Tea for two

Although we may like to think we invented it in the 1960s, the t-shirt is in fact 100 years old. Come to think of it, this should not be a surprise because I have a few that look at least 100 years old. Its longevity certainly makes sense as there are many things that would not be possible without it. For example, how would we share with the world (even people who aren’t our Facebook friends) our musical and sporting goods brand affiliations? But don’t let t-shirts fool you with their simple styling and benign fabric. They have an evil, dark side that needs to be addressed. Here is the proof:

1. They are very unforgiving on those with less than svelte bodies. T-shirt material reveals every muscle, especially Molson muscle. Because the t-shirt is egalitarian by its nature, everyone thinks they have the right to wear it. Unfortunately most people also think their t-shirt size has not changed since high school.

2. They can be made without seams. How is this even possible? Surely if we can figure out how to make clothing without sewing it together we can solve world hunger. Since world hunger still exists, t-shirts must be a product of the devil.

3. They are made in some colours not found in nature and should never be worn by anyone. Yet because they exist, people buy and wear them. Day glo green, I’m taking to you (and the 1980s called, they want their colour back…)

4. Speaking of the 1980s, during the tyranny of the shoulder pad, some axis of evil invented shoulder pads with Velcro that allowed even t-shirt wearers to assimilate to the accepted silhouette. The problem with this was the tendency for the shoulder prosthesis to migrate south and create an unfortunate hunchback effect if you did anything other than stand perfectly still.

5. In the first week of university we were issued a t-shirt to ensure everyone knew we were the new kids on the block (as if our bewildered expressions didn’t explain that fact enough). In my year they were orange (see above). Much like those jackets that advertise your major and year of graduation (we were incredibly envious of the future class of ’00), the only sensible thing to do with that type of shirt is pack it away and wear it with suitable irony many years later, but not too many years later otherwise you risk telling the entire world how old you are. Actually, there really isn’t any way to win in the frosh t-shirt scenario.

6. Because it is called a ‘shirt’, the t-shirt is often mistaken for the real thing. This is especially true for middle aged men who think if they wear it under a suit jacket they will achieve a hip urban look, which of course is only possible for George Clooney.

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