The Evolution of the T-shirt from Gelf Magazine

If you only do one thing today go and read this article on the history of the T-shirt from Gelf Magazine.

Whether you choose to admit it or not, chances are a critical reserve of self-esteem rests somewhere near the middle of your T-shirt drawer. For within this darkened, hidden quarter lies dormant a secret weapon so witty, so elusively allusive, or just so damn hip it finds itself swathing your chest on only the most important occasions.

t-shirt timeline

some of my favs are:

esoteric reference

intellectually lazy


Choose Wisely!

Here’s another quote from the article from George Carlin’s “Coolest T-shirt Trap” in his 1997 volume of random musings, Brain Droppings:

There are times when you take 15 minutes to pick out which shirt to wear, because you’re going to a place where they’ll be a bunch of guys you’ve never met…and you think, ‘No one has ever seen a shirt like this. This will make them jealous’…then when you get there, no one cares at all. And all of the other guys turn out to be dorks who will wear any piece of shit that’s handed to them. Like ‘Property of Alcatraz’ and ‘Life is Beach.’ What a letdown.

via Kottke

6 Responses to “The Evolution of the T-shirt from Gelf Magazine”

  1. Andy says:

    The image for esoteric reference is available on a tee from

  2. karl says:

    Thanks Andy, also done by paul frank for Urban Outfitters, and burnswell for $12:

    you may even get 10% off with this coupon code: BRNS_LONG

  3. [...] La scala evolutiva delle t-shirts, via Tcritic. Scritto da Simone il 12 Maggio, 2007Tags: lifestyle [...]

  4. Shuane says:

    Very nice post, I really enjoyed reading this, and looking at the pictures even if they were really small. Never knew history of t shirt screen printing can be this interesting. LOL

  5. I have the world’s greatest Obama shirt. Can you help market it?
    Design based on trip to Egypt and Miles Davis “Birth of The Cool” album.

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