5/2/16

Vintage Style #48: T-Shirts (Part 1)


The 1970s truly was the decade of the T-shirt.  In prior decades, it was just too casual for public use - plus, they weren't emblazoned with your favorite bands, etc.  In the 70s, it was an identity statement, and with iron-ons, you could have a limitless selection of choices.

By the late 1980s, T-shirts were relegated to concert tees, and lame Ocean Pacific/Panama Jack varieties.  The once ubiquitous tacky tees took a hit during the Reagan/Bush era - but at least it wasn't a common practice to wear your t-shirts ironically. (groan)

Anyway, here is Part One* of a heaping pile of ads and images from the T-shirt's glory days, when it seemed like every magazine, every product, and every pop culture figure could be worn across your chest.  It's an interesting time capsule - let's have a look....

* Part Two coming very soon!






[Note: We covered this in 2010, and a few are pulled from previous posts, but most of these are new to Retrospace.]








Todd Bridges sporting a bicentennial tee




Pam Dawber

"So, if you suffer from nocturnal emissions, sweat no more.  You can wipe it all off with your Screw T-shirt..."
















13 comments:

  1. Ironically enough, I have tons of t-shirts, almost every one of them saying something, whether it be related to one of my favorite bands or some funny saying. Mostly for me, it's music tees. I have three KISS tees, two Rolling Stones tees, one Iron Maiden tee, one Black Sabbath tee, one Judas Priest tee and one I bought recently that has two guitars on it and two bony hands flashing the Metal Horns saying, in Iron Maiden-style writing "Yes, I'm a Girl" on the top and "Yes, I speak fluent metal" on the bottom. I love t-shirts. Pretty much tells the world who you are!!

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  2. I had some of those car shirts. I recall we got them at the mall. I still have several of the shirts I had when I was a kid. I was looking for something on Etsy the other day and ran across some "vintage" t-shirts. They were going for hundreds of dollars.

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  3. I had a post on my blog about one of the oddest parts of the T-shirt craze: T-shirts which were just popular song titles in rainbow glitter. I had one which read "New Kid In Town." Over the years, I've thought about how strange that was.

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  4. voiceofthe70sMay 02, 2016

    Can you imagine how politically incorrect many of these t-shirts are by today's humorless, repressive standards? The "serving hopeless, worthless junkies" t-shirt alone has two separate ways to offend today's thin-skinned crowd. 1) the part that refers to addicted individuals as "hopeless and worthless" and 2) any mention of junkies and hypodermic syringes on a t-shirt alone is enough to send today's easily offended crowd running for the hills. In the 70s, people wore t-shirts like this on college campuses all the time. Today they would not be allowed, with powers-that-be citing "microagressions", "trigger warnings", etc. Man, I miss the 70s.

    By the way, back then there was an entire store in my area which did nothing but put iron ons onto t-shirts. They had thousands of them in books you could leaf through.

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  5. Of all of these, I should thing that the Bode shirts are classics. Wish I had one.

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  6. The T-shirt has been my preferred mode of dress since I was a kid. My half of our walk-in closet is about 85% T-shirts, arranged by color. When I was a kid, one of the best parts of our annual trip to the Lake of the Ozarks was to go to the Bagnel Dam strip and get a custom T-shirt at one of the many T-shirt shops there. Something cool on the front, maybe another on the back, and my nickname in prismatic letters across the shoulders. I'm pretty sure most of those are still in another closet of shirts that no longer fit or are out of style but I can't throw them out. I often think about photographing all my shirts, because the web needs to see them.

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  7. Oh, and thanks for including a Dave Berg T-shirt related strip. I've always had a love/hate relationship with The Lighter Side.

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    Replies
    1. Berg himself had a love hate relationship with The Lighter Side. A devout christian conservative... yet his content was wholly liberal and often risque.
      I was too young to appreciate his stuff when I was a kid, but now I love it to death.

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    2. Didn't know that about him. He's actually on my Stuff to Read About When I'm Bored at Work list.

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  8. I clicked on a story by way of Digg today that was actually all of your scans from the two T-shirt posts.

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    Replies
    1. I'll be honest. I see stuff that I know comes from Retrospace all the time, and it is starting to really piss me off. I refuse to resort to watermarking - I don't think it's right, because, technically, I'm scanning someone else's work - it's not mine to watermark. But to go and just swipe my images without so much as a nod in my direction is just shitty. To be honest, it sometimes makes me want to just quit doing this. I'm not paid one cent to do this blog, and when jackesses steal my content to post as original on their ad-enabled garbage website, it is a tad demoralizing.

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    2. Just remember that everybody steals from everybody and rarely does anybody get credit. You do what you do because you (and we) love it.

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  9. Gilligan, I can top that. I found one of my post word for word on some sleazy click bait filler on another website. I cannot find an e-mail or address to contact these jerks. They even put the name "Sarah Smith" as the author.

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