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In the past hour, there have been 1,369 tweets with the word “t-shirt” in it.  What is it about t-shirts that gives us the warm and fuzzies? T-shirts allow us to express our opinions, proclaim our love for brands, and our affiliation with social organizations.

Customized t-shirts have defined generations. In the 60’s, one of the biggest t-shirt fads was of course do it yourself tie-dye. Ethnic patterns made it to the mainstream and paisleys were blooming everywhere. Anti-war sentiment hung thick in the air and the phrase “make love not war” became one of the most iconic slogans of the era.

The 70’s saw a t-shirt graphical explosion of rainbows, unicorns, stars, and monster trucks. Iron-on tranfers were a popular form of personalization for anyone with a blank t-shirt and a hot iron. Who doesn’t remember a “Foxy Lady” or the hauntingly elegant, “Classy Lady?”

The 80’s showed us how to “Relax” and reminded us to “Save Ferris” amidst blinding neon colors and ultra wide boat necks (better to bare one shoulder with my dear.) Can anyone say Flashdance?

Besides “Living La Vida Loca” in the 90’s, t-shirts seemed to be all about the brand. The skate culture was taking over the suburbs and the streets were clogged with Stussy, Billabong, Mossimo and Quicksilver tees. The smiley face tee however took on an epic stature and became such an annoyance that people of the opposing faction customized theirs with a bullet hole. 

We made it to the new millennium without the sky falling and Y2K was thankfully not the disaster scaremongers talked it up to be. This was the decade of scaling back, diversifying and chilling out. CEO’s were wearing jeans and “Free [Insert Name Here]” shirts were all the rage. But the decade’s most iconic t-shirt had to be “Vote for Pedro” of Napoleon Dynamite fame.

The 2nd decade of the new millennium is shaping up to be a lively one with t-shirt trends like “Keep Calm and Carry On” and the Endless t-shirt. Share your comments on t-shirt trends, predictions and design ideas in the comment section below. We’d love to hear your take on it and why you love t-shirts!

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