Graphic Tees must have a purpose
As a kid, my mom forbid to wear Tees outside the house and yard. She considered T-shirts of any kind as American underwear. The only T-shirt that was allowed to be worn in public was the ugly uniform top of the sports club we were members in. This piece was ok for her as it was part of a uniform, i.e. it had a purpose. It served to identify the wear to belong to a certain club.
Now you could say concert Tees, meant to be funny Tees, advertisement Tees, and even tie-dyed or self-painted Tees have a purpose. We didn’t have the money to go to concerts, thus, a concert Tee wouldn’t be in order as we weren’t there. Wearing it to identify us as a fan of a particular group, was a non-no. “You don’t give them free advertisement.” For the same reason free bee shirts with advertisement were a no-no too. Meant to be funny T-shirts wouldn’t come near her except when my late father wore them around the house. Remember, they were underwear in her mind. When one day, my sister and I learned tie-dying at our church girls group, we weren’t allowed to wear them as they were not only underwear, but also Hippie outfits. We were even taken out of the group because we shouldn’t be influenced to become Flower Power Hippies gals. The crocheted bags, our group leader had taught us to make, were already at the edge. Now she had showed her real confession and political face!
A late start at 38
I didn’t start to wear graphic Tees before I immigrated to America. I came on a green card, which legally means an immigrant visa. Administratively, you are treated like an American except for those right and duties, for which you have to have citizenship (e.g. voting, jury duty, government positions, …). Hey, an American can wear American underwear, right? Guess, everyone wears them outside the house. So I started wearing them at 38.
Cultural leftovers determine the choice of the graphic
I still agree the graphic has to have a purpose, but it should not be insulting or have some (un)intended subconscious meaning. Just an example for subconscious, underlain meaning: At many Alaska souvenir stores, fairs, and farmers markets, you can buy a T-shirt with a big round circle in which the contours of the State of Alaska are printed. There is the logo imprinted Alaska grown. When a woman with full breast wears this piece, the logo is exact on top of her boobs.
Honi soit qui mal y pense – may he be shamed who thinks badly of it. – King Edward III
An example for an insulting logo would be
“Some days I wake up grumpy, sometimes I let her sleep.”
I love to dance
The four graphic Tees are examples of the six graphic Tees I own. I wear the left one only for dance practice.
Teal rocket mission Tee
The teal one is a souvenir Tee of a rocket mission to measure turbulence in the upper mesosphere. Typically, its lower boundary is in about 31 miles (50 km) height above the Earth’s surface. The upper boundary of the mesosphere, called mesopause, is in about 62 miles (100 km). The altitudes of these boundaries depend on season and latitude. In mid latitude summer, for instance, the mesopause is in about 53 miles (85 km). Like in the troposphere, temperature decreases with height, which due to the absorption of radiation in the ozone layer is not the case in the stratosphere, i.e. the layer between the troposphere and mesosphere. Like in the troposphere, temperature inversions, i.e. layers where temperature increases with height over several 109 yards (100 m), may occur in the mesosphere. The yellow line shows the temperature profile, the column with antennas is the instrument, the long numbers give the day as counted in space science.
The light blue Tee displays the names of all departments of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics as antlers of a caribou. The department of biology and wildlife performs a lot of research on caribous and reindeer.
The 3D low pressure system
I wrote about this top before. It displays the air movement in a low pressure system.
How I styled them before
Below are some examples of how I styled my graphic tees in the past.
Hinge quilted leather jacket, Keep Calm T-shirt, Jaeger tote, statement belt (all own), Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source Inc., double layer tulle skirt c/o Lookbook Store, and Musse & Cloud wood sandals c/o coolway
Vittoria Verati linen blazer, Keep Calm T-shirt, Shein joggers, Madonna True or Dare floral pumps, and structured bag (all own)
Chanel pencil skirt, graphic T-shirt, Dolce & Gabbana Madona collaboration sunnies, Jord watch, BCBG pumps, and Esprit shoulder bag (all own)
Victoria Secret leather bomber with college T, L.K. Bennett wedges, Esprit shoulder strap bag, Madonna Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses (all own), and stripped skirt c/o eShakti
Notations floral blazer, J Brand skinnies, Festina watch, statement belt with college top displaying a mirage of the Alaska Range at sun raise in fall (all own)
R&B winter white motorcycle leather jacket, London camouflage cargo pants, 3.1 Philip Lim bag, quartz flower statement belt, and purple mirrored Ray Ban sunglasses (all own)
When you liked this post let your friends know by tweeting them to have a look at this post on ageless style in graphic T-shirts!
Do you wear graphic tops? What kind of graphics do you like? How do you choose them? What are your challenges with wearing them? Let me know by email, I love to hear from you.
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
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