vintage oxford, and yale t-shirt. I didn’t go there, so it wasn’t school spirit, and I wasn’t trying to pretend I did, so what was it? Wearing a certain t-shirt can evoke a feeling in you.
Today my favorite t-shirt is v-neck black shirt with 2 bunnies on it, and a heart in between them. I got it at the Bklyn Flea, and was immediately filled with joy when I saw it. It conveys 2 messages; a public one and a private one.. which I, of course can’t share.
I probably have over 100 t-shirts. And every single one, I do mean every one, I HAD to have. Under my bed, I have an entire box filled with the same thing; older novelty t-shirts; ones that I never wear, but can’t bear to part with; every single one evoking a certain memory or feeling.
There’s my rush t-shirt from when I pretended to be a Chi Omega sorority girl in college (For those of you who know me, that are in shock right now, don’t worry, you do know me.. I only lasted about 2 months), there’s my “I have to get a t-shirt from every city I’ve ever visited” collection, (seemed like a good idea at the time), and then there’s my experiments. The superman t-shirt that I cut fringe on the bottom of, the Yankees stadium subway baseball shirt that I cut the middle out of, with two open panels showing my stomach. I actually used to wear this…. In public. And am currently trying to find a picture of this for your viewing pleasure.
The one that always escapes me; my white whale is a t-shirt I’ve thought about and sought ever since the day I saw it. It was 1999, and I worked in a clothing store on spring, when a girl came in wearing a dark green, super soft tee that read BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL in big white block letters. I love that shirt, I exclaimed, in which she replied, thanks- it’s my boyfriends! I never saw the boyfriend, the girl or the shirt again. And have been looking for that shirt ever since.
A few months ago at the dumbo hip hop festival, I stopped at an artsy booth, and purchased a black cropped top tee with a big image of biggie smalls, aka notorious big on the front. I love the shirt, and have planned a few outfits for it’s christening, but so far it hasn’t hit the rotation.
The best part about t-shirts is that even though they are some what the red headed step child of fashion, they can turn and change our personality into anything you want to it be; every single day if you choose. And each one can revisit a certain memory, phase, or moment in your life. If I want to be preppy one day, I wear my pink lacoste, collar up of course. If I want to be fun, I wear my favorite super soft white tee with the words, paris, Monaco, Madrid on it, edgy, I wear my shirt with the fringe on the ends, and just myself..? the one that is the most traditional, the most generic one that sums up how I feel the best. And it states only 3 words- I LOVE NY.
What is your most favorite t-shirt in your collection??
If anyone could bring t-shirts to the forefront of fashion, it’s Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.Their style doesn’t come from being trendy, or high end, it comes from constantly innovating things we see every day, and making them fashionable. Their new innovation is Stylemint, a members only fashion club that sends you t-shirts customized and tailored to you and your signature style. Like a cheese of the month club for fashionistas… this is one club I’m willing to join.
Read more at rachelzoe.com
Even better, FABSUGAR is currently offering a special promotion of Stylemint- $45 for 3 t-shirts designed by the famous duo- click on the picture below to buy the deal!!!