The T-shirt is at once very cheap and very easy to wear. This, coupled with its remarkable flexibility, make it one of the most popular articles of clothing today, with businesses supplying statement or custom t-shirts continuing to flourish to meet demands.

Compared with most other articles of clothing, the t-shirt is a remarkably recent innovation that began at around the same time as jeans, in the mid-19th Century. T-shirts served the purpose of undergarments for laborers; they were inexpensive to produce and fit remarkably well on a person. The U.S. Navy eventually adopted these shirts as standard issue underwear for crew members in the Early 20th Century.

Today, the humble t-shirt and blue jeans remain one of the most popular forms of casual clothing to date, being found everywhere across the globe. T-shirts provided unparalleled comfort for people wearing them in hot weather, making them an almost universal article of clothing.

Although still considered an informal article of clothing, the simple t-shirt has become a favorite canvas for modification, allowing people to make statements about themselves that they could wear. The t-shirt is among the easiest articles of clothing to customize and pairs well with various types of clothing. Embroidery franchise opportunities continue to fill a growing demand for making custom t-shirts and other articles of clothing that embody this need to put personal and group statements on display.

Group Identities

group of volunteers showing unity

Among the many uses of t-shirt, customization is creating uniforms—team shirts, company shirts, reunion shirts.  These shirts serve the purpose of affirming identities within the group. Sometimes, these identifiers are simple, showcasing the identity of the group in the logo for and little else. Other times, these can be quite elaborate, featuring intricate and eye-catching logos with powerful messages on the group’s identity and values.

The uniforms create and reinforce a sense of egalitarianism and identity within the group. Regardless of their background, the team members are part of the same whole. For companies, these uniforms not only foster a sense of equity within the workplace but also create a powerful visual identity for the brand and can help make staff identifiable.

Moreover, by having staff wear a company shirt that they like, a business fosters a powerful positive identity about it as an employer.

Making a Statement

One of the advantages of t-shirts is that, regardless of how they fit, they are a blank slate and can accommodate whatever message the wearer wants in a convenient package. People can showcase some of their deeply held beliefs, the fandoms and other communities they belong to, or the things they enjoy or find funny in a graphic printed on a t-shirt. These shirts are often at once a summary of what they enjoy or believe and an extension of their identity.

T-shirts with statements or graphics are among the most popular form of modifications.  People as diverse as music fans, science enthusiasts, and people with deep spiritual convictions make excellent markets for customized shirts. Although most of these people would gravitate toward pre-existing statement or graphic shirts, others would prefer to have a unique shirt customized to their specifications.

A custom t-shirt can also make a statement about the personality of an individual. It would also often serve as a part of their brand and aesthetic and have deep-seated attachments of sentiment associated with it. It is not uncommon for a person to be attached to a specific shirt because of what it reminds them of—a happy event and the people they care for.